Cliffe’s Chevvy Chase

Cliffe Ellis with his 1959 Dodge Custom Royale. Photos: Rob Maccoll

By Margaret Maccoll

The 1959 Dodge Custom Royale is the ultimate car, according to Cliffe Ellis, and as the owner of five of the flashy American classics, he should know.

“No other car looks like a ’59,“ he said at the Noosa Beach Classic Car Show at Noosa Districts Sports Centre last Sunday.

“They’re just different.“

Cliffe believes the ’59 epitomised the peak of perfection in cars built by Chrysler Corporation.

“They just got bigger and better, then lost the plot in ’60,“ he said.

Cliffe has 11 Chryslers including a 1957 station wagon he bought in New York and which he and his wife drove across the country on the infamous Route 66 highway.

His prized yellow ’59, which he spent about $50,000 restoring, was proudly displayed at the car show alongside a variety of classic cars, including a very tiny BMW Isetta and an elegant 1936 Rolls Royce sport saloon and 1938 Rolls Royce Phantom III.

Scholtz Van Der Walt found his 1957 BMW Isetta in the basement of a Melbourne building resting up on a loft.

“It was completely taken apart,“ he said. “I had to restore it from the ground up.“

Scholtz owned an Isetta in South Africa but sold it before migrating to Australia.

“I missed it – it’s uniqueness,“ he said.

He said the 330kg car was a perfect town car, easy to find a park that drove well up to about 70km/hr, but was not so good on the open road.

For more classic cars, look out for the inaugural Noosa Classica on Hastings Street, bringing about 100 classic and super cars to the tourist strip on Saturday 11 September from 4-8pm.

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