My Garage: Reviving dad’s dream

Scott Pidgon with dad Keith. (Picture: Louisa Jones)

Luke Voogt

Motorsport runs in Scott Pidgon’s blood, which is obvious after one look at his quirky car collection.
His passion allowed dad Keith to revive a long-lost dream 39 years in the making, he tells LUKE VOOGT.

With a mechanic dad, brother and cousins, and a panel beater uncle, Scott Pigdon was destined to develop a love of all things automotive.

“It was from day dot really,” he says.

“My father Keith was a mechanic at a car dealer. Rather than being taken to sporting events, I was taken to vintage car events, speedways and other car shows.”

But Scott took a different route into the world of motorsport from his kin.

“I always wanted to get into doing car magazines, so I went down the graphic design path and cars have always been my hobby,” he says.

Now the 41-year-old Geelong West resident boasts an impressive collection of cars and motorbikes in his garage, but is hard-pressed to choose his favourite.

“That’s like asking a parent if they’ve got a favourite child!” he laughs.

“There’s definitely certain ones I’ll never sell.”

His collection is a little different to the average Aussie motor enthusiast.

“The smaller and quirkier the vehicle, the more interest I have,” he says.

“It’s probably very different to people in Australia who like their V8s.”

The collection began shortly after Scott married wife Jade in 1995, with a 1991 Daihatsu Charade ex-factory rally car, which is still a work in progress.

“I’ve been restoring that for the past 15 years,” he says.

“I’ve got a very understanding wife that allows me to enjoy my passions.”

But the collection really took off when Scott began the search for a Saab 95 his father had initially hoped to race in the Geelong Speed Trials 39 years before.

His father had to sell the car and the family eventually lost track of it, according to Scott.

After Scott started work for Pace Advertising, he and Nicholas Heath restarted the trials as Geelong Revival Motoring Festival.

“I’ve been able to turn my passion into some of my employment, which has been great,” he says.

“And it’s afforded me the ability to get ahold of some racing cars.”

While Scott had no luck finding his dad’s original Saab 95, he found another for sale in Poland in 2013.

“Which was a bit scary,” he says.

“Paying a pretty substantial amount of money, waiting 12 weeks for them to ship it over and hoping that when I opened the container there would be a car in it – as described.”

Thankfully, the car inside was exactly as described and Scott is now friends with the seller.

Keith had the honour of taking the car for a spin for the first time at the Geelong Revival.

“I handed the keys to my father and let him race it,” Scott says.

“It took him 39 years to actually compete in the event – he was pretty honoured and I was super excited that I was able to do that for him.”

With a little more disposable income, Scott built his collection further and purchased a two-tonne six-wheeled Ford ute.

“It’s basically my support vehicle for my race cars,” he says.

“A lot of my collection is based on what my dad and uncle used to be involved with.”

He also joined Geelong Motorsport Club and now races at Avalon in autocross – timed laps on gravel or bitumen tracks.

Although racing is more a hobby than a competitive pursuit for Scott.

“It’s not worth destroying tens of thousands of dollars of car for a $2 plastic trophy,” he says.

One of the latest additions to his collection is a Porsche 944 with an extensive history of racing in Western Australia and South Australia, which he purchased in 2019.

“That was my 40th birthday present to myself,” he says.

“I’d always wanted a sports car and a performance car. I sold my daily driver and other projects I couldn’t get around to.

“Jade and I flew over to Adelaide and we drove it home.”

Scott now keeps the majority of his vehicles in his North Geelong garage.

“Mine’s a place where I go out and tinker on my cars – that’s my relaxation,” he says.

“Some days I just stare at them and think of ideas – I’ve been doing that ever since I got my first car.”

While COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the Geelong Revival in 2020, Scott can’t wait to bring the event back this year from November 26 to 28.

“I love showing off my hometown – we take motorsport and car culture to the people,” he says.

“I love being able to give back to the Geelong community and show people what our hobby and sport is all about.”