Roof Rack Sold

This is probably the last one or two updates on it. Surprisingly someone turned up for my roof racks. It was a couple from USA. The girl was petite and young, her boyfriend or husband looked older than me. They were the first buyers who didn't know much about cars.

Jen came out to have a chat with them. They seemed to like Albany and Albany, strangely seemed to endear very well to the girl and responded cheerily during our conversations. I didn't catch much of their stories but I knew they were travelers. The first question I wanted to ask was of course, how could they afford to travel for life. They revealed that they find work in the hospitality field. That made sense. I reckoned it was easy to find hospitality jobs in most places we might travel to. Both of them saved up fervently and move on to the next destination. They were not planning to come back to Perth anymore.

Coincidentally, they drove a model identical to Barry White and was white too. With their Seca, they are planning to drive to the eastern cities. Which one, I didn't quite catch but one thing for certain, my rack will be holding up a lot of stuff for them for many many kilometres. A nomadic style of living is not a new idea here. I had a conversation with a lady in Pemberton whose husband makes motor-homes for a living. She shared interesting tales about travellers who actually work and travel around Australia, one family doing it as long as ten years!  

I will miss my rack. After all, they helped me set up my first home in Perth. A lot of my furniture was brought home on top of that set of roof rack. I'm glad they are off to a better home, on top of someone else's car, doing what it should be doing. With that, it was A$60.00 more to the Barry White Project.


  1. With regards to motor homes, some of the ex-SBS and Tibs fleets could be converted as such. Many of them are still decent despite having spent 18 years on revenue service.

  2. Another story from an old Singaporea migrant, if you don't mind.

    In 1981, in Singapore, I had a Subaru 1400 cc DL which was worth maybe a couple of grand, as Subaru wasn't popular then.

    The exchange rate of S$ to A$ then was 3:1. By the time I arrived in Perth, I may not have enough to buy a reliable car.

    One morning I woke up with a bright idea - why not take the car with me to Perth, and sell the PARF document to another Singaporean who wanted to buy a new car? That was the system at the time: you had to either scrap or export a vehicle to get the PARF doc to get the new car, supposedly keeping the number of cars on the road from constantly growing.

    Eventually I sold the PARF doc for just over S$5000 (more than what I would have got for the car), which was sufficient to pay for me and my family's air tickets, and a half container to take the car and all our stuff.

    So my travel expenses were covered, and I had a car for Perth. For once, PAP policies benefited me!

    The car had to be steamed cleaned in Singapore and inspected in Perth. It arrived about 2 weeks after us, and I was on the road again!

    Your blog certainly brings back old memories and I hope you don't mind these perhaps rather pointless stories appearing without warning on your blog.

    1. Though admittedly I don't understand the intricacies behind the story, it sound like you have done some awesome work there. I wonder if there is something else we can do today to profit from import/export in similar fashion. Don't worry sharing the stories, just write what comes to your mind

    2. Not to belabor the point, but in those days, to buy a new car in Singapore, you pay an Additional Registration Fee (ARF) in addition to all other on-road costs.

      This ARF can amount to almost as much as the cost of the car. A very punitive fee, like most of the govt's policies.

      However, you are given a rebate on this fee if you take an old car off the road before buying your new car. This can be the sale of a car for scrap or export.

      With this export or scrap document, you then qualify for Preferential Additional Registration Payment (PARF) which entitles you to a substantial discount on the ARF.

      For people who has scrapped a car and don't intend to buy a new one, this PARF document takes on a significant market value.

      Very convoluted? Of course, like most of PAP policies.

      Even then I saw the writing on the wall and decided to leave immediately I got the chance.

    3. LOL! Nice story. I wonder if this would have worked now? I sold my car for SG$20K before I moved here a few months ago.

      If I had chosen to ship it here - would I have been able to recover anything like you did? Eg. PARF or COE (3 yrs remaining) or whatever?