Edith and Robert Burton of Up the Creek Garage.
Edith and Robert Burton of Up the Creek Garage.

Vintage car museum revived for tourist season

LOVERS of vintage vehicles have a good reason to come to Roma, with the grand reopening of Up the Creek Garage only days away.

What started as a passion project for lifelong local mechanic Robert Burton has become a tourist attraction in its own right, and is now backed by the Maranoa Regional Council’s tourism team.

With that tick of approval, Mr Burton can’t wait to share his collection of lovingly restored cars with the public.

“All of this has come about from our travels, our interest in cars, and seeing all the different types of museums around the world,” he said.

“We have been doing a lot of things to get this support, and we are now officially a community use space for museum purposes.

“So we are doing something to launch it for this year, and go on to make more improvements during the off-season.”

Mr Burton has a long list of ideas for the local museum, including embracing their status as a public space to become a venue for social or community gatherings, where guests can marvel at the cars, and also their property’s two resident longhorn cows – a spectacular sight in their own right.

He said he is also considering the possibility of running town tours in his fleet of vintage cars, drawing on a wealth of local knowledge.

Each possibility for the future of the garage is inspired by the many niche museums and attractions Mr Burton has found in his own travels.

“There is an HZ Kingswood station wagon which I am restoring at the moment, and I would like to get it up and running for Kingswood tours,” he said.

“It was an idea I had in Franz Joseph, New Zealand; I saw a sign in a cafe advertising tours, so I gather somebody nearby was running those in the old Holden wagon.

“On that trip, every time we would pull up somewhere, I would say ‘there was got to be something that I can do with what I’ve got’.

“So after that I eventually worked out a way of doing it that would work well.

“But really, this is all ongoing, and we are thinking of new ideas, and new innovations.”

Up the Creek Garage will be officially opened by Councillor Puddy Chandler on Saturday, February 29, at 2pm.

The museum is located at 14 George St, Roma.