Dodge’s grand adventure

IAN Neuss reckons motor vehicles are made to be driven rather than sit in garages.

To emphasise the point, the former Farrer student departs Bangkok tomorrow to begin a 20,000km drive across Asia and Europe in his beloved 1920 Dodge.

Mr Neuss has owned the Dodge since buying it from the Lye family of Loomberah in 1961 for £100 ($200).

It had been with the Lye family since 1920, when Jack (“Pop”) Lye bought it from Carter’s Garage, on the corner of Peel and White streets, where the Northern Inland Credit Union now stands.

Mr Lye’s granddaughter, Marion Christenson, still lives in Tamworth and is delighted the former family vehicle is heading off on a grand adventure.

“It’s wonderful that Ian’s restored it and we’re happy he can take it on a trip overseas,” she said.

“But I’m glad it’s him, not us.”

Mrs Christenson’s father, Reg, died in August last year but did get the chance to see the Dodge in all its former glory when Mr Neuss, a retired geologist, drove it to Tamworth from his Sydney home in November 2012, after spending several years restoring it.

“Dad would have loved to follow the progress of the trip if he was still alive,” Mrs Christenson said.

The odyssey, labelled Bondi to the Baltic, will be done in two stages.

The first stage will be from Bangkok to the Silk Road via Thailand, Laos, China, the Tibetan plateau and the Taklamakan Desert to Almaty in Kyrgyzstan and is expected to be completed by July.

The epic journey across Asia and Europe can be followed on Mr Neuss’s blogspot at

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