Tim’s Le Monaro

Tim got in touch a while back and now he’s back with his story together with some great pics of his restoration of his family owned Le Monaro.

Here’s Tim’s story…

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Glad to see the site is back up it was greatly missed.

Since last time I spoke to you I didn’t get to tell you my LE’s story I figured I would tell it to you now.

My LE was purchased from Wagga Wagga Motors Pty. Ltd. in Wagga Wagga on the 15th of October 1976. It was purchased by a man by the name of Mr. F. M. Hamblin, his full name is not known. Apparently he had owned the car for twelve months under the custom plates of “STROP” before he sadly passed away. His widow then parked the car in the garage and covered it with a tarp and never drove it again.

Tim's Le Monaro before restoration

In 1989 in Canberra A.C.T a car dealer by the name of Fyshwick Used Cars took delivery of an LE monaro, the same LE monaro reluctantly sold by the widow of Mr. Hamblin feeling it was time to move on.

A family friend at the time worked at the same car dealership and made a phone call to my dad, Trevor, and told him about a car he thinks he might be interested in. My dad, not looking to buy a car at the time, reluctantly went to the dealership to have a look. He fell in love with the car and asked how much he wanted for it. By the end of the day my dad was the proud new owner of an LE Monaro and was $15,000 poorer and loving every minute.

Tim's Le Monaro before restoration

The car then became the family car, and the very next year in 1990 I was born and taken home from the hospital in it, and just like my dad I was hooked. Growing up I always remember the car being around and was used just as any family car was. It was taken on long trips from Sussex Inlet, on the south coast of NSW, to Melbourne to visit relatives on a number of occasions, it was used to go down the road to get the morning news paper and to drive to work in. As the family car it was treated as such with regular cleaning and maintenance, however, most of the interior damage that now exists, exists because of me, the six year old destructive boy at the time.

When we were in the need for another little car to run around in which was cheaper to own and run we bought a little Charade thing that was handed to my mum. Consequently the LE, thankfully, was not sold instead becoming dad’s “to work and back” car. Unfortunately with the demotion of rank came the downgrade of care. Instead of being treated with delicate care it was treated how you would treat a work car. It was only washed when it was parked or driven in the rain, junk was piled in the back seat and boot and was rarely given a good cleanout. However, it must be said that even though it wasn’t treated with care it was treated with respect. Its oil and water were changed regularly and it was serviced regularly.

The car hadn’t failed once until one day on the way home from work in 2002, when it dropped a lifter and tore up the engine. The car made it home successfully but didn’t move for over two years because the money needed to restore the engine took that long to save up. The engine was sent away to Melbourne to get professionally restored and the job was done on the 27th of July 2004 at 230,074 Km. After getting a renewed LE back dad found his love in the car once more, he still drove it to work and back everyday but he certainly treated it a little better.

Ever since I was a little kid dad promised me I would one day own the car. That?s why it broke my heart to find out at the start of the year in 2008 he was thinking of selling it because it was just too expensive. I argued and pleaded with my parents not to get rid of it and that I would take it even buy it off them if I had to. However, to my joy and very much surprise in front of all my family and friends I was handed the keys to the LE on the night of my 18th birthday.

Just seven months later on the 23rd of February 2009 I handed the LE over to a school friend?s dad who happened to repair and restore cars. He has had her now for seven months doing a fantastic job at restoring her to her former glory. I can not wait for my LE to return. That is my LE’s story.

I have included some pictures for you of my LE both before being restored and during restoration. Phase one of restoration includes; panel beating, bare metal re-spray and all exterior work.

Cheers – Tim.

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