Honeymoon EH ute restored for 50th wedding anniversary
GERARD and Daphne Sylvester have given their honeymoon pride-and-joy a makeover for their 50th anniversary.
The couple became grease monkeys for 12 years to restore their EH Holden ute - which Gerard bought to take Daphne on their honeymoon 50 years ago.
"It looked like something at the wrecking yard - hopeless to restore," Mr Sylvester said.
"But when I retired in 2002, I started working on it."
Mr Sylvester bought the ute new in August 1964 from General Motors in Ingham while he was working at the local sugar mill.
"I saw it arriving on the train while I was at work one day - it was a beautiful blue," he said.
"I paid 1127 pounds. I bought it for our honeymoon where we travelled to South Australia."
After the honeymoon, the ute became a workhorse.
"I had 101 jobs over its 30 year life before I put it away," Mr Sylvester said.
"I bought a Toft cane loader and the ute did a lot of hard driving behind it.
"The ute saw many roads in all weather - dusty, rough and muddy - I've been off-road and ploughed through cane fields a few times."
The Maryborough couple said they checked every inch of the ute for rust before they started the restoration.
"When I bought the ute I painted it with fish oil - about three times during its life," Mr Sylvester said.
"Then when it was time to restore, I turned it upside down and there was almost zero rust."
The two, who have each been deaf since birth, worked together to bring the ute to its former glory.
"I would go to town to get parts and hold the torch when it was needed," Mrs Sylvester said.
"I was always helping, but I was always waiting to be told what to do."
Mrs Sylvester wants to travel in the car after Christmas to celebrate their honeymoon and the restoration.
"In my mind I was always going to fix it up one day and once I retired I made it real," Mr Sylvester said.
"Now it's all cleaned up and polished, I haven't gotten any more grease on my fingers."