A Royal family connection



Tumut’s Alan Brettell with his stunning 1960 Chrysler Royal AP3.

We all have childhood dreams, and Tumut’s Alan Brettell has his sitting in his garage.

It’s his 1960 Chrysler Royal AP3, an Australian-built machine with Hollywood looks.

“My Dad had one when I was a kid and we would all pile into it and go for holidays up to Moree,” he said.

“I knew then I wanted one.”

Just over four decades ago, he got his chance.

“A guy had one which he bought new in 1960 up in Coonabarabran,” he said.

“He got crook and couldn’t drive it anymore, and I got it indirectly from another fella.”

It was in beautiful, original condition, with a brand-new interior.

The eye-catching interior.

“In the old days, people looked after what they had.”

However, such virtues don’t last forever, and Alan has had to so plenty of his own work on the car.

“I did the motor up, re-did the front end and the brakes, and had a radiator custom made, because I couldn’t get anything to fit it,” he said.

Add to this shiny five-spoke wheels and white wall tyres.

The Royal had an American-inspired exterior design but was built in South Australia.

It has a 251 six-cylinder flat head engine and three-on-the-tree manual gearbox.

“It’s got huge torque,” Alan said.

“You can putter around town in top gear at 10 miles an hour.”

The steering wheel is so big Alan refers to the car as “the yacht.”

The machine runs on 98 octane petrol with an additive, as most unleaded petrol is too corrosive for it.

“It is happy cruising at between 80 and 100km/h; you don’t want to push it any further than that,” he said.

As expected, the Royal gets plenty of attention and interest wherever it goes.

“Everyone has a story about a Chrysler,” he said.

This isn’t the first noteworthy car Alan has had, but it’s his favourite.

“My first car was an FJ Holden, and I have owned a few Fords and a 770 Charger, but this car is close to my heart,” he said.

What makes him like it even more is being a member of Tumut car club the Snowy Cruizers.

“It is a really good body of like-minded people with a great variety of cars,” he said.