Orange Country Barn & Collection: Classic Restos - Series 45
Just outside Orange in NSW, Fletch visits a rural property that has an old-style farmhouse feel about it. The supporting barns and assortment of sheds look like they are straight out of the 1940s or earlier. However, it's only the primary house dates back to that time, everything else is a recent addition, but it all looks authentic with that rustic charm that goes with these country properties.
It's the handy work of Dean, his wife Hayley and daughter Tess. The initial reason for creating the barn was to get their cars undercover, out of the frost. But as Dean says, If you're building a shed, make it three times bigger than what you need. Because you can always use more space down the track.
The barn holds what looks like a lifetime collection, but in fact has only been collected in the last ten years. Dean says he has always had an interest in local and Australian history and has continually added to the collection. It makes a fantastic display and the barn a very enticing place for the whole family.
The real purpose, of course, was the cars and motorcycles. That are now protected from the harsh frosts they have around Orange. There is the VW Kombi that was his father's, which they worked on to get it back on the road and in running order.
Next is a 1954 FJ Holden Ute, which as you’d expect comes with a story. Acquired from a local Holden dealer who was clearing out his shed and put together after ten years in storage, it now sports a very interesting livery.
Even the walls of the barn have some unusual items, a Holden FE Ute acquired to give the FJ a transplant, ended up being cut in half and mounted to the wall. Dean tells all those that ask 'that he only wanted to mount the hub cap, but couldn't get it off the car', it looks great.
There is a 1973 HQ Wagon in very good condition and is the families daily drive. Dean professes to be a HQ tragic and says these cars were built for Australian conditions and with regular service will go forever. It features the 202 engine, power steering and three on the tree.
Of course, there is a motorcycle, a 1934 Royal Enfield that will be restored over time. But with parts scarce, it's a matter of finding parts that will fit at swap meets and wherever you can, not all original but will serve the purpose and do the job.
It continues to amaze what lies behind the barns and sheds across Australia. Another one uncovered.