Cars donated to historic vehicle club

Making history: Replica historic car builder Don Langley with Sapphire Coast Historic Vehicle Club president Alex McQueen in the replica of the first ever 1898 Porsche.
Making history: Replica historic car builder Don Langley with Sapphire Coast Historic Vehicle Club president Alex McQueen in the replica of the first ever 1898 Porsche.

The combination of a retired builder with too little space and a visitor who enjoyed the Sapphire Coast has landed the Sapphire Coast Historic Vehicle Club with a collection of three handcrafted replicas of historic vehicles.

Don Langley, of Coffs Harbour was at the South Pambula club recently to see the arrival of the three vehicles he has made - replicas of the very first 1898 Porsche, a 1905 replica of the first Alaskan built car and a replica of the “Smith Flyer” a buckboard car popular around 1912 for about 10 years.

The three vehicles had to be transported from Coffs Harbour but club president Alex McQueen said when the idea was put to the members, there was a unanimous vote to secure the donated replica vehicles.

Mr Langley, a retired builder said it all started after someone showed him a picture of the first ever Porsche and said they bet he couldn’t build it.

It was a challenge he couldn’t resist and almost everything had to be made from scratch including wooden wheels painted with liquid rubber, the handbrake and the upholstery.   

However after his enthusiasm ran away with him and he had built the third vehicle he started to realise he was running out of space.

"A friend of mine was visiting the area and came to this museum and picked up one of Frank Rodwell’s books on old cars and he bought it and brought it back to Coffs Harbour and showed it to me”, Mr Langley explained.

Mr Rodwell is a member of the club and in his book was a photo of the original 1898 Porsche.

“I wrote to Frank and told him what I was doing and in short he arranged to have the vehicles brought down here and I have given them to the car club,” Mr Langley said.

“The club has a mentor program and I was most impressed a museum would do that and decided this was the place that I would like to see my cars,” he added.