Lyn and Keith Keating with Jye, Ryan and Caleb Hefren.

One of the locally-owned English cars in last Thursday’s procession was a 1952 Austin A40, a family sedan that was a familiar sight on Australian roads at the time Elizabeth was crowned Queen in 1953.

Proudly bearing the insignia “Austin of England”, the A40 was meticulously restored over two years by Cootamundra man Keith Keating.

The car was in a “pretty sad” condition when Keith bought it in Cootamundra in 2018.

“It had a hole in number four cylinder and no brakes, and needed a complete body-off-chassis rebuild and back-to-bare-metal paintwork,” Keith said. Having worked most of his life as a mechanic, he found it satisfying to do all the work himself, including reconditioning the engine.

It was made easier because his very first car was an Austin A40 and he remembered what it was like.

The restoration included making an entirely new exhaust system, replacing the gearbox with a “new” (second hand) one, and putting in a new diff.

“I put in an Austin A 70 diff which has made the car much nicer to drive because its higher ratio means it doesn’t have to rev so fast when you’re going along at 100kmh,” he said.

Fortunately, the car had virtually no rust when Keith bought it and also came with a nicely upholstered extra set of front seats.

He liked the cream colour of the upholstery so much that he used very similar vinyl to build new rear seats and door panels.

Keith has two other antique cars, a 1974 Peugot 504 and a 1964 Ven den Plas Austin which he’s currently doing up.

Tom Gosling