Graham and Nathan Benn and Fred Essex repairing a Model A Ford after it was washed away from the Castlemaine site in the Brisbane floods.
Graham and Nathan Benn and Fred Essex repairing a Model A Ford after it was washed away from the Castlemaine site in the Brisbane floods. Adam Hourigan

Flooded Ford given a dose of TLC

EVEN for smash repairers with years of experience, this was not going to be an easy job.

Benny's Smash Repairs in Grafton is close to finishing a complete overhaul of a 1928 Model A Ford belonging to the Castlemaine XXXX Brewery in Brisbane.

The 83-year-old utility went under floodwater in the Brisbane floods in January, but no Queensland smash repairers were prepared to touch it.

Graham Benn was. He has been working on a 1948 Holden FX utility "for about 15 years" and has a 1928 Chrysler tucked away to work on in retirement, and welcomed the challenge.

And that it has been.

The motor on the old Ford was overhauled after the flood and it could be driven, but that was about it.

It was driven to Grafton about four months ago and the Bennys have been working on it pretty much full time since then.

They aren't alone.

The freehand painting of an eagle with a barrel of beer was done by Sign Art, Errol McLachlan was enlisted to do the upholstery and Willis Joinery to cut the timber for a refurbished tray-back.

"It's taken months to try to get it back to factory original condition," Mr Benn said.

Even then it won't be to the original colours. When sanding back the flood-damaged paint, they discovered the original paint was orange.

They suspect its original use was as a fire truck.

"We've done restoration work before, but not a lot as old as this," Mr Benn said.

They are hoping to have it finished next week and put it on display in Villiers St, Grafton, for a few days before it is transported back to Brisbane and the brewery where it will be loaded with wooden kegs.



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