Road trip! On the road again in our beautiful 30-98 E Type Vauxhall on a trip to Merimbula organised by The Vintage Sports Car Club of Australia on a National Veteran and Vintage Vauxhall Rally. This rally was sponsored by the National Trust (NSW).
We met with a fabulous group of Vauxhall enthusiasts who shared their passion and commitment to these remarkable vehicles. I wonder whether the engineers back-in-the-day ever imagined how capable and longstanding these machines would be and how much pleasure they would bring to all those who journey in them!
Our vehicle is magnificent. She has been amazingly restored and amongst the collection of 30 or so other vehicles – was a stand-out. ‘The J’ – as Max and I fondly call her; is beautiful. Her idle needed a bit of attention – but other than that, riding in her was exhilarating… and yes a whole day on the road and 500kms can be quite arduous.
It’s noisy. Max and I don’t really have conversations. Just comments about the smells… the birds… the landmarks… directions…. and when to stop for brunch or a cuppa and cake! We had such yummy food on our road-trip. We managed to score the best cafes – so delicious in fact that we switched to cereal for dinner in our motel room to have an early night after our huge days.
The sky reached into ‘The J’ and the sunlight accompanied our shadow until dark. My memories are striped with textured trunks and dappled light as we drove through mountainous forest. The smell of freshly ploughed soil was rich and comforting.
Rural life scattered the landscape with old timber and bricks; for sale signs; broken windmills; abandoned sheds and shops. It seemed strange driving a car nearly a century old through crumbling towns of the same era. ‘The J’ is one of 6 or seven in Australia and one of only thirty or so remaining in the world. She is an example of remarkable resilience.
History threaded the rally as we visited historical sites around the Eden region – and saw the remnants of the rich nautical history and importance of the ocean and its creatures over the past two centuries. The importance of grazing in Australian history was evident in the 32 room homestead Burnima which is a working homestead yet seems to be displaced and struggling in the path of time.
The rally participants were fun. Such gutsy people. Max and I were invited to deliver presentations during the Saturday evening function; and my video on our Bhutan journey was really well received. I think many were surprised at our adventures – a testament to not only our adventurous spirit, but the wonders of the Vauxhall. I reminded everyone about how gutsy they all are to drive in these exposed old vehicles, without the comforts we are so accustomed to. Everyone also loved Max’s on his journey with James through the Amazon in Penny, our other Vauxhall, Penny 23-60 OD.
Two weeks, 4,000kms in ‘The J’.
Arduous… exhausting… but soooooo much fun!!!!
Thanks to Dave Stewart and his team – John Kent and Justin Coxhead for organising this fabulous rally.