Car Club | 1954 Standard Vanguard Spacemaster

PRIDE AND JOY: Bob Potter and his customised 1954 Standard Vanguard Spacemaster that he originally found in a paddock. Photo: Supplied.
PRIDE AND JOY: Bob Potter and his customised 1954 Standard Vanguard Spacemaster that he originally found in a paddock. Photo: Supplied.

I recently met up with Bob Potter in Wellington to check out this Standard Vanguard, and I soon found out that unlike the brand name, his little beauty is far from standard!

The Standard Motor Company began in 1903 in the UK building primarily cars but also tractors and during the war, military vehiclesand aircraft.

The company purchased Triumph in 1945 and the Vanguard model was built in various forms from 1947 - 1963.

Interestingly the Vanguard engine was also used in Ferguson tractors, and eventually the tractor assets were sold off to Massey Ferguson in 1959.

After merging with British Leyland the Standard brand name became defunct in 1968.

Bob's car is an English bodied 1954 Standard Vanguard Spacemaster which he found as a 4 door sedan in a paddock in Molong 12 years ago.

"There was no interior in it but the body was straight and complete, except for the great hole in the roof where it had been cut for a roo shooting wagon" said Bob.

"I was keen for a project since being semi-retired from the automotive industry so I took it on."

Far from a simple restoration, Bob wanted to put his own stamp on his Vanguard.

"In Belgium they built a 2 door cabriolet so given that the roof was all but gone already I decided on building one myself," he said.

Amazingly, Bob has done all the work himself including fabrication, body, paint, mechanics and interior and he's done a fantastic job of it.

"You've gotta make your car your own, so that like building a hot rod it's got lots of custom features."

Obvious is the 2 door convertible conversion but there's also a Triumph 2500 6 cylinder engine replacing the old 4 cylinder.

There's spinner caps and white walls on the 16" wheels and dummy spots on the hood and a continental style spare wheel package on the rear bumper.

Bob has owned numerous cars of all makes and models including Landrovers, Fords, Holdens and Europeans but his very first car was a Vanguard which probably explains his passion.

"I grew up in the era of the Redex trials in the 1950's and always admired the Vanguards which became a very popular car in the bush due to their durability, " said Bob.

Bob and his wife Suzanne have just recently joined the Central West Car Club and although the Vanguard is yet to hit the road they've enjoyed a few of the club runs already.

For anybody interested in the club you can find us on Facebook or visit http://www.centralwestcarclub.com/

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