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Graham Paige 1928 Model 610 Sedan

Last registration "AW 148" in 1962


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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.


Mr Bales loaned me the original colour cards to allow paint matching and I selected the Tarana Turquoise from the 1964 Holden range as being the closest match.  Of course, when I started restoration, Duco was still available so it will have to be done again.  The original colour was navy and black with blue moquette upholstery.  He also loaned me the GP610 Salesman's Handbook which I copied.

 

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

  


1962 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.






The remainder of the history was given to me by a subsequent owner, Mr Don Telfer who exchanged the vehicle to me for a second hand motor bike helmet and a dial gauge for his lathe.  The car was moved to Perth in four trailer loads of parts and the pictures above show the dismantling process.  Young Roger was in year eight at the time and now runs the property.

 

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 AW148.
1    
It is suspected that the vehicle may have been subsequently owned and brought to Darkan by Mr Geoff Elias, a brother of Tom and who ran the Darkan Garage
2     or the car may simply have been purched by Alan Parsons from Collie
3     or Alf owned it and Alan Parsons used it.
Garry Burton recalls the vehicle in the mid to late 1950's owned or driven by Alan Parsons, a fencing contractor who had a campsite west of Darkan townsite near the current rubbish site. 

 

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.




I was very fortunate to come across a drum of rivets that a hardware company salvaged from a scrap metal dealer and the loose 5/16" rivets in the chassis were all removed and replaced with 3/8" ones.  This required the making of a rivet tool which I drilled out with a drill ground with a hemispherical cutting edge then the tool  was case hardened on the working face.  The 110 rivets were inserted hot and hammered down and allowed to shrink tight and the tool lasted for the whole job.  The chassis is now within 2mm across the diagonals.


 

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.



The members of the Veteran Car Club of WA arranged to have a special metal finishing class at nights at Carlisle TAFE and over two years I replaced the rusty parts of the panels in the scuttle and doors and made new running boards, skirts and edges for the floor panel.  The bottom end of the radiator panel was missing and I turned up and threaded a pair of swaging rollers at work which screwed onto the machine at TAFE.  It was a slow job working from both sides to produce a tapered double swage and gradually adding depth.  I took the rusty shell to the chrome platers and they reversed the electrodes and stripped off the chrome in a few minutes.  Thanks to my instructors, I learned to make a weld that didn't show when it was chromed.  Unfortunately the chrome platers buffed through the metal and tried to braze it up themselves doing more damage than good.  I took it home and spent a lit of time sorting out their mess and finally got it chromed.  It wasn't ideal as there was some pitting too deep to remove.  I am guessing that some time in the future, I'll need to make a complete new one which will be a shame.



This much of the car was completed by 1975 and covered its first 6.5 miles around Brown Park in Swan View then featured like this at the Booragoon Veteran and Vintage exhibition.


   

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 development.



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.


2014 - Now that I have purchased Property south of Darkan, there is a possibility that the car might return to where it started.

 

Alanvale Farm





 

More to follow













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