Tarrant car a driving force for family visit

Australian healthcare workers were part of the Anzac legend, with more than 270 doctors serving on the frontline at Gallipoli.

History came to life at RACV City Club when descendants linked to engineer Harley Tarrant saw the famous Australian car that bears their family name for the first time. 

William, 11, and sister Nea, 9, had the rare privilege of climbing aboard the 1906 Tarrant car for a photo to mark the special occasion. Their father, Tony Tarrant, is a vintage car enthusiast and described the car as “magnificent”. 

“It probably looks better than when it rolled out of the factory all those years ago,” he says. “It’s fantastic to have this kind of link to the past. Anything historical, I think, is precious; it keeps us grounded.” 

We discovered the Tarrant brothers had all come to Victoria to chase gold

Tony’s paternal aunt traced his family roots back to Oxford, England, revealing his link to Harley Tarrant, who built Australia’s first petrol-engine motor car. 

“We discovered the Tarrant brothers had all come to Victoria to chase gold,” Tony said. “There were four of them, including Joseph, Harley’s father, and Benjamin, who eventually went to the goldfields on the west coast of New Zealand. That is how my side of the family ended up in New Zealand.” 

Now based in Sydney, Tony, his wife Shona and children have previously visited Clunes to see where Harley was born. “Seeing the Tarrant makes you appreciate the fantastic engineering that was happening back then,” Tony says.   

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