Community News

New dignity for grand old “ladies”

Frieda Paton

Placing some old and neglected vintage cars on display is the latest creative idea a business owner has come up with to provide visitors to Pilgrim’s Rest with a fantastic heritage experience. And great selfie opportunities – in keeping up with the latest trends.

There was a public outcry about the final demise of the legendary rusted Chevy which rested alongside the filling station in Downtown. Countless past visitors to Pilgrim’s have a photo in their holiday albums of themselves posing with the car and its “Rust in Peace” memorial.

After a tip-off and some sleuthing Neville Philpott discovered some old forgotten and neglected cars corroding in the veld. He hired a TLB and, after two days of clearing a path, gently transported four vintage cars and positioned them around the filling station property.

The cars, which must have been very grand in their day, are a Chevrolet, Buick, Studebaker and Ford Custom. According to Philpott they could probably be restored but it would be extremely costly and they would still belong to the government. “I’m planning to try and fix the interior of the Buick so that people can sit inside for a photo shoot,” he explained. “However I still have to investigate the basic structure to make sure it will be safe.”

Philpott will be reopening the filling station soon. He has sourced a fuel supplier but there is some work to be done on the buildings, and the insides of the old-fashioned pumps need to be refurbished.

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