Esperance Mechanical Restoration Group founders begin exciting new project ahead of club milestone

Project in motion: Hugh Knight, Alex Jovanovich and Des Plecas are working to bring the Fordson 10/10 back to its former glory. Photo: Sarah Makse.
Project in motion: Hugh Knight, Alex Jovanovich and Des Plecas are working to bring the Fordson 10/10 back to its former glory. Photo: Sarah Makse.

Ahead of the Esperance Mechanical Restoration Group's 30th anniversary, three restorers have embarked on a mission to bring to life a 1954 Fordson 10/10.

The group was established in 1990 by a group of enthusiasts interested in restoration and preservation of old machinery, cars, trucks and motorbikes.

Founding members Hugh Knight and Des Plecas have been working away on the project at the club's shed every day since January.

Mr Knight said the vehicle's interior frame was created from wood, as it was a transition design from the traditional horse and cart.

"It was a baker or butchers van, it was not very quick about 50 kilometres an hour flat out," he said.

"Most people wouldn't know that in that era, all the frames were made of wood, so we are painting it and varnishing the wood to highlight that."

With the help of Alex Jovanovich from Yarloop, the interior frame has been restored and rebuilt with jarrah.

Mr Knight discovered the vehicle near a tip site in Fraser Range "virtually intact" in 1992, however, had saved the vehicle for more than two decades before deciding to restore it.

"Life got in the way, it took my 25 years to figure out the fairies wouldn't do it," he said.

Mr Knight said the Fordson was a first for the club and one of only a handful left in the state.

Des Plecas said the project wouldn't have been possible without Mr Knight's care preserving the original vehicle.

"It wouldn't of happened if Hugh hadn't preserved it, rescued it and stored it for all these years," he said.

The vehicle will be painted green and adorned with the group's logo and an engine will be added to ensure it is fully functioning.

With final parts on order from England the timeline to complete the project is uncertain, however, Mr Knight ensured it would be firing and ready for the community to enjoy very soon.