Classic cars up for auction after 30 years of Holden on
Behind the roller door of a nondescript warehouse in rural NSW, Craig Barham spends his days time travelling.
A pale yellow 1953 Holden FX sedan sits on one side of the enormous shed, near a royal blue 1978 panel van and a pastel EJ station wagon complete with venetian blinds.
On the other side, an olive green 1967 Chevrolet Impala with deep red bucket seats is parked by an imposing 1947 Chevy Stylemaster ute.
Stacks of number plates - some declaring HOTROD and FATBOY - sit in neat piles, while original Holden horn plates sparkle in the sun and vintage Golden Fleece and Castrol oil tins stand in rows.
Mr Barham has spent three decades collecting classic cars, parts and memorabilia, to conjure up the 1950s era.
"It was a better time, I liked the simplicity of it," Mr Barham told AAP at the warehouse in Molong, in the central west.
"The big American cars had a lovely look about them with the big wings."
The former police officer and mechanic turned truck driver is selling his prized possessions at a two-day auction this weekend to help fund travel and retirement.
"It's been fun. I've met a lot of people and I've got what I wanted out of it, but it's time to move on to the next stage of my life," he said.
Most of the cars come from far western regions like Broken Hill and Wilcannia, where it's too dry to worry about rust.
One of the main attractions will likely be the EJ station wagon featured in The Dish, a movie about the Parkes radio telescope's role in the 1969 moon landing.
Ashley Burns, from Melbourne auction house Burns and Co, said the collection was unique in having one owner.
The auction could raise about $750,000, with early national and international interest from Holden lovers and fans of racing legend Peter Brock.
"His antics and energy put Holden on the map forever," Mr Burns said.
It will be Burns and Co's first in-person auction since COVID-19 forced many sales online, something he hopes will lift spirits in Molong after floods swept through in November.
"Molong needs it. It will be great for the town."
Mr Barham expects to see many collectors like himself, who are captured by the cars of their youth.
"Their instinct is 'dad had one and I'll get what dad had because I remember being sat out the front of the pub with a cold drink in that car while he was inside'.
"You'd get 10 kids in the back and three adults in the front and go for picnics back in the day.
"You're seeing them less and less and you tend to pine for those days."