How do you celebrate 100 years in the motoring business – give away a car of course…and not just any car – the first car ever sold.
Cairns’ oldest car dealership Ireland’s of Cairns, which is operated by principals Richard and David Ireland, has marked its centenary by gifting the Historic Village Herberton a 1924 Chrysler Tourer, which is now on permanent display at the outdoor pioneer museum.
Historic Village Herberton curator Darryl Cooper said the vehicle, which was in excellent condition, would be exhibited in Day’s Garage, alongside its big sister, the Chrysler 60 Tourer as well as the Village’s 1923 Model-T Ford, 1933 Continental Flyer and 1927 Morris Cowley Van (from The Sullivan’s TV series).
“It is very fitting that in the year this long-standing business celebrates 100 years in Far North Queensland we are able to display the first car ever sold – and this car was actually used right here in the local area.”
The model sold in huge numbers in the area after company founder Francis R Ireland was given the dealership rights and went on tour with the vehicle, travelling up the then recently opened Gillies Range Road through Yungaburra to Herberton and Irvinebank.
The first sale five seater was originally purchased by a local Irvinebank school teacher Mr Pienegar, and was passed down to his sons. It underwent restoration in the 1980s by Keith ‘Snowy’ Liekefett of Innisfail, who offered it to the Ireland’s in 1991.
The car has been at the Ireland dealership since then, but often had to be hidden away in a shed due to lack of floor space.
Mr Cooper said the car will get a run out as a working interactive display on “special occasions and events at the Historic Village”.
The Historic Village Herberton is open every day from 9am till 5pm, with last entry at 3.30pm.
The 1924 Chrysler was restored in the 1980’s by Keith ‘Snowy’ Liekefett of Innisfail, who
offered it to the Ireland’s in 1991. The car has been at the Ireland dealership since the
nineties but often had to be hidden away in a shed due to lack of floor space.
To check program times and entry prices and for more information about the heritage museum and other attractions visit www.historicvillageherberton.com.au
For more information, images or interviews contact:
Tanya Snelling, Strategic PR
P 4034 3404 | 0417 202 663