The Custodianship Model
Many people spend years of their life restoring, riding or driving historic machines; but what happens when the owners become too old to ride, repair or drive their pride and joy? All too often when a much loved machine is bequeathed in a will to a younger relative the only comment they will make is “what is it worth?” (to sell). The pride and understanding is not there! Well in that case you might as well sell it yourself! But at that stage of life you don’t really need the money. If you are too old to handle the machine yourself, you are unlikely to be attempting an expensive overseas trip or buying a new house. Or you could, of course bequeath the machine/money to a worthwhile (?) charity. Every time that you have ridden or driven your pride and joy there have always been people admiring it or wanting to talk to you about it. There are people that actually like it and like it a lot! So if it means so much to you that you want to see it used in the future, why not just give it to someone! They might not be in a position to pay for it but they would love it, they would cherish it and they would use it! They would become the custodian of the machine; they would need to undertake to maintain and use it and if they find that too difficult they would have to give it on to the next custodian. It would not be theirs to sell! There is no real guarantee that the custodian will do the right thing, but remember you will still be alive (for a while at least) and will have some ongoing influence even it is only in the form of Karma. This might sound very altruistic, because it is. I know that the custodianship model works because I have been participating with it for years. Cameron Macmillan and I were given the Roadmaster midget speedcar in 1976, by a beaut bloke named Tony Toohey, from Joadja in the Southern Highlands. The Roadmaster is the oldest midget speedcar in Australia and was built for Bill Allen, the man that introduced midget speedcar racing to the Southern Hemisphere. The first Midget speedcar season started at Olympic Park in Melbourne on 15th December 1934: Bill Allen and the Roadmaster were there. The only custodianship conditions that Tony Toohey asked, was that the car be maintained and raced and when we stopped doing that we had to hand the car onto the next custodian who would continue to use it. Although, he must have told other people of the arrangement, because from time to time I have had phone calls from his old acquaintances to confirm that we were still using the car.
Our forty years of custodianship has included the restoration of the car, and regular historic road racing, speedway demonstrations and car shows in both NSW and Victoria. These activities with the Roadmaster have brought Australian speedway history and enjoyment to many people. We have enjoyed the privilege of Custodianship. Who will be next? Rob Rowe Via email