Graham Paige 1928 Model 610 Sedan
Last registration "AW 148" in 1962
History and Providence
In the early days, Arthur Bales advertised
the new owners of their vehicles (left)
The Earliest known information of the vehicle is the name badge on the dashboard indicating that it was distributed in Western Australia by Arthur Bales Ltd of 371 Murray St in Perth where the His Majesty Council car park is now. This was subsequently corroborated by Mr Les Bales of Mt Lawley who was the son of the distributor and in the
early 1970's could still recall delivering the
car new to Collie in WA in 1929.
Nothing is known of the car for the period after the
first delivery to Collie, WA (1929 to 1950) but here is a picture of an
identical vehicle at Woodanilling.
Page 3 of the Graham Paige 610 Salesman's Handbook
This is where the clutch burned out and the car stopped for 11 years -
Little did the owner know that a 1962 FB Holden clutch plate would have
bolted right in and worked better than the original.
In 1950 the car was owned by Mr Tom Elias and this was
confirmed by local sidecar legend, the late Bill McDermott who responded to a request in the
Collie Mail. He had ridden in the vehicle as a boy when it was
owned by Tom Elias. Tom's brother,
Mr Clem Elias who was the Holden dealer for Collie, cannot recall the
vehicle but advised me (2010) that Tom was the Vauxhall dealer for
Collie and that he also owned Garages at Collie and Duranillin.
We now have three possibilities of what happened next and nobody to clarify it. The West Arthur Shire licence
number was AW•148.
We know the vehicle was in some manner acquired by the Wesfarmers agent Alf Galloway in Darkan who cut the back of the sedan out with an axe and used it for general carrying. I subsequently by accident met this man in the late 1970's who was at that time a real estate agent in Mount Barker. He told me that the body panel was thrown on the old Darkan Tip and as I was acquainted with that site realised it was not recoverable.
Alf sold the vehicle to Mr Don Telfer of "Warragal Park", South West of Darkan who used the vehicle around the farm until the clutch burnt out in 1962. The car was pulled down but not repaired and the parts were still in the grass when I first saw it in 1972. The petrol tank was used for an Austin truck and was retrieved from Williams on the condition that the truck was towed away in 1973.
The engine rebuild was made easy by Don Blencowe of
Forrestfield who hand poured the bearings and arranged to have the
crankshaft bearings line bored. It was only necessary to replace
one set of piston rings as Mr Elward had done a good Job on it shortly
before the clutch burned out in 1962. When the engine started, it
idled at 350rpm which is about half the speed of a modern engine and
even with no baffles in the muffler, ran reasonably quietly.
In 1975, another back body section, chassis, rear axle
and various parts were recovered from down a gold mine in Castlemaine
in Victoria making the restoration a worthwhile proposition as a sedan
and not a ute. Dropping a car down a mineshaft and leaving it in
mud and brambles is not good for panel work and as you can see, the
parts of two cars are welded to make one and in the second image, you
can see the line where the panel rusted at ground level. Pushing
the panel out about 300mm was not easy and there is still a lot of work
to do. After this the process of moving house commenced and each
move required a new garage. All these moves practically stopped
The vehicle has been in storage for some 40 years and now it
is in its sixth garage, four of them especially built. If not for
having to build the garages the job would probably be finished but now
as retirement is approaching it might be time to get on with it.
More to follow
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