NOTE: This article was provided by a member, about their experience of the 2014 Bay to Birdwood Run. Another article covering the club’s involvement is in the works and should be published soon.
The script jeep (GPW 742) was up bright and early, ready to head down the hill to Glenelg for the start of its first Bay to Birdwood Run. Arriving at the bay, it was greeted by an array of classic cars and rare vehicles. Scanning around to find the platoon, it lined up in formation, waiting patiently for the start of the 61km journey to Birdwood.
While there was still over an hour until the veteran and vintage cars hit the road to mark the start of the run, there was still plenty to see and do down at Barrett Reserve. The 25-pounder gun crew was showing the crowds their skills, while the Alvis Saracen arrived in style, and even though it was unable to make the trip to Birdwood, it will forever be a talking point of the 2014 run*. Eventually the time came to start, the script jeep’s engine roaring into action with excitement (or fear, as the driver and navigator were girls). Crossing the start line, it continued along the streets lined with people waving, taking photographs and making the comment that would become all too familiar during the morning “Hey look, its two girls in a jeep…is that allowed?”
Even at the ripe old age of 72, the script jeep was mixing it with the best of them, showing that age is no limitation, overtaking a number of cars and even one very smoky red truck along Anzac Highway and Greenhill Road. Cruising through the suburban streets, the crowds and even the people participating were smiling, waving and saying hello as the script jeep drove on through to the bottom of Anstey Hill Road, the start of the one-way section and one very steep hill. This was only seen as a challenge; moving into the right hand land, this ultimate off-road vehicle overtook about eight vehicles in one fell swoop, but obviously with too much enthusiasm, as a vapour lock resulted. After recovering from the minor hiccup, the script jeep continued to cruise through the amazing Adelaide Hills, handling the sweeping bends with ease, dodging many broken down cars and even managing to smile for the official photograph. Finally, having left the bay two hours before, the script jeep arrived in Birdwood safely, crossing the official finish line and claiming the all important prize, the 2014 plaque.
Having arrived, the script jeep was able to find out the adventures of its comrades… The Bedford QL Tanker had a flawless run up the hill while Dave’s 1943 Ford GPW had a couple of temperature issues (reaching 200°F) while pulling a trailer up Lower North East Road. Having caught up with everyone, the only thing left to do was to have a picnic lunch and relax for the afternoon, while watching the 1942 M3 tank “Miss Stuart” have fun playing in the paddock, creating dust clouds while doing donuts. Whispers went around the National Motor Museum, so it was inevitable that Channel Nine News would come have a sticky beak at the all-impressive tank. The script jeep looked on as the journalist struggled into the turret, while the cameraman was so impressed with Miss Stuart that he fell at her tracks (well, technically, he tripped over a hole dug out in the last trip around the paddock.) Everyone was so enthralled by Miss Stuart that people came out of nowhere at the sound of the engine and stayed even longer when the engine cover was removed. Even Brenton Ragless, from Channel Nine had to come see what was creating such a bellowing sound, so much so he got a drive (don’t panic, L-plates were used). However, the most famous voice to be heard all day was Peter over the loud speaker, as he was interviewed about the museum and he did such a good job (almost like he had done it before!)
In standing back and watching everyone pass through the military display, it was realised that even though the big boys love their big toys (proven by the massive smiles on their faces), the next generation were enjoying the day just as much, if not more. William spent the day showing off the Austin Ten, explaining to everyone very proudly that this was his dad’s car. While his brother Spencer, who really loves the driver’s seat of the Austin Ten, spent the day either losing his hat due to the rather strong winds or sitting in the car catching up on the daily news on the Ipad (that is one tech savvy kid!)
As the day drew to a close, the script jeep watched as a many cars left and the crowds died down, signalling that it was time to head home as well. With Miss Stuart very ingeniously loaded onto the truck trailer, destined for the museum and in need of some more petrol, the script jeep started his engine, ready for the trip back home, after a rather exciting and tiring day for all involved.
*Mostly due to the fact that the reason it didn’t make it was due to the owner “topping up the radiator” by filling the oil tank with water. More on that later…