History Matters || Shanks' pony to a coupe

Aussie classic: A 1972 Holden GTS Monaro coupe from Mackenzie Motors.
Aussie classic: A 1972 Holden GTS Monaro coupe from Mackenzie Motors.

The earliest white settlers used bullock drays to bring their goods and chattels overland after the boat trip to Morpeth.

At this time, horses were expensive and affordable just to the owners and superintendents of properties.

However *shanks' pony has always been the cheapest of all transport and very often unshod!

As time went on and more horses were bred and became widely available, there was a progression to horse drawn carts, sulkies, and buggies.

The value of the horse was immeasurable for farm work, just as it was for sport.

A familiar site was our earliest 'water bottles' - the water bags hung at the back of the cart; the water kept cool by the evaporation from the canvas container.

As cars started overtaking horses for work and play, the main argument against them was that the noisy brutes would frighten the horses.

Public transport started with coaches, then the railway line south was opened in 1884.

Setting out with our own wheels from early years has always been a high point - whether it was by pedal car, dinky, tricycle, bicycle, scooter, billy cart... And made of metal and wood, they all lasted!

The value of the horse was immeasurable for farm work, just as it was for sport.

An adult must have been excited when they took delivery of this 1972 Holden GTS Monaro coupe from Mackenzie Motors.

Certainly, a much sleeker vehicle than the first dumpy Holden sold in Glen Innes in 1948.

Greg Parsons knows this car's history from 1975 and is anxious to glean details of its previous three years.

Greg says: "All I know about the previous owner I was told by the second owner (1975-1995) and he was told from a car yard. He was a surveyor on the Copeton Dam project. He was a Vietnam veteran."

There must be a keen car person who can remember this elegant 4-speed manual silver coupe sporting a black interior and with a 308 motor.

(The local MackenzIe Motors Holden franchise closed in 2017 and some of the well-known earlier people there were Harry Christoe, Mac Tarrant, Fred Knight, Doug Rendell, Ron Biddle and Joe Wood.)

* Shanks' pony meant going by foot, and often without boots.

There are many tales of children walking barefoot to school.