Encounter Bay woman Sylvia Allen celebrates 103rd birthday in 1915 Canadian Model T Ford Roadster

SPECIAL RIDE: 103-year-old Sylvia Allen enjoyed a ride in Neville Merritt's Model T - which is only six months younger than her - for her birthday.
SPECIAL RIDE: 103-year-old Sylvia Allen enjoyed a ride in Neville Merritt's Model T - which is only six months younger than her - for her birthday.

ENCOUNTER BAY – 103-year-old Sylvia Allen enjoyed a ride in a car which is only six months younger than her as part of a special birthday celebration.

The Encounter Bay woman was treated to the drive in a 1915 Canadian Model T Ford Roadster, owned by fellow Encounter Bay resident Neville Merritt.

It was a special surprise for Mrs Allen which was organised by staff at Estia Encounter Bay, where she now resides.

Mrs Allen (nee Thornton) and her twin brother Jack were born on September 15, 1914.

She fell in love and married Ken in her 20s, and together they had two children, John and June. 

She is known as Mrs Fix-It, as she can fix anything and everything.

She was very much a tomboy, and has always been sports mad. She only gave up golf in her mid-90s and surrendered her drivers licence at 99 years.

One of Mrs Allen’s favourite sayings is ‘It’s better to wear out than to rust out’. Mr Merritt surely took this on board in 1964 when he bought the Model T, which was in driveable but poor condition.

It took him about 3000 hours to completely restore the vehicle, finishing the job in 1984.

It was purchased in Birdwood S.A. in September 1964 the model ‘T’ was in driveable but poor condition taking some 3,000 hours to completely restore it, completed in 1984. The beautiful old car is now on historic registration with the Historic Motor Vehicle Club.