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Buick Car Club Visit to the Ralph Plarre Collection

The Buick Club March outing was in-conjunction with members of the Riviera Owners Association.

13th March was a very pleasant Sunday afternoon at Ralph Plarre’s private collection located at his residence in Essendon, which was preceded for some members,  by an early lunch at the Anglers' Tavern on the banks of the Maribyrnong River.

 Once we all arrived we were invited by Ralph and his Wife Marg to walk up his driveway and into his marvellous man cave.

Even though most of us have seen the photos of Ralph’s space and collection it was still breathtaking to walk in and see it in actually reality.

Ralph introduced himself and thank us for coming along to review his collection. We all made donations to one of Ralph’s charities which provides

scholarships to gifted young musicians.

After the welcome Ralph jumped right into giving a detailed review to each car including its history.

It was obvious that Ralph has a vast and deep knowledge of his cars and of the whole collector car hobby.

He is a diehard enthusiast with just about anything on wheels, however it is also obvious that Ralph only collects quality makes and models.

 Probably the rarest car in the collection was his 1957 Eldorado Brougham (No. 388 of only 400 made) which is the only RHD 1957 Brougham known in the world.

This car is considered the ultimate in automobile luxury of the 50’s and the first car to have quad headlights.

The Eldorado brougham was a hand built hardtop derived from the GM Motarama car shows of the early – mid 1950’s

It has centre-opening doors, brushed stainless steel roof, automatic memory seats and many more options as standard.

It was the most expensive American production car ever made and was considerably dearer than a Rolls Royce of the day.

 Another outstanding car on display was a Ferrari 599 GTB which is the fastest ever road going Ferrari. This car has been in his collection for less than a year and has already appreciated in value!

At the other end of the spectrum Ralph reviewed his Rolls-Royce Phantom which also has centre-opening doors and state of the art everything including a demonstration of how to extract the chauffeurs umbrella from the rear door.

 During the afternoon our very own  Jade Offer, and Simon's friend, played on Ralph’s Steinway grand piano which was just magic.

Afternoon tea was served with a delicious spread of cakes from Ferguson Plarre Bakehouse which has been baking for well over a 100 years.

 After the tea and cakes we continued to look and admire the collection. Ralph made us all feel so welcome and relaxed. He invited us all not only to look at

his world class collection but also open the door, get in and see what it feels like in the driver’s seat.

 When we were all done inside we then went out into the street to have a look at the all the Buicks in Riverview Road.

The Buick which took all the attention was John Lechte’s 1959 black Electra 225. This ’59 is in outstanding near original condition.

 It was a perfect day to take a nice cruise to see one of the finest private collections in Victoria.

No one was disappointed and by the feedback received it was a most enjoyable day.

 Ralph has been the past president of the Cadillac and the Rolls Royce club so you can see that this man loves to contribute.

Thank you Ralph for being so generous with you time and your kind hearted hospitality.

 Special thank you must go to Norm Bradford for being the focal point with Ralph to make this event happen.

 Tom Kunek