Wednesday, 26 January 2022

My Australia Day Message

Australia Day - 26th January - 2022

Hello everyone,

Wishing you all a safe & wonderful Australia Day.

I was so moved watching Dylan Alcott's acceptance speech last night when he received his Australian of the Year award, I couldn't wait for today to put pen to paper.

Dylan Alcott is a true inspiration to me...

It is so refreshing to see a normal person receive this prestigious award, instead of a politician or some trumped up person in the know who really does not deserve it.

Dylan Alcott is an inspiration to me, it is people like him that make me want to get out of bed in the morning so that I can be part of something in our community. Most of you already know that I am involved with the Charity Sylvanvale here in the Sutherland Shire, so Dylan's message is very close to my heart.

Sylvanvale wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for the hard work of its founding families & the Warburton family is one of those families that started this long journey in 1947 (75-years ago) at a Baptist church in Flora Street Kirrawee.

Related: The Warburton Story.

"A true champion is not who wins the most tournaments 
It's about your purpose"

Listening to Dylan's speech last night took my mind back 70-years & reminded me of my father's words of wisdom all those years ago, he used to say to me.

"Son, don't ever think that you can't make a difference in this world".
Dylan also used these words last night, very powerful indeed. Thinking back to those very humble days (1947) when those parents did not have enough money to rub two copper coins together, we (Sylvanvale) now look after 750 children & adults with disabilities to live in the community, with over 40 group homes in the Sydney region & Blue Mountains, staffed 24 hours a day, 7-days a week.

If only my parents were alive today to see the legacy they started, I am sure that they would turn in their grave.

From those very humble beginnings in the Baptist Church at Kirrawee in 1947, Sylvanvale's Revenue for the financial year 2020-2021 is as follows:

Revenue. $73,190,000 (M)
Operating surplus of $7,295,000 (M)

The Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison awarding
Dylan his 'Australian of the Year' Award.

You are probably asking why I am telling you this story, well I am just about to tell you.

At the AGM of Sylvanvale in 2015 (in general business) I had this bright idea that I would organise a Pre-WWll Vintage Car Show to raise money & help promote Sylvanvale to the general public throughout the 'Shire' & the Sydney region to be more aware of people with a disability, exactly the same message that Dylan Alcott (Australian of the Year) is trying to convey to everyone & is very successfully doing so.

Here we are now in 2022 & my dream has evolved. On the 20th March'22 we will be organising our 6th annual Pre-WWll Vintage car show that has developed into one of the Shire's premium community events of which I am very proud of. Unfortunately we missed out holding our spectacle for the last couple of years due to this wretched Covid Virus. Let's hope & pray that this year's event goes ahead as planned.

I would just like to remind everyone that by entering your very special Pre-WWll Vintage Vehicle in our event at Sutherland on 20th March & all the many thousands of spectators that will attend this extravaganza, all proceeds will be going to a good cause.

Entry fee: Adults $5.00 Family $10.00 Children under 12 free. Show Display Vehicle entrance fee: $20.00.

I think you've really made it when your face gets
projected onto the Sydney Opera House 30m high

Please pencil in to your papyrus diary our Pre-WWII Vintage Car Show to be held in Flora Street Sutherland on Sunday 20th March '22. (9:00am-3:00pm).

Our event could not possibly take place without the many volunteers who willingly put their hands up to make our event such a success, I believe they are the social thread of our community & should be recognised in our society as many have been in this year's Australian of the Year awards.

Congratulations Dylan Alcott, apart from being this year's 'Australian of the Year' I am so happy that you have received this decent honor for a decent human being.

Thank you for all you do for supporting people with disabilities, to reach their potential.


Ken Warburton

Bounty Inducements

Wednesday 26th January - 2022

This year's Show will be our 6th Edition of the Sylvanvale Pre-WWII Vintage Car Show. The Show creates a field where up to a hundred of historically significant vehicles are displayed and now will be vying for various awards and accolades.

I have previously mentioned to you, that this will be the first year that we will be introducing judging of the
 Vintage Vehicles entries & awarding trophies for all the seventeen categories of vehicles.

To help build a sense of pride and achievement that accompanies a prize winning entry there will be a First Prize and Runner-up Prize awarded in each best-of-category. Both winners will be rewarded with a trophy to take home to add to their collection on their mantle shelf.

John Keats (left) from Trophy Mart and Ken Warburton
sorting out the award trophies for our 2022 Show
Photo: Steve Core

For the outstanding car that steals the Show, I've created a one-off 'First Choice Vintage Vehicle of the Show' that will be chosen by me. Not only will they win a really nice piece of large, shiny silverware - they will also receive a bonus $200.00 cash in the hand, not to shabby!

Recently, I was fortunate enough to win trophies at this year's All Ford Day with my 1931 Model A Ford, 4-door (all steel) slant window, Town Sedan, I was so impressed with the quality & design of these trophies that were supplied by Trophy Mart.

Keeping all this in mind Steve Core and I decided that it was time to take a drive out to Leumeah in Sydney's growing south-western suburbs to check out John Keats at his business. (see photo)
I decided that John Keats from Trophy Mart was our man and they are going supply us with around thirty-five trophies for our Show.

Ken Warburton

Friday, 21 January 2022

Tiger Survivor: 1934 Morris Minor

2022 Survivor Category entrant...

My friend Paul Kinder from the Motor Enthusiasts Group in Cronulla has entered his 1934 Morris Minor 4-door sedan into the 'Survivor Category' for this year's event. 

This 1934 Morris Minor is an Esso petroleum
promotional survivor and was once adorned with tiger stripes

This vehicle comes with quite a unique pedigree & history. Paul Kinder's 1934 Morris Minor gained its orange and black tiger stripes livery in 1959 when it was used to promote the Esso Service station in Inverell, NSW.

Who can remember the old Esso petrol promotional campaign slogan, "Put a tiger in your tank?"

The classic Esso ads from the '60s
"Put a Tiger in your Tank" promotion campaign

Do you remember the 1960's Esso drive to sell petrol with this campaign, not only were petrol stations covered with tiger pictures & inflated Tigers but people drove round with a tiger tail hanging from their petrol caps. 

There were also some service stations that had large yellow tiger paw prints leading up their driveways both to and from the petrol pumps.

The once tiger stripe adorned 1934 Morris Minor
on display - with a tiger on the 

The remnants of the old black and orange tiger livery are still visible, and this has ensured the car's survival. With a unique 4-door-tourer body by Holden, Paul and Romona (his wife) are now committed to preserving this unique piece of Pre-WWll automotive history.

I was racking my brain and thought that perhaps that this Esso tiger was called Tony, but that was the Kellogg's tiger who was used to sell their breakfast cereal Frosties.

As Event Director, I am delighted that Paul's '34 Morrie survivor in all its original story and glory will be on display at Sutherland in March.

Ken Warburton

Thursday, 20 January 2022

Vintage Brakes & Grease Guns

Thursday 20th January - 2022

Question: Which was the first Car Company to install Hydraulic brakes to their vehicles?

Being the Model A Ford 'tragic' that I am & for all of you vintage car enthusiasts that have had the pleasure or displeasure to drive a vintage car with mechanical brakes - you will completely understand where I am coming from.

The 4-wheel braking system using Hydraulics was first introduced in 1918 by Malcolm Lounghead, this specific braking system was adopted in nearly every vehicle by the late 1920s, except by Henry Ford.

When I recently spotted this photo the very 
sentiment of it tickled me pink

In 1924 Chrysler introduced Hydraulic Brakes to their vehicles, it was not until a staggering 15-years later until Henry Ford introduced Hydraulic Brakes to his world famous Fords in 1939. I find that statistic unbelievable, however it is the truth.

Elsewhere, I received an email from a friend of mine a couple of days ago, he is an old ex-Qantas work college of mine from the days when we were fortunate enough to be 'Trolly-Dollys' flying around the world with champagne tastes on a beer income for Qantas Airways.

Recently he had received a gift from his next door neighbor who was 93-years of age (who has since passed) twelve Vintage Grease guns (photo below), he is aware of our Sylvanvale Pre-WWll Vintage Car show coming up in March & has decided to donate these vintage relics & highly sort after pieces of the automotive history to our cause to raise money for Sylvanvale.

These twelve vintage era Grease Guns could easily be yours,
they're available to the highest bidder out there

Surely there is a keen collector out there in Cyberspace that would love to own these automotive treasures, so what I suggested to him was that I would include a photograph of these vintage grease guns in one of my newsletters. 

To raise funds for Sylvanvale, we are going to conduct a blind auction. If there is anybody out there that would be interested in purchasing these items to get in touch with me via my e-mail address: or you can call me directly on 0438 692 737.

I'm sure that there is somebody out there that would really appreciate owning these twelve pieces of automotive history and would like to add them to their nostalgia collections and your money is going to a brilliant cause.

Thanks as always for your continued support, 

Ken Warburton

Oh, and the answer to the brake question: None other than Fred Duesenberg to his Duesenberg Model A in 1921.

Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Supporting Sylvanvale

Sylvanvale: Our naming right's patron.

When our Vintage Car Show happens in Sutherland on Sunday, 20th March, 2022 the Show will be manned and run by an all-volunteer team and Sylvanvale staff. A merry band of ex-Qantas staff will be on the hard deck manning the entry gates, providing perimeter security, vendor assistance, selling raffle tickets and offering general assistance to all Show visitors.

Every single one of the workers and every patron that pays a Show entry fee and all cars on display will all directly contribute to raising funds for Sylvanvale. All monies raised on the day will go directly to Sylvanvale.

What exactly does Sylvanvale do? Sylvanvale provides a range of disability accommodation options across over 40-locations in the greater Sydney region and Blue Mountains, which are staffed 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.

Sylvanvale's current Disability Accommodation project under
construction in Bangor in Sydney's Sutherland Shire

Their properties include shared houses, self-contained units and two and three bedroom villas, and are staffed by employees who understand that every person is an individual with unique goals and support needs. 

The Sylvanvale project we are supporting by raising funds with this year's Car Show is to provide interior furnishings which will give people with disability access to purpose built, luxury home options. The project (above) will accommodate eight people living with disability in Bangor, in the Sutherland Shire.

Residents are expected to be moving in June 2022.

Our Car Show Event founder and Custodian, Ken Warburton has a life-time family history that is intrinsically linked with the initial founding of the Sylvanvale Foundation

To read the complete Ken Warburton story please CLICK HERE 

To donate directly to Sylvanvale please CLICK HERE

Thursday, 6 January 2022

Tracking down the '30's era Survivors

Wednesday 5th January - 2022

I am very pleased to advise everyone that the initial response for car entries I have received so far for our March 2022 Show has been way beyond my expectations.

Many of our previous entrants are only too happy to support us once again, however, what has surprised me the most is the response that I have received from first time vintage vehicle owners that want to exhibit their "Pride & Joy" in our very exclusive & unique exhibition in the Shire come March.

The three themed 'Survivor' Model A Fords that will be coming to
our Show in March 2022. 
Left: '28 'Depression Car' ex-tourer.
Middle:'28 Tourer 'Shitty Chitty' Right: '31 'Handyman Hauler'.

Where else in Sydney can you go & see a Pre-WWll vintage car show with all the vehicles on display that were manufactured before 1939, with many of these cars in their original condition. This is the reason why our Car Show has proven over the years to be so popular with men, women & children.

Here we all are in the 21st century. It seems that everyone these days wants to be retro or part of this bygone era, how good is it to step back in time to witness vehicles built in the very early 1900s with the most recent built in 1939. If my math is correct, that makes the "baby" car of our show a spritely 83-years young.

The sprawling front lawn of property we visited
with the three Model A Ford survivors on show.

Why is this so? Our lives these days are so fast & complicated we hardly have time to scratch ourselves.

When we can have the opportunity to walk around at our own leisure inspecting these glamour's & chatting to the friendly vehicle owners it is a treat to behold.

This era of the motor vehicle industry from the early 1900s until the beginning of World War II that started on the 1st September 1939 must have been an absolute hoot, when life was so much more simple, I think this is why our followers & owners of the Vintage Car era are so passionate about their hobby & love the opportunity to keep this special moment in time alive & well.

Inside the real man's Shed which can house
up to ten working projects at a time

Long before dashcams, mobile phones, air bags, electronic lane sensors, reversing cameras... the list goes on & on.

Yesterday, Steve Core & myself, (Steve helps me out running the social media side of our event because I really am a computer illiterate), we were invited to a friend of mine's rural property on the western outskirts of Sydney with the intention of inviting he & his wife plus some of his Vintage vehicles to support our show in March. 

Some of the tongue-in-cheek additions to these '30's era vehicles
an original, low-tech, '30's Kodak Box Brownie 'Dashcam'

We arrived at his magnificent property at 9.30am, as we drove into the driveway of his semi rural property we were greeted by a troop of real live Kangaroos, there were probably twenty or more of them scrounging around in his front paddock, 

Wow! I thought to myself what a pleasant surprise, I have never been welcomed by a herd of Australian native animals before. This only happens in the movies.

Above: The '31 'Handyman Hauler' - featuring an 
original 'Australia Post' pushbike mounted on the side.

Upon arrival we were invited into his Man Shed, (let me tell you it is some Man Shed) and three cups of Bushell's tea later, the three of us old farts had fixed all the troubles of the world & then we decided to get down to business to discuss our upcoming Vintage car show.

Before us, we had nine Vintage Classics vehicles to choose from, I was thinking to myself this is definitely Model A Ford heaven, & here I am standing at the Pearly Gates.

On our driveway arrival, we were greeted by wild Kangaroos
grazing on the property's front lawns

I chose three of his Model A Ford survivors, because I have a very soft spot for Classic old cars that have not been tampered with & they would fit in perfectly at our upcoming Car Show.

We then parked the Vintage Classic vehicles onto his manicured lawns & Steve went to work photographing them in all their glory so that we can use the photographs of them for promotional purposes for the show.

Ready for any job... the '31 'Handyman Hauler'

By now it was around 2.00pm & we were all famished, we decided that it was time for a counter lunch at a nearby hotel washed down with a few cool beers, so off we went to the local Pub in my Model A Ford 1931 4-Door (all metal) Town Sedan.

During the afternoon my mate did a call around on his Al Capone to some of his mates that own vintage cars, he received commitments from six of his friends that put their hands up to support us & our Charity on the day. 

This collection of unique 'Survivor' vehicles will make up
an incredible range of vehicles from Concourse to Survivor

In summary, I reckon we had a very successful day, with a further nine Vintage vehicles to add to the ever growing list. What's more we all had the time of our lives BS-ing to each other as you should do at our age.

Keep your enquiries coming in as we still need more Pre-1939 Vintage Vehicles entrants, it will be a huge effort if we could fill the Sutherland Council's Car Park on Sunday 20th March, 2022.

Ken Warburton

All photos: Steve Core

Thursday, 23 December 2021

Seasons Greetings for 2021

Thursday 23rd December - 2021

To all our loyal supporters, volunteers, sponsors and vehicle exhibitors, we would just like to take this opportunity to wish every single one of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy & Safe New Year.

Seasons Greetings to all for 2021

As 2021 draws to a close, we'd like to reassure you that the 2022 Sylvanvale Pre-WWII Vintage Car Show is still all go. We will continue to work through the numerous challenges that Covid throws up at us. This does mean that some parts of our event next year will look a bit different, but our end goal is still to produce another memorable and exciting event.

With many other events being cancelled or postponed, please feel assured that we do not intend to be one of them. Our team is working incredibly hard to make it work and our only vision is to create a bigger & more unique Show.

Enjoy your time with your family and friends and keep safe so that we can see each and every one of you in Sutherland on Sunday 20th March, 2022.

Ken Warburton
& the Event Volunteer Team