Neil Fletcher classic car and photography collection an auction treasure
Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 30th August, 2014
Neil Fletcher has had two major passions in life.
One is photography – and he spent his early adult life (from 1975-1985) building Fletcher Fotographics, a chain of 54 stores in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia before, in his forties, falling foul of the Australian Taxation office following the change to duty-free laws and having the business sold out from under him.
The other is classic cars and, despite entering a 1965 EH Holden (which he bought in the 1990s) in 22 Variety Club Bashes over an 11-year period, Fletch was 50 before he purchased his first Chevrolet Corvette – a 1974 convertible.
Fletch was only 20 when he married and the business failure also resulted in the end of his marriage and so much stress that he had a heart attack.
Sometime later, he met his second wife Chrissy (who already had a couple of young daughters) and set about rebuilding his career, overcoming the earlier business adversity to buy back Fletcher Fotographics.
Fletch then introduced a new franchising system and, with his superb marketing skills, once more became an industry leader.
At the same time, he moved the family to an 80-hectare property on the Wollondillly River in New South Wales, from where they oversaw the running of the company stores.
Bashing had raised his interest in working for disadvantaged children and in 1988, as a Bicentenary Event, he grabbed a few industry fellows and punted from one end of the Murray River to the other, raising enough money to buy a Sunshine Bus on which they could take some of the children.
After the purchase of his first Corvette, Fletch joined the NSW Corvette Club and attended many runs and car shows.
His stable of Corvettes grew over time and he always chose one or two to exhibit at the National Corvette Conventions, invariably coming home with a trophy.
With Fletch’s health no longer what it was, the family has decided to sell his collection of cars, cameras and other motoring memorabilia through Mossgreen from 6pm Monday September 1 at 926-930 High Street, Armadale.
Included are many fine cameras and model cars – but the pick of the auction items are seven vintage Corvettes including a 1960 C1 right hand drive and a 1959 C1 left hand drive.
Others include a right hand drive 1966 Corvette C2 Stingray convertible, a right hand drive 1969 Corvette C3 Stingray and a right hand drive 1974 Corvette C3 Stingray – the same year as Fletch’s first purchase.
The remaining two vehicles also are right hand derive – a 1991 Corvette C4 ZR1 and a 1998 Corvette C5.
The collection also features a left hand drive 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback and 1969 Morris Mini panel van.
Proceeds from the sale of the EH Holden bonnet, featuring a hand painted map of Australia and all the Redex Variety Club Bash listings from 1986-2003, will be donated to charity.