Nick Buckley is offering a large reward for information leading to the culprits who wrecked his Pontiac.
Nick Buckley is offering a large reward for information leading to the culprits who wrecked his Pontiac. Craig Warhurst

Vandals smash Christmas cheer

IT was his pride and joy for years and years – a rare 1970 Pontiac GTO tucked away under his house waiting for his retirement, when he planned to restore it to its former glory.

But sometime over the weekend, vandals wielding a golf club mindlessly smashed up Nick Buckley's vintage cars and he wants the culprits caught.

Mr Buckley, who owns Nick's Readymix, is a well-known Gympie identity who has worked hard all his life, and he's still working hard.

He was devastated on Monday morning to find two of the three vintage cars he'd stored away under his house on the Bruce Highway had had windscreens, windows and side mirrors smashed.

Even the bonnet emblem had been ripped off his old Mercedes 280CE and stolen.

Mr Buckley said the damage was discovered around 4.30am on Monday morning.

“They even tore up all the console trying to find money or something,” he said.

Both the Mercedes and the Pontiac were locked up tight and have been stored away for years without problems.

“The only times they were moved was when they were pushed in and out at flood time,” he said.

The Pontiac GTO (Gran Turismo Omologato) is a particularly treasured classic, which Mr Buckley purchased from Attie Sullivan's estate.

Built by Pontiac Division of General Motors in the United States from 1964 to 1974, and by GM subsidiary Holden in Australia from 2004 to 2006, they are highly sought after by lovers of classic muscle cars.

Attie Sullivan and Denny Gerrard imported two of the prized vehicles brand new from the United States about 1970.

The vehicle in Mr Buckley's possession is a 1970 GTO with a rubber front, and the 455 HO engine makes it a rare collectible indeed.

He said he was offered $65,000 for it a few weeks ago, but knocked it back because it was his “pride and joy”.

Neighbours, he said, heard nothing, probably because any sounds would have been drowned out by the traffic noise.

“They're a real rarity,” he said of the Pontiac.

“I'm offering a big reward for any information about who did this.

“They're scums. I believe in karma mate, it comes back.”

“I was going to do them up sometime. There's virtually none of these with the rubber front end around – only about 22 came out of America.

“It's not some little Holden ... it's an antique…

“What they did is disgraceful.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact 5480 1111 or Crimestoppers 1800 333 000.

Gympie Times


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