Sunday History Photo / Person

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 14, 2013 at 06:49
ThreadID: 101687 Views:5086 Replies:4 FollowUps:1
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What does a 1952 FX Holden in the Queensland museum have to do with a Greek-Australian celebrity? Well, the owner of that automobile was George Kyprios who died in 2009 at the age of 82. Many generations of Brisbane folk will remember Rock ‘N’ Roll George. George embodied a bygone era and was well known to the city’s Bodgies and Widgies in the 1950s.
George was a great dancer and in his day, would meet friends in New Farm Park and then drive up in convoy to the majestic Cloudland Ballroom at Bowen Hills. One day his friends surprised George with a Rock ’N’ Roll license plate which immediately took pride of place at the front of his car. Over subsequent decades, Rock ’N’ Roll George became an icon, well known for regularly driving around Brisbane’s city streets, radio blaring, in his much loved 1952 FX Holden. George and his car were inseparable. Whilst out driving, he wore trademark stovepipe pants, made by the Argyris Brothers Tailors on Boundary Street, West End.

George also caught plenty of buses, and I had many a chat with him over the years at the bus stop near the corner of Vulture and Boundary streets at West End. He was a true local, born in Thomas Street, attending West End State School, and living his later life in Princhester Street.
Rock 'n' Roll George was born and bred in West End. He entered the world in Thomas Street, grew up in Princhester Street, attended West End State School and played rugby league, out on the wing for Souths, at Davies Park. He worked as a presser in a suit factory, worked at a luggage manufacturer at Albion, at the Golden Circle cannery before finishing his working life at the Government Printing Office. he was pensioned off at 62 with a double hernia

It was the end of an era in Brisbane history.

George Kiprios, passed away in 2009, was well known around town and was often seen chatting to people in Queen Street, where he parked his car outside the Black Cat Café, on a Friday or Saturday night. He loved his car, a Holden 48-215 which his mother bought, new from Handasyde Motors, Stones Corner, back in 1952. George became a fixture in the 1950s Brisbane night life which was filled with bodgies and widgees.
George drove his car around Brisbane for more than four decades; he would be seen socializing at the dances held at Cloudland and cruising around checking out the local talent at the milk bars and cafes around the City and New Farm. For many decades, George Kiprios, aka Rock 'N’ Roll George, drove his beloved Holden 48-215 around the streets of Brisbane.

Even when his hair was grey, George was still a stand-out figure in his purple stovepipe trousers. People wondered just how long he would continue to wear them. The answer? Right to the end, of course, like any good rock'n'roller.
He hated the Broncos and he hated Queensland until Mal Meninga became coach," So anything Mal Meninga did was a lovely thing as far as George was concerned."

George's beloved car led his funeral procession in late 2009, and was then purchased by Brisbane's Hutchinson Builders as part of their 100th anniversary celebrations. It was on loan to the Queensland Museum, and was the centrepiece of the Rock'n'Roll George exhibition. The exhibition also featured George's famous purple pants and one of his checked 50s' shirts.

(who remembers and actually had the white Baubles in the back window...I do/did)

Mr Hutchinson wanted the dream kept alive on the streets, so he had a replica built. "The real one is in such bad nick, but the experts said we can't do any more to it because it's too historically and culturally significant," he said.
The replica is a faithful reproduction, from the girlie stickers and baubles on the windows to the fake stick-on whitewalls. It was restored by Shaun Rogen from a 1952 Brisbane-built FX only four months older than the original.

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Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Sunday, Apr 14, 2013 at 07:17

Sunday, Apr 14, 2013 at 07:17
Excellent, Doug

George was certainly a real Brisbane Icon.

There must be many many people who remember the yellow FX holden and George.

AnswerID: 508974

Reply By: bluefella - Sunday, Apr 14, 2013 at 11:00

Sunday, Apr 14, 2013 at 11:00
Well done again Doug, probably my only claim to fame is I was born on the day the holden was released.
AnswerID: 508985

Reply By: wombat100 - Sunday, Apr 14, 2013 at 11:47

Sunday, Apr 14, 2013 at 11:47
Nothing personal Doug- but it does irk me when folk call that model the 'FX'.
Surely you should know there ain't such a model!! It's the 48-215.

AnswerID: 508988

Follow Up By: Member - Rosco from way back - Sunday, Apr 14, 2013 at 19:18

Sunday, Apr 14, 2013 at 19:18
True ....

But I'd bet my bottom dollar far more people knew it as an "FX" than a "48/215".
FollowupID: 786638

Reply By: Nomad Navara - Sunday, Apr 14, 2013 at 13:10

Sunday, Apr 14, 2013 at 13:10
Another great story of past history that could be so easily forgotten by so many, Thanks Doug
AnswerID: 508992

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