PROUD HISTORY: Marjorie and Graham Crittenden with Whitey at the Wondai Street Sprints.
PROUD HISTORY: Marjorie and Graham Crittenden with Whitey at the Wondai Street Sprints. Claudia Williams

Keeping Qld history alive

MOTOR SPORT: As drivers raced around the track at Wondai across the weekend, a historic Queensland car - Whitey - sat in the infield.

It was the second time owner Graham Crittenden, of Kingaroy, had showcased Whitey at the event.

"We don't race it any more, its racing days are over, it is a valuable piece of history and it couldn't be risked by racing, but it raced in its youth and it was very successful,” he said.

Crittenden has owned the car for 52 years and recognises the importance of the car.

"I could see the potential in saving it because of its history,” he said.

"I collect veteran cars and it is a very historic car for Queensland and it is important to preserve our history.

"People love to be able to look and that is why we bring it.”

In 1918 Whitey broke the record for the fastest drive from Brisbane to Toowoomba with a time of two hours and seven-and-a-half minutes.

This year Crittenden is preparing to mark the 100th anniversary of the event.

"We are refurbishing it because a lot of its history is coming to life this year,” he said.

"On July 5 we are going to do a re-creation run of it breaking the record from Brisbane to Toowoomba and in October it is the 100-year anniversary since it broke the Sydney to Brisbane record and we will go to an all overland rally in Orange, NSW, to commemorate 100years of Whitey's exploits.

"We are in the process of going through all the channels you need to go through and we are getting a good response from the authorities and the Queensland historical society is right behind it so that definitely helps.”

For Crittenden, cars are a family affair.

"I have family that help me with the restoration work and it is a family hobby,” he said.

His wife, Marjorie, has grown a great interest in cars.

"I married Graham and I married the car,” she said.

Crittenden has driven Whitey in a number of veteran car rallies and it is one of several older cars he owns.

He also enjoys the process of restoring older cars.

"I have several other cars dating back to 1909 and I've always been interested in the veteran era from 1909 to pre 1980,” he said.

"They were handmade so as difficult as it might seem to restore something that old, if it was made once it can be made again.

"A lot of the later-model cars you couldn't re-create because you couldn't bend the shapes of glass, so it's easier to restore an older car.”

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