History of 1924 Vauxhall 23/60 Kington tourer
Many of you in the CACMC would have known Peter Barges before his passing in 2006. Upon bumping into the Listons at Classic Yass this year it was requested that I write a short history of the Vauxhall 23/60 that remained a dream for my dad that was never fulfilled, until Nerida (his wife) provided the means to do so in 2008.
Little is known of the history of this car, chassis OD980 prior to 1960. Originally discovered on a farm in Newcastle, it was being used as a farm hack to shoot kangaroos. It passed through several hands before being purchased by Peter Barges from Errol Rumph around 1962 (in Canberra) for £25. The car was used very briefly by Peter, however was worn out beyond reasonable doubt and was soon stripped down for restoration.
Only about 5% of the restoration and rebuild had taken place upon Peters passing in 2006 however the car including the body and mechanicals were found to be extremely original and well preserved despite being in pieces. The car sat in the family garage in Curtin for around 40 years.
In 2008 the sum of the parts were delivered to Barry and David Ford, Vauxhall specialists in Stanthorpe Qld for restoration. The car returned to Canberra in October 2009. (Barry Ford has since passed away in 2011 however David Ford continues to run the restoration business).
The restoration utilised 100% of the original aluminium bodywork (factory fitted Kington body) and around 75% of the original UK made ash frame was retained. A new dashboard was manufactured by the Fords due to wear and rotting of the original backing timber. The 4.25 litre 4 cylinder engine is the correct matching numbered unit for the car and has some minor modifications such as Sainty Speed shop conrods, new JP Pistons from South Australia as well as a modern remote oil filter mounted under the floor.
So far I’ve driven it only a few hundred km since 2009 and it is running well. I do all of the general servicing and detailing myself with advice from a few specialists who own similar cars.
Credit where credit due:
Barry and David Ford. (Barry Ford and Sons Qld)
Lance at Todds Auto Trimming in Ipswich (all upholstery work)