When I was a kid...

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 21:31
ThreadID: 20546 Views:3479 Replies:9 FollowUps:6
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... I remember watching all my mates dads get ready to go away on holidays each year. They used to fit the wide mirrors on the bonnets of holdens & fords, attach water bags to the little bracket on the front chrome bumper bar, attach that bloody awful looking roofrack with the sun bleached grey perished rubber suckers, and lastly..... fit the folding down windscreen stone guard.

Now, the stone guard, why did it fall out of favour?

I remember watching all these vehicles coming up from Port Augusta, on the way to Alice Springs, and Darwin, and the roads were all dirt. Most of these vehicles had the windscreen stone guards fitted.

Now, I realise that we have come a long way in bleep terproof glass, but on a long trip, is it with the inconvenience of having to peer through a crack running the whole height of your windscreen, until you can get it replaced?

Oh, and while we're at it............ the practice we used to adopt when oncoming traffic passed us on dirt roads........... you know, the put your hand, or a few fingers against the window........... is it crap, or not, 'cause like the glass is already cushioned in rubber.

And, for the younger brigade that frequent the forum, how's this.......... one of my old mans cars had this bloody big electric heating element running along the bottom of the drivers side of the windscreen, attached by 2 big weapon rubber suckers. Had these HUGE wires going down to the battery.

That boys & girls, was a demister!!

Okay, nuff of the time travelin'........


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Reply By: Willem - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 21:40

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 21:40
HI Wolfie

That hand on the windscreen does work. We still do that when idots are hurtling towards us on a gravel road. It absorbs some of the impact but will probably still leave a chip mark.

Those stone deflectors are still available and you see quite a few on vehicles around Alice Springs.

So what are you travellin in on your Beadell Tracks tour?
AnswerID: 98876

Follow Up By: Lone Wolf - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 21:47

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 21:47
Cheers Willie.

I am traveling with a friend, as part of an organised tour. Connie Sue is coming along, and Doug, the Bulldozer driver, has had a last minute pull out. I am led to believe that Anne Beadell has put her hand up to go in his place.

We are traveling in a 3 litre 2003 Nissan Patrol.

We have to lug 80 litres water, as well as heaps of diesel, plus our clothes & bedding.

The meals are catered for.

I am so looking forward to it.

FollowupID: 357283

Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 00:02

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 00:02
Doug Stoneham has not had a last minute pull out, I said on this forum around October last year the he would not be going on the Russell Guest Trip because he is seriously ill.
Guest Tours also knew this and have consistently advertised that he will be on the trip.
They had been informed he would not be going around August / September last year.
He is in Melb at the moment, I saw and spoke to him last Tuesday at the Toyota Landcrusier Club meeting and will be having lunch with him next Tuesday before he returns to Adelaide on Wed for continuous treatment, but the prognosis is not good.

If Guest's are telling you he pulled out at the last minute, Well I can only say that it certainly says a lot about their credibility.
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FollowupID: 357308

Reply By: Grumblebum and Dragon (WA) - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 21:47

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 21:47
Thank God for progress............ Airconditioning/heating climate control... cold drinks.... multi-adjustable driving seats........... cruise control ...........CD playing nice music... DVD in the back to keep the rug-rats happy... !!

Bugger the 'Good old Days' and yes I do remember them, my first car was a 1934 Austin Seven Ruby Saloon. (Wish I still had it - worth a quid these days) One of the last models before the electric starters were introduced. Nothing like hand cranking the old bugger in thebleeprain and freezing cold... then have to go back to reset the advance/retard levers before starting again!

Yeah..... roll-on technology.


AnswerID: 98877

Follow Up By: Allan Mac (VIC) - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 22:08

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 22:08
MY first car was also an Austin seven..we chopped the top off it and made a convertible out of it..not top though..just got wet if it rained, There was a mob of us about 8 or 9 and the ownner was the one that had the money..if you were going bad you sold it to one of the mob for 5 quid and hand painted it another colour..reckon the paint was about 6 inches thick.. Bloody thing used to boil so we carried a milk crate bottled water in the milk crate.. when the time come whoever was sitting in the front seat had to lay out along the mud guard and fill it up on the run..great days and the wallopers hated us
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 23:29

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 23:29
There were 3 Austin 7's down near JohnR's on the weekend, some club day on down the ocean road.
FollowupID: 357302

Follow Up By: Member - Jack - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 12:53

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 12:53
Don't forget the cup holders - now THAT'S progress!!!

The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get. (Lewis Carroll-Alice In Wonderland)

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FollowupID: 357362

Reply By: Rosco - Bris. - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 23:07

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 23:07
Stevo in an earlier post asked about the benifits of an electric fuel pump.

As a wee lad I remember my old man had a Mercury, behind which we towed a bloody great bond-wood van, which of course he made ... didn't every half clever bloke in those days.

Anyway, I distinctly recall coming up out of Wiseman's Ferry on the western side.
The bloody thing bleep itself due to fuel vaporising. The silly old bugger managed to jack-knife the whole kit and kaboodle and cause a hugh traffic jam .. even in those days.

The old Mum wasbleepty I can tell you.

End result ... he fitted an electric fuel pump .. no probs after that.

Aaah ...the good old days, or so some ppls say.

AnswerID: 98893

Reply By: Muddy 'doe (SA) - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 23:25

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 23:25
Hi Wolf Man,

I do see some stone guards but the tend to be on big trucks (Kenworths and Macks). Mesh jobs runnining across the bonnet. Is that what you mean???

On my Prado I have a perspex stone guard across the leading edge of the bonnet and over the headlights. Would rather break (sacrifice) a $50 headlight protector than a $700 headlight any day of the week!

As for the "hand on the inside of the windshield" trick, yeah I can see that it would help, but what happens happens. That is why they have excess free claims on windscreens on insurance policies! My hand is worth more than my windscreen.

Ah yes - the good old days!

AnswerID: 98897

Follow Up By: Lone Wolf - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 07:49

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 07:49
Yo Muddy, how ya doin'??

The stone guard I was referring to was the one that looks like you accidently ran into someone's bird aviary, and then reversed back out, then went on your merry way!!

I think they must be a bit of a pain to look through, all those little squares. Imagine if your driving across the nullabor, and your getting really bored, and you start counting the squares, like you do when you're in hospital, and you start counting the little holes in the ceiling tiles above your head.

Anyway........... I reckon they sort of look cool, in an African Safari sort of way.

FollowupID: 357321

Reply By: steve-h - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 08:49

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 08:49
In the sventies my wife and I owned a kombi camper which we travelled eveywhere in . At first we had no stone guard for the windscreen but had seen many others with them . We found out the hard way the benefit of these things when our screen was smashed (safety glass not laminated ) and the force of the wind at 100kmh snapped the straps of our pop top ripping it of completely.
I can still see that roof in my rear vision mirror landing on the road behind us

AnswerID: 98929

Reply By: Glenn (VIC) - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 12:00

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 12:00
Hi Wolfie,

I was in one of those cars in the 70's. An EJ Holden with everything you have described. We even travelled around Australia in it in 1975. The old EJ contained Mum, Dad, three young kids and the dog. I still have vivid memories of driving along dirt roads, slipping and sliding if they were wet, bouncing up and down on the corrugations, stopping on the dusty Nullabor Road and hopping out of the car, just missing a sink hole and possibly falling to ones death.....aahhhh those were the days. We travelled for three months, and the entire jouney cost Dad $850. This included fuel, food, accommodation, car servicing, photo development, attractions...everything.

As far as the windcreen windscreen stone guard went, Dad hated it as it used to give him severe headaches, and I think that after a couple of weeks it was removed. Luckily we only received one smashed windscreen near Alice Springs. As far as the old hand on the windscreen goes, I still intuatively do it, just from the amount ogf times Dad had to do it over the years...hahahahaha

Cheers and thanks for rekindling some memories of the great times.


AnswerID: 98955

Reply By: Member - Chrispy (NSW) - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 12:08

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 12:08
Wow... crank up the "Way-Back" machine!

I still remember our family getting a brand-new Datsun 1200 Station Wagon - and heading bush for weeks at a time. It was loaded to the gills (rubber-suckered roof-rack and all), cost nothing to run (early 70's) and also remember my father looking very pleased with himself when he discovered that he could get the car up to 60mph on the highway..... :)

Good 'ol times!
AnswerID: 98958

Reply By: floyd - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 13:37

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 13:37
We had a Vidette, a cross between a chrysler and a french thing. The name Simca rings a bell. Every second day it refused to start and always had flat tyres. I think that it was a mid to late 50's car. Looked like crap and had a huge amount of dents in it where the parents kicked it when it refused to start. It had overheating problems and basically was the most unreliable piece of $hit that you could have. My mum swore at it like it was a mangy dog.

It had a spear deflector (windscreen visor) and one of those suction cup roof racks with the rubber things. Eventually we trade up to an EH. Now that was a great car. went like stink.
AnswerID: 98971

Reply By: Member - PatC - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 23:43

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 23:43
Ahhh that brings back memories. Travelling from Brisbane to Geelong in a Morris of some sort (think it might have been an Oxford) in the mid sixties...
Mum, Dad, seven kids, suction cup roof rack ... towing a trailer.
No power steering
No seat belts
No crumple zone
No vacuum assist brakes

Yep give me cruise, air and a CD player and you can keep the good old days.
AnswerID: 99034

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