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Aviation Enthusiast Housing a Historical Trove: Ron Schneider’s Collection of Vintage Vehicles



Hidden in the rural town of Marnoo, tucked away in the Wimmera region of Victoria, lies a treasure trove curated by aviation enthusiast Ron Schneider. What appears as an ordinary property from the road is a haven for historical artifacts that includes planes, cars, military vehicles, and even a Centurion tank.

Ron Schneider embarked on his collection journey two decades ago, driven by his lifelong passion for aviation. His fascination with planes, sparked during childhood visits to Belmont Common airfield, has now materialized into a remarkable assemblage of heritage aircraft and machinery.

Most of the planes in Schneider’s collection found their way from the RAAF Museum at Point Cook, a significant source for his acquisitions. Among the standouts is a fully preserved Douglas Dakota from 1945, a majestic relic that once catered to VIPs including prime ministers and dignitaries.

One of the notable aircraft in Schneider’s possession is a Canberra bomber, stripped of its wings yet still retaining its cockpit and mechanical components. Saved from being relegated to a fire dump, this aircraft stands as a testament to Schneider’s dedication to preserving aviation history.

Beyond the aviation relics, Schneider’s collection boasts a surprising addition — a Centurion tank that saw action in Vietnam. Rescued from a possible fate of destruction, this tank is now undergoing restoration under the watchful eye of Schneider and his team.

Transporting these sizable artifacts to Schneider’s farm is no small feat, often requiring the expertise of professional carriers and escort vehicles. However, the reactions from passers-by, as evidenced by one truck driver’s quip about landing a plane in the back of a truck, add a touch of humor to the process.

Despite the remote location of his property, Schneider’s collection has attracted visitors from far and wide, including car clubs, enthusiasts, and international guests from countries like England and the US. His assortment ranges from a navy helicopter and vintage tram from Brisbane to prototype cars and an amphibious landing craft.

For Schneider, the joy of rescuing these historical pieces from potential oblivion is a deeply rewarding endeavor. His commitment to preserving history, coupled with the thrill of sharing his collection with others, reflects a passion that has transformed his property into a living museum of aviation heritage.

As Schneider continues to expand his collection, with plans for additional storage sheds, the legacy of his father’s penchant for keeping things and preserving history lives on. His remarkable feat of salvaging and showcasing these pieces is a testament to a lifelong dedication to aviation history and preservation.

Rachel Adams

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