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2018 National Meet Report

Leaving home at around 8.15 am on the Wednesday prior to the weekend of the National Meet we found it necessary to take 2 vehicles due to the amount of National Meet items required to be transported to Renmark. Our first vehicle was our 1933 Ford V-8 Roadster which was making its first long distance run and as we opted for the fitting of an Australian “dickie seat” or should we say American “rumble seat” not a lot of room exists for luggage. In my next life when I restore a Roadster I will opt for the Australian “boot” or American “trunk” option. However the second vehicle was the modern Subaru Impreza with large boot and folding seats was loaded to the hilt.

Arriving at about 12.30 pm we hooked up with Ian and Carol who also arrived with 2 vehicles because of the amount of requirements needed.

Wednesday afternoon, Thursday and Friday morning was spent attending to the tasks of assembling goody bags, setting up the registration hall and last minute sorting out of venues, bus transport and all that is necessary for the event’s success.

Our registration hall looked a treat and V-8ers from all over started to appear around 3.00 pm Friday afternoon. Many volunteers from RG 94 also appeared to ease the burden and the whole registration affair went like clockwork.

An early start on Saturday morning for the judging day, the local council had already closed the road for us and banners were hung from the Renmark Hotel/Motel balcony.

The Concours vehicles were in line along the river side of the road with Rouge and Touring cars on the hotel side. A row of trucks were placed in the middle.

The usual judges’ breakfast was held where National Judge McArthur laid down rules for the Meet.

The whole affair looked just great and judging was underway with entrants and the public mingling amongst the vehicles.

The Seidel/Fatchen team surprised all with an interesting display of our beloved sidevalve V-8s. One engine was a Lincoln V-8 fitted with finned alloy heads and dual carburettors mounted on a stand being able to be started and run. All 357 cubic inches of it sounded just great with straight out exhausts. The other was an early pump in head engine with one head removed and running on the four opposing cylinders.

One was able to view the pistons and valves in operation and the workings of the diver’s bell distributor with one cap removed. An amazing sight as at idle, pistons and valves are almost a blur. I was rather amazed how smoothly it ran on four cylinders. Many thanks to Mark and Gary for this surprise.

Around 11 am, V-8 ladies boarded a bus to Rushton Roses for lunch then back to the Renmark Wharf for a paddle steamer trip on the PS Industry. This looked great steaming away with a load of people on board.

A free night for all with our Sunday run the next day.

Sunday saw all driving to Berri for a magnificent Morning Tea. We all arrived after some were pointed in the wrong direction by an unknown traffic marshal at a roundabout who quickly disappeared obviously realising there were more of us than him. Here was also a really nice parking area.

On to Loxton which we were warned that many roads were closed due to a pedal prix being held.

We weren’t inconvenienced by this as Alan & Colleen had mapped out a route around the Pedal Prix track to our lunch destination at the Loxton Bowling Club. It was a magnificent sight along the road to Loxton to witness a never ending line of Ford V-8s winding through the countryside.

After lunch it was a small trip back to the Pioneer Village for a good look around.

As Sunday night is always the much awaited Presentation Dinner, preparations had to be made at The Renmark Club. This occurred and at about 6.30 pm things were underway. Various speeches and presentations were undertaken and good food and drink was enjoyed.

A Youth Cup Award had been organised and six of our younger members aged from 6 to 16 were seconded to judge vehicles via a simple points system. This was handled by Jacqui Tonkin who unfortunately had to leave by bus Sunday afternoon due to work commitments. The winners were Alan & Colleen McDonald with their 1947 Jailbar Light Commercial. The children displayed professionalism and enjoyed what they had achieved. Hopefully it is one small way to encourage the young.

Congratulations to all winners of plaques, trophies, raffle prizes and auction items, it was a great night.

Although we had two days to go, the traditional Farewell Breakfast was held Monday morning.

This was put on by the local car club, The Riverland Vintage & Classic Car Club in a church hall in the local area. Again an excellent breakfast and many thanks to the Riverland people.

The first of our optional two days was a drive to the Cobdogla Pioneer Museum to view the historic displays, the Humphrey Pump and to have rides on the train. This was followed by a light lunch. Things were now more relaxing for us so a pleasant drive back to Renmark and an easy evening with those who were left.

The last day Tuesday saw us at Lock 5 for Morning Tea and as luck would have it a small boat came making use of the Lock facilities for all to see.

We then motored off to Wilkadene and the Woolshed Brewery stopping along the way at a Lookout over the River Murray.

Wilkadene is a lovely picturesque spot and we had a tour of the brewery and s sumptuous lunch. Both morning tea and lunch was provided by the Riverland Anglican Church ladies. Our last night was spent having a meal in the Renmark Hotel with the few that were left.

Wednesday was an uneventful trip home but a great Roadster drive. Our 1933 V-8 Roadster had only minimal miles on the speedo and had only done relatively short trips around Adelaide. It was still in the “hope it’s all OK stage” but it performed faultlessly up to and back home and the whole weekend. It has proved itself and we are happy with the outcome. I was rather surprised at the lively performance but considering the weight of the car it’s not surprising. It was great to catch up with all the interstate V-8ers and to see some vehicles that we haven’t seen before especially our ‘33 Roadster’s little sister, the ’33 4-cylinder from Bordertown.

It was so good also to catch up with Betty & Neil from Wellington, New Zealand.

Many thanks to all who came and we hope you all had a good time.

Thank you also to our Regional Group 94 for the volunteers and assistance.

Hopefully we will do it again in two years???

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