It's the rare, unique and beloved car that's turning heads across the country.
And it’s located in our very own backyard.
Taree motoring enthusiast Trevor Hudson is the owner of a 1929 Stutz Black Hawk L6 Roadster, one of about 1600 ever produced.
“They are fairly rare, even in America,” Trevor said.
“It was very unique for its time.”
To get to this point, we need to go back a few decades.
The car was recovered in the mid 1960s from a sugar cane farm on the Northern Rivers of NSW.
“The guy who recovered it with his father told me that he had to go across two punts to get the car out,” Trevor said.
“There were two trailer loads of stuff - this guy lived in Sydney at the time so it was a bit of a journey for them in the mid-60s to run up there twice in a trailer to recover everything.”
The car was slightly restored but didn’t enjoy the best of times before the turn of the millennium.
“It survived a fire in a shed in Sydney but it burnt the top of the car and the hood,” Trevor said.
The car was later transported to Gerringong on the NSW South Coast.
In 2008, the car was sold to Trevor.
Essentially a write-off, the car was in desperate need of some tender loving care.
“It was basically a basket-case,” Trevor said.
I wanted to put Taree on the map.Trevor Hudson
“Everything had to be undone and started from scratch.”
From there Trevor began a long restoration of the car.
“A lot of parts had to be made - lots of parts were made of diecast,” Trevor said.
“We stripped it right down, body off, a full nut and bolt restoration.”
The rarity of parts only made the job more complicated.
“I had to go over to America and get parts for it because there was a guy over there who had some parts and wouldn’t send them,” Trevor said.
He attended the World’s Largest Old Car Swap Meet in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
“I had a great old time there gathering some parts,” Trevor said.
Asking around for Stutz parts, Trevor encountered stunned onlookers.
“They’d say 'Wow you own a Stutz’,” Trevor said.
The restoration job was completed in 2015.
Trevor couldn’t have done it without assistance from local panel-beater and painter Steve Watson.
“(It was an) impeccable job by Steve - I helped him make brackets and stuff but he did a lot of the hard yards,” Trevor said.
Steve helped work on the car for two years and used old photographs of the model as his guide.
Trevor couldn’t avoid the passion for car restoration - it’s in his blood.
“I’ve had the bug for quite a few years,” Trevor said.
“My father restored a car and we drove it around in the late 70s. I liked it so it sort of went from there.
“I liked the style and simplicity of them even though this car is a fair bit more complicated.”
The car is one of 1310 Black Hawks that were produced at the time - 280 were created the following year before they were discontinued.
“For 1929 it was pretty well advanced,” Trevor said.
Black Hawks were commonly owned and driven at the time by wealthy men.
“It has twin rear-view mirrors that was a standard feature so the driver has his adjusted so he could see and his lady passenger could do her makeup with the left one,” Trevor said.
My father restored a car and we drove it around in the late 70s. I liked it so it sort of went from there.Trevor Hudson
Other major features of the car include vacuum operated windscreen wipers (that don’t operate without the engine on), a form of ABS brakes, a dickie seat, twin ignition, six rows of spark plugs either side of the head, two coils, two sets of points and a six cylinder overhead camshaft engine.
The dashboard is made of Brazilian mahogany.
“Stutz were custom made and used a lot of exotic timbers for their dash,” Trevor said.
The car features underslung suspension so it sits very low to the ground and corners well.
It even has a golf club compartment near the rear.
“A lot of cars had them but mainly the more expensive cars,” Trevor said.
The car has a one-shot lubrication system.
“There’s not too many grease points on it and has a pedal under the dash that if you push with your foot it squirts oil via lines to everywhere - kingpins, tire rod ends, spring shackles and so forth,” Trevor said.
“It oils all of them up so you don’t have to crawl under it and grease it.”
Trevor’s beloved Black Hawk was brought into the spotlight early in October when it was selected to feature at the 2018 Motorclassica Australian International Concours D’Elegance in Melbourne.
Regarded as one of the one of the most prestigious competitions of its kind, the Motorclassica attracted the finest cars and motorbikes from around the country.
Trevor’s was one of 90 vehicles to take part in a tour around the city on the opening day.
“It was right beside the Yarra River and was a short run through the city over to the Royal Exhibition Centre. It was to showcase the cars for the people of Melbourne,” Trevor said.
Inside the Royal Exhibition Centre, Trevor contested the Pre-War USA competition.
“There was quite a few cars in it and they picked two finalists in each class,” Trevor said.
Trevor’s Black Hawk was chosen as a finalist. It was put up against a 1930 Cadillac V16 Sports Pheaton, owned by Michael Alabaster from Sydney.
“I didn’t think I’d have any chance against that car,” Trevor said.
So it was a surprise to Trevor when he was named the winner.
“I was shocked when my name was announced,” Trevor said.
Trevor didn’t take the car to Melbourne for trophies and recognition.
“I had it on my bucket list to take the car down and put it in the show. I wanted people to look at my car and I wanted to look at the others.
“I wanted to put Taree on the map,” Trevor said.