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31 March 2021
By SARAH MATTHEWS
Wimmera residents and visitors will have an opportunity to experience a rare collection of cars and memorabilia at Pomonal on Friday while raising money for a good cause.
Jim Leithhead and his wife Karen will open their ‘world-class’ private museum to the public for the second time to coincide with the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal.
The cause is close to Mr Leithhead’s heart.
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His younger sister, Suzy, died of leukaemia before her fourth birthday.
“She spent a hell of a lot of time at the children’s hospital, and so did we as kids,” Mr Leithhead said.
“We got to know a lot of other poor little buggers who died.
“The Good Friday Appeal is a great cause. All the research they put into leukaemia and all that – she’d live if she got it today. It just makes a hell of a difference.”
Mr Leithhead rarely opens up his collection, bar for the odd car club.
Two years ago, he decided to open up his sheds as a fundraiser.
“It’s a good way for people to donate money but get something for donating,” he said.
“We would have done it last year, if not for COVID. We hope to do it as an ongoing thing.”
Entry costs $20 a person, with all proceeds donated to the appeal.
Mr Leithhead will also host a show and shine on the day and has been encouraging visitors to bring along their classic cars and bikes.
Judging is at 2pm, with presentations at 3pm.
“I hope to get a heap of cars, at least 100,” he said. “I’m trying to get a gauge through Facebook. It looks like there will be a fair few, and people will also have my cars to look at.”
Mr Leithhead’s collection features 35 Lincoln cars, ‘from 1922 to 2003 and most things in between’.
Lincoln, named in honour of president Abraham Lincoln, is the luxury vehicle division of American automobile manufacturer, Ford.
“It’s Ford’s version of the Cadillac,” he said.
“I don’t know what it is really, but I seem to really like them.
“My uncle had a Lincoln when I was a little kid. He rocked into town and it impressed me.
“I guess it stemmed from there.”
Mr Leithhead bought his first Lincoln when he turned 18, but only became a serious collector about 10 years ago.
“I’ve sold quite a few as well,” he said.
“If I’m not quite happy with it I’ll sell it and get another one. I’m about done now, I think – I hope.
“Some of these old cars are pretty special.”
One of Mr Leithhead’s vehicles, a ’59 Continental, was used as a prop in an upcoming biographical film about Elvis Presley, directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring Tom Hanks.
“This car is the same as the one that Colonel Tom Parker bought Elvis and Priscilla for a wedding present,” he said.
“They used to drive one of these around a lot.”
Mr Leithhead’s collection will be open for viewing from 10am to 3pm at 254 Tunnel Road, Pomonal.
The entire March 31, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!
The entire March 31, 2021 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!