Daryl Meek restored his first vehicle when he was 15, and now helps keep motoring history alive and relevant for RACV members.
If it has to do with RACV and historic motoring it’s likely to make its way to my desk. As motoring interests manager I liaise between RACV and the historic vehicle movement, run sponsorship for the motoring interests program, and source vehicles for display in the RACV City Club and other venues.
The vehicle as an art form is the sub theme of the City Club’s display, so I look for vehicles that stimulate our members’ imaginations, from a rare 1927 Delage to a brand-new Bentley. There are some vehicles that are just magnificent. I love chatting to the people who want to stop and talk.
I spent a lot of time with my truck-driver grandfather when I was a teenager. His 1950 Chevrolet Maple Leaf required constant attention. I restored my first vehicle when I was 15 and always had older cars, 30 or 40 years old. I just loved them.
If I couldn’t get grease under my fingernails I wouldn’t be interested. My partner and I own more than 20 vehicles – cars, motorcycles, vintage caravans, anything. My passion is taking things that are broken and getting them running again. It’s not just about accumulating and collecting, it’s about rejuvenating, bringing them back to life.
My first career was an infantry officer then, among many other jobs, I worked on the assembly line making the TD2000 sports car, I helped set up and run the Shepparton Motor Museum and I was an air traffic controller for 22 years.
I’m an absolutely passionate motoring historian, connecting the car with Victoria’s social history. Members send me a photo of a car and ask what is it, where is it, when is it? It’s detective work, and along with sourcing cars it’s what I enjoy most.
I don’t think I’ve been turned down for anything I’ve tried to source, ever. “Can I borrow your Ferrari?” “Sure, no worries.” People respect the RACV for its integrity and just for what it is, and it’s nice to be associated with that. People do things for RACV they would never do for other people.
Photo: Meredith O’Shea