Aussie Muscle Car Run 2015 Leukaemia Foundation
Five teams from Port Lincoln made up a fair percentage of the 27 vehicle fleet starting in the 2015 event. It was a great response from the community given the amount of money raised for the Leukaemia Foundation through sponsorship and donations.
The course was from Adelaide to Clare (via Mallala), to Broken Hill (via Silverton), to Port Augusta (via Peterborough) and on to Port Lincoln. After a rest day in Port Lincoln the gaggle returned to Whyalla (via Cleve & Kimba), then on to the finish in Adelaide (via Port Pirie and Kadina). The course totalled 2,218 ks, which extended to 3,500 ks by the time the Port Lincoln teams made it to the start and returned home. The road became very familiar, if it wasn’t already!
Day 1 – An early start to be at the Clipsal 500 track by 7:30 am for a 9:00 am send-off. Just as well as the temperature was rising and some of the high performance motors did not take kindly to idling in the city. Things really hotted up at Mallala as those keen to clock up a few laps took to the track. Temperature control was the order of the day as was sunscreen. The owner of the Mallala track, Clem Smith, opened up his private and very extensive collection of vehicles located on the race-track grounds. All the vehicles are owned by Clem and range from his race track cars to Australian, American and European classics. Well worth a visit if you have the chance. After burning rubber it was off to Clare for well earned refreshments and a dip in the pool.
Day 2 – Still warm as we left Clare early for the 400 km leg to Broken Hill via Silverton. Heat took its toll on a couple of vehicles so the back-up support was engaged with all making it to Silverton, even if it was a little slowly, or on a trailer for some. Rest time over lunch at the Silverton Hotel before heading into Mad Max territory for the hill climb at Mundi-Mundi Hill. A large crowd had made it out from Broken Hill to watch the action in the baking sun. The evening saw a much quieter public street display of the entrants adjacent to the Palace Hotel. It was another film theme, this time Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, which dominated the entertainment that night at the Palace Hotel. Many scenes from Priscilla were filmed in this grand, but somewhat kitschy, building.
Day 3 – You guessed it, back over most of the same road to Port Augusta via lunch at Steamtown in Peterborough. Luckily the sun was behind us most of the way. Another relaxing show & shine on the Gladstone Square lawns was a great opportunity to show off the cars to a very interested public. Dinner on this night was enjoyed at the West Augusta Football Club, and was another example of how the various communities were involved in, and benefitted from the 2015 Muscle Car Run.
Day 4 – You guessed it again, Port Augusta to Port Lincoln over a very familiar road. Ho, hum. A closed street section saw some motorsport activity that took up the morning and into early afternoon. It also saw the demise of two entrants as a low slung Mini came to grief on a not so low kerb, and a hot EH Holden found that at 6,000 rpm too much oil got pumped to the top of the motor leaving none in the sump! Oops. On the leg south, many took advantage of Co-drivers swapping cars, and in some cases drivers. Comments at the changeover point at Cowell proved it was a popular twist. One Co-driver learnt that to overtake in a Charger, you just have to put your foot down, not change down like she had to in her husband’s GT! Sorry! The day finished with the usual display of hospitality, entertainment (on the ground and in the air), and socialising that is synonymous with Sky Park and the Hart Family. This was a highlight for all – especially those who had not experienced it before.
Day 5 – Rest day in Port Lincoln. Phew! Another public show & shine display on the foreshore lawns. With a great crowd turnout, classic cars onshore with a cruise ship in the background, it was a picture.
Day 6 – Back to Whyalla, but this time the long way around, via Cleve, Kimba, and Iron Knob. It was still pretty warm but things hotted up in the evening at the Steel City Dragway. Another vehicle retired from the fleet at this point due to an over-zealous clutch drop. The muscle car fleet was snow down to 24. Luckily things cooled down after sunset with the drivers cooling down even further into the early hours of the morning. Evidence of this was the number of empty aluminium drink containers outside a couple of motel rooms.
Day 7 – A little later departure from Whyalla than expected, following the usual morning briefing. This meant time was the essence if we were to make it to Kadina for a main street display. The main shopping street had been closed, and most traders had opened on Sunday for the occasion. The Yorke Peninsulians turned out in force. Imagine that in Tasman Terrace? Then it was off down the Kulpara escapement, through Port Wakefield and on to the Torrens Parade ground in Adelaide to the finish.
The presentation night that evening was the final official function. Congratulations to Neville Wiill and Brian Fiegert, who as “the Uncles” team in Neville’s XA GT Falcon, were awarded 3rd prize for the money raised. Congratulations also to the other Port Lincoln teams who flew the local flag – Brian Luckcraft & Mick Hart in a XA GT Falcon, Jason Maloney & Jamie Taylor in an XY GT Falcon, Hilton & Ross Trigg in a VH Charger XL, and Dave Nicholls and Steve Wright in an XC GXL Falcon.
In all, 3,500 cruisy kilometres in a classic muscle car vehicle, in the middle of November, in the middle of Australia, no radio, no air-conditioning (that worked) – but isn’t that the way it was?
The Aussie Muscle Car Run began in South Australia and has this year spread to Western Australia. Next year it will be the inaugural event in Victoria, with plans to extend to Queensland and New South Wales. So if you do not want to travel over familiar SA roads, the opportunity exists to be part of the Muscle Car scene in not so familiar places.