THE NEVILLE PARSONS COLLECTION

SNAP SHOTS

STORY SIMON MAJOR

> BRISBANE, QUEENSLAN ENSLAND

Part 1

AS A QUEENSLAND police constable first class in the mid-60s, the late Neville Parsons served his community walking the beat, conducting forensic mechanical inspections and training police cadets as a driving instructor. His prior trade background as a motor mechanic equipped him with the skills to conduct forensic mechanical inspections on cars, bikes and trucks throughout Brisbane and its surrounds. His passion for cars saw Neville collate hundreds of amazing inspection photographs into a large album that his wife, June, has kindly shared with SM. We appreciate that some of these pictures are graphic in nature, but they offer a true snapshot of early car design and an amazing insight into what cars filled our roads back in this era.

01: THIS Ford Prefect 105E was flipped on its side after a heavy hit to the right front, and illustrates why windscreens were subsequently changed from safety glass to laminated glass. The latter cracks in a fairly controlled way by not shattering, retaining some visibility and sparing the vehicle occupants from being showered in glass.

02: THE importance of modern crumple-zone technology is a common thread when viewing these pics, and this 105E ‘Harry Potter’ Ford Anglia has been virtually flattened across the nose. With impacts like this the engine and transmission had to end up somewhere, and nearly always inflicted serious injuries on the driver and/or front passenger.

03: THE Ford Zephyr and Zodiac variant were popular cars on Australian roads before those models were ultimately replaced by the Falcon. This Mk1 Zephyr has sustained a heavy sideways impact, bending it through the floor and roof. The Morris Minor and FX sedan in the background were hugely popular models in their day, and a common sight in wreckers and holding yards – much like Hyundais and Commodores nowadays.

04: I LOVE this FC Holden, which exhibits all the traits of a mild ‘hottie’ of the time. Mags and widies were expensive, so losing the hubbies and painting rims black was an easy solution, while the dual-exit sidepipes in white scream period cool! At less than a decade old and with an abundance of hot-up parts available for the grey motor, these were a popular choice for young blokes. Minor front-end damage hopefully didn’t keep it out of the game for long.

05: A CLASSIC fender-bender involving an FC Holden station wagon and Austin convertible outside the Ampol service station at Fairfield in Brisbane’s inner-south. Both the Austin and Ampol brands are long-gone of course, but we’re sure that ‘coin ’n’ slot’ 24-hour petrol would have been a big deal back in the day!

06: FORD vs Holden, the early years: the aftermath of a T-bone swipe between this XK Falcon and FJ sedan. This is a perfect example of the natural attrition that sent hundreds of these types of cars off our roads for good. Yes purists, ‘wrecking classics’.

07: AN EJ Premier was a very smart-looking car when it first hit the showrooms, and this sedan d would have been near-new at the time of these photos. The substantial pillar and possible front subframe damage make it likely that it never saw road use again.

08: BEAUDESERT Road at Acacia Ridge in Brisbane’s south was the scene of this nasty head-on between a Mk1 Ford Zephyr and Volkswagen Beetle. The heavy damage visible on both cars is cringeworthy – especially with the minimal frontal impact protection offered by the VW. The ex-army Blitz truck in the background was a popular choice for towing and recovery work for many years following World War II.

09: NEVILLE’S work included both at-scene attendance and/or follow-up inspections at the Petrie Terrace police garage or designated holding yards. The heavy impact damage h ldi d Th h i d sustained to this FX sedan was indicative of the confronting nature of his work.

10: VERY little could touch the power offered by the Y-block Customlines and Mainlines of the 50s, and some of Neville’s more jawdropping photos involve these popular models. A highspeed sideways impact with a powerpole or tree is the most likely explanation for the shocking damage sustained by this Cusso.

11: THEY don’t make telegraph poles like they used to – which is a good thing. This pole-axed FJ ute has had its grey motor literally torn off its mounts, with the engine coming to rest a few metres from impact point. The police uniforms of that era, with heavy jackets and trenchcoats along with peaked hats, are a world away from those worn in 2018.