The Cus­to­di­an­ship Model

Old Bike Australasia - - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR -

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

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