Classic Car Catalogue
The Tontala, exhibited at the 1955 Melbourne Motor Show is the first Australian car produced with the intention of limited production.
Earliest of the constructors w the Tontala Motor Company, of Canterbury, Victoria. Tony Thieler, in control of the venture, and his helpers were the first in the country to tackle the problems of reinforced polyester resin construction and they found no way to master the technique which they did - but by trial, error and repetition. Their aim was a two-seater sports coupé.
The moulds for the body were completed in October, 1954 and the chassis was completed in the same month. Holden components were employed, the plan being to offer the engine in various stages of tune and the car with such individual modifications as the owner required.
The body was moulded immediately the moulds were ready and the finished car was not tested in this complete form until December 1954, by which time the construction had been modified in the light on-the-road experience and the design fixed.
The car was exhibited on schedule at the Melbourne Motor Show of 1955, and it was later seen in Sydney. Sufficient orders were taken by the infant company to steady production for the rest of the year, but as in the case of many ventures in unsettled business times, expected capitalisation did not materialise and production could not be undertaken.
Rather' than let the fruits of the work lie unused, Thieler decided to
offer a complete car as a home construction kit to those who felt they had the necessary skill and facilities to assemble it, The price in this form is about £1,400 on the road.
In this form the two-seater coupé. has attained well over 100 m.p.h. The claimed power output was 90 b.h.p.
Modifications include a reground camshaft on Waggon timing, three
SU carburettors, 7½ compression, sports coil and double valve springs.
All-up weight is 17½ cwt.