AFTER selling his first car, a green Ford Zephyr Mark II, more than 50 years ago, Hamilton’s Doug Ezard thought he would never see his beloved vehicle again.
But that all changed recently, after an innocent conversation with his friend, Barry Raymond.
“I was helping Barry on his boat and we were reminiscing about the good old days, like you do,” Doug said.
“And he brought up my old green Zephyr Mark II, which was my first car when I was 17.
“He’d been in it a few times back then and we were talking about all the old memories.
“I told him I’d sold it to Lance Golding in Dunkeld for about $10 in about 1969 and I thought it was probably still somewhere at the foot of Mount Abrupt.”
As coincidence would have it, Barry knew his neighbour, Graham Trounce, was married to Lance Golding’s daughter, Wilma, and just happened to be in the process of restoring his own Ford Zephyr.
“It was just a coincidence that Barry was then talking to Graham about the Zephyr he was doing up and he mentioned I had one and had sold it to Lance Golding,” Doug said.
“Trouncey pulled out his phone and showed him a picture of a Zephyr that was up in the bush in Dunkeld and asked him, ‘is this it?’
“Barry knew straight away and said, ‘that’s it’.
“Why Graham had a photo of it on his phone, I’m not sure, but it was just coincidence that Barry and I had been talking about the car not too long before.”
Graham had been shown the car, which was still on Lance Golding’s property, by his brother-in-law, Don, and had been taking parts for his own restoration.
“Graham is doing up a station wagon and mine was a sedan, but he’d going out there and pinching some chrome strips and other bits and pieces he needed along the way,” Doug said.
The experience culminated with a trek out into the bush last week to see the car with his own eyes.
“Barry and Graham didn’t tell me about the car out there, they just told me we were going for a cruise out to Dunkeld on Tuesday (last week),” Doug said.
“I was a little bit suspicious, but I went along with it and we all headed out there.
“So there we were trekking up a bush track like a bunch of goats, and none of us is a spring chicken.
“But we got there in the end and there she was.
“How she got there, I have no clue, because it wasn’t like you could have just driven up there.”
Laying eyes on his first car more than 50 years after selling it brought back a wave of memories.
“She was pretty beat up – she had some bullet holes and it looked like someone had taken an iron pole to her,” Doug said.
“The motor was gone and there were other pieces missing, but there she was.
“It brought back a lot of great memories.
“I had a lot of fun times cruising around in that car … it was the first car I bought, before I even had my licence.
“I was 17 and a half and working at Ansett Motors at the time when it came into the car yard.
“It was still in good shape then and I paid $250 for it, which was a lot of money back then.
“I only had the Zephyr for probably two and a half years, but back then there were no speed limits, so we had a lot of fun.”
Doug said he was glad parts of the car were being used in Graham’s restoration.
“I think it’s great that it lives on and Trouncey will be driving round in bits of my old car,” he said.
“I don’t know how you would describe it – it’s just a surprising coincidence that my mate’s neighbour was using my first car for parts to restore his own Zephyr.
“Who would have thought?”