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!

Paranormal Activity?

The museum was visited on Friday night by members of two paranormal investigation teams; Lorena Lyon and her husband Dave from Lyon Paranormal, and Allen Tiller, his wife Karen and Jason from Eidolon Paranormal. Allen was involved with the production Haunting Australia, which has screened in Australia and now screening in the UK.

The night started at about 17:30, with Russell arriving and ensuring that all the buildings were open. Terry arrived at about 18:30. The two Paranormal Teams had a good look around and we doing their work through out the night and finished about 01:00 on Saturday. They were a professional group of people, dedicated to their field. They had a lot of gear; cameras, videos, all sorts of lighting equipment and took footage and recordings from many of the buildings, objects and vehicles.

There was comment that they did possibly record / view some unexplained activity, but will need to review their data before making any determinations.

Both teams were keen to come back again and investigate further. They were interested in the site during WW2, and also that we are the first “public” to occupy the site since construction in the 1940s. They were also interested in the memorabilia we have, such as uniforms, radios, books etc, that may have a connection with a person.

It was an interesting night and certainly different to anything that we have done before at the site.

Bunnings Parafield Sausage Sizzle

The Military Vehicle Preservation Society of South Australia was given the opportunity to host the Sausage Sizzle at Parafield Bunning on Saturday, and while it was fairly short notice, Russell took the lead and organised the event brilliantly, and a number of members volunteered to help out on the day.

The day started early with Russell and Trevor starting at around 07:30 for the setup with the rest of the morning shift arriving soon after, with a Jeep and Saracen to put on display about 20 meters from the BBQ area.

John C arrived wearing a replica of his grandfather’s Light Horse uniform and was armed with a donations bucket and a stack of flyers for the museum, and spent the most of the day at the entrance to Bunnings chatting to customers and handing out the flyers.

The rest of us got down to work preparing, cooking and serving the sausages, and despite it being cold and windy to start with, the weather improved considerably and by about 10:00 it had become constantly busy, with the team working well together in order to keep the customers fed and the line moving.

The change over to the afternoon shift was done with military precision and the customers kept coming, although it became apparent that we were starting to run low on supplies, which is probably a good problem to have, but meant that some emergency shopping had to be arranged with Russell’s wife Tracy coming to the rescue, making 3 trips throughout the course of the day.

The vehicles attracted a lot of attention and there was usually one of our members nearby, talking to the public about them. It was unfortunate that we could not park them closer to the BBQ, but the nearby spaces were reserved for disabled parking.

Despite the fact that he never asked for a donation, John proved very popular in his uniform and managed to give away all of the flyers, and raise over $550, which is an amazing result!

While we still had plenty of stock, the customers began thinning out and we stopped cooking at about 17:30 and sold off the remaining inventory before packing up at about 18:00. The modular BBQ that was provided by Bunnings was quite amazing and packed up into a fairly small package with surprising ease, after a good clean, with the only thing left to do was to pack the remaining stock into Russell’s car and drive the Saracen back to the museum.

So after all this, how did we go?
BBQ gross takings – $2909.50
Donations – $572.50
Expenses – $957
Total Earned – $2525.50

As you can see, a fantastic result, that will go towards our building fund!

Sincere thanks to those that made the day possible and successful, in alphabetical order:
Bob (Baldy), Darryl, Don, Graham, John C, John F, Russell, Terry, Tracy, Trevor and Ray.
We also need to offer thanks to Bunnings Parafield for inviting us to run the BBQ, to their hungry customers and special thanks to everyone that dropped a donation in John’s bucket; it was an amazing and humbling result.

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…

Motorfest 2014 – Miss Stuart and Friends

Thanks to everyone that came out to today’s Motorfest event, “Miss Stuart and Friends”, hosted at the museum.

It was a successful event, with over 40 people attending to inspect our collection and to see the vehicles in action, most of which were still out from yesterday’s Bay to Birdwood Run and were ready for some action. To top off a great day, the weather was perfect, rides were available in some of the vehicles; and the barbecue was as popular as ever.

We look forward to running this event again next year!

Miss Stuart Goes to Birdwood

UPDATE: Due to transmission issues in the Birdwood area, the proposed news cross has been cancelled.

Today Miss Stuart, our M3A1 Stuart Tank, made the trip to the National Motor Museum in Birdwood, in order to be featured in a news cross tomorrow and to put on a display at Sunday’s Bay to Birdwood Run event. It should be a great day out and we have a considerable number of vehicles attending.

Many thanks to everyone that assisted with the move.