An all-American rally

RACV RoyalAuto magazine

Tom Kunek (left) with a 1965 Buick Riviera, and Brian Dean with a Tourer from 1926.
Tom Kunek (left) with a 1965 Buick Riviera, and Brian Dean with a Tourer from 1926.

When Brian Dean saw a newspaper ad back in 1967 calling for a get-together of Buick fans, he didn’t anticipate still being involved 50 years later.  

But lovers of the classic American cars are a passionate bunch, and the Buick Car Club of Australia, formed at that meeting, is about to celebrate its 50th year with a national rally.

 “My father had a Buick that he bought in 1933, which he passed on to me in 1948,” says Brian. “That’s how I became involved with the American Buicks.

 “I had that car for about eight years and it served me well but I no longer have it. I now have two other Buicks, one from 1926 and a Riviera from 1974.

 “I’ve always enjoyed being part of a car club, not just for the cars but for the social side of things mostly. I enjoy meeting new people and being out and about with the cars,” says Brian.

 The Buick, manufactured in the USA by General Motors, is the oldest active American marque. While Australia stopped importing them in the 1950s, interest here remains strong.

 “We have over 200 members in our car club in Victoria alone and are expecting owners from all states of Australia to attend our Club National Rally and 50th Anniversary in October,” says club secretary Tom Kunek. 

 Tom has two Buicks of his own, one in perfect working order and the other is a rare 1965 Riviera Gran Sport that he is restoring.

 “Being American models, most of our vehicles have been converted to right-hand drive for Australian roads. Unless a car is over 25 years old and registered for car club purposes only then you may still see one in left-hand drive,” says Tom. 

 “The best time for the general public to get involved with our special 50th anniversary celebration will be to come and enjoy the Show ’n’ Shine on the Friday.”

The Buick Car Club of Australia National Rally and 50th Anniversary Celebration, Moama on the Murray, 8 to 13 October.
General public viewing: Show ’n’ Shine, Friday 13 October from midday, Murray Esplanade, Echuca.
buickcarclub.org.au 

Written by Jessica Hirst
September 15, 2017

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