Classic vs Plastic Show n Shine

Yesterday was a great day for a car show. Unfortunately, a few other groups came to the same conclusion, so we were competing with them for entrants and spectators, but while numbers were down a little from last year, it was still a great event with some spectacular vehicles in attendance and some very enthusiastic owners.

Miss Stuart, our M3 Stuart Light Tank, put on a few driving displays and was as popular as ever. Sam, our resident tank driver, gave the gas cannon a workout and appeared to be having a great time, as usual.

The Nine Mile Snipers conducted 3 separate firings of their gun, with their usual level of professionalism and it was nice to see that their Number 8 Gun Tractor back in action, after being off the road for a while with mechanical problems.

Show n Shine (5)

This time, we offered rides in the International (Acco) 5 ton truck and the Alvis Saracen Mk 5. The Acco had recently had its water pump repaired and had attended the Lady Soldiers book launch earlier in the week. It is a very large truck and can certainly hold a lot of passengers. Vehicles rides were given for a gold coin donation, with proceeds going towards fuel costs and the museum.

We had planned to do a demonstration drive of our Mk3 Daimler Dingo scout car, which we had gotten running for the first time in about 6 years on Saturday, but a minor problem with the ignition coil and a leaking flywheel meant that we had to put that off. Hopefully it can come out to play at our next open day.

A special thanks to all of the volunteers that made the day a success, including, in no particular order:

  • The team from the Modified Ford Club of South Australia, who ran the gate, organized all of the car show aspects and tabulated the results of the judging.
  • The Nine Mile Snipers for conducting the gun firings
  • The Museum volunteers that kept the museum open and rearranged all the display
  • The drivers of the vehicles doing displays and giving rides to the public
  • The Coffee van, for keeping us all awake
  • The volunteers running the BBQ, Ice-cream and drinks area

As always, if you have any great photos or video from the day, please feel free to email them to us for inclusion in our event reports.

Lady Soldiers Book Launch

One of the great things about our museum is that the majority of our vehicles are operational and that means that we get to use them in the community, in support of events. Yesterday’s event, the Lady Soldiers book launch at the Keswick Army Barracks was an excellent opportunity to give something back to ex-members of the WRAAC and the RAANC.

Unfortunately, there was a minor mechanical problem with Terry’s Saracen preventing it from attending, but a quick substitution with Grant and his GMC, and we were back on track with the final list of drivers and vehicles being:

  • Russell – 1938 Austin Ten Staff Car
  • Sam – 1945 Ford GPW Jeep
  • Darryl – 1944 Willys MB Jeep
  • Richmond – 1986 110 Defender GS
  • Grant – 1941 GMC CCKW
  • Ray – 1973 International Mk5 AACO F 5

The vehicles arrived at the Torrens Parade Ground bright and early and were greeted by a group of approximately 35 ex-servicewomen, a few of their partners and a Channel Nine news crew. To say that the ladies were excited about the vehicles is an understatement and after posing for a few photos they loaded onto the vehicles, even though there was an approximate 20 minute wait for a couple of the ladies to arrive from the airport. From the laughing and chatting coming from the back of the vehicles, we’re pretty sure that they didn’t mind!

Departing the Parade Ground, the convoy travelled through the centre of Adelaide, where it attracted lots of attention, and made its way to the Keswick Army Barracks via King William Street, Greenhill Road and Anzac Highway.

After a brief service, there was a morning tea (the scones were fantastic!), the book launch, with many of our members purchasing signed copies of the book, and a lunch.

There was a brief segment on the Channel Nine News about the event:

We think that this was a highly successful occasion and the event was very well organized. We had a lot of fun and are always keen to provide assistance for this sort of event.

We would like to thank:

  • Helen and Betty, for organizing the event and inviting us to participate
  • Our volunteers, for providing their time, vehicles and fuel
  • Trevor, for the lunch, and
  • Special thanks to the ladies who had driven over across the Nullarbor from Perth for the event, whom took it upon themselves to conduct a collection on behalf of the museum’s building fund, raising over $400 for us.

The Script Jeep Goes to Birdwood

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!)

Dave's Jeeps

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…