Sunday morning March 8th was a perfect autumn morning with clear blue skies and an estimated temperature for the day in the mid twenties. After gathering at the Johnstone Park clubroom we headed to Birdwood via Palmer. We kept the pace at 80kph to be considerate to our ‘elders’ a 1947 Chev (Dennis & Yvonne Kuchel) and a 1956 Humber Hawk(Neil & Dianne Burbidge).
27 vehicles and 58 people ventured to Birdwood (formerly known as Blumberg) where we drove into the National Motor Museum grounds and parked on the oval. After an initial browse of the museum for approximately 1 hour we then walked across the main street to the Blumberg Hotel for lunch.
A feature exhibit in the museum main foyer was a Bugatti Veyron, a very expensive and exclusive vehicle, but one that would need forward planning to drive. With a fuel consumption of 41.9 litres per 100 kilometres the location of petrol stations selling premium fuel would determine the route to take on a Sunday drive ( or any other drive) unless you had the luxury of a vehicle following with extra fuel.
After lunch Dane, who is one of the museum staff led us on a tour of the ‘restoration workshop’. Volunteers under the supervision of museum staff undertake vehicle restorations and maintenance. A Hartnett Pacific is a current vehicle restoration project, 1 of 3 in the world. They are raising funds for the restoration and are aiming the have the vehicle completed by September 27th for the 40th anniversary of the Bay to Birdwood Run.
Other vehicles of interest to the Murray Bridge visitors were the 1897 Peugot chassis which is one of the oldest vehicles in Australia. It was located in 1969 by one of our members Hurtle Nelson(dec) on a farm at Caloote. Also a Greeves motorcycle owned by Brian Kuchel. The 1938 Diamond T bus which has been totally refurbished by SA government funding to its original form as Graebers Bus service of Lobethal. This bus was owned by our club and used for club members to travel in for club runs prior to it heading to Shark Bay, Western Australia on journey of adventure for some local Murray Bridge men including our current member Jerry Wilson. ( This is only part of the story relating to the Bus).Did you see “Milo”? Those who have 4wd should know what I am referring to, and I am not talking about the drinks available at the coffee shop!
There was much to see. Not only the number of motorcycles, cars, trucks etc. but the diversity of the vehicles and the historical photos and displays which accompany the vehicles gave an interesting insight far beyond simply looking at a vehicle. The National Motor Museum is one of the best in the world. It is an establishment that we take for granted.
To sum up, a great day with good company. Thanks to all who participated on this run.
PS We are fortunate to have held this run as the museum is now closed (another victim of COVID 19).Will there be a 40th anniversary Bay to Birdwood in September? We can only wait and see how the coronavirus pandemic evolves in the coming months.
Claude and Liz Minge