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Miss Blue's the belle of the ball

Shepparton motoring enthusiast Barry Maxted was astounded after his 1951 FX Holden sedan, Miss Blue, won Grand Champion in the Holden National Stock Category in Bathurst, NSW.

JORDIE KRAUTZ January 10, 2013 8:31am

Barry Maxted with his 1951 FX Holden sedan.


Barry Maxted is what you might call a motoring connoisseur.

From a young age, the Shepparton East resident was buying and fixing up old bombs from local wreckers and selling them, and working with father Bill at the Holden garage in Shepparton, he was privy to more than a few tricks of the trade.

Since his first show-and-shine in 1989, Mr Maxted has travelled the length and breadth of Australia on the motor-show circuit exhibiting his pride and joy, a 1951 new-moon blue FX Holden sedan.

Discovered in a Shepparton backyard in 1978 and purchased for just $620, Mr Maxted described the Holden as ‘‘the best purchase I’ve ever made’’.

But even with 60 trophies on the shelf at home and a wealth of motorshow experience under his belt, the 68-year-old isn’t quite done yet.

In late December, Mr Maxted exceeded all expectations, including his own, to win Grand Champion in the Holden Nationals Stock Category in Bathurst, NSW.

He described himself as ‘‘speechless’’ after he was told he had won.

‘‘I didn’t really think I had a chance in it (the Grand Champion). I’d perfected my polishing and improved my engine bay, but I had no idea,’’ he said.

The four-day event saw more than 180 contestants strut their mechanical stuff over a range of categories, with all profits going to charity.

Perhaps what caught the judges’ eyes was the unique colour of Mr Maxted’s darling ‘‘Miss Blue’’ — a turquoise shade he said was only produced for three months in the early 1950s in Melbourne.

‘‘The female judges loved it,’’ he said.

A retired carpenter and joiner by trade, Mr Maxted now has all the time in the world to tinker with his machines.

A devout Holden follower, he doesn’t believe in keeping ‘‘Australia’s motoring heritage’’ behind glass.

‘‘I drive it everywhere, I’m very proud of it. I’m definitely a Holden man, I wouldn’t know what another car is,’’ Mr Maxted said.

He said his shine-and-show days are not behind him; a trip to Western Australia this year and the 2014 Holden National in Launceston, Tasmania are another chance for Mr Maxted to become Grand Champion.

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