The ultimate Christmas surprise
RUTH Robinson and her 1958 Morris Minor will make a pretty couple from now on when they go dancing at Rocky Rockers Club.
Mrs Robinson wears big petticoats under her swing skirt and, as of last week, the Morris has all new carpets and a sparkling paint job, thanks to some generous locals.
The car was about 20 years old when Mrs Robinson and her late husband Bill paid $300 for it about 40 years ago.
It drove them to their teaching jobs all over Rockhampton and up Mount Morgan.
But the Morris was starting to show its age by the time Mrs Robinson booked it in to have a ding taken out of its mudguard a few weeks ago.
Insured by Shannons, Mrs Robinson took it to Warren Burggraaf of Wazrods & Restoration, who has done work for her before.
Mrs Robinson, who was a member of the Classic Car Club for many years, described Mr Burggraaf as the best restorer in the business.
What she didn't know is he would rally a group of kindhearted revheads to pull off the ultimate Christmas surprise.
"I just knew I couldn't give it back to her the state it was in," he said.
"The carpets were ruined, there were five or six different paint colours and the rust was hanging out.
"I was worried she wouldn't be able to keep it on the road much longer."
Mr Burggraaf, who has been restoring cars in Central Queensland for about 25 years, does a lot of business with other local small businesses operators.
"My wife went to Swains Canvas for some door rubbers and they jumped on board to help Ruth out," he said.
"The Allenstown upholstery shop gave us vinyl for the doors, and we got help with the glass from Novus Glass and AP Glazing.
"Rocky Auto Spares came on board with oil and grease."
Even visitors to Wazrods pitched in, with local hotrod fans Shane, Kev and Judy donating cash towards the restoration project.
Mrs Robinson had no idea what so many people had done for her until the car was delivered to her South Rockhampton home last Tuesday.
"I was so surprised I bawled," she said.
"It looks so lovely now; you just wouldn't believe it was the same car.
"She's prettier now than the day we bought her."