Under the crusher & hammer
Mike Breen has vivid memories of working at Leyland Australia in the early to mid 1970s. “I was still an apprentice when the Force 7 was being built,” recalls Breen, who now works for Toyota Australia. “I remember watching the first ones coming down the production line. Then, when production stopped, seeing all the flattened bodies sitting on the back of flat bed trucks at Zetland waiting to be taken to Simsmetal.”
These were the cars, sans engines and seats, crushed by a 13-tonne die-press. Thankfully there were a handful of survivors, including our feature car.
“I was in charge of getting the eight cars around to Geoff K Grays [ED: now GraysOnline] near Roseberry for the auction. We moved them around to the auctions very early on a Sunday morning, so as not to raise too much attention.
“Unfortunately, the guy from Grays didn’t turn up on time, so we unloaded the cars and parked them in the street. Within 30 minutes crowds of local residents turned up to look at them; I was on my own trying to stop people from souveniring pieces. I think it was 1975, not exactly sure. Those were the days!”