|A LOT OF AUTOMOBILES IN THEIR LIFETIME WIN A RACE AND ARE DOTED ON FOR THE NEXT 50 YEARS, OUR OLD PLYMOUTH HAS DONE JUST THE OPPOSITE AND IS MORE FAMOUS TODAY THAN IT IT WAS WHEN NEW, LIKE A GOOD WINE IT HAS MATURED WITH AGE.||
||THE THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN ASKED OF IT HAVE BEEN EXTRAORDINARY AND IT HAS COVERED ALL BASES, IT IS THE ONLY CAR IN AUSTRALIA THAT HAS SUCCESSFULLY RACED AN AEROPLANE AND MOTOR CYCLE TO EVERY CAPITAL CITY ON MAINLAND AUSTRALIA AND COVERED OVER 14,OOO KILOMETRES IN 19 1/2 DAYS TRAVELLING AND RAISING OVER 90,000FOR THE MAKE A WISH FOUNDATION, AND WINNING THE RACE AS WELL.|
ANOTHER ADVENTURE WAS TRAVERSING TWO OF OUR MAJOR RIVER SYSTEMS THE DARLING AND THE MURRAY, SITTING ON POLYSTYRENE BLOCKS OF FOAM AND TWO PADDLES HOOKED UP UP AND DRIVEN BY THE REAR WHEELS.IT WAS A SENSATION TO ALL THE OTHER RIVER CRAFT AND OUR TEAM HAD UNBRIDLED HOSPITALITY FROM PEOPLE LIVING ADJACENT TO THE RTVERS OR ON HOUSE BOAIS, WE FEATURED ON THE FRONT PAGE OF TTM SUNRAYSIA DAILY NEWSPAPER FROM MILDURA, AND NEWS CORPORATION SENT OUT A HELICOPTER FROM ADELAIDE TO FILM US LEAVING LOXTON IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA, AND THE NEWS AND TELEVISION COVERAGE WAS FAR REACHING.
AND WHEN GOING THROUGH THE LOCKS OUR REGISTRATION NUMBER WAS TAKEN AND THE RECORDING WOULD END UP IN CANBERRA WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WHO CONTROLLED THE WATER FLOWS IN THE MASSIVE RIVER SYSTEM, AND AS FAR A WE KNEW OURS WAS THE ONLY CAR TO CRUISE THE SYSTEM,
THEN WHEN A LOT OF FEEDER RAIL SERVICES WERE DISCONTINUED AND A LOT OF THE RAIL CORRIDOR WAS WASHED AWAY WITH FLOODS AND WAS NEVER GOING TO BE PUT IN SERVICE AGAIN, OUR GANG MADE SOME CONVERSION RAIL WHEELS AND TRIED OUT THE DISUSED LINES, THERE WERE IN EXCESS OF 7OO KILOMETRES LAYING IDLE, AND WE STARTED DOING A FEW TRIPS TRYING TO SHINE UP THE TOP OF THE RAILS.THE ABC SEVEN THIRTY REFORT CME OUT ON ONE EXCURSION WITH US AND IT MADE THE NATIONAL NEWS AND ONCE THE RAILWAYS GOT WIND OF THE ADVENTURE I GOT A PHONE CALL FROM THE BIG RAIL BOSS IN NEWCASTLE FORBIDDING US TO USE THEIR LINES AND I HAD TO PROMISE THAT I WOULD STOP, OTHER WISE THEY HAD THE POWER TO JAIL ME AND IMPOUND THE CAR.
|WE HAVE DONE OVER 60,000 KILOMETRES RAISING MONEY FOR A MULTITUDE OF
WORTHWHILE CHARITIES AUSTRALIA WIDE, AND WE HAVE NOW COVERED OVER I,OOO,OOO KILOMETRES OVER AN 85 YEAR PERIOD AND THIS YEAR 2013 HAVE SENT AWAY THREE SIZEABLE CHEQUES TO CAMP QUALITY AND THE ROYAL FLYING DOCTOR SERVICE.
ALL FUND RAISING IS DONE IN OR AROUND THE OLD PLYMOUTH.
Special Story Birdsville Track 1977
The reason this trip came about, was after a conversation with the public relations officer Harvey Grennan of Chrysler Australia Limited, his territory was all New South Wales and Queensland. His thoughts were a comparison between two Chrysler built products spanning 50 years, he talked to a well known motoring journalist Pedr Davis, and then the fine details were sorted out, Ampol were going to supply fuel and oils, and Chrysler the comparison motor vehicle.
The accommodation was to be hotels motels and caravan parks, courtesy of Chrysler, and Finelec supplied a liquid solution for preventing punctures in tyres and tubes, the Sydney media grabbed the concept, and previous to leaving a number of articles appeared in the press. Previous to leaving had an invitation to go to Ampol’s head office and meet the top brass, Ted Harris was the managing director, and was presented with an Ampol Touring Atlas of Australia. A hard covered metric edition, which over the years has been the atlas that all of my trips have been planned off although this is only trip number two; I’m sure many more will follow.
The Valiant car was from the press test fleet, and they usually cop a bit of a canning, the engine was a Hemi 245 cubic inch, or 4 litre capacity, fitted with automatic transmission. The only extras were a light skid plate under engine and transmission, and a tow bar to hitch up the 6x4 box trailer that would be towed to Birdsville, where the trailer would be hooked to the Plymouth for the return journey The trailer was loaded to the gunnels, ex army jerry cans filled with water and petrol, inflatable rubber bags blown up off exhaust gases, capable of supporting 200 kgs each. We had 8 of these on board, an capable of keeping the Plymouth floating if they were needed, one each to the road wheels, another under the rear luggage carrier, and one more under front bumper bar.
When the day finally came to leave, from an Ampol Service Station at Enfield a western suburb of Sydney, a lot of members of the Chrysler Restorers Club turned out to wish us bon voyage. When the club was first formed I was the first president, and they boasted around 600 members Australia wide. John Rollings an upholsterer and club member, made a special cover for the radiator and bonnet, and also a padded bag for my compass, a very important possession in the outback.
Want to read the rest of the Birdsville Track Adventure plus other stories including:-
Simpson Desert - 1978
Bourke to Burketown Bash - 1985
Plymouth Explorer - 1988
Endevour Rally - 1989
Plymouth Rattler - 1990
Blast From the Past - 1999
then contact Phil and buy "Just Poking Along" HERE