Victoria's Gippsland Vehicle Collection 2015

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Beaut Utes: Victoria's Gippsland Vehicle display celebrates our favourite workhorses...



Victoria’s Gippsland Vehicle Collection will debut a tribute to the humble ute, on Sunday, 1 March, 2015. Called Beaut Utes, the exhibition will run until July.

The  museum  promises a huge range of utes, from classic varieties to the more feral and modern showpieces, and vehicles of all kinds are welcome to come along and join the display in the grounds for the 1 March launch.

Terry Sullivan’s rare 1950 International L110 three-quarter tonne ute (pictured) will be on show in the GVC’s ongoing exhibition.

"I’ve had the ute since 2002, I found it in Grey St, St Kilda," Mr Sullivan said.

"It was a one-owner vehicle prior to me buying it. The family had purchased an apartment block in 1950, then worked with their solicitor to buy the ute as well – it was just after World War II and there were huge shortages; you couldn’t purchase any vehicle without going on a 12-month waiting list."

The ute was imported from the USA in knocked down form and assembled by International Harvester Company at their Dandenong facility.

"This one was the 80th of its kind to be built, and there weren’t very many produced in the end," Mr Sullivan said.

"Since I bought this one, I’ve only seen two others – one was in Queensland."

The 1950 ute was still road-registered, in its original condition with its original plates when Mr Sullivan purchased it, although it did come with plenty of dents, scrapes and scratches. He’s kept the plates and original condition, but has fixed up the imperfections.

"I also have the original certificate of the motor registration branch with all the documentation on it.

"I’ve always played around with vehicles but I’d never taken on a project like this before," Mr Sullivan added.

"I wasn’t really looking for one either. I was just doing some work at the property on Grey St and they said ‘we have to shift this out, do you want to buy it?’ I took it home a couple of days later."

To make a set, the Sullivans have also purchased a tear drop caravan of similar vintage and restored it in the same colour as  the ute.

Other highlights of the Beaut Utes exhibition will include a 1928 Chevrolet ute purchased new in Swan Hill by a fruit grower and still owned by the same family, and a highly modified Mazda E2200 ute.

"We believe the Beaut Utes will be a popular display, with both those keen to show off their vehicles, and those just wanting to have a look at what’s on show – it’s Australia’s iconic vehicle after all," GVC President, Duncan Malcolm, said.

"It’s exciting to be showcasing something a little different, and hopefully attracting new enthusiasts to come and have a look at the Collection."

The 1 March display day will also feature prizes for the best car and bike of the day and President’s pick for vehicles on show in the GVC grounds.

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