I know for a fact that old vehicles end up in the dump, mostly at a Western Wreckers junk yard, or some isolated landfill rotting. I guess that's just how the life span of a vehicle rotates. Some cars become outdated, hence car parts are inaccessible so logically, people throw them away.
But there are those who just refuse to give up. Meet businessman Errol Yogesh Sumaru, 50, who puts the sting in the phrase 'old is gold'. Mr Sumaru owns and still drives a 1946 model Morris 10 M series. He manages the Dominion Battery company on Grantham Road in Suva. Unlike other owners of old cars, he was more determined and pushed further to find parts and revived a car with sentimental value. It was a gift from his dad the late Daniel Sumaru. I can say for sure he owns one of the oldest running cars in the country. It's a one of a kind because of its age, you can't find anymore around because they've stopped making them a long.. long time ago.
"The name of the car was chosen by my son Aaron Sumaru and the colour by him," he said. This 1946 model Morris 10 M series that came soon after the "Morris 8".
"Engine capacity 998cc with top speed 83 MPH with four forward gears, 16 inche wheels, SU carbs, oil type and air intake filters.
"Some unique features are the natural air conditioning with a windup windscreen and with suicide front doors (opens from front to back). Al Capone gangster movies featured a lot of these Morris 10 series vehicles. Car doors swing open and out jumps a man in black suit carrying a machine gun, shooting into the streets. Mr Sumaru had an interest for vintage cars since childhood. "I was a rally driver in 1980s with my fastest time on my RX-7, 12.47 seconds," he said. His first vintage was a 1936 Singer, then a Triumph Mayflower in 70s.
He said his father gave him the Morris 10 as a gift which was sent from Melbourne in 1982. "I have been working on it since then and finally I decided to fully restore it in 2007," he said. "It took me almost six months continuous with two people working full-time to restore each bolt and nut to its original glory.
"I remember, It was on the Diwali holiday 2007 I started the car and took it for the first test drive. It was a dream come true as if I was in the year 1950. I decided to install a nice stereo system and play those old songs from the Hindi black and white movie especially 'AAR PAAR",NAU DO GYARA" etc.. Just recently I had hired a mechanic who cAme all the way from Ba to install four new wheel cylinders, original brand new master cylinders, new linings etc."
It has a new radiator re-core done. All four new struts replaced.
The Frosted park light lenses and wheel caps were imported from England and new wiper arms from Australia. Mr Sumaru said it was costly but this vintage car is a piece of his heart and would always remain in the family.
"It's sure a head turner and a photo celebrity whenever I park it," he said. I used it in the hibiscus float twice and everyone likes it. This is maybe the oldest car on Fiji road. You don't really need a fast car to enjoy".