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Last updated on July 13th, 2017 at 12:27 pm
Of all Kevin Rudd’s biographical claims, most irresistable is his tale of sleeping in the family car:
• “Kevin Rudd has spoken about sleeping in the car one night because he and his mother didn’t have anywhere else to go.”
• “They were forced to hop between relatives’ houses, relying on the ‘bleak charity of the time’, he has been reported as saying, and had to bed down in the family car at least once.”
• “When his dad died in 1968, when Rudd was 11, the family was thrown off the land and he vividly remembers having to sleep in a car with his mother and siblings as she desperately sought accommodation.”
• “His mother Margaret was evicted from the farm and the family, while searching for a home, slept in a car before finding temporary accommodation.”
• “Apparently facing eviction from the farm and with nowhere else to go, his mother, Margaret, was forced to sleep overnight in a car with two of her four young children.”
It’s a nice story, but it lacks the detail needed to elevate it beyond “interesting factoid”, which is where George Washington’s cherry tree fable would reside if it merely involved a non-specific tree. Did the Rudd clan, back in 1968, sleep in a humble EH Holden? Perhaps an early Australian Falcon? Their sub-sub-compact size would appear to rule out the Lightburn Zeta and Hillman Imp, but who knows; Rudds might be unusually compact themselves.
Answer: none of the above. The ABC’s Tom Iggulden revealed the Rudd mystery car last year:
His mother, left alone to care for her family, was forced to leave the farm. For a while they lived in the back of their Kombi van.
In this case, added detail actually diminishes Rudd’s tale; the lad, his mother and a sibling turn out to have slept (for one night, according to most accounts) in a Volkswagen van – not a car – easily large enough to be slept in (hippies have known this for decades). As a childhood tragedy saga, The Legend of Kevni’s Kombi is a little on the roomy side.
(Via San Diego’s Larry Faria, whose search for Kev’s kevan initially led him to the site of astrologer Ed Tamplin, who – unlike many media pros – seems to have accurately predicted the past)