Who is Phil. Storr


Travel broadens the mind The cars I have collected Car clubs I belong to Other Interests and Hobbies

I was born in South Australia in 1946 and have lived here ever since. I started my working life as a Radio Apprentice at Philips Industries at the Hendon works in 1964, and during the next seven years I worked in a number of areas in that organisation, ranging from Component manufacturing, through Radio Communications to Television development. These were the early days of Transistorised Television circuitry and I worked in the Television Laboratory on quite a few interesting projects.

Until almost the end of the last century, I was employed by TAFE SA (Training and Further Education) at the Regency Campus and had been working for this State Government Department in it's various incarnations since 1972. I started in the Radio Trades School in 1972 as a Trade Teacher, teaching Radio Apprentices. The school has undergone many changes over the years and until recently was called the School of Electronic Engineering. The Electronics School was recently combined with the School of Electrical Engineering and it is any body's guess what it will be called in the future.

Over the years, before and after I joined TAFE, I had done part of an Diploma of technology and most of a Diploma of teaching. Most of what I know about PC Hardware and Operating Systems, my area of expertise towards the end of my time at TAFE, I had to learn the hard way. A lot of reading, self study, and experience working in the real world of the Computer Industry. This gave me a good understanding of Computer Hardware.

While working in TAFE I taught most subject areas available in the organisation ranging from Hand Tools and Fabrication, to Basic Electricity and Electronic Fundamentals to Audio Equipment, Radio and Television, Digital and Microprocessor technology, and many areas of Computing. Early in my career, about the time the school got it's first Computer, I developed an interest in Computing and soon I was building and developing simple Microprocessor systems as a side-line business.

During the last few years I worked for TAFE I developed self paced courses in PC Hardware and delivered these via an Intranet server, or on CDROM.

In December 1998 I was offered a redundancy package and jumped at the opportunity to abandon a sinking ship. Australian Governments are divesting themselves of all departments that loose money and Further Education is a big drain on the States budget. Private providers are moving in to take over what training can be done at a profit but many areas will not be covered in the future.

After Christmas 1998 I found myself unemployed at 52 years of age for the first time in my life. I only had three weeks off work when a friend of mine rang and asked me to come and work for him in his computer business one or two days a week. My duties also included writing a web page for the business and doing quotes and pricing.

I had been writing Web pages for a number of organisations for several years and in 1996 I started the Alfa Romeo Owners Club of Australia pages, starting with the South Australian Division, on Geocities. These pages soon out grew the space available on this site and I convinced the AROCA National Council to let me obtain a Domain name for them.

I also started to advertise my services rewiring motor vehicles, consulting on restoration and right hand drive conversions, and finishing unfinished car projects. I was hoping this would build up to a point where I would have to look at selling the rental place and buying some Commercial Real Estate to work from.

February 2001 changed my life once again. I was offered a job as a Technician at Geoscience Associates Australia, (now called GAA Wireline) a Bore Hole Logging company that has been operating in Australia since 1972. I accepted the job and I maintained, redesigned and rebuild a wide range of electronic equipment used in this industry. I was back where I started my working life, working as an Electronics Technician/Engineer. The equipment did range from twenty year old analog technology to state of the art digital and computer technology. It took quite a few years but I did eventually get rid of the old analog equipment and the DOS computer systems

Another interesting facet of this has been travel to the "back blocks" of Australia to maintain equipment in the field, and to setup a regional office in Blackwater, Central Queensland. I have also had to learn to use the equipment so I know what it does and when it is not working. My introduction to real Bore Hole Logging happened just seven days after I joined the company. I was sent to Blackwater to fix some equipment I had never seen and did not know what it did.

As of the 1st of February 2011 I have retired so I have more time to devote to my hobbies and other interests.

Travel broadens the mind

My Wife (Pat) and I have traveled extensively in Australia, Asia, England and North America, and attended an Italian GP in 1984 and all of the Australian Grande Prix's held here in Adelaide from 1985 to 1995. The last one in 1995 was the best ever.

Our first overseas trip was in 1984 when Pat and I took Long Service Leave and went on a round the world trip for fourteen weeks. We spent two weeks each in Italy and England and the rest of the time traveling in a rental car, around the USA. We did over 12,500 miles in ten weeks, starting in New York and finishing in Los Angles. We managed to catch up with quite a few Alfa Club members in our travels, and we stayed for a few days with some of them.

Once we were bitten by the travel bug we had to continue our overseas travels, but as the Australian Dollar fell during the 1980's, we had to be content with visiting countries closer to home. Hong Kong and Singapore were our first Asian trips but as we got more adventurous our trips included driving a rental car around Malaysia, a bus trip around Sumartra, and then by bus around Java.

In 1987 we bought into Time Share and each year we have two, two week holidays, one of them using an exchange for out Time Share on the Gold Coast. We have been several interesting places we would not have know about if it was not for Time Share.

Our other holiday each year is to Alfesta, the national gathering of "Alfaholics" somewhere in Australia at Easter.

The cars I have collected

In my spare time I am an car restorer with more than a passing interest in both Alfa Romeo and older Chrysler vehicles. Over the years I have restored two Guilia Supers, an early four-door Sud, a Sud Sprint and an Alfetta GTV. Sadly I had to part with these to continue on with other projects.

My biggest project to date was the 1965 Valiant Utility (Pickup). When I restored This vehicle, I put a mild 318 V8 in place of the 225 slant six, fitted big disk brakes, a limited slip diff, and modified the suspension. The old bench seat gave way to two fancy buckets from an 80's Mitsubishi, and I built a custom dash board and instruments, floor consul and overhead consul. This car was sold in November 2010. I have also restored a 1962 S series Valiant that is on Historic Registration.

At present I am restoring an Alfa GTV6 for Pat to drive but that project is taking longer than I would like. As her old Alfa 33 has got ot a point where it is no longer worth fixing I have picked up a 1987, 1700 model to use until the GTV6 is finished. Tucked away in the shed is an Alfa 33 Four Wheel Drive that may never see the light of day unless someone wants it as a project to finish.

Some time ago I sold a 1974 Alfa Spider that I purchased as a left hand drive import from the USA (it's US registration was ILUVLA1) and restored it and converted it to right hand drive.

Waiting in the shed is a 1936 Dodge six wheel equipped sedan that is complete but dismantled. This car was made in Adelaide on an imported chassis. I am looking for a new Ram for the hood, a pair of new tail lights and the little piece of the Grille that is removed to put the starting handle in.

In December 2005 I changed my "day to day" driver from a 1990 Alfa 164 and replaced it with a new Alfa 147.

May the 8th 1997 has gone down in history as a big day, I aquired an Alfa Romeo 2600 Sprint in very poor shape. This car is now under restoration and you can read all about the project at the above URL.

As if I did not have enough projects already, I acquired a 1972 GT Junior quite a few years ago and it is sitting quietly in the shed waiting for me to either restore it or to sell it to someone who will.

At Alfesta 2000 in Western Australia I found a 2600 Berlina in good restorable condition and it followed me home in a container on a truck. You can find out more about this car on the 2600 pages.

Car Clubs I belong to

My wife and I are members of the SA chapter of the AROC Australia and the Chrysler Restorers Club of Australia. I have served as Treasurer, Club Captain and President and Vice President of the AROC SA, and as Treasurer, and the Editor of the News Letter, for the R and S Valiant club. Pat has served as Social Secretary and as Treasurer of the AROC. We both served on the Alfesta committees for Alfests 1997, 2002 and the 2007 Committee.

Other Interests and Hobbies

I am also interested in Railways (Railroads) and have a working HO scale layout in a room behind the house. This layout was built many years ago by myself and a group of friends and we still gather to run trains or maintain, about every second Friday night. My interest in this hobby goes back to my child hood but the layout was started when a friend and myself designed and manufactured a Command Control system about 30 years ago, and we needed somewhere to test our ideas. As you may imagine the layout has an extensive network of electronics to provide signals and train control. Our venture into manufacturing was not successful as the market was just too small, and costs too high.

I also collect model cars, mostly 43rd scale models, with a few 24th and 18th scale. If I had the money I would far sooner collect the real thing but as this is out of the question I am content to collect models and have been doing so for many years. Over the years I have bought and sold many model collections to help finance the collection I have.

As if all this is not enough I am still collecting old radio and phonograph equipment, a habbit I formed at the age of sixteen, when I was given a vast collection of old radio parts and old radios by a fellow who was going out of a radio service business and moving to the country. I am a member of the Phongraph Society of South Australia and of the Radio Historical Society of Australia.

I have recently created a web page for the local Historical Radio Society of Australia, South Australian Group
I joined the HRSA about six years ago after procrastinating for many years. HRSA member number 2058.

My contact details are as follows:

Phil Storr PO Box 501 Modbury, 5092, South Australia
Phone: 08 8264 0385 (Home)
Phone: 0428 835 621 (mobile)
Call sign: VK5SRP
Written by and Copyright, Phil Storr , last updated 31st January 2011