AFTER a long day fishing in the Bass Strait, Graeme Wagland would return home and be up ‘till midnight working in his garage.
That was a typical day before he retired.
Now he’s spending the entire day in his San Remo garage, moving from one project to another.
He loves cars, motorcycles, engines – the whole lot.
A self-confessed ‘petrolhead’, he’s been involved with the Bass Coast Historical Automotive Club for the past nine years.
He’s the vice-president of the club too.
Alongside wife Marj, the two enjoy taking trips in the historical vehicles – often meeting up with fellow club enthusiasts at an agreed location.
“When we all park our cars for morning tea, there’s almost always a crowd that forms.
“People love checking out old cars.”
For their trips, they can choose from their black 1920 Ford Model T Centre Door Sedan nicknamed ‘Eliza’, or yellow 1926 Model T Ford Speedster, or any of their other cars.
“I’m just the mechanic and Marj owns all the cars. They all require a bit of TLC,” he said.
Decades ago, doctors would use vehicles similar to ‘Eliza’ to transport patients.
“They’ve got high ceilings so they could even wear their top hat inside.”
The front passenger seat can be folded down, likely used to make room for a patient to lie down.
Neither Graeme or Marj grew up in car-obsessed homes, but through the club they’ve met many people who they can now call their friends.
Marj, a retired school teacher, says it’s wonderful sitting in one of the historic cars, driving down back roads at a slow speed and taking in all the sights.
“The men tend to all look under the bonnets, while the women look at the interior,” Marj says, laughing.
The couple are also members of the Model T Ford Club of Victoria.
“But most of the cars are generally a bit more modern than ours,” says Graeme.
He’s also working on pulling apart a panel van from the 1920s to turn into a camper van.
“If I get myself into gear, hopefully it’ll happen next year.
“Our first trip will be to Powlett River, and if it doesn’t work, then we can just leave it there and walk back to San Remo,” he jokes.
Graeme’s been involved in a few prangs from his time on race tracks, including on motorcycles, but he says it’s all part of living.
“These cars are a handful, but they’re bloody good fun. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”
For the love of cars