Car Rally

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Easter ‘Bush Council’ Rally, 22 to 25 April 2011Great Lakes will soon be a car lovers’ paradise – a once in a lifetime opportunity…

To see and hear the wheezes and deep throat burbles of over 200 historic motor vehicles, converging on Forster-Tuncurry from as far as Queensland and Victoria for the 40th annual meeting of the Council of Historic Motor Clubs.

Known affectionately as the ‘Bush Council’, this umbrella organisation represents over 90 non-metropolitan veteran, vintage, classic car and motor cycle clubs.

The Council encourages the restoration, enjoyment and use of our movable cultural heritage and discusses problems associated with such historic vehicles travelling our highways.

Great Lakes Historic Automobile Club will celebrate their 20th anniversary by playing host to this year’s rally, and they’re making it a perfect opportunity to promote this scenic area to our visitors.

Coming all the way from the United Kingdom are two truly unique cars: a 1909 Stanley Model R steam car, that can travel up to 80 km/h all day, after a warm up of just 20 minutes, and the fabulous 1925 Doble E22 steam car, once owned by that famous oil millionaire recluse, Howard Hughes – who was ‘reputedly’ clocked by Texan police for going 213 km/h in 1925!

The Stanley Model R was first produced in 1909. It came in two versions: 3 or 4 seater. This car, which is owned by Basil Craske from Norwich, England, is equipped with headlamps, acetylene generator, windscreen, speedometer, horn and hood – all classified as extras when the car was manufactured. It is propelled by a 2 cylinder double acting engine and operates at 600 psi. The car has no gearbox, with the engine directly coupled to the rear axle. It can cruise at 40 to 50 mph. From cold, it takes around 20 minutes before it can be driven. Once running, it can then be used in the normal manner, as the steam is stored in a boiler and thus is ready for use at anytime.

The engine is classified at 20 horse power, but this is steam horse power (in conventional terms, it’s more likely to be 80+ horse power), with incredible torque. Modern brakes have been installed on the car, with discs on the front and an hydraulic conversion on the rear. This has been done for safety reasons, bearing in mind the speed and acceleration it is capable of.

It’s also the100th birthday celebration of a visiting 1911 Cadillac and a 1911 Model T Ford owned by Col and Faye Parry of Kariong, on the Central Coast … both of which will be featuring in Forster!

Plus, there are all those wonderful classics of style and design, like the quaint Austin A30 and the Mini, the elegance of Mercedes and Jaguar, sporties like the Cobra and MG and American ‘muscle’ cars like the Ford Thunderbird – just to mention a few.

The total value of vehicles attending this rally will run into millions!

Spectators are encouraged to enjoy this wonderful opportunity to see these magnificent vehicles travelling along the roads or on display.

The first opportunity will be at Great Lakes Campus, Cape Hawke Drive, Forster South from 1pm on Easter Friday, where all vehicles will be booking in.

Saturday morning sees this historic collection leave Tuncurry from 8.30 onwards, to burble their way through Nabiac, Dyers Crossing, Krambach and Burrell Creek for the official opening by the Great Lakes Mayor, Jan McWilliams, at 11 am at Wingham Memorial Hall. The return ramble will be through historic Tinonee, Purfleet and Rainbow Flat for lunch and display at Forster Primary School at around 12.30pm.

The Easter Sunday run will head south at around 9am, travelling along the Lakes Way to Coomba Park via Tiona Park, with cars returning along Boomerang Drive to Pacific Palms Primary School for morning tea and display at about 11am – then travelling back along the Lakes Way to the major display of the weekend, including the ‘Concourse d’Elegance’ at Elizabeth Park, Forster Keys, where the judging of many coveted awards will take place.

These include a ‘People’s Choice Award’, where spectators can vote for their favourite vehicle.

Here there will be plenty of free parking alongside the lake, with refreshments available, and it will be a great chance to chat with the owners – who are ensuring that these wonderful vehicles do not just become memories in a book.

It’s a ‘once in a lifetime’ chance to take lots of photos and video footage of a truly fantastic century of motoring history.

The final opportunity to inspect the cars and their crews will be on Anzac Day morning, when there will be an entrants BBQ breakfast from 7.30 to 9.30am at the Great Lakes College Campus, Cape Hawke Drive, to say farewell as many of the cars and their crews depart for home.

Don’t miss it!

If you have a classic old vehicle, your own ‘pride and joy’, why not register and take part? Or, if you have any questions, please contact Rally Director David Kelvin on 0407 106 616 or email for entry forms.

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