DARREN Russell bought his beloved 1953 FX Holden as a 16-year-old almost three decades ago, and he's still got it.
The Hadspen resident bought the iconic Australian vehicle of a man at Invermay in 1987, after his mate and Northern Tasmanian car restorer Dean Causley convinced him to.
"I went to school with Dean and we were all involved with Holdens at that time when Dean found me one and said that I should buy it — I've had it ever since," Mr Russell said.
"The car has been in Launceston from brand-new, it was a Riverside car originally.
"It was originally restored in 1987 and I drove it over the next 15 years, went to lots of shows and I'm a member of the FX-FJ Holden Car Club of Australia North-West Tasmanian Chapter.
"The paint started to deteriorate and it wasn't good enough to do shows anymore, so it went into storage for four or five years before I got the urge to get it back out.
"I've since resprayed it, a new set of tyres and the interior is still the same as when I did it in 1987.
"It's got the original 138 motor still in it ... I just do it as a hobby, I just like being in the car club and around cars.
"I not being a mechanic, I'm a butcher by trade, but I could pick it up [how to work on the car] just by watching a mechanic.
"Ever since I got this one I have been interested in cars and have had a HR, a Torana, a Kingswood ute and heaps more that I've tinkered with and sold on.
"I've always mucked around with them for the past 25 years.
"I enjoyed going on car club runs but it was a bit hard for four or five years, when it was off the road.
"I was still involved in the car club but it wasn't the same and I've been back on the road for the past couple of years and it's great.
"I'm hoping to travel to Mansfield (Victoria) not this Christmas but next Christmas for the nationals. I've been around Tassie a bit but not on long interstate trips.
"I've got no heater, no power steering, no air-conditioning, the wipers only work when they want to because they're vacuum wipers — no luxuries at all.
"They are just great fun to have."