The following 2 pictures were taken in the winter of 1979 and are of my 2 nieces, Kristen and Michelle, who also accompanied me in a couple of the Boronia Lions Xmas parades. There was even a picture of them both taken for the local paper on each side of the Chev radiator, which sadly I did not keep a copy of, but I have the memory.
I cant recall how my name was given to a member of the Boronia Lions Club, but I received a call early in December one year, asking me to drive the Chev in the Lions Xmas parade. This lead to the Chev being in at least 4 parades that I can remember. The first was at the head of the parade, and I had the Olympic diver Valerie Beddoe as my passenger. The second was completed with the Mayor of Knox in the car, fully suited out in the mayoral robes, and it was during this parade the Chev displayed how tough the motor was, while at the same time giving me a big scare.
Half way through the parade the engine boiled completely dry, and by the time I got to the end there was not a drop of water left in the radiator, and all this happened while I was struggling not to to run down the group of local scouts with a banner that were walking the entire route about 10 feet in front of me.
Any way managed to get to the end, which in those days was behind the old fire station, without taking out any scouts. Parked the car, joined in the celebrations, came back in an hour or so, completely refilled the cooling system and drove home, no worse for wear. Try doing that with your modern car.
The next parade was with a clown in the back, which my children enjoyed immensely. Not sure what happened with the Lions but the Xmas parade was dropped a year or so later, never to be run again.
The following photo has a young Kristen in the back seat, with an even younger Ross in the front.
This photo shows my son Ross in the front, and my very young daughter Melanie in the back seat with her Auntie Kay.
The eighties was when the Chev did its biggest trip so far, to Healsville and back. The occasion was an outing for my daughter Melanie's play group. As I recall it was a shocking day, pouring rain, howling wind etc. Blankets and rugs were in full supply, more to keep the rain out than the cold. We made it up to Healsville ok, but after filling up with petrol on the way back, the car would not start for a few minutes, which I now believe was the faulty ignition switch that I mentioned in the posting on breakdowns.
The Chev was used as a transport car for Santa at a Xmas party in the 80's at Stem Industries where I was working at the time. The following 2 pictures show Santa arriving and the kids receiving presents from Santa.
The eighties was also the only time the Chev struck a blow in anger. Jan and I were inside one Sunday afternoon, when Ross came running in, very distressed saying Melanie was hurt and there was blood every where. Running out to the garage we find Melanie screaming, bleeding from the mouth.
What happened was the kids were bouncing around on the seats, Melanie had fallen and struck her mouth on the gear stick. When we cleaned her up and checked her mouth we originally thought she had knocked a front tooth out, but the tooth had been driven completely back into the gum. A call to the dental hospital was followed by a trip into their casualty to make sure there was no other damage.
Apart from numerous skinned knuckles, cuts, abrasions and minor injuries to the owner over the years, I am very pleased that Melanie's injury, as distressing as it was to all of us at the time, was and has been the only accident the Chev has been involved in during its 38 years.
The final shot is of the Dean clan in the Chev, some time in the late eighties.