McKinley Firth voiturette 1905

Darwin City Council called on the local artists to produce sculptures made entirely from recycled materials. It was to form a travelling exhibit, doing a circuit of schools and libraries. I went through my accumulated junk and I built a model of early automobile, complete with its driver and a mechanic.

Vehicle is based on an old photograph of daemonic voiturette (small car), racing in thunderous cloud of noise on the beach flats in England in 1905. Count Vadim Skworetzky is gripping the steering wheel with a diabolical grin on his face, while his mechanic Angelo Minestroni is cowering in terror behind his back. The photograph was taken as the Count broke the 60 miles per hour barrier, shortly before his vehicle disintegrated.

Massive radiator was the dominant feature of McKinley Firth cars.

Exhaust system came from a kitchen sink plumbing.

Heart of the engine was a reciprocal degustator, the yellow bit, which came from the bowels of my ship. Purpose, function and any other technical details never became clear to me.

Front wheel drive was born as a drill.

Count Vadim became a friend, as he looked on the creation oh his hapless mechanic, out of copper pipe skeleton. foam core and second hand clothing. Emerging vehicle is seen in the background.

After a photo shoot in the park we wheeled the boys to the Council Building. The show itself was a pathetic fiasco. About half a dozen dignitaries attended a motley collection of plastic bag scare crows and such. Show did not travel anywhere, nobody came to see it and my exhibit ended in a garbage bin, from where it originally emerged in pieces.

Photos by Nat from

One thought on “McKinley Firth voiturette 1905

  1. Dang! Doesn’t the Darwin City have a museum? I think such a creative piece that took quite a lot of time to make should have been preserved for posterity…After all, the Council asked for it! Pity you just had to “dumpster” it!

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