Racer's Symmons laps a vintage moment

History was made at Northern Tasmania's Symmons Plains racetrack yesterday.

The shiny red 1910 T-Model Ford Racer was a slightly more sedate version of the vehicles that usually roar around Symmons but that did not diminish the significance of  the three laps by Allan Eastoe's pride and joy.

Mr Eastoe, better known as Bill, had dreamed of racing the rare 1910 Ford at Symmons since he bought it about seven years ago.

There were only ever five of the Racers imported into Australia at the turn of the last century.

They were manufactured in the US then put together by Australian companies.

Mr Eastoe's Racer, which he bought from an estate, is believed to have been put together by Paine's in Launceston.

Before Mr Eastoe died about 18 months ago, he asked cousin Bonnie Foster to take care of the Racer, his favourite from a collection of cars and motorbikes.

''Not having any children of his own, his wish was to leave it to a museum for all to enjoy, never to be sold and never to leave Tasmania,'' Ms Foster said. But he also wanted the ancient racing car to test its pistons at Symmons.

Yesterday, Launceston man Josh Beaumont, who has maintained and driven the vehicle since Mr Eastoe bought it, put the Racer through its paces before it was taken to its new home at Launceston's QVMAG at Inveresk.

A song composed by Northern country music artist Debbie Parry about the Racer was played as the 102-year-old T-Model Ford circled the track.

Mr Eastoe owned another T-Model Ford and used to drive it and the Racer on to his front lawn each Longford Show day for the crowds to admire.

He had also owned motorbikes for more than 70 years and raced them at Bakers Beach on the sand.

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