Kepnock man’s drive to bring joy with mini car show
KEPNOCK man Ray Bakes made it his mission to bring smiles to the faces of passers-by on Friday by filling his front lawn with his collection of Morris Minors.
The retired council worker has been collecting this specific edition of car for a number of years, but he's still looking to complete the collection.
"I decided many years ago that I'd try and get one of each variety of Morris Minor," Mr Bakes said.
"I've got four of them - I haven't got the panelvan as yet.
"The models vary from 1958 to 1961.
"They're all the same cars of course, they didn't change much in that period of time.
"It's become a bit of a hobby and maybe an obsession."
He's even gone to the trouble of getting custom licence plates with a consecutive series of numbers, NIS 651, 652 and 653, with NGO 623 left over for his ute.
Mr Bakes said he was in two Morris Minor clubs which keep him busy travelling across the country to attend rallies.
"We were set to go to Berri in South Australia over Easter but the coronavirus put a stop to all those things," he said.
"We normally go to a Morris National rally every 12 months."
He's a purist as well, everything on the cars is as it was from the factory all those years ago.
"They're all in original conditional - they've been done up of course but I haven't modified them at all, they're as they were built," he said.
"So, that's a big plus for a collector. A lot of people modify them but I've kept mine as they were.
"I just look after them now."
With travel restrictions writing off travel south, Mr Bakes decided to bring the car show to him and display his collection has he had intended.
"I just thought it might put a bit of cheer in the town with all the coronavirus situation," he said.
"I had to shuffle them around in the sheds so I could do some work on the convertible … so I thought I'd get them all out and get a picture."
It was a comparatively small show compared to the national rally, but one still appreciated by the locals who drove by, slowing down to admire the collection or praising the cars.
"It's just part of collecting them I suppose," Mr Bakes said.
"They're always on display at different places, we go to the displays and car shows.
"The sedan has won a concourse in each of the eastern states, and the ute has also been a winner on two national rallies.
"But I've had the sedan since 1981 and then the ute came, that was a local ute I bought and restored.
"Then the woody came - I went to Victoria to pick that one up and I only recently bought the convertible, I picked it up in Hervey Bay."
His drive to have prize-winning cars in his garage came after he won second at a national rally in years gone by.
"The first one I bought in '81 and I was interested in it and somebody said 'Why don't you come to the national rally?'," he said.
"It was in Caloundra back then in 2002 I think.
"I thought 'All right', so I went down there and got judged second there.
"And I thought 'Oh well, I can do better then that' so it got me going," he laughed.