The West

Idle Torque: Graveyard of Euro classics
Stumbling upon a large collection of rusting rarities, including this two-door Borgward Isabella, was as unexpected as it was fascinating. Picture: Alex Forrest

Too many times, I've had that pang of regret for not stopping to check out an old car seen from a country highway. Not this time.

Returning from a family holiday in the South West recently, we passed what from the highway looked like the standard farm collection of long-dead Fords and Holdens slowly returning to nature. That was partly correct in that most were in advanced states of decay but few were Fords or Holdens.

Instead, there were Fiats, Citroens, Renaults, Lancias, Mercedes-Benzes, even a couple of Borgward Isabellas and an NSU Prinz.

To say this was a discovery would be an exaggeration, because this collection is known among the WA classic car community.

It was a discovery for me, though, because I wasn't expecting to find it.

We pulled off the highway and slowly rolled down the side road. Gradually, more and more cars appeared as we drove, their obscurity increasing the further we went.

Among those more obscure ones were a Citroen Traction Avant that was beyond repair and that sad-looking little NSU Prinz. There were also three Citroen DSs which had been wrecked for parts and two Borgward Isabellas. The Borgwards weren't the sought-after coupes but, instead, they appeared to be two-door TS models. Still, pretty unusual stuff.

There was also a Fiat 131, a Lancia HPE and many more.

Since returning home, I've tried to contact the owner but up to the time of writing, he has been unavailable.

Watch this space in the event more information comes to hand.


A 1931 2.3m-tall American Model 277 petrol pump dating from approximately 1931 sold for a hefty $9600 at auction in Melbourne last Sunday.

The Shannons-run sale was held to dispose an automobilia and car collection amassed by one enthusiast over 40 years. It also included the sale of a 1970 XW Ford Falcon for $130,000.

The other cars in the sale included a custom 1956 Chevrolet ute which sold for $48,000 and a custom Studebaker ute which sold with no reserve for $29,000.

Among the other automobilia was a rack of 10 glass Energol oil bottles which made $2450 and a drinks bar in the shape of a 1957 Ford Fairlane front end ($4000).


Monaro Nationals Show ’n’ Shine, Sir Stewart Bovell Oval, Busselton, 9.30am to 3.30pm.
Phone 0417 134 984.
French Car Festival, Supreme Court Gardens, Perth.
Phone 0439 935 369 or see
AEM Dowerin Dirt Superkhana.
Phone 0417 019 808 or visit
British Auto Classic, Pinjarra Paceway. Phone 9586 1010 or visit
Datsun 240Z and 269Z Register Z Day, Belmont Sports and Recreation Club.
Phone 0417 182 230 or visit
All Ford Day Cruise.
Visit or phone
0418 912 886.
Theo’s Run to Dowerin, departing 8am from Swan Park Leisure Centre, Midvale.
Phone 0417 019 808 or visit
Rotary Italian Car Day, Mulberry on Swan, Caversham.
Phone 0412 108 011.
All Triumph and Standard Day, Stirling Square, Guildford.
Phone 0488 033 191.
Perth International Historic Challenge, 1962 AGP 50th Anniversary event, Barbagallo Raceway. Visit

The West Australian

Popular videos

Our Picks

Follow Us

More from The West