Well, they are new, in the sense that they have never been owned and driven, but alas they have been underwater since mid 1918.
Below is the story of the sailing vessel the John Murray, from the newspaper The Melbourne Age of the 3rd July 1918 Page 7.
BARQUE JOHN MURRAY WRECKED
ALL HANDS SAVED.
Crew Landed on Malden Island.
It was announced last night by the Act
ing Minister for the Navy (Mr. Poynton)
that the barque John Murray, the old Vic
torian training ship, which was recently
purchased by the Federal Government and
added to the line of vessels owned by the
Commonwealth, had become a total wreck
on Maiden Island, while on a voyage from
San Francisco to Melbourne. No lives
were lost, the entire crew being safely
landed on Maiden Island.
In the official statement which he issued
relative to the loss of the vessel, Mr. Poyn
ton said: —
'The master of the John Murray and
two sailors reached Fanning Island in a
lifeboat, and reported that the vessel was
wrecked on 22nd May, the entire crew be
ing safely landed on Maiden Island.
'A full list of the crew when the vessel
left San Francisco is not available, but it
is known that the following men left the
vessel at San Francisco: —
O. OWEN, A.B.
A. WEETLESEN, A. 11
i 'I- S. M'NAffi. A. 12.
It is, therefore, assumed that everyone who
left in the vessel from Australia, outside
the men mentioned above, were still upon
the vessel when she was lost.
'The ship bad seven apprentices, whose,
names are as follow: — /
A. ROBERTSON. ' /
J. F. AL UEDDLE. ./?
R. S. UARTRICK. /
T. T. COMMAILLE. /
E. SI. FXDDES. j '
T. C. CRADDOCK. /
H. K. RUTTER. j:
'All necessary steps are now being ta'feen
to arrange to remove the crow from- Mai-
den Island, and it is expected that infor
mation on this point will be available in
the course of the next day or so. -'j
'The John Murray was taken over by
the Commonwealth Government from the
Victorian Government, and left Australia
in the early part of January-- this year
with a full cargo of wheat for the United
States. In San Francisco she loaded a
full general cargo for Australia. The loss
of this vessel is very much to be; regretted
at the present time. No particulars as to
how .the accident happened /are avail
NAM£S OF THE OREW.
The following is an official! list of the
crew on board the John * JTurray when
the vessel left. Melbourne on'fihe Oth Janu
ary : — ' '
Master: 0. E. VAUGHAN.
Chtci Offlccr: K. CUUGG.
Second Officer: J. MANNING.
Chief Steward: F. T. IIEN'/J&ItSOK,
Second Steward: P. WHITBY.
Chict Cook: R. P.OGERS. /
Sccond Cook: T. TAXWllli
Ilosun: R. ANDREWS, i.
Carpenter: A. CAWEROW.
ABLE SEAI.ffiN. . '
C. OWEN. J). LAVETTK.
A. II. M'lVOR. / w. FRYER. . .
-\ H0D31IAN. ; , / E. MURPHT. ?
J. BELL. ' ! / A. JOHAJfSEX.
A. WEKTI,F»SEN. ; G. REXON. I
D. THOMPSON. , h. H. M'NAIR.
X. a ANDERSON i T. FRY.
- ' APPRiJOTICES.
A. ROBERTSON. / . E. II. FIDDES.
F. M. lIEDIJUrj. T. 0. CRADDOCK.
R. S. IIAKTRrOli, H. R. TiUTTER. '
T. T. COMJIAlLlk
Situation of the Wreck.
Maiden Island,, where the John Murray
was wrecked, is a British possession in the
Central Pacific, / north-west of the Mar
quesas. It is. a. coral island, five miles
long by four miles broad, and has deposits
of guano. The population is limited, and
totals only 113?;:
Fanning Island, or American Island, is
another coral island in the Pacific. It. has
an area of 15. square miles, and a popula
tion of 150 ; (lt was formally annexed by
Great Britain, in 1888.
Relie'r Ship Leaving U.S.A.
The Comj honwealth Shipping Controller
yesterday ^afternoon intimated that ar
rangcinentfi were being completed for the
despatching of a relief ship from Powell
lliver, U.o.A. The vessel, which should
accompli.',:! the trip from America to Mai
den Islaufl in about 17 days, would pick
up the 8'iipwrecked men and bring them
on to Arifstralia. She would probably corhc
direct U-j Melbourne.
John Murray's Cargo.
After discharging her cargo of Victorian
wheat with which she left Williamstown
in January last, the John Murray loaded
for Melbourne at San Francisco. In addi-
tion to a quantity of general cargo, she
shipped a considerable number of Ford
motor cars consigned to the Tarrant
Motors Pty. Ltd.
A representative of the firm said last
evening that she had between 150 or 200
cars on board for Melbourne. He was
unable last night to give the amount of in-
surance, but he presumed the cargo would
be at least partly insured.
History of the Vessel.
The name of no vessel is more familiar
to the Victorian public than that of the
one whose loss is now announced. To hun-
dreds of boys and their parents in Vic
toria; to men now serving in the trenches
and with the British navy the memory of
the John Murray is a milestone left be-
march of time. After she was
acquired by the State Government in 1909
from the Glasgow Shipping Company, and
her name changed from Loch Ryan to
John Murray, the vessel became an unfor-
tunate foster child of the State. The pur-
pose of her purchase was to provide a
means of training boys whose rebellious
spirit proved too much for their parents.
Not long after the vessel was put in com
mission she became a hotbed of revolt.
Boys took advantage of every opportunity
of securing their freedom, and risked
their lives time and time again to make
their escape. The many daring escapades
of the lads have added interest to the his-
tory of the vessel, and emphasised the
failure of the State in its enterprise.
Built over forty years ago at Glasgow
this vessel was a unit in the fleet of the
famous Loch line of clippers. After doing
many years' service for her owners she was
purchased for £3000 in 1909 by the Vic-
torian Government. The fitting up of the
vessel cost another £6500, and since she
was first used as a training ship the State
spent nearly £70,000 on the enterprise.
Successive Ministries itched to rid them
selves of the vessel, but was not effected
until July, 1917, when the vessel was pur-
chased by the Commonwealth Government
for £10,000. Another £8000 was spent in
remodelling the vessel as a cargo carrier.
In December of last year she was added
to the Commonwealth fleet, and loaded
wheat for San Francisco at Williamstown.
The John Murray was 1027 tons gross, had
a length of 228 feet and a beam of 35 feet
Here is a photo of the ship-
And below a photo taken on Malden Island-
Wow, all the steel must have rusted out after 109 years in salt water, but the brass radiators still looks fairly OK - except for the steel reinforcements that's missing.
Sorry, 99 years - still rusted out, unfortunately..
There are several sunken ships with what otherwise would be collectible cars in them. For example, the SS Wisconsin sank in late October, 1929 in Lake Michigan about one mile off shore close to the Wisconsin / Illinois state line, with a load of new Nash cars. Divers have gone to the ship many times as it's only about 100' down, and there are pictures of some of the cars. The divers report that the paint on the cars looks nice and shiny, but when you poke it with your finger, it falls apart as there's no steel behind the paint.