Ray McEwen and his 1928 Model A Ford at his Tannum Sands home.
Ray McEwen and his 1928 Model A Ford at his Tannum Sands home. Kerry Thomas

Ray's 1928 plate may be oldest

HERE is the burning question: who has Gladstone’s oldest number plate?

The Observer wants to find out, and so does Ray McEwen, who has thrown his own entry into the mix. Mr McEwen has his father’s old licence plate, which dates back to 1928.

The number plate was originally on Mr McEwen’s father’s 1928 Model A Ford.

It now hangs proudly on his garage wall along with other motoring memorabilia.

The classic old Ford remains one of Mr McEwen’s prized possessions and he said, when the time comes, he will pass it on to his son.

In order to keep his father’s old licence plate alive in spirit, he had the original number transferred to his current Hilux ute, which now parades the ancient digits around town: Q177-265.

When it comes to cars, it’s the classics that really get Mr McEwen’s heart racing. His enthusiasm bubbles as he pores over a photo album from his visit to a famous Bugatti museum in France.

“This is art,” he said of the stylish old luxury vehicles.

“(Mr Ettore) Bugatti was an artist. For him, making cars was a craft, whereas today your car has to look like a tear drop to reduce air resistance. Just look at the artwork behind this.”

His love of the automobile began when he was about four years old and his dad took the family for long drives that involved waiting for the tide to drop on the O’Connell River so they could make a crossing.

“I remember just looking out the windscreen thinking, ‘There’s so much to see,’” he said.

Got an old number plate? Tell The Observer about it.



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