Museum’s 1927 Whippet on the road again

September 25, 2008

Fond memories of family outings in his father’s Whippet car led Alfie Ellevesen, a former mechanic who has now made Bingara his home, to volunteer to get the 1927 Whippet in the Bingara Historical Society Museum into running order.

"My dad had a very old Whippet, and we used to go on family picnics, in fact we went everywhere in that car," Alfie told the Advocate.

"I have always been interested in old cars. Then my friends had old T Model Fords and similar cars, and over the years, I have done a bit of work on them," he said.

On Australia Day a couple of years ago, Alfie’s eyes lit up when he saw the old Whippet, which used to belong to the late Ernie Rogers.  "I thought, ‘I would like to get in there, and get that going’.  "I spoke with the President of the Historical Society, Peter Jones, who said it would be wonderful to get it going," Alfie said.

"So I decided that after finishing my house renovations, I would put each Friday aside, and go down and get the thing going.  So, that is what I did, with the help of David Betts. Between the two of us, he did the electrical work, and I did most of the mechanical work", Alf said.

Alfie donated tubes for the tyres, other odds and ends, and "a bit of fuel", and Council provided a new battery for the car. "In no time, working for only two days, we had it going," he said.  Alf said that when he started the car for the first time, it caused much excitement.

"Russell Reading was standing right beside it when it started. He didn’t realise it was going to start, and blue smoke went all over him, and up in the shed.  "People from the NRMA garage over the road came running over, they couldn’t believe I had the old whippet going," Alfie said.  "It was great".