Wheels with a story to tell

John and Jacki Hutty from Dubbo with one of their Sandmans, a 1978 Flamenco Red HZ GTS.
John and Jacki Hutty from Dubbo with one of their Sandmans, a 1978 Flamenco Red HZ GTS.

John and Jacki Hutty from Dubbo are no strangers to the local car scene, having a collection of Sandmans, GTS's and Holdens from the 1970's.

Every one of them has a story and this 1978 Flamenco Red HZ GTS is no different.

Amazingly John does all the restoration work himself in their farm shed and I recently found out the story behind this car.

"We wanted the same car that we drove as our family car back in the 80's", John said "and knowing that it no longer existed I decided to build one the same".

That original car has a story itself.

It was the first car that John fully rebuilt having bought it as a write-off.

"We drove it all over the countryside" John said.

"We towed horse floats and took family holidays in it and put over 360.000 trouble free kilometres on it before selling it in 2000.

"We've regretted it ever since - and ironically the body shell sat on a property nearby before going to the crushers".

Idle in a shed for 20 years

So 2 years ago, John got word on this car.

It had been pulled apart about 20 years ago and sat idle in a shed.

"I remember there were parts scattered everywhere" John said "and I had to piece it together a bit just to get it onto the trailer and home.

"It took me 12 months to fully restore it and because of our history it holds special memories for Jacki and I".

"Jacki showed me the photo's of that first GTS sporting a four post bull bar and with a horse float in tow and aside from a different set of wheels, this is the same car they had back in the 1980's, right down to the slate black interior with tartan inserts on the seats.

"It's an original 5.0 litre V8 with a 4 speed " said John "and it drives just the same as it did back then.

"It's like a time warp - we wind down the windows and the exhaust note takes us back 40 years".

John and Jacki are members of the Parkes based Central West Car Club which was originally formed in 1954.

The club meets regularly on the first Wednesday of each month at the Parkes Leagues Club and welcomes visitors and potential members.

They host regular casual street meets in Parkes and monthly car runs along with a charity car show each year.

You can also find them on Facebook.