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RACV Club members will be familiar with John Wanner – leader of the sixteen piece JW Swing Orchestra and the six piece Silver Service Jazz Band. Both of these ensembles have played at the City Club and Country Club many times during the past six years and John and his crew continue to entertain members as they dine and dance at various Club events and dinners.

Along with his passion for music John is also mad about the FE and FC Holdens which were released during the 1956 – 1959. The memory of sitting in his father’s FE wagon as young boy and pretending to drive without being able to reach the pedals was John’s initiation into the Holden world. Being the proud owner of Two FC utes, and FE wagon an FC wagon an FC Panel van and FE convertible, it is obvious that his love of these models is no passing craze.


John Wanner (Band Leader) and Cars

In 1987 John founded the FE/FC Holden Car Club of Victoria Inc., which to this day is still the largest FE/FC car club in Australia. The club meets on the second Tuesday of every month – more information is available from the club’s web site at www.fefcholden.org.au/vic or call the ’hotline’ on (03) 9513 5658.

John, with the help of some friends rebuilt and restored all of his vehicles – most of them having been in poor condition upon purchase. The wagon had been living in a chicken coop for two years before John had rescued the deteriorating shell. But with some determination, engine reconstruction fancy panel and paint work all of the vehicles were polished and humming in no time.

The FE convertible is a custom built car that is currently the National Grand Champion of all the FE./FC Holdens in the country and was featured as the cover story in the August 2000 edition of Unique Cars magazine The convertible is reserved for special outings, whilst the FC ute is John’s everyday workhorse.

John is lucky enough to combine his two loves – his two-toned blue 1959 FC ute is adorned with the JW Swing Orchestra logo. Don’t be surprised if you see his magnificent car in the Club garage, it is this vehicle that John uses when playing a gig most Saturday evenings in the Club Restaurant.

It’s amazing that John can still work full-time without letting his hobbies engulf him – during the day John can be found teaching clarinet, saxophone and flute to the young budding musicians at Koonung Secondary College and Brentwood Secondary College.

This article came from the RACV Club News Feb-April 2001

© copyright August 1997-2001 JW Swing Orchestra

Last Updated June 30, 2001

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