Monday, October 3, 2011


Have you ever had a car that entered your life in a usual, maybe even ordinary mundane way, and realise at the end that her existence was an integral part of your life and your love?  That happened to me.  Her name was Nellie.

1983 Holden Commodore Vacationer (NSW) $7,490She came into our lives as we were moving to Queensland, and was the family car.  We drove her, in her new condition from Victoria in a 3 day marathon as friends helped us with trucks, utes and trailers to move our farming equipment, furniture, 2 daughters, and lots of hope for our future.  She was there when we started work on our farm in Capella, the neighbouring township to Emerald, where we had settled, and smiled happily at us as we settled into our community. 

She was shiny, but humble, and very strong.  It was her strength that was going to protect us until the end.

It didn't take long before I had started selling coldrooms, a new business venture that we had decided to
start, while John was at our farming property.  As our orders grew, we needed to make a trip to Victoria to pick up supplies, so with Nellie, a large 12 foot trailer and  the two girls, we headed off.

Nellie made a lot of trips to Victoria, and climbed some of the windiest and steeper hills in New South Wales, never flagging.  She built the business with us, and then when we got home had to sit in our driveway, without cover, dealing with the hot Australian sun, and occasional rain storms.

Eventually the business took off, and we started to make a pretty good living from just that.  We put share-farmers on to run our property, and concentrated even more on our cold  room and refrigeration business. We built a carport to protect Nellie, so that she could have some rest, but the harsh sun had already begun to do its damage.  Her once shiny roof was fading and small amounts of rust (cancer for cars) were beginning to creep in.

We built a factory in the industrial estate, and Nellie sat out in the open parking lot when I went there to work in the office.  We bought a truck to deliver the cold rooms, in order to be more efficient, and perhaps to let Nellie have a rest. She deserved it.

She still carried us to Victoria to visit family, and sat there grinning, resting her tires, while we all laughed and talked about our adventures.  On one of those trips, when we were almost home, Nellie developed a terrible crunching chest cold under her bonnet.  We struggled home with her, hoping that we could make it, as it was very late at night.  Slowly but surely she brought us to the front of our house, and then just gave out.  She just couldn't and wouldn't go anymore.

The next morning, her favorite mechanic/doctor made a house call, and found a small problem.  Within a few minutes her chest was cleared, the obstacle that had troubled her was replaced, at a cost of a few dollars, and she was once again - smiling.

A few years went by, and it was decided that as the family was maturing, that a new car may be needed.  The decision was made, and the new car was ordered.  Unfortunately, it meant that Nellie would be replaced.  At the time the shininess of the new car had us all hypnotised, so we felt it was OK to trade Nellie in.  She had done her job.

The early morning hours of the new car's delivery arrived.  I woke early and sat at the front window of the house looking out on Nellie, as she sat very sunburned, and full of many rust spots, and remembered all of our times together.  I started to cry and couldn't stop the tears.  Nellie had been so faithful.  I promised never to forget her, and this little story is my tribute to her.  I have never since then had a car with such heart and love that had enveloped our whole family.  I hope you get to have such an experience.  She will never be forgotten.

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