Ray’s 30’s Chevrolet oozes classic charm

Grantham local Ray Ditchmen with his 1930 Chevrolet AD Tourer and a picture of its transformation journey. Picture: JESSE HAMILTON

Longtime Grantham local Ray Ditchmen exudes passion for vehicles from the early 20th century, and proudly owns the iconic 1930 Chevrolet AD Tourer.

Moving to Grantham in the 1950s, Ray is the owner of two Chevrolet Tourers.

In 2020, Ray purchased a green 1930s Tourer on sale on the Sunshine Coast and discovered a vintage red 1929 model that was showcased in a museum in NSW.

Ray said his affinity for vehicles of that period began when his Dad surprised him with a classic Ford model as a teenager. 

“When I was 15 my father brought me a 30’s Ford Model A ute for my birthday,” he said.

“It was the first car I ever owned, and since then, I’ve been all about 30s and pre-1930s classics.”

Ray is a proud member of the Vintage Vehicle Touring Enthusiasts, which specialises in showcasing vintage cars, trucks, and motorcycles manufactured from 1919 to 1930.

Ray said his 1930s Tourer is an Australian-made model and was one of the first Chevrolets to feature a six-cylinder engine. 

“For much of their early years, Chevrolet used a four-cylinder engine,” he said.

“Holden car bodybuilders built it.

“They used to build old carts and wagons, and that’s where they started before the cars.”

Nicknamed Ruby after his Mother, Ray purchased the 1930 Tourer from a couple of car renovators who loved to do up old cars.

“The blokes I brought it off they were in their 80’s when they started to do the car up,” he said. 

“It took them four years to do it from the ground up. 

 “It was advertised in Minyama in the Sunshine Coast, I rang up on the Wednesday and there were five other people after it by that Sunday.” 

Ray said he takes the Tourer out on car meet-ups as a 12-year member of the Lockyer Antique Motor Association.

Apart from normal maintenance, Ray said it has had very few issues over the past four years of ownership.