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Reg revs up for a new project

Wednesday, 13th May, 2015

Hebbard Street resident Reg Pedergnana (left) with Shitbox Rally entrant Warren Hogden, who made a detour to Reg’s home on the weekend to drop off a special gift. Hebbard Street resident Reg Pedergnana (left) with Shitbox Rally entrant Warren Hogden, who made a detour to Reg’s home on the weekend to drop off a special gift.

By Erica Visser

The intricate task of piecing together a wheelbarrow-load of parts to restore the first ever Australian outboard motor would be a daunting enough challenge for most.

But having ticked this feat of his bucket list last year, local handy man Reg Pedergnana is ready to retreat to his back shed for round two. 

The BDT printed an article last August after Reg’s pristine war-era motor appeared in an edition of ‘The Old Machinery Magazine’, the nation’s most prestigious publication of its genre.

A fellow motor-enthusiast, Warren Hogden, later found the story online and contacted Reg from Sydney to say he had the parts to restore another of the extremely rare motors (there’s just four in Australia).

“I told him all the history behind it, because they’re so rare not many people know, and he said I could have it,” Mr Pedergnana said.

“... He later called me again and said, ‘I’ve entered the Shitbox Rally, I’ll drop it to your doorstep.’”

And that’s exactly what happened when the Shitbox Rally, made up of cars worth no more than $1000, rolled into town on the weekend.

“Warren got a fair ribbing from the other participants as he was the only one in the rally to carry a spare outboard motor on the trip,” said Reg.

“He travelled from Sydney, to Canberra, Hay, Ivanhoe and then Sunday delivered it right to my place - on a tight schedule.

“He could’ve thrown it out the tip but he made the effort.”

Reg said that the run-down motor was in even worse condition than the first, which he had pieced together without instructions. 

“It was more of a mess. It’s definitely a challenge, it keeps your mind sharp and your body fit and restores it for future generations.”

Reg planned to one day donate the motors to the Australian National Maritime Museum.

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