Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Austral Motors Factory, New Farm

in the late 1970s I was in a sales manager's position with one of Australia's largest insurance companies. This job gave me my first company car, and it was a Chrysler Sigma, an Australian-made clone of the Japanese Galant. It looked like this.
The Sigma was a four-cylinder job, I can't remember what size, but I do remember that I had to turn the aircon off before attempting the climb up the street to my house at The Gap, one of Brisbane's hillier suburbs. 

And this is where I used to take it for service - Austral Motors, the multi-brand motor dealer, who had their Chrysler workshop in New Farm.
(Photo: © 2012 the foto fanatic)

Around 1928, Austral Motors erected this building as a factory in which to assemble vehicles from imported parts. It is a huge complex that stretches between Welsby and Sydney Streets. Austral Motors was the business created by Sir Edwin Tooth - it later became a huge motor dealership and the brands that it carried included Dodge, Plymouth, DeSoto, Standard and Chrysler. Tooth became very wealthy and was a noted philanthropist. He bought the mansion he called Farsley at Hamilton that, after his death, was purchased by the Anglican Church as the archbishop's residence.

The Austral Motors factory was taken over by the RAAF during WWII, and was handed back to them after hostilities ceased. As with almost every other large building in New Farm/Teneriffe, it is now an apartment block.

I wonder how they got rid of eighty or so years' accumulation of grease?

Click here for a Google Map.



  1. I worked for Austral Trucks, the offshoot of Austral Motors, at Rocklea...
    Great to see this post. That is where I met my now husband of almost 43 years...:-) He worked at both...

  2. I lived across the road from this building during the 1980s. It's great that the outside doesn't look all that different now.


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