Richard King’s love for cars began when a school teacher took him to see the movie Genevieve, set around the annual London to Brighton antique car rally, in the 1950s.
It developed into a lifelong passion, which the 76 year-old says has allowed him to meet many new friends from varied backgrounds.
Mr King was 26 when he attended the first meeting of Deniliquin District Veteran & Vintage Car Club on December 8, 1967.
He said he was invited to go along by his friend and the group’s inaugural president Roger Benjamin.
‘‘It was about having a common interest,’’ Mr King said.
‘‘But the best part of being a member of the group is the people you meet.
‘‘I really enjoy the company of the other people.’’
Mr King says he has also forged some lifelong friendships through his association with the Wolseley Club of Victoria, and through both clubs often has a packed schedule of trips and meets to attend.
One of Mr King’s first cars was a 444 Wolseley, but for much of his membership with the Deniliquin District Veteran & Vintage Car Club he had a 1929 ‘A’ Model Ford.
Almost six years ago he relinquished the Ford to return to a Wolseley, finding his ideal car for sale in Adelaide.
‘‘It’s a Mark I and once I had seen it I called up (fellow club member) Jim Carnie and told him to get the trailer ready.
‘‘I figured even if the car was no good we would still have a great holiday. When we got it back here and it was still sitting on the trailer it just looked beautiful.’’
Mr King said the attraction of the 1962 model Mark I was that it was in sound condition, and was automatic.
‘‘I built the ‘A’ Model from the ground up, but it was getting harder to drive. Everyone kept telling me I needed an automatic.’’
The other prized vehicle in Mr King’s shed is a 1952 Bedford truck, purchased right here in Deniliquin at McCleary Motors.
The car had belonged to his late wife Bev’s father Bill Marshall, and was used to cart timber.
‘‘Bill was a woodcutter for many years and I worked with him for 16 of them,’’ Mr King said.
‘‘When he decided to retire the truck I took it on and restored it. It was mechanically very good, but I did do a bit of body work.
‘‘Unfortunately I’m not able to drive it any more, because it’s too hard to get into, but it is a good showpiece.’’
Mr King said his ability to work on and restore cars has also been hampered by a long-term bout with leukaemia.
This week he received news his blood tests showed he was clear from the disease, so he’ll have extra reason to celebrate this weekend.