Me and my car: Tony and ‘The Morva’
Tell us about your current set of wheels.
It’s a 1991 Holden Jackaroo that I bought about 18 months ago. Prior to that it only ever had one owner, a lady called Morva, who was my wife’s next-door neighbour when she was growing up in Kurri Kurri. Morva had bought the car brand-new and looked after it amazingly well. In the end she couldn’t climb into it because she was 90 and having trouble with her hips. Through a friend we learned that she was getting rid of the car, so we rang, had a look and the rest is history. As soon as we got it we christened it “The Morva”. We absolutely love it, and we get a lot of comments.
Had you been looking for an older four-wheel drive?
We had been and we didn’t want to spend a lot of money. We just wanted something we could use to get off the beaten track, not major four-wheel driving, but places our other car wouldn’t be able to go, like our annual trips down to Wyangala Dam near Cowra or our trips to the snow. The Morva had been so well looked-after. It had always been garaged and covered – everything was protected. When we bought it, it only had 85,000 kilometres on it, which for a diesel engine is not much past being run in.
What’s it like to drive?
It’s great to drive, like a step back in time. It’s very retro. It’s got the old fuel pump on it so the sound of the diesel is more like a truck or a bus, which is really good. And it’s very simple. There are no alarms to tell you you’ve left the lights on or that you’re about to hit something.
What do you enjoy most about owning it?
The main thing is the nostalgia, its age and knowing its history. And it also doesn’t handle like a newer four-wheel drive. When you go around a corner a little bit too quick it’s got a lot of body-roll. It reminds you of its age as you’re driving it. But that’s what I love about it. It has a nice feel. My wife Helen also says she feels happy when she drives this car. You’re not in a rush when you’re in it. I feel a definite attachment to it.
As a working musician, how handy is it when it comes to transporting equipment?
Everything fits in really well. I can easily fit a PA in there with two 15-inch speakers and an 18-inch subwoofer, plus my piano, light stands, lights, bags of leads and mics. It’s very functional. While there are bigger four-wheel drives out there, this one is just the right size for what I need to carry.
What do you listen to when you’re cruising about?
It’s everything that’s on my phone, so anything from the Chili Peppers to James Taylor to Billy Joel to The Traveling Wilburys – all sorts. It’s whatever makes me feel good.
What’s your earliest car-related memory?
Going for drives in my dad’s Falcon 500 when I was about five. I remember it had a bench seat in the front and for music, Dad had a Sanyo or a Sony battery-powered cassette player that sat on the seat as we drove. There was a country tape with Glen Campbell and Johnny Cash and all of the country greats that he used to listen to.