Lifestyle Boating & Motoring Four Wheels to Happiness
Four Wheels to Happiness
Saturday, 01 March 2014


John-Teasdale-Feb 14.360x200                              John’s collection is diverse.

Vascular surgeon Dr John Teasdale is a serious collector of vintage automobiles but for him, it’s as much about the original owners as the vehicles themselves.

Vascular surgeon Dr John Teasdale is a serious collector of vintage automobiles but for him, it’s as much about the original owners as the vehicles themselves.

“There’s a real sense of the past when you’re driving these cars. As one of my son’s says, ‘you get that feeling that the original owner must have had when they were in the car’. It’s got nothing to do with speed or power and certainly nothing to do with owning some sort of status symbol.”

“I really enjoy working on the cars. They have a character all their own and are a real reflection of the technical skills and imagination of the manufacturers. There’s such a variety of designs and, even though they’re pretty antiquated by modern standards, they had some impressive innovations for their day.”

Eyes peeled for gems

John’s collection is diverse and he’s still looking around for that special marque.

“I’ve owned quite a variety of cars including a few Buicks. I’ve owned a 1937 model, the same as my grandfather’s car. We all learnt to drive in that one! And I’ve still got my father’s 1972 Buick, which is 6m long! I sold my first car, which was an old Beetle, and a 1968 MGB to fund a trip to the UK for my FRCS training.”

“You won’t find a Rolls Royce, a Bentley, a Porsche or an Aston Martin in my collection – yet! I’m always keeping my eyes open for affordable cars and I’d love to own a Tucker 48.” [This car was designed by Preston Tucker, made in Chicago in 1948 and only 51 rolled off the production line.]

One of the fringe benefits of owning these cars is their rapid rise in value.

“Many of these cars are increasingly rare and can be a pretty good investment. Some have increased in value by around 12% per year, so security and storage is important.” 

John’s attitude to both work and pleasure is summed up by another individual who loved to drive around in expensive motor-cars.

“I always like to quote John Lennon. He said, ‘At school they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said, ‘happy’. They told me I hadn’t understood the question and I told them they didn’t understand life.’ My vintage cars make me very happy!”

Dr-Frank-Wilson-Alfa-Romeo Feb14.220x200Bitten by the motor-racing bug

Dr Frank Wilson is a retired GP and a self-declared car nut. As a young doctor in a rural practice he restored an MGB and was well and truly bitten by the motor-racing bug.

Racing freedom

“I was in Wongan Hills in the early 1970s and the practice was dead as a doornail so I rebuilt an old MGB. Then I decided to go motor-racing so I bought a V8 Torana, put a Chevy motor in it which morphed into a Formula 5000 engine.”

“But my original interest goes back to when my father, who was a doctor, brought us to Perth in 1948. There was a Shell service station across the road. As a kid I’d go over and they’d show me a few things. When I was a bit older I’d go to Chellingworth Motors in the summer holidays. I pulled the motor out of an MGB Gran Tourismo, rebuilt the head and that car was very quick.”

“My first race was in my mother’s Triumph 1000 and by the time I was 18 I was entering a lot of motoring gymkhanas. One of my favourite memories was clocking the fastest time in a hill-climb in my MGB. I wasn’t a member of the club so they couldn’t let me win, so they gave Peter Briggs another go after he’d stripped almost everything off his car including the windscreen!”

“They held a round of the Australian Sports Car Championships at Wanneroo in 1977 and there was about an inch of water on the track. I was doing about 140 miles an hour and 7000 revs into a corner called The Basin and my brakes failed. I managed to finish the race using the gearbox!”


John-Teasdales-57-Corvette-Feb 14.400x180John Teasdales 57 Corvette

 Dr-Frank-Wilson-HQ-Holden Feb14340x153Dr Frank Wilsons HQ Holden