Rick “Ricky” Bell.

32redcoupeside-scaled500Rick Bell (Maintenance Section) hated being called Ricky and didn’t like his surname used as a noun because he was called ‘Bellie” and things like ‘Dingdong’ at Primary School.
At least one of Ricks after hours passions was working on his cherry red Ford Coupe Tourer (with the Dicky seat). In the early years of his apprenticeship to Printing Engineering, he struggled to keep the original 1930s (something) engine going and bits like the clutch, brakes etc were also proving difficult as even items from the wreckers and Rare Spares dried up.
An offer from someone in the Bindery enticed Rick out of his Ford passion and into the new world of Holden. The offer was to take away for free, an EH Holden wagon with a 186 motor. Rick lived at O’Halloran Hill and the car was in Salisbury. I lived in Allchurch Ave. Kurralta Park with not much to do on weekends so offered to help.
We duly arrived at Salisbury in the Ford early one Saturday morning and had a look over the Holden. The head had been refurbished but was on the floor of the back seat. A heap of other ‘running gear’ was in buckets and tins on the passenger side front floor.
The owner said that the brakes worked a bit but you probably would need to rely more on the handbrake..
We attached a big ‘under tow’ sign to the Holden and slowly dragged the hulk back to Ricks place. Somehow. all went smoothly until we got about 1/2 way up Tapleys’ Hill, when the heat from the Ford’s exhaust pipe burnt though the tow rope.
The original gear on the Ford had the pipe coming out from the middle of the body under the back bumper. So I’m cut loose from the little Ford and running backwards down Tapleys Hill Rd, again (blessedly) not much traffic.
Finally instinct kicked in and I pulled the handbrake on. Made no difference. Pumped the footbrake. Made no difference. Threw the car into gear, something went BANG and I drifted at an angle into the side of the cutting. Rick stopped and ran back laughing his head off. I
told him about the loud noise under the bonnet and we put the bonnet up to find that the engine dismantlers had put all the other other U clamps, nuts and bolts, old valve stems etc in the top of the cylinder pots. When I put the can in gear, the pistons moved and pushed all the contents out onto the road.
Finally back at Ricks place, we took the engine out, cut the Holden body in 1/2s along is length and took it 1/2 at a time to the Happy Valley dump with windows and seats. By the time we got back with the 2nd half, the doors and seats had gone to a better homes. I’m thinking this was about 1972-1974.
When we wuzz yung ‘n’ dumb.
Grant Hofmeyer

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