AFTER almost one year in the garage, Dick Pakeman's freshly restored 1926 Model T shone on its debut on Saturday.
The Helidon retiree was thrilled to have his project ready for the Lockyer Antique Motors Association invitational rally last weekend, and said he was lucky to have it registered in the nick of time.
"I've been working full days on it,” Mr Pakeman said.
"The restoration of the body must have been the most difficult part.
"They reproduce a lot of the engine parts but not the body parts.
"Of course, even the engine parts, well, they're all made in America.”
The Model T is Mr Pakeman's fourth restored vintage car.
He said he had always had a love for the old machines, ever since he was a boy in Rhodesia, now known as Zimbabwe.
Then a chance encounter with a Toowoomba man brought this particular classic into Mr Pakeman's capable hands.
"It's just a passion,” he said.
"This one I liked because it was a unique one.
"It was the first vintage car I had when I was a kid at school.”
Mr Pakeman said he emigrated to Australia in 1982 and, naturally, he was sure to bring his two Model Ts with him.
Now, Mr Pakeman's life has two loves; his cars and his wife, who helps him with some of the finer points of his restorations.
"She does the stitching on the upholstery,” Mr Pakeman said.
"She helps me out with plenty,” he
Naming the vehicles is another area the former engineer needs help.
Though he's named his other restorations, Mr Pakeman hasn't yet settled on an appropriate moniker for his latest ride.
"My wife's got a few ideas,” he said.
"We'll just see.”
Fixing up the old cruisers isn't enough for Mr Pakeman.
The quiet enthusiast says he's a member of three different car clubs, all of which provide ample opportunity to take his treasured projects out for a spin.
"We probably go out once a weekend or so,” he said.
"It's nice to take a drive in them.”
There's plenty to keep the restless retiree busy.
As his hobby can't be classed as cheap, Mr Pakeman says, he does odd jobs for his mates at LAMA.
"I'm just one of those old blokes who can't sit still,” he said.
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