PART OF THE FAMILY: David and Mia Parsons stand with David's 1966 Toyota Corona - the car Mia learned to drive in and David's pride and joy.
PART OF THE FAMILY: David and Mia Parsons stand with David's 1966 Toyota Corona - the car Mia learned to drive in and David's pride and joy. Dominic Elsome

Listening to taped music on a Sunday

DAVID Parsons' 1966 Toyota Corona is part of the family, and the Laidley local could never part with it.

The Shovel-Nose as it is affectionately known might be a little faded, but Mr Parsons said the memories it holds are irreplaceable.

"I raised all my kids in it - took them to school,” he said.

"I used to have old dog and she used to sit on the left hand side and we'd drive around and get all the looks.”

The 'Shovel-nose' as it is affectionately known was extremely popular in Australia during the 60s - and even raced at Bathurst.
The 'Shovel-nose' as it is affectionately known was extremely popular in Australia during the 60s - and even raced at Bathurst. Dominic Elsome

He bought the four-door sedan 25 years ago, and has had it for so long now he can't recall who or where he originally bought it from.

"I bought second hand, but I couldn't even tell you where it came from now - I think I just bought it in a backyard somewhere and paid $100 for it,” he said.

"It's always been there.”

The Corona might now be retired from day-to-day service, but Mr Parsons makes sure the old girl still gets her fair-share of love.

"I get withdrawal symptoms if I don't drive it for a couple of weeks, so I'll definitely get it in and take it for drive up the roads,” he said.

"I love to get in and put the old cassette tapes in there, listen to an old tape and just cruise along for a Sunday drive.”

The '65 and '66 Coronas were hugely popular in Australia - with Toyota even racing the cars at the Bathurst 500 - and many believe the success of the Corona laid the foundation for Toyota's popularity in Australia today.

Mr Parsons has tried to keep his shovel-nose as stock as possible, refurbishing the original engine, but there some quirks that he added to make life easier.

"I put the indicators on a switch on the dash, it was just too hard with the old indicators - the way they were designed was just weird,” he explained.

"I put a different steering wheel on it - a Holden Gemini wheel, it fit straight on and it's been on there ever since.”

The quirks of the car and the older design might make it intimidating for a learner driver, but Mr Parsons said it made his children better drivers.

"My kids all learnt in it - I said when they can reach the pedals they can learn to drive in it... I reckon if you can learn to drive in that, you can drive anything.”

And his daughter Mia backed him on that.

"It was very hard - would have been a lot easier in a new car I can tell you that... But now I'm a great driver (because of it).” she said.

As for future works to the old-girl, Mr Parsons isn't planning anything radical.

"I'd like to paint it one day, I'd love to paint it. But since I've just got so much to do around here it's just been pushed back,” he said.

"But it'll definitely get painted one day - probably be red, definitely shiny.”

Mr Parsons' Corona is mostly stock - but has a few eccentricities like the steering wheel that comes from a Holden Gemini.
Mr Parsons' Corona is mostly stock - but has a few eccentricities like the steering wheel that comes from a Holden Gemini. Dominic Elsome

Got a sweet ride or know someone who does? Contact the Gatton Star on 5460 2208 for a chance for it to be profiled in the next edition of the Laidley Plainland Leader.


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