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Memorable Motoring Enthusiasts: Classic Restos - Series 47

By Shannons - Published on 06 July 2021

It started as a milk & bread run, but living in the country, this simple task can take some time and distance, and when in one's own company Fletch reflects on the past 600+ Classic Restos episodes and some of the great personalities and their stories.

In this episode, Fletch reflects on three great characters who are no longer with us, double amputee bike rider Alan Kempster, XW GT Falcon owner Russell Langlands, and truck driver Tony Columbrita. 

It was Fletch's first trip to Invercargill in New Zealand to visit the location of the movie 'World's Fastest Indian' and the Burt Munro Challenge that he first met Alan Kempster. A motorcycle rider and racer who overcame the loss of one arm and one leg to ride competitively against able body riders. His story and feats are quite unbelievable, including the World Amputee Water skiing Championships. 

Then, a chance meeting as Fletch was leaving an event was 1970 XW GT Falcon owner Russell Langlands. Russell had left the driving duties to his son David but had owned the 351 XY GT since new and was very passionate about the car. Just sitting behind the wheel brought back great memories of driving this high-performance car. But when Fletch arranged a call from Ford motor racing icon Fred Gibson, that was the icing on the cake. The family approached Fletch to request if they could play the Classic Restos episode at Russell's funeral as part of a family legacy. The answer was 'Yes, of course' from Fletch. 

Another great character on Classic Restos was Tony Columbrita and his 1974 White truck, known as one of the loudest trucks going around and referred to as 'the Screaming Detroit'. Fletch even got the opportunity to drive the beast. 

Fletch reflects that with Classic Restos now in it's 15th-year, there are sure to be many more people who will tell their story and share their passion for cars, bikes, and trucks and leave a great family legacy on Classic Restos.