LAST issue we introduced you to Ian Lording, who shared some fantastic historical shots of the Australian surf and van culture in the late 60s and early 70s. It’s both a rarity and a privilege to access so many personal photos from this era, especially as the associated costs of photography at the time made it very much a luxury pursuit – a far cry from the endless phone pics and selfies we take for granted today. Here are some more snaps from Ian’s collection for you to enjoy. 01: THE Suicide Savages were the original guys who surfed Point Leo (aka ‘Suicide Point’) on the Mornington Peninsula. “They were the pioneers down here and a ragtag bunch of riff-raff who ruled their home break with an iron fist,” Ian remembers.
“And yes, their stories have grown with the years.
Cool sunnies, cool boardies and a cool car to live 1964 in style.” Photo: Terence Jackson 02: HERE are Ian’s mates Colin and Steve at ‘Camp Cactus’, South Australia, in 1971. “How’s the bullbar on Steve’s Datto?” Ian exclaims. “It looks like he knocked off a farm gate and bolted it to the front of the car. If you looked beyond the scorpions, mice and snakes [at Camp Cactus], there were always the waves.” 03: A GREAT shot of Rick Kellow’s Kombi and Kevin Newell’s Morris taken at Walkerville on the way to Wilsons Promontory circa 1973. “That’s Kevin on the left and Rick standing at the barn doors,” Ian says. “I made the side air scoops for 026 Rick’s VW at trade school, but I think it just made it go even slower – if that was possible.” 04: IAN’S mate George Crilley is seen here negotiating a beach track in his HQ Sandman, just north of Tathra, NSW. “He was the only one of us that had a genuine Sandman for a panel van. We reckoned they were for wankers so he copped a bit of grief for it,” Ian laughs. “Whenever we’d head up the Pacific Highway we’d take random tracks off to the east and see if we found surf. It would take us so long to make it north because we’d keep turning right!” 05: IT’S JANUARY 1972, and here we see Ian’s HD van heading into Byron Bay from the hinterland.
“I’d only had my Ps for a few months and we roadtripped to Surfers for New Year’s Eve,” he says.
“I did this van up before I got my licence with all the period mods: sports exhaust and lowered, with widened stockos just on the back. The 186S badges would scare away any competition but it was really just a 179. Mate, we use to fang it on those dirt roads! You would be flying along and hit the corrugations with absolutely no control; just steer it in and hope you came out of it okay!” 06: HERE’S the Parkdale Crew lined up for a shot at Coffs Harbour in 1972. “We’d pulled in looking for a surf but ended up having a big egg fight instead!”
Ian laughs. “I still remember that dent in Dave Brann’s HG van in the foreground – a bloke did a U-turn in front of him and he hit the picks; a mate riding in the back sailed between the front seats and ended up in the footwell. He bought that van near-new, and the 253 was like a rocket compared to the six cylinders we all lugged along with.” I wonder if a line-up of VZ and VF Commodores will look this cool in 40 years’ time. 07: RIPPING through a water crossing is the late Greg ‘Vus’ Fish in his EH, loaded with boards and jammed with passengers front and rear. “This was an ‘action’ shot of Vussy in 1973,” Ian says. “We were camped at Tathra and on our way to surf Merimbula; knowing all of the back roads made for some great shortcuts.” 08: KEVIN Newell’s dad owned the Esso servo in Richmond. “I love this shot of Kevin in the dustcoat fuelling up his Morrie,” Ian says. “He and his brother Phil would work the Saturday morning shift then fill it to the brim before hitting the road. That Morris took us everywhere, and you can see the mattress jammed up against the back windows. He used to do all right with the birds, so it couldn’t have been too uncomfortable!” Photo: Jo Coote 09: IN 1974 Ian replaced his HD with this HG van. “Here we see it at the Powlett River with Big Whitey’s XA, ‘The Purple People Eater’,” Ian explains. “We’d surf at the river mouth there at the Bass Coast. I was the main guy who took photos in our group and they’d always hang shit on me for it, but nowadays they love them. The cost of developing film was so expensive so you had to be careful with what you took and hoped that you got the shot right.”
10: IN 1975 Kevin Newell and Ian spent a few months in South Africa on a surf trip. “That’s me on the roof of our trusty Renault with my Canon Super 8, filming the waves breaking around the point at Jeffreys Bay.
It didn’t have racks, so we’d just strap the boards down until the roof skin popped! Or just jam them across the back seat and drive with the doors open.
I’m amazed we survived; we slept in caves and drainpipes back when apartheid was in full swing.
Not that we really thought about it much, we just did what we had to do. I went back a few years ago and that entire area is a housing estate and bitumen roads; I can’t believe how much it’s changed.” 11: BACK in 1976, the surf and skateboard cultures were intrinsically linked, as opposed to now. “That’s me on the left with Rick Kellow and Peter Stacey at the right,” Ian says. “We would try our hand at anything. Although it may look graceful we were all pretty bruised and sore after a massive blue at the Tarwin Lower pub the night before. The locals hated ‘long-haired surfie bums’ and a huge brawl erupted that spread out into the carpark. There was so much dust kicked up we couldn’t see anything; you just hoped you weren’t punching your mates!” 12: IAN’S friend Chris Amittzboll bought this XA van brand new and ended up owning it for nearly 30 years. “In that time it scored a couple of resprays and looked cool with the front spoiler and GT side scoops,” Ian remembers. “This was in the late 70s and just needed the stripework finished to be 100 per cent. Man, he did so many miles in this thing.”
13: WHEN did you last see an XB GT with boards on the roof? “This is the crew from the Phillip Island Boardriders Club. They would often put on a barrel at Bottleneck Beach and we’d all enjoy a couple of quiet beers!” Ian laughs. “No way; these parties were pretty full-on and could last for a few days. It got a reputation of sorts.” Photo: Ian Mort 14: “WE DON’T stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing,” Ian says.
And damn right too. Ian’s current ride is this HG panel van he bought in 2007 as a rolling shell and spent seven years rebuilding. It runs a 186 with a mild cam and Trimatic, and transports him all over the east coast chasing waves. “I still skate as well, but I stick to longboards these days; a 62-year-old bloke coming a gutser on a short board isn’t very graceful!” Ian laughs. 15: THIS cracker time-shift pic of Ian (centre) sharing the tailgate of his HG with old friends John Curtis (left) and Dave ‘Big Whitey’ White (right) sums up what mateship is all about. “Been there, done that.
A collective of five crook knees, three dodgy backs, two worn hips and one stent, but 43 years later we’re still hanging out and life’s good.” s