Joe Wilson shares his fellowship experience...
17 Dec 2018
In support of the NEW Auto Skills Australia Churchill Fellowship to increase expertise and knowledge for the benefit of the automotive sector and allied industries
What was your Churchill Fellowship topic?
“I received a Fellowship in 1992 To study and observe techniques applied to the restoration of Veteran and Vintage cars in the UK and the Continent”
What motivated you to apply for a Churchill Fellowship? I always knew of the Fellowships as an amateur restorer, but when I became employed in the profession, I thought it was time to “have a go!!”
How did the Churchill Fellowship benefit you? At the age of 52, the Churchill Fellowship transformed my life!! Once I came back, I was full of confidence and knowledge. I started my own restoration shop, Veteran and Vintage services and within 12 months I had purchased my own factory and was employing five tradesmen specialists..
How did the knowledge gained from your Churchill Fellowship benefit your work in the automotive industry? International contacts and suppliers (radiators, tyres etc.) were established, and methods applied to restoration were learnt. Sequences of stripping, storing, refurbishing and assembly were greatly improved, and I developed a passion for unrestored but recommissioned cars, including knowing when to decide to restore or refurbish. Over restoration is the scourge of the industry!
What major achievements or milestones have you reached since going on your Fellowship? I ran a successful business for ten years until retirement, with some significant cars being turned out. I became a valuer for Customs importations and gave a short course at TAFE for a short time after returning.
What's next for you? At 78, cars are still my passion. I own a baby Austin, a 1971 Morgan sports car, a 1949 6C Alfa and I am currently fitting a large aeroplane engine into a twenties Vauxhall???
More about Joe Wilson
Joe Wilson’s car obsession started in 1946, aged six, holding the light while his dad fixed an old Austin he had bought. Joe left school in 1958 and bought his first car - a Citroen 2CV and his first 4-pound vintage Morris shortly after that. He trained as a draftsman and spent the next 30 years drawing sewers, and restoring cars at home, moving up through Vauxhall, Morgan, Minerva, RR and Bentley. In 1988 he was the founding employee of “Sleeping Beauties” a Brisbane restoration concern. After being awarded a Churchill fellowship in 1992, his world was transformed, and within months of returning, he left to start his own business, Veteran and Vintage services, which provided a great source of satisfaction, a living, and worldwide contacts and friends for the next ten years until retirement.
Auto Skills Australia Churchill Fellowship
In 2019 the new Auto Skills Australia Churchill Fellowship will be offered annually for projects that aim to increase industry expertise and knowledge for the benefit of the automotive sector and allied industries in Australia. Fellowship Applications open on 1 February 2019 and close 30 April 2019.
Find out more about the Auto Skills Australia Churchill Fellowships.
Find out more about how to apply for a Churchill Fellowship.