ANZAC Day 2015

25 April…..not just any day on the calendar but a day to commemorate the men and women who have served in our defence forces and remember those that have fallen. This ANZAC Day was even more significant as 2015 marked 100 years since the landing at Gallipoli during World War One, where the legacy of the ANZAC was born.

The day started early with many attending dawn services across the state, including a massive crowd at the War Memorial in Adelaide. Once the sun rose, it was soon time to start forming up for the March through the city, beginning on North Terrace and heading down King William Road. Historic military vehicles, Red Cross cars and Defence vehicles arrived early at their appropriate positions. Veterans came from far and wide and when they catch a glimpse of the military vehicles that they remember driving during their service, they were eager to stick around for a conversation and a chance to reminisce. However, what nobody will forget is the sight of a Saracen being driven down North Terrace, weaving in and out of people and vehicles, on its way into Rundle Mall for the ANZAC Day commemorative display.

As the start time drew closer, the drivers and their loading skills helped the ever smiling veterans into the vehicles, making sure that they were comfortable, secure and that their waving hand was working. I was in the Group 5 transport pod, with a couple of very nice looking jeeps, including the ever famous Reggie and a first time driver Liam; and, who you say, were the lucky veterans with us? that would be Doug and Alec, two mates from the 10/48th Battalion.

Being one of the very few women drivers on the day, I received a couple of comments (all in good spirit of course!) as I got into the jeep ready to set off. This included “are you sure that you know how to drive a jeep?” – They were pleasantly surprised when I said I had been driving a jeep for 11 years. The 10/48th Battalion flag bearers, who were going to walk just in front of the transport pod said “promise, you won’t run us over!” – They were still standing at the end of the march, so I guess I achieved my objective there.

With military precision, at 0930, the police horses set off, marking the start of the march and as each group moved off, the transport pods roared into life, joining the convoy down to the Cross of Sacrifice. Now, I knew that 25 April 2015 was going to be big, but it wasn’t until I was driving down the streets that it really sank in. Both North Terrace and King William Road were lined with a sea of people, 6 rows deep, all clapping and cheering for each and every veteran; you would be forgiven for feeling a little emotional and proud of the Australian spirit.

After passing the saluting points, including the Governor, we crossed the bridge over the River Torrens, smiling for the TV camera (of course!) and heading down Sir Edwin Smith Drive for the dismissal/dispersion area. Having returned both Doug and Alec to their families, I received a kiss and a hug from both men as a thank you – it was an absolute pleasure and an honour, they were both so lovely and I hope to see them next year.

Following the march, each driver headed to Bonython Park for a BBQ for a chance to debrief and reflect on the morning that had been – however, looking in the distance, there were dark black clouds heading our way. As suspected just after lunch, the heaven’s opened and we took this as a sign the universe was telling us it was home time – THE MISSION WAS ANZAC DAY 2015 AND THE MISSION WAS A SUCCESS.

Clipsal 500 2015 – Day 2 – Friday

We attended the Clipsal 500 for 5 days. This is the article for Day 2, the Friday the 27th of February. See below for the others.

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Friday brought out the weather that the Clipsal is famous for – 35 degrees with fair humidity made it fairly uncomfortable for everyone and most people were looking for shade. We were somewhat jealous of the Air Force and their large, air-conditioned tent.

Numbers were up from Thursday and we handed out a lot of flyers to interested parties, many of whom indicated that they might attend the GM Day in April.

The promo girls were out in force and were keen to have their photos taken with the vehicles.

There was, of course, plenty of action on the track too, including the crazy ( Paris to Dakar rally style) trucks, which were lifting their front wheel off the ground when accelerating and making huge jumps – they were very popular with the crowd.

It was great to have cold water available thanks to the RAAF, the heat certainly made that a necessity.

There are some pics from the Ferrari display and the new LaFerrari, at a special price of around $1,000,000!

Corowa Swim-in 2015

This is a guest article, written by the daughters of our President, giving a unique view of their experience at the Corowa Swim-in this year. Being the biggest military vehicle event in Australia, Corowa attracts a healthy patronage and many of our members attend every year.

Corowa, New South Wales… a country town on the banks of the majestic River Murray, the birthplace of federation and come March each year, the meeting place for hundreds of military enthusiasts. The week-long event brings vehicles from across the country and allows anyone who’s anyone that has even the slightest interest in military vehicles to exchange stories, wisdom and just get caught up in the atmosphere of Australia’s largest military vehicle gathering.

However, this event is not just for the men and boys, I can guarantee that the girls have just as much fun; it’s such a great family event. All held in Ball Park Caravan Park, this is a unique event, where you can wake up in the morning to the sound of a Jeep driving by, followed by a Blitz, and a Dodge bringing up the rear of the convoy.

Each year comes with a theme, and 2015 brought about the “Year of the Emergency Vehicle and GM”, and it did not disappoint. It all started on Monday 9 March, with participants beginning to arrive, setup camp and head down to HQ to register. Tuesday 10 March was pretty much the same and with no scheduled activities, the options were endless… you could spend time in the local cafes, complete a bit of retail therapy and/or catch-up with friends you haven’t seen in a year.

The scheduled programs didn’t begin until Wednesday 11 March, where many vehicles joined the convoy through the streets of Albury finishing at Hovell Tree Park. Thursday 12 March saw another run but in the other direction, to Yarrawonga/Mulwala, where the vehicles were displayed at Sacred Heart Primary and Club Mulwala as part of the RSL’s 100 year commemoration of the Gallipoli landings. Friday 13 March brought about a run to Rutherglen to visit Gold Battery.

On top of all of these planned runs, there were plenty of other things always happening back at camp. Many were wheeling and dealing for parts off the back of trailers like a flock of seagulls, as most of the vehicles that participant in this event are over 70 years old and as the years pass, they have a greater need for constant maintenance. Yet, if you were looking for the ultimate military shopping experience, the place to be this year was “Nigel’s emporium” undercover shopping with carry baskets and merchandised bags and most importantly, EFTPOS. He had everything a military enthusiast would need for restoring his jeep and he even knew what you needed before you did.

The place to be in the afternoon though was down at the river lagoon, watching the amphibians make a splash upon entry into the water (great photo opportunity)… this is where I spent my time, getting loads of rides in one particular amphibian and was even lucky enough to take the wheel (Thanks Mitch!!!). The other good way I found to spend my afternoon was taking our jeep out for a bit of off-roading along the river banks, leaving dust in my wake… well, a WWII jeep is the ultimate off-road vehicle, other cars may go faster, but it can go anywhere. When the sunset, you would think that all good enthusiasts would head off to bed, no we stay outside to watch the searchlight beam in the night sky… there was only one complication, the night skydivers, but once they landed, the sky was ours.

You may think that already a lot has happened in the space of a couple of days, and you would be right, yet there was still more to come. The main day was Saturday 14 March, with a parade down the main street, vehicles driving two a breast down the road and being lead by the sounds of emergency sirens… it looked and sounded amazing. The fleet of vehicles eventually made their way to the Corowa Showgrounds and Racecourse for the annual swap meet… the place for more wheeling and dealing. Come the afternoon, the only thing left to do was relax by the river before the long drive home the following day, back to work and reality, allowing the countdown to 2016 (“Year of the Tank and Chrysler 2”) to begin.

Clipsal 500 2015 – Day 1 – Thursday

We attended the Clipsal 500 for 5 days. This is the article for Day 1, the Thursday the 26th of February. See below for the others.

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The Thursday was the first day of the Clipsal 500 open to the public and it was also the School Groups Offer day. We had an 0800 start, with Ray, Terry, Mike, Thomas and Russell manning the display. It was a busy day, with a steady stream of people visiting us and showing a lot of interest in the vehicles, especially the school kids. Feedback from the public was very positive.

The rest of the ADF display came together very nicely, with a number of changes made between the time when we left on the Wednesday and Thursday morning, notably, the arrival of Team Army with their Project Digger Ford LTD and Armygeddon Land Rover, which were very popular with the crowds and sounded absolutely awesome when running. The LTD had an issue on the track, during a burnout display, and came back on a flat bed after catching fire. Fortunately the cause of the fire was found to be a leak from the gearbox and no major damage was done.


Overall, we handed out a ton of flyers and had a great time interacting with the public on a very nice day.

Clipsal 500 2015 – Day 0 – Wednesday

We attended the Clipsal 500 for 5 days. This is the article for Day 0, the Wednesday the 25th of February. See below for the others.

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It was an early start on Wednesday with Russell, Mike and Terry arriving at the museum at about 0730 to do some preparation and checks on the vehicles, with Terry and Mike in the Mk 5 Alvis Saracen and Russel in the C15A “Koop” Blitz. It was noted that the Koop was a little low on fuel, but Russell figured that it would probably be ok to make it to the nearest service station. Terry wasn’t so sure and insisted that he carry a jerrycan – this proved to be fortuitous, as the Koop ran out of fuel at the intersection of Commercial Road and Salisbury highway. Russell quickly put some fuel in while sitting at the traffic lights and then managed to get the Koop running again, before making it to the BP on Salisbury Highway, where both vehicles were refuelled.

At the service station, the vehicles got plenty of attention, as usual, including from a couple of police officers that were there getting their morning coffee.

With full tanks of fuel, the vehicles had a good run into the city in the morning traffic and plenty of people were waving and taking photos.

The Koop and Saracen arrived onsite at approximately 0945, with no sign of Darryl, Janice and their Jeep, so we made our way onto the main straight for a “PR Shoot”, with the Saracen in pole position, and the Koop in second place… This got plenty of attention and cheering from the crews that were setting up in Pit Straight.

After that fun, we moved on to the ADF Oval, followed closely behind with Darryl and Janice arriving in the Jeep. There were a few false-starts to our setup, as the ADF had us move around a few times to make room for their displays, before moving us to a great spot opposite the RAAF tent, next to the sideshows – It had us “with” the ADF, but also in our own area and allowed us to differentiate ourselves from their display somewhat. We moved the vehicles in to place, setup up our tent and were loaned a brand new TV by the ADF for putting on a looping video. We were all set for the start of the event on Thursday and departed at about 12:30.

2015 Salisbury Australia Day Picnic

Following on from an early start on Sunday, for the Wanderers Australia Day Birthday Party, there was another very early start on Monday for the Salisbury Australia Day Family Picnic, held at Carisbrooke Reserve. The vehicles needed to be in place by around 07:30, for safety reasons.

Meeting at the museum, Grant’s GMC, Terry’s Saracen, the museum’s C15A “Koop” Blitz, and Ford Gun Tractor departed in convoy and made their way along the short drive to the reserve. While acting as Commander in the Saracen, Mike took some footage of the vehicles, which is unfortunately a little shaky.

When we arrived at the reserve, we realised that we had turned up at the wrong entrance, and had to do a couple of U-turns on Main North Road to make our way around to the side entrance. Who would have guessed that a Saracen has a better turning circle than a GMC CCKW?

At the reserve, we then met up with Russell with his Austin, and Sam with his Jeep and set up our display on a good spot on the hill. John arrived sometime later in his Jeep, and was again wearing his WW1 Light Horse uniform.

We enjoyed the free breakfast while, unfortunately, the Air Cadets set up their display in front of us, partially screening us off from the rest of the already growing crowd.

The Nine Mile Snipers flawlessly performed their first firing of the day, 3 rounds, at 09:25, prior to the raising of the Australian Flag and the National Anthem.

It was a great day, with perfect weather, a good crowd, food and entertainment. The sideshows and displays from other clubs received lots of attention and we were inundated with interested members of the public wanting to inspect our vehicles and talk to us about them. We handed out over 800 flyers during the day.

The Gun Crew’s second firing, at 13:00, 4 rounds, also went flawlessly, although it was a bit hectic in the middle as the MC had the crowd start counting down for the third shot, requiring the team to load in double-time, but they did make it in time.

We made some good contacts on the day, sold some merchandise from our display and raised some donations.

The trip back to the museum was a little problematic, as the Gun Tractor broke down on the rather steep climb out of the reserve (possibly due to fuel starvation), blocking a rather narrow pathway that was backed up with trucks – of course it was the lead vehicle and had the rest of us blocked in with it. After some tricky shuffling, we managed to get some other vehicles around it and tow it back on to the flat, where we were able to get it started again. The gun tractor has been putting in some significant mileage over the last few years and is due for some much needed TLC, including swapping the tired engine over for a freshly rebuilt Ford V8.

We would like to express thanks to the Rotary Club of Salisbury and the Salisbury City Council for inviting us to this event. We had a great time and look forward to attending again next year.

Brittany Jean Museum Visit and Photo Shoot

Tuesday afternoon, we had a flying visit from US model Brittany Jean. Brittany also provides care packages and supports various US and foreign military veteran organisations including Soldier On (Australia and UK) and many others through Vixens 4 Veterans. This organisation raises money for veterans with PTSD.

Brittany arrived a little after 15:30, with her photographer, and Kevin Noel from the Wanderers Rock and Roll car club. Kevin arranged the quick unscheduled visit while Brittany was in Adelaide for her flying four day visit before heading to Brisbane then back to the US.

Brittany had a few photos with the Stuart Tank, Dave’s GPA, the North South Ford, Searchlight and Russell’s Austin. She was all done in a little over an hour!

Keep an eye out on Brittany’s Facebook page with details of her visit to the museum.

Wanderer’s Australia Day Birthday Party

An early start on Sunday had Terry, Russell, Mike and Thomas arriving at the museum at around 07:30 to do some final preparations on the Saracen, including fitting an impressively large Australian Flag on a pole into the turret, and departing a little after 08:00 to head to the city, in support of the Wanderers Australia Day Birthday Party event.

We pulled the Saracen into the carpark at McDonalds Enfiled, for breakfast, and to meet John with his Jeep, where we got lots of attention.

Wanderers Australia Day (13)

The rest of the drive to the city was fairly uneventful, although there were some traffic controls in place for the final stage of the Tour Down Under, which had to be negotiated.

We arrived corner of Franklin and Cannon Streets Adelaide at around 09:15, where the Saracen formed a road block on the corner and John’s Jeep was put in with the car show in the Legacy car park. John, as usual, was sporting his dashing WW1 Light Horse uniform. Exactly how he manages to drive with those spurs on, none of us have managed to work out, so far.

Wanderers Australia Day (10)

The event made use of Cannon Street, for stalls, the Legacy car park, for the cars, and the Published ArtHouse for the indoor entertainment and bar. This arrangement made for an excellent venue for this kind of event and there was something for everyone with a car show, stalls, food, drinks, music, barber shop, tattoo studio, fashion contests and a burlesque show. While the event was a little different to what we normally attend, we enjoyed it immensely and were made to feel welcome by all the participants.

The US pinup sensation, Brittany Jean, attended the event, and she also made a flying visit to the museum on Tuesday, where she had a brief photo shoot.

The event was very successful with lots of people in the ArtHouse and the vehicles and stalls getting lots of attention. The planned events were scheduled to go late into the night. Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay for the later concerts and the highly anticipated burlesque show, and we departed the city at about 16:00 to make the return journey to the museum and to get ready for the Salisbury Australia Day Picnic at Carisbrooke Park the next day.

Win a $50 Coles Myer Gift Card!

This competition is now complete, and our winner is Luke Nielsen. Luke, please contact us to arrange delivery of your prize. Many thanks to everyone that entered.

The National Military Vehicle Museum recently offered free entry to the museum for children under 15 during the school holidays, and we were blown away by the positive response from the community – so much so that we have decided to continue offering free entry for children on an ongoing basis. For details of our revised pricing structure, see our homepage.

To help us get the word out about this change to our pricing, we are running a Facebook competition with the prize being a $50 Coles Myer gift card.

Entry is simple.

  1. Like us on Facebook

    if you haven’t already

  2. Comment on this post

    telling us what your favourite military vehicle is. For a bonus entry, post a picture of it in the comments, and

  3. Share this post

    on your timeline

The competition is open until the 28th of February, 2015, and will be drawn on the 1st of March.

The fine print:

  • This competition is only open to residents of Australia (because a Coles Myer gift card wouldn’t be much good to you in another country anyway!)
  • We can only enter you in the competition if we can see that you have shared this post – please ensure that you set your permissions to “public” when you share.
  • There is no age restriction on entries.
  • The prize cannot be exchanged or redeemed for cash.
  • The winner will be drawn using Random.org’s Sequence Generator from the visible list of Australian residents that have shared the post on Sunday, the 1st of March, 2015.
  • The winner’s name will be posted on our Facebook page, listed on our website and contacted via Facebook PM.
  • If the drawn winner does not respond within 1 week of the drawing, another draw will take place and so on, until a valid winner is identified.
  • The winner can claim their prize in person at the museum, or it can be posted out to them.
  • Please contact us if you have any questions.

2015 Calendar Now Available

Our calendar for 2015 is now available and is in the form of a single A3 sheet printed in full colour on photo quality paper. They cost $10 each, with $5 going towards the museum building fund (a great cause!) and the remainder going towards production costs.

It has been produced by Jim Verbz Photography and features our 1942 M3 Stuart tank and the lovely Tayla, as “Miss Stuart”.

The calendar is available at the museum shop during open hours, at our monthly Committee and General Meetings and also via post, by contacting our secretary, Russell, via email. Postal orders attract a flat $10 postage fee, for up to 5 calendars.

January School Holidays – Free Kids Entry

We know that it can be hard to find affordable things to do with the kids during the school holidays and that’s why we are offering free entry to the museum for kids under 15, when accompanied by an adult.

The offer is valid is valid for the rest of the Christmas holiday season, with the museum being open on the following dates:

  • Thursday, 1st of January, 2015 (New Year’s Day)
  • Sunday, 4th of January, 2015
  • Sunday, 11th of January, 2015
  • Sunday, 18th of January, 2015
  • Sunday, 25th of January, 2015
  • Monday, 26th of January, 2015 (Australia Day)

The fine print:
This offer is only valid on the dates listed above and allows admission for up to 4 children, accompanied by an adult. Additional children will be charged at the regular rate of $5 each.

Museum Christmas Party 2014

The annual Museum Christmas Party took place on Saturday at the museum. With perfect weather, great attendance and enough food to feed an army, a good time was had by all!

There were games, competitions, vehicles rides with Bob in his C15 Blitz and Ray in Terry’s Saracen (as Terry had declared himself the “designated drinker” for the day) and, of course, a visit from Santa. Trevor Santa generously brought gifts for everyone present, including the adults, and it was amazing to see how happy all of the kids were waiting for their name to be called or inspecting their new treasures.

Pat’s indestructible piñata took an absolute beating before giving up its hoard of candy, much to the delight of the children crowding around it.

Thanks to everyone that attended and helped out on the day, and special thanks go to Trevor and Pat, who put in a massive amount of time, money and effort into making the day the success that it is.

RAAF Christmas Treat 2014

The RAAF held their annual Christmas Treat at RAAF Base Edinburgh on Friday the 5th of December and the museum had a small presence onsite, taking the Alvis Saracen Mk 5, The F15A Blitz “Koop” and the Austin staff car for a display.

The display was setup by 09:00 for a 10:00 start and the day wound down by about 14:30. The Saracen turned some heads on arrival at the base, with a RAAF corporal riding up top.

It was a very busy day, with lots of interest in the museum and many brochures handed out. The feedback was very  positive, with many interested in the museum and also possibly attending the next vehicle run day on the 14th of December.

Many thanks to Ray and Russell for organizing the day and special thanks to Ray for being with the vehicles all day as Russell also had to go off and socialise with his family.

Arrival of the M2A2 Howitzer

A pair of Vietnam era M2A2 Howitzers arrived at the museum on Tuesday morning with the Kenworth semi-trailer completing its 750km journey from Puckapunyal at 09:00, giving the driver ample time to up tarp, remove the tie downs and covers for the arrival of the crane at 10:00. Within 30 minutes of the crane’s arrival, both Howitzers were safely unloaded.

The Australian Army has done a fantastic job of decommissioning and preparing them for display, and we will have them both at the museum for a short period until the Salisbury RSL finish preparing their display area and take delivery of their gun.

Big thanks to MHT Services, who through contact with our neighbours Ausco provided the truck crane, Northline for taking care of transport and the museum volunteers for helping with unloading.

We acknowledge that the purchase of the Howitzer would not have been possible without the ANZAC Day Commemoration Fund Grant from the Government of South Australia.

Sporting Car Club Sunday Picnic

As part of their Sunday Picnic event, members of the Sporting Car Club of South Australia visited the museum for a brief tour and morning tea on Sunday, the 30th of November.

They arrived at 10:30 in a nice convoy of classic and modern vehicles. Due to the heat, we opened up the meeting room and turned up the air-conditioning, as the temperature was already in the 30’s.

After their morning tea, they had a very quick tour of the museum and workshop with Dave and Russell, as they were scheduled to depart at 11:45 for their drive through the Barossa for lunch at Seppeltsfield Winery.

All 40 attendees enjoyed the museum and a lucky few got to go for a spin around the ground the Saracen, including a couple who own a 1920’s Alvis and a 1920’s Austin Seven. The gentleman and his wife took a particular interest in a very different “Alvis”. They also missed the group depart through chatting to both Terry about his “Alvis” and with Russell about his “Seven”.

Committee members of the Sporting Car Club were impressed and promised to organise another visit, just to the museum in the new year.

2014 Salisbury Christmas Pageant

On Saturday, members of the MVPSSA took part in the annual Salisbury Christmas Pageant, in support of the Salisbury RSL. We had 7 vehicles arrive at the RSL at 0845 and departed with passengers and Christmas decorations at 0900. The vehicles arrived at the staging area at 0930, ready for the 1030 start, with Zoe Bettison in the Pontiac, and RSL members and families in the other vehicles.

The parade was very popular, with many thousands lining both sides of the route with lots of waves, cheers and high fives all the way.

We arrived back at the RSL by 1100, where there was a family day and BBQ, with stalls, a bouncy castle and other attractions.

0845 arrival at the Salisbury RSL, vehicles – Inter 6 x 6, Koop Blitz, Richmond Landrover, Pontiac, Sams Jeep, Austin and Toyota Bus. All decorated with tinsel and left the RSL just after 0900 with passengers on board..

Thanks to our drivers: Richmond, Hugh, Ryan, John Rowe, Sam, Ray and Russell. A stellar performance, as usual!