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Iconic Australian Dick Smith: Classic Restos - Series 38

By Shannons - Published on 10 October 2018

This week Fletch strays from his regular Classic Restos format and chats with the iconic and much loved Australian Dick Smith. He talks about his early business days as a 2-way radio manufacturer and car radio installer of famous Australian-made brands such as Astor, Krysler and HMV. Then the transition from car radio installer to the launch of Dick Smith Electronics that he sold after 8 years to Woolworths for $20 million.
Along the way he is credited with creating the Variety Bash, a novel fundraising concept that he based on the REDEX trials and his hero Gelignite Jack Murray, an idea that today has been adopted around the world. Dick explains it was a way of getting some wealthy people to donate to charity without been seen as a do-gooder. With some unique rules that allowed bribing and cheating to be allowed to raise more funds for Charity.
Dick thinks he is a car enthusiast, maybe not as committed as some, but he fondly recalls a list of his cars over the years. Starting with a Morris Minor that he purchased for 400 pounds, and ran his 2-way & car radio installation business out of, a FC Panel Van, EH Holden, then a step up to a Fairlane V8,  a V6 Ford Capri, a Brock Commodore -  that was a favourite, especially after experiencing a Hot Lap with Peter Brock. Today he has electric cars, a Nissan Leaf for getting around town and aTesla.
Dick Smith's story wouldn't be complete without referencing some of his aerial exploits including 5  helicopter flights around the world including 1 solo flight, two of these adventures were before the introduction of GPS that makes them quite astonishing, along with some of his exploits along the way.