Jan 262012

This email was sent to me a few months ago. Recently I have been contacted (twice) by people suggesting this is a HOAX (see comments below).

From my (limited) investigations, Albert Torney did exist, and did collect bottles and cans. He also had a race horse named in his honour. The evidence that he created these sculptures is however sketchy.

The earliest post I have found claiming credit for Tapper was February 2010.

The other claimant to this particular throne is Sandy Sanderson, of New Zealand. The earliest post I have found for him was October 2009, which I believe corroborates his claim.

You might also notice there are several shots of a ‘Waikato’ car, but no Toohey’s cars. Very suspicious.

Sandy -and his sculptures- can be found at sandyscancars.com

My Sincere apologies to Sandy.


Even for those who aren’t from Broken Hill this is a pretty amazing story.—–

G’Day. . . . . . People from Broken Hill will remember from their younger days this Icon of the city. He used to go to all the public functions… especially the picture theatres. And always carried a sugar bag to collect empty Bottles and Cans.

His name was… Albert (Tapper) Torney Everyone thought he was a bit Eccentric and kids would tease and hassle him. But it was discovered he was Very Talented and only sold the empty bottles and some of the cans.

After he died in (1998 aged 86) His large collection of Model Cars he made from the Aluminum Cans was discovered. This goes to prove… “You Shouldn’t Judge A Book by its Cover”, or a Sculptor by his sugar bag.





Some of his collection: —- H please scroll down ……..


















This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

  5 Responses to “Amazing:-Albert (Tapper) Torney”

  1. Thank You

  2. Unfortunately the Broken Hill story is a HOAX.
    Albert Tapper may have existed and lived in Broken Hill, but these Can Models have nothing to do with him.

    They are made by a retired English Draughtsman “D.L Sanderson” or “Sandy” now living in New Zealand.
    Link to his site and pages of builds and his history – > http://www.sandyscancars.com/

  3. Recently contacted again about this post:
    “Hi there..

    Just wanted to let you know you’re spot on about those models not being by Tapper, but there are a few things to clarify. The bloke in question DID exist, and spent much of his days collecting bottles and cans in order to get the refund (‘tapping’) or the recycling scrap value. Apparently he bought quite a bit of expensive equipment for the Broken Hill hospital from the proceeds of collecting all these cans and bottles. He did also make models of cars from cans, which is where the story obviously came from, and some enthusiastic person has seen these photos and put a poorly researched 2 & 2 together and come up with seventy five.

    The nameplate at the end is probably legitimate, and it would be great to find some real photos of his cars – but those are not his.



    Feel free to post here directly, Grant.

  4. Yes, one wonders whether Tapper Torney of Broken Hill really made those cars. However, I can say that he was a real person. As a child circa 1959 I recall seeing Tapper Torney behind the mound on South Broken Hill oval during football matches. Yes, he used to tap bottles (i.e., collect them from people or trash and make thee pence for each bottle on the return to the store). He was something of a local legend. I’m not sure why. He certainly competed with us children for tapping rights. He was eccentric and known to everyone. Over the years I thought of him and wondered of the outdoor life was risky … did he have a healthy diet etc? I moved to the United States to live. You can imagine my surprise when my brother sent me this newspaper cutting (it my have been Broken Hill or even Port Pirie News). As of 1987 Tapper Torney was the fittest most alert man in the retirement home! Enjoy this blast from the past: https://dc1.safesync.com/LMHNdbJB/misc/Tappa%20Torney.jpg?a=s0QGTKkGgaI

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