Moody Blue gettin’ ’em through our doors

Moody Blue, a 1947 Super Deluxe Ford panel van with a few modifications, will be on show for the next four months at the Gippsland Vehicle Collection's Rod and Custom Cars and Bikes exhibition.

Moody Blue and her proud owner, and GVC member, Ken McRae.

Our new Rod and Custom Cars and Bikes exhibition officially launches this Sunday, 11 July, from 9am, and frankly, you would be mad to miss it.

An outstanding array of vehicles awaits you inside the Museum as part of the new theme, with ‘wow’ moments at every step, and on Sunday our grounds will also be filled with display vehicles of all makes and models – you can bring yours too! There will be trophies for best vehicles on the ground and president’s pick.

One of the vehicles attracting attention inside will be Moody Blue, a car that started its life at Ford Australia’s Geelong factory in 1947 as a Super Deluxe panel van model. At that time the Fords were made up of locally produced bodies and mechanical components that had been imported from Ford in Canada.

When Moody Blue rolled off the factory floor, she was fitted with a powerful 239 cubic inch Flathead V8 engine and provided a very smooth ride, thanks to her one-piece X-member chassis, hydraulic shock absorbers and front and rear stabilisers.

These days, she is glowing after a complete mechanical upgrade and is powered by a balanced and blueprinted 302 Ford Windsor engine and a Ford C4 automatic transmission. The smooth ride is now courtesy of a Holden front suspension and a Ford Falcon rear end.

Ken McRae, Moody Blue’s current custodian, said she is a “very drivable car for modern traffic conditions”.

Mr McRae, a Stratford resident, said he bought Moody Blue from another Gippsland enthusiast about 10 years ago, and in fact, the car has spent most of its life in Gippsland.

 “I’ve tweaked it up a bit since I bought it but it’s basically still the same car I bought,” Mr McRae said.

Moody Blue on show at Gippsland Vehicle Collection's Rod and Custom Cars and Bikes exhibition

Moody Blue.

Mr McRae said he was introduced to the world of old cars when he was very young, and he’s been hooked ever since.

“My Dad was a car enthusiast, in fact he was a bit of a guru of the old car movement in Melbourne, and I’ve owned a lot of old cars – mostly old  Fords,” he said.

“I got my first old Ford when I was 17. It was a 1935 Ford and I bought it from a chap just down the road. I was riding home from school on my bicycle when I spotted it and I thought ‘that’s the car for me’. We completely rebuilt it in the garage at home as a father/son project.”

It was a similar feeling the first time Mr McRae saw Moody Blue and knew she was the car for him.

“I’ve always been fond of 1940s-style cars and I’d had a couple of that same model over a period. But they were a long way off the standard of this one that I bought,” he said.

“I decided it was better to invest in one that was up to standard than go through the agro of building them myself.”

Don’t miss seeing the result of Mr McRae’s sound decision making, and so many other fantastic vehicles, at our Display Day this weekend and celebrate the opening of our fantastic new exhibition, while enjoying a great day out. Barbecues and other refreshments are available.

The Gippsland Vehicle Collection is located at 1A Sale-Maffra Rd, Maffra. Entry to the grounds this Sunday for the Display Day is by gold coin donation and drivers of vehicles to be displayed in the grounds are admitted free. Entry to the Museum is at a discounted rate of $10 per adult for the day. Children 15 years and under are admitted free. To be the first to hear our news and updates, you can also follow us at

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