Look after your classic car - Faine 440

By: Jon Faine

Presented by

holden monaro holden monaro

Lock up your babies

George and Georgia (not their real names but this is a true story) were deep into their competitive snoring competition when rudely woke in the wee hours of the pre-dawn by what George describes as a sound you would expect in the middle of an earthquake.

The entire house shook, the bedroom felt fragile and it was as if a giant hand had grabbed hold of the house and was shaking it. Alarmed and scared, George – in his sleeping gear of just a shaggy saggy pair of old jocks – ran outside to see the glowing red tail-lights of a fancy new 4x4 disappear out of his driveway.

Expecting some natural disaster or catastrophic event, it took a while for the reality to hit. The vanishing expensive [and it turns out stolen] four wheel drive had – until doing a runner – been attached to a snatch strap. The opposite end of said snatch strap had been attached to sleepy George’s garage roller door. Behind that roller door was George’s HQ 1972 Monaro. And his early Mustang. And thousands of dollars worth of tools. The restored and fully kitted Monaro was street side, the Mustang (unrestored) behind the Monaro in its cosy home in the garage.

The thieves ‘modus operandi’ was to attack the garage door with all the subtlety of a wrecking ball. Their misconceived "plan" to give it a title grander than it deserves, was to quickly rip open the garage door like a band aid coming off your arm, and then immediately re-attach the snatch strap from the tow car to wrench Georges pride and joy Monaro from its nest. Accomplice behind the wheel, they were going to simply drag it down the streets.

The neighbours security camera captured the driver and accomplice checking out the scene, practising their moves and sneaking around in the dark.

The idiotic would-be thieves though had completely underestimated the task they had set out to perform. Demonstrating their moral code was matched only by their stupidity, instead of gently and stealthily nursing the target Monaro from George’s garage, they had managed to demolish half the house.

Their unsubtle approach to breaking into the garage ignored the simple engineering fact that the roller door was made of stern stuff and was attached to a structural pillar on the boundary wall. The garage door did not just peel away as they hoped. Attaching the roller door to the tow car simply resulted in bringing down half the wall on top of the Monaro.

Instead of jumping into the drivers seat to steer a stolen Monaro down the street, the accomplice to the lead foot driver was last seen scrambling out from under falling bricks. Hope his head got whacked and really hard.

As George stood in shocked anger in the half light, jocks only slightly discoloured but not disgraced, he surveyed the damage and called the police. By the time they arrived he had managed to find suitable robes, and assess the damage to his pride and joy. Cars can be repaired, houses can be rebuilt… the sense of violation and insecurity takes a lot longer to recover.

Theft of classic cars has always been a problem. Occasionally cars are stolen to order. I cannot myself see the point. If a vehicle is so rare that you commission some lowlife to steal it, there is little chance you can ever register it to go for drive it and get any pleasure from owning it. If you rebirth it, a quick colour change and new numbers, then you are destroying the originality and history that represent a good part of its value. And how do you ever sell it if you have no proof of ownership?

A secondary market exists for stolen car parts and panels. There are immoral nitwits around who would steal a complete going car and dismember it, trying to make a buck from flogging off the valuable bits rather than the whole. If you are a buyer of, for instance, a bonnet or a gearbox and it is suspiciously cheap and the circumstances dodgy, then walk away. By feeding your cash into the end of the supply chain you are encouraging more theft. The next car pinched might be yours.

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