Howard Smith



This story is not about a club car, but it helps to explain my love of our cars. I obtained my driver’s license in 1961 at age 17 after 6 lessons in a Vauxhall Victor. My first drive as a li- censed driver was in a 1938 Chev 2 door of a friend of mum’s. Three on the floor and in control, I was in heaven. In 1962 mum (a widow) forked out a hard earned £200 on a 1952 48-215 Holden. It had had a rough life in its first 10 years on the road but we (me especial- ly) were over the moon. We had to have some rust repairs in the floor (you could see the road) and had it tar sprayed underneath by a business in Parramatta to stop any further rust rot. Next we had seat belts fitted, which was a bit ahead of the times in 1962. A firm at Bankstown airport did the fitting, they had a background in the aircraft industry and were the seat belt experts at that time.

The next job was to respray the car, going from the Burnley Cream to Volcanic Grey in Du- lux Automotive enamel. This was performed in the open on a property where my mother worked, as a compressor and spray equipment was available. The job was OK, but only

The Panhard rod, track rods, tube shock conversion and the Lukey muffler.

The lever shocks had seen better days so I fitted a tube shock conversion kit front & rear. I was on a roll. At that time I was studying for my Mechanical Engineering Certificate at Syd- ney TAFE and as part of our course we were required to complete a number of trade cours- es. One of the machine shop lecturers was happy to add student projects to his course as long as it was relevant. I had brought a FB cylinder head (larger valves) from a wrecker and he was happy to show the class how to shave 40 thou off the head face with a milling ma- chine. So I got a head shave for free. I fitted a set of inner valve springs along with alloy valve keepers and solid spacers between the rockers. The car was now good for 35 mph in first but still only had the single standard carby, I never did get around to fitting multiple carbies.

A suite of Stuart Warner gauges was installed under the dash so I could see what was failing and a set of blinker lights so I didn’t have to stick my arm out the win- dow any more.

The brakes also needed attention so I had a set of Al-fins fitted to the front drums by Lynx Engineering and replaced the standard linings with a set of sintered linings.
Boy were they hard, they had increased the pedal pressure required for a stop by quite a lot but got rid of fading brakes.

We had our 48-215 for just 4 years. After 3 years I bought myself a 1961 Karmann Ghia and mum had learnt to drive by now and continued to drive the Holden. A year later she bought herself a Morris Major Elite and the Holden was then sold to one of my workmates.



Having a ‘tinker’ using my Sidchrome Motorist’s Set.

On the grid at Bathurst, 1963

after a lot of polishing to try to get a bit of gloss on the finish. Black wheels and (of course) no hubcaps completed the alterations. I couldn’t leave the car in its unmodified condition as I loved all things mechanical and had to have a tinker. First off the blocks was to fit a Mallings sway bar to the front end, then a set of traction rods and a Panhard bar to the rear end. As was the popular practice in the 60’s, I fitted a Lukey muffler with its lovely twin chrome exhausts.