Inside a massive shed, a short distance off the Twin Coast Discovery Highway, is the result of half-a- century’s obsession with the machines of yesteryear.
That means much more than just cars, although naturally they feature prominently, as well as farm vehicles like a herd of bright red Farmall tractors, dating from the 1920s, a horse-drawn gig, motorbikes and a 1925 fire engine. Here, you will also find vintage pianolas, floor polishers, irons, telephones, typewriters, gramophones, saucepans and soda siphons. There’s a dentist’s chair and drill, a line of stuffed birds, a selection of antique radios, chunky cash registers, gardening equipment, a shoe-making machine and a wide variety of tools used in kitchens, workshops and in the gumfields.
Owner Win Matthews started the collection with a 1927 Chevrolet that he bought in 1965 and restored to gleaming perfection. Since then, he has rescued machinery of all sorts, some of it reduced to just a pile of rusted metal, and brought it back to life.
The display includes items from the pioneer days, as well as early farming equipment like stationary engines and several makes of tractors; but the cars are the stars. There are Chevrolets, Nashs, a glamorous red Singer Roadster, a cute little powder blue BMW bubble car and many more, lined-up, loved and shiny in the shed.
Why go? Because you’ve never seen a pair of lady’s bloomers made from a flour bag before. Or, probably, a 1945 electric invalid carriage. Everywhere you look, there is something recognisable, the ancestor of today’s smaller, sleeker versions, and often familiar from the visitor’s personal past.
A number of the exhibits were in use by the Matthews family, who have lived in the area for generations; and Win, if he’s not busy in his workshop on the next project, is happy to talk about them, and demonstrate the pianolas.