While driving to Melbourne back in the late 90’s I bought a just cars magazine from the Tailem bend servo.
There was a FJ panel Van for sale in Tasmania that was painted white and used as a company work van by the owners who had a cleaning business. This peaked my interest so I rang the owner and had a long conversation.
After having convinced the wife that if I bought this van then I would not need to be continually in the shed restoring FJ’s and that this Van was complete and was a ready driver.
By the time we got to Melbourne I had done the deal on the phone and the Van was on its way from Tassie to South Australia.
I picked up the Van and was initially happy of its condition, however the inner rails of the roof had been bogged and a piece of wood had been siliconed on either side. Knowing it was a work vehicle for this cleaning company there were chips of paint in the rear section that revealed the red “undercoat”.
It was then Don told me what I had
purchased was an original PMG Van
The day after I picked up the Van I drove it to our club meeting as the proud owner of a complete Van. It was there I queried the ID tags to Don Loffler (our Holden Historian), as I could not decipher the paint codes and RPO’s. It was then Don told me what I had purchased was an original PMG Van. (In Tasmania and Canberra) the Vans had both front doors on them.
Now all the overspray “red paint” inside the van all made sense as too the 4 holes on the glove box. (That’s where a plaque was affixed that said “Unauthorised people are prohibited from riding on this vehicle).”
Well Now there was a great dilemma!!! What do I do? Yes you guessed it. In 8 months I worked every night rubbing it down and getting it ready for the Nationals at Loxton in ‘98. It was a rushed job and the colour was not quite right, but I eventually got it there.
When the Nationals were finished I took it off the road and restored it properly which took 5 years and many, many days and nights in the shed away from my wife.
From that time on my wife has never believed a word that has come out of my mouth!!!
Story Credit : Peter Papageorgiou, 48 FJ Holden Club of SA