This Ipswich grand-dad is Holden on to his old girl

IPSWICH grand-dad John Budden's relationship with his beloved Holden goes back well and truly before the days when they started making cars that you'd trade in after a hundred thousand kilometres.

When he purchased his 1961 EK Holden in 1964, she had about 26,000 miles on the clock and was as spick and span as a brand new vehicle could be.

The reliable old girl became Mr Budden's go-everywhere vehicle; it took him to work for his first day on the job for Telecom/Telstra in Brisbane; it got him to the church for his wedding to wife of almost 50 years, Ann; it brought his two sons home from hospital and also drove both of them to their weddings.

What started out as a financial decision to keep the EK running - instead of trading it in for a new car - became a sentimental decision as Mr Budden realised how much the old girl meant not just to him, but his entire family.

Over the past 52 years, Mr Budden's Holden has been around the odometer three times, going through four engines in the process.

She even survived the 2011 floods, despite completely disappearing under the flooded Brisbane River while parked at Goodna train station.

RELIABLE: John Budden has driven the same EK Holden to work for 47 years.
RELIABLE: John Budden has driven the same EK Holden to work for 47 years. INGA WILLIAMS

On December 21 last year, Mr Budden parked the old girl at the train station for his very last trip to work for Telstra - a company he'd worked for since March, 1968.

The same car took him to and from work every day over those 47 years.

"We just couldn't get rid of it - it's like an old friend," he said.

"It doesn't have power steering so it is a bit like driving a truck. There is no air-conditioning and it's a manual column shift - which a lot of people would never have driven in their life."

Still, the lack of modern gadgets has not deterred the love Mr Budden's children and grand-children feel towards the vehicle.

Son Shane said the Holden represented many happy childhood memories for him, taking them on holidays and to endless sporting commitments.

"All the favourite holidays from the halcyon days of my youth began by getting into dad's car - from weekend trips to the Gold Coast, to long sojourns to Coffs Harbour, Hervey Bay and Rockhampton.

"No destination seemed beyond the range of the mighty blue racer.

"Dad's car seemed as permanent as the mountains."

Then the floods came.

When the water receded at Goodna train station, the Holden was still there, but she had taken on a heap of muddy water.

The insurance company had written the old girl off - but not the Budden family.

They brought the car back off the insurer and set about restoring her to her former glory.

The interior and electrics had to be completely rebuilt and some rust had to be cut out, but the engine survived and the EK came back looking as good as ever.

Now that he is retired, Mr Budden said he would have to commit to taking the EK on regular trips to keep her going strong.

He and wife Ann are also planning a trip to Cape York later in the year to make the most of their freedom.

Mrs Budden said her young grandson Daniel was already asking about inheriting the car from his grand-dad.

"We can't get rid of it - it is one of the family," she said.

Topics:  car holden ipswich vintage

Safety fears for kids waiting for bus by busy road

DANGEROUS: There is no designated bus stop off the busy Gatton-Laidley Road.

Concerns have been raised for school children catching bus.

Paramedics called to more than 500 snake bites this year

Mr Hebbron warned people to be cautious when working outdoors or traversing in a snake's habitat, such as when out bushwalking.

VIDEO: QAS offers warning for residents as injuries rise

Local Partners

Workmates honour crash victim with tribute

UPDATE: Tanya Lyell is being remembered as a young mother dedicated to her family and work as the town she called home mourns its loss.

WATCH: NASA space station is live, see the view from above

In this picture taken from NASA's International Space Station from April 2015, the SpaceX Dragon is captured with the 57.7-foot-long Canadarm2 robotic arm before its installation to the Harmony module.

See the world from a new perspective as space station passes Rocky

Artist feeds us pop straight from heart

FEED THE BEAST: Singer-songwriter Emma Dean is this week's featured artist.

Emerge's Calen Le Couteur recently caught up with Emma Dean

Your guide to a great night out in Ipswich

Dennis Knight and the Black Cats play Club Services Ipswich Saturday night

Check out some live entertainment this weekend

RECAP: The Bachelorette S2E12 - the finale

Georgia Love pictured in a scene from The Bachelorette finale.

GEORGIA chooses Lee and leaves Matty J heartbroken.

The Bachelorette finale: Georgia declares her love for Lee

Georgia Love with The Bachelorette winner Lee Elliott.

MATTY J left heartbroken in emotional grand final.

Buy your own brothel: Scarlet Harem for sale

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: The Coast's first brothel, Scarlet Harem at Kunda Park, is up for sale.

Coast brothel madam sells up

Tom Cruise credits success to Scientology

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise credits his success to Scientology

Hacksaw Ridge leads AACTA Awards nominations

Andrew Garfield and Teresa Palmer in a scene from the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

MEL Gibson's wartime drama opens in cinemas next week.

ABBA to reunite for virtual live experience


ABBA have confirmed they are to reunite - in virtual reality form

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Is Woolworths departure good news for Ipswich CBD?

Artist impression of the Ipswich Mall for the rejuvenation project to be undertaken by Ipswich City Properties

Council is on track to release a detailed plan before December

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?