Apps family gather for reunion

VINTAGE: Shayne Friend (rear) and wife Kerrie gathered with the Apps family at the recent family reunion at Yarra where the 1927 Oldsmobile took pride of place.
VINTAGE: Shayne Friend (rear) and wife Kerrie gathered with the Apps family at the recent family reunion at Yarra where the 1927 Oldsmobile took pride of place.

A 1927 restored Oldsmobile was a major talking point at a recent reunion of the Apps family from Yarra.

Some 60 members of the family gathered at the Parkesbourne Hall on June 24 to swap yarns, catch up and enjoy afternoon tea.

They were descendants of Cecil Apps (1877-1961) and his wife, Cisily, who lived at ‘Thornbush,’ Yarra, some 8km south of Goulburn.

Shayne Friend, a great grandson, has restored the vehicle, with help from father, Don, daughter Emma, son Sam and son-in-law, Corey. The car was also owned by Shayne’s grandfather, Percy, to whom he was very close.

Cecil bought the Oldsmobile in March, 1928 from J Turner and Sons, Goulburn, for 317 pounds. He paid 200 pounds deposit with the remainder due by May 12, 1929.

The family said Cecil did not do much driving, instead preferring to sit back while sons George and Lesley drove. The Sunday trip to the Anglican Church at Yarra, two miles away, was a must.

The vehicle was used little during World War Two due to petrol rations and in 1946, Percy bought it from his father.

Percy was one of seven children, also including George, Alma, Lesley, Elsie, Dorothy and Austin. The couple also adopted Cisily’s nephew, Frederick, after his mother passed away and raised him as their own.

Grandson Shayne was keen to continue the family tradition with the Oldsmobile.

He spent every spare minute working on the car, sanding, grinding, rubbing back parts and restoring it to its “former glory” in a tight nine-month timeframe. He resprayed the body and mud guards and fully restored all the parts.

The vehicle has all the original electrics, including the wiring. Shayne installed a blinker system to enhance safety, sanded back the original floor boards and steering wheel, and oiled them up to give them a new lease of life.

He also spent endless hours removing a rust section from the car’s rear, caused by leaks and drips in a shed where it was stored. Peter Porter from Porter Motor Trimmers also restored the upholstery. The family said they were proud of the expertise and craftsmanship devoted to the restoration and believed Percy would be “looking down and saying “you did good, boy.”