Daylesford, Victoria – given its proximity to various luxury resorts and home-stays – is a popular and trendy destination. It’s an old town with a lot of heritage and there are still plenty of vintage residents around – both human and mechanical.
To a Queensland boy, the drive out to Daylesford was like no drive I’d ever taken in my own state. The presence of moss everywhere, for example, was in stark contrast to the drier scenery in Queensland.
The locales in and around Daylesford also have an abundance of tree-lined roads…
…and hedges aplenty.
The buildings are also different in this colder part of the country. Historically, this area was home to many Swiss and Italian immigrants and some of the architecture shows a continental influence. In particular, I noticed many buildings that were rendered but with exposed stonework as accenting, something which brought to mind French provincial architecture. I didn’t get a photo of any of said buildings, unfortunately, but here’s an adorable, arguably less European-influenced house in nearby Glenlyon.
Daylesford has a population of 2,548 people but a healthy tourist economy. I doubt very much that this Morris Minor belongs to an out-of-towner, however. Everyone’s grandparents in Australia seemed to have a Minor at one point and this car comes from a period where Australians still bought British cars in significant numbers.
Although we are still part of the Commonwealth and Queen Elizabeth II is still on our currency, our interest in mainstream British cars waned long ago – enthusiasm in British cars had atrophied by the late 1970s. It probably wasn’t cars like the Minor that turned us off as these were pretty bulletproof. They were also surprisingly innovative, at least when they first launched in 1948 – independent front suspension when most rivals had a live axle, unibody construction, and rack-and-pinion steering years before that set-up was commonplace. The Minor was designed by Sir Alec Issignois, after all.
The Minor saw various revisions over the years. It was a lot of years, too: the last Minor was produced in 1971. There’s still a decent number of these in Australia but they’re usually in better shape than this one. This vintage Daylesford resident is endearingly rough and stands out among the hordes of late-model vehicles in this small Victorian town.