Sensational additions to Mount Laura

Two additions have been made to the Mount Laura Homestead Engine Room Display – a Ford Anglia and a 1948 Excelsior Autobyke.

Both vehicles were restored by the father-son team Ken and Arthur Bemrose. 

The Ford features a side-valve engine and three-speed manual gearbox. The sedan was the last model to feature rearward-opening doors that were nicknamed “suicide doors” because they were unsafe.

The vehicle lacked any form of signal direction with hand signals being used by the driver instead.

It had no heater, seatbelts or radio although it did come with a six-volt portable valve Ferris car radio on the passenger seat.

The Autobyke was found at the Whyalla salvage section of the rubbish dump in 1976.

The Bemroses spent many years restoring it and eventually tested it on the wide roadside verge next to the railway line along McBryde Terrace.

Despite suffering from Parkinson’s disease Arthur managed to paint the bike black in a fantastic effort.

Homestead caretaker Joanne Waters said both vehicles were welcome additions to the museum and the Ford Anglia had previously been in the Whyalla Pageant back in the 1990s.

“It is always good to have new additions to the museum,” she said.

“We hope next year in History Month we will be able to take people for rides around the museum in the car and we plan to put it in the pageant as well.”

The car and motorcycle are a testament to the ingenuity of the Bemroses who obviously love motor vehicles from yesteryear.