Tony & Wendy Atkinson
1929 Essex Roadster

The history of our Roadster (as we know it);

I had ALWAYS wanted 'an old car' but whilst we were rearing a family, that was well out of the equation.  After my Mother passed away, she left me with a very small inheritance that we put towards buying the Roadster. 
I had seen the car advertised for sale in Unique Cars (the bible for 'old metal' before Just Cars came on the scene) & noticed that it was located in Taree, NSW.  It just so happened that I had a mate who went up to Taree nearly every weekend to the property that he was setting up for his retirement, so I asked if he would have a look at the Roadster for me & let me know if it was worth the asking price. 

Well, Kevin Hickling did go to check the car out & he rang me straight away as he was leaving Low's place & said "if you don't buy it, I will" so I promptly asked him to leave a deposit on it for Wendy & I!  I organised to have a day off work & drive up to look at what we were buying about a week later so Wendy, her mother Gloria & I went up & all fell in love with the car immediately.  We purchased the car in June/July 1995 as "an older restoration" from a Susan Low. At the time she & her husband Ian were going through their divorce.
This was Sue Low's car (now Sue Roberts) & both Sue & Ian told us that Sue did most of the restoration on the car & it was Sue who was the member of the Hudson, Essex, Terraplane, Nash & Rambler Car Club (now Hudson-AMC Car Club).  From memory, the 'restoration project' had had the Ute treatment as had many of the cars of that era & whilst the Low's were living in Wagga Wagga, they found (most of) the car in Northern NSW - I think around the Armidale or maybe Inverell area.  The restoration of the car was almost finished when the family relocated to Taree where they completed the job & used it for outings with the local club. 
We have done very little to the car since we have been its custodian & it has always been incredibly reliable.  Apart from me having a fuel problem (i.e. lack thereof) a couple of times the only time the car really did let us down was on the first day of the Parkes Rally in 2003 when I had to be towed into Forbes when the gear lever wouldn't allow me to select any gears.  As we were heavily involved in the organisation of this Rally I was just going to leave the car on the trailer until we got it back home but fortunately, whilst we were out at an activity on the Tuesday night, a Sydney guy & a Kiwi visitor repaired it for us & we were back on the road again on the Wednesday. 
The engine has been becoming somewhat tired & a little rattly for a while now so I guess it is only a matter of time before we face a rebuild.  Also, we are presently waiting for a Motor Trimmer friend of ours to do a little bit of a freshening up of the hood & seats.
When we bought the car we were told it was one of only three '29 Roadsters known to exist in Australia.  Since then we have seen & heard about at least another 12 but I only know of two that are going & being used regularly - ours (a Smith & Waddington body) & a Holden bodied Roadster in Brisbane with another one in a Museum in South East Queensland.  All of the others we have heard of or seen are still awaiting restoration.
Our car is unique insofar as it has two gear levers!  One for the 3 speed gear box & the other for the genuine Hudson accessory - the freewheeling box that makes it easy to go in & out of Angel Gear!   Who said fuel saving devices are new?  This freewheeling box was for use when going down hills so that you can let the engine idle but I certainly am not game to do that - it's hard enough stopping the car at the best of times without being in 'angel'!

Body by
Smith & Waddington Ltd

We originally bought the Essex as an investment that we could use & enjoy but little did we know just what a great investment that it would be in friendships.  We have made many, many great new friends Worldwide since we got the Essex & have found that 99.9% of the people whom we have met in the old car movement are really great to know & spend time with.  This fact alone certainly makes the purchase of an old car really worthwhile & I would recommend it to everyone who is that way inclined but remind them that we never really own these cars - we are just their custodians.

Dalgety & Co Ltd Distributors

The Crank Case
Of this motor
Is filled with Sinclair
Opaline oil.
The oil should be changed at intervals as directed in the Book of Instructions. It is recommended that the following grades of Opaline Oil be used.

NEW CAR.........................…………………MEDIUM
After 1000 to 2000 miles....................….HEAVY
After 10,000 to 12,000 miles…...............EXTRA HEAVY




Lovely to see the period costume when Wendy and Tony go out in the Supreme!

(Waddaya mean Gangster and his Moll?)

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