News From The Friends Of Fagan Park

By Ian Browning

We really enjoyed an excellent Open Day on Australia Day. No rain for a change, and not hot at all – we could not have asked for better. Fagan Park

We brought out all of our trucks and tractors and having driven the 1918 International truck under its own power for the first time the very day before drove it out of its shed and into the display line-up.

We did not attempt to drive it in the lunchtime parade around the Fagan Park- that would be tempting fate – and anyway, the parade ended in drama, having to tow back the Leyland truck and one tractor.

Fagan park attracted a large number of visitors on the day, and many of them visited our display and took in the museums and beautifully furnished homestead.

We were hosts to members of the Pittwater Motoring Enthusiasts Association who brought historic vehicles ranging from a diminutive Austin 7 “Chummy” to a big 1970’s Rolls-Royce, and their display was complimented by several historic vehicles brought by our members – a big Buick, FC Holden, Austin 10, and Austin Freeway. Very photogenic for the public!

Already mentioned was the milestone of driving the International truck for the first time on 25th January, using a chair strapped in place as a seat. We were gratified to prove that everything works as intended, steering, brakes etc, the only thing untried is top gear!

That is for another day, if any of us is game enough. We are getting stuck into moving the project forward, with attention focussed on floorboards and proper seat frames. The original donation by the Cranston family was in July 2017, so, even taking into account the significant time lost to Covid-19, it is still quite a long-term project indeed.

Also mentioned was the Leyland truck failing to complete the parade. It appears fuel blockages are the problem. Beware of older vehicles standing unused for long periods – modern-day fuels will contaminate the fuel system, with dire consequences. We are investigating fuel conditioners which may help.

Mention last month of the Meadowbank vertical engine being revisited provides no joy to report at all. It refuses to run, even though it checks out in all respects. It will be a shame if we have to give up on it.

If you would like to contact us to offer your services as a volunteer, call Ian 0419 435 475, or Vern 0405 703 413.