_FRESH _from a three-year restoration, this immaculate 1950 Austin A40 Devon took home the award for the best restoration of the year at the All Austin Day in Guildford last Sunday.
With black paintwork so deep you could do backstroke in it, and a perfectly upholstered magnolia interior, the A40 Devon had the clear edge over the other competing restoration on display, a still very tidy A40 ute.
The black Devon was restored from its previously very rough condition by owners John and Peter Ryan, with the help of professional body specialists and upholsterers.
The car was delivered new in WA through Winterbottom's in Perth in 1951.
It's at this point that I should admit partial responsibility for the Devon taking the prize last week.
One of the stalwarts of the classic-car scene in WA is Ken Devine, who I made a point of greeting while we were both loitering around the car.
Then, before I knew it, Mr Devine had nominated me as a restoration judge and the pressure was on to appear knowledgeable, difficult to satisfy and slightly pretentious.
Though I did notice some grains of sand in the tread of the Devon's tyres, and the cylinder head bolts did not appear to be perfectly symmetrical, the car's condition was extremely impressive and it got my vote.
In all, there were about 25 Austins on show. To follow up on last week's Idle Torque which mentioned the possibility of an A90 Atlantic turning up - one did.
It was the excellent cream-coloured convertible A90 belonging to Fred and Linda Singleton, of Northam.
Mr Devine said this Atlantic is one of five known to be in WA.
The Austin Club was joined at Stirling Civic Gardens by the Holden Car Club and members of the Austin Healey Club, both of which also displayed their cars in the stunning spring weather.
The Austin Healey display - in particular this Mark 1 Sprite - also delivered the latest instalment in my five-year-old daughter's vehicle emotion ratings based on the look of their front ends.
The Sprite, says young Annabelle Grace, is "giggling with its mouth open".
Previous ratings based on press vehicles that have been in our driveway have pegged the VW Beetle as "happy" and the new Mazda 6 as "laughing crossly".
Guildford's Stirling Square will again be a car show venue tomorrow, this time for the Morris club's 100 years of Morris display.
Meanwhile, Langley Park is also set to host Toyotas in the Park tomorrow.