Corvette club of South Australia Inc.


Article by Neil Bailey

Wednesday the 23rd March saw two groups of Vettes depart for the National Convention this year held in Bendigo Victoria. The larger group of 8 cars lead by John & Jenny, with Karen & Dave, Rob, Dale, Peter, Alan and Rudi & Kay in tow having met at Tailem Bend before heading east. A second group of four vehicles headed north east to Mildura from the Barossa consisting of Goof & Mel, KB & Margaret and Gus from Whyalla and myself and Christeen. Our first stop was for coffee at Renmark and then onto Mildura for lunch, we then headed south along the Calder Hwy to Wycheproof (gotta love some of the names of their towns) and eventually arriving in Bendigo around 5:30pm local time. Waiting for us to the surprise of all were Doug & Jan who had flown down in a veil of secrecy that morning from Queensland.

Thursday the 24th saw the second group split into shoppers and miners with KB, Neil, Christeen, Goof and Gus all headed underground for a 5 hour mine tour of the Central Deborah Mine ending up over 450m underground. (I think I am the only person that could be scared of heights whilst actually underground). An absolutely fascinating tour 9 levels below the surface conducted by an ex-miner, Ken. We returned to the motel to find the car park quickly swelling with Corvettes with groups from NSW, Victoria and Queensland having arrived.

Friday the 25th saw group two spend a leisurely day cleaning the cars, registering and watching the Vettes roll in at a steady pace. Unfortunately for Rob and myself the dreaded convention gremlins struck with Rob tearing off his oil filter on an improvised ramp in the crowded car park and I discovered that I had a punctured side wall on my rear tyre. Tony and Faye arrived from Adelaide around 4.30pm. Beer o'clock arrived and most convened in the motel foyer or the tables in the alfresco area. Later we were served a sumptuous roast meal and the entertainment began.

Saturday the 26th was an early rise for all to get to the show and shine location in the heart of Bendigo. I was mobile again thanks to one of the New South Wales contingent loaning me a spare mag whilst my pit crew Doug took the offending rear wheel to be replaced. The area has a rich Chinese heritage and holds a large festival over the four day Easter break. We were given pride of place in a closed of street right off the main street which meant large crowds of admirers. This has to be one of the largest crowds and gathering of Corvettes I have ever seen.

We returned to the motel in dribs and drabs and got changed into our black and white clobber to be bussed down to the local goal for dinner. This included trophy presentations by the comedians 'The Nelson Twins' (Insurance commercial on TV), our winners were Peter best early C3 (original) and John best C5 (original) well done guys. The Nelson twins then spotted Dale in the crowd and adopted him as their father for the night. Dinner was followed by a huge fireworks display put on by the city of Bendigo.  

Sunday the 27th saw the majority head off on a cruise with morning tea at a Morris Museum in Harcourt North where the owner greeted every car as we arrived and then gave a fascinating tour and history of the Morris. Christeen, Goof, Mel, KB, Margaret, Doug, Jan and I then snuck back into Bendigo to have lunch and watch the street parade. The others continuing on for lunch at the Toolleen Pub. Option two for the day was a motorkhana event at the local sale yards.

Beer o'clock arrived once again with the returning masses, we then boarded the coaches again for a short trip to Chateau Dore a local winery and restaurant, for pre-dinner drinks, presentation of the Motorkhana trophies and a sit down dinner with entertainment by Paul Norton, Wendy Stapleton and Gerry Hale.

Monday the 28th saw the departure breakfast cooked by the local Rotary Club whilst we all loaded the cars said our goodbyes and headed off in different directions. Rob couldn't wait to get home to Karen so he headed off in a convoy of his own followed later by KB, Margaret, Gus and I. Knowing what the Easter Monday traffic was going to be like we opted for a left turn at Ouyen and Gus and I headed back towards Loxton and the Sturt Hwy while KB opted for Murray Bridge. Mel and Goof headed out to the Great Ocean Rd for an ex-tended holiday. The first group, mentioned at the start, also headed for the return trip to Adelaide via an extended trip staying at various towns overnight around the Ocean Road. Their exploits will be highlighted in a separate story.

Article by John and Jenny

28th National Corvette Convention travels. Corvette Club of South Australia Inc.

Another major event over and the chance for the Corvette family to have their annual get together with another great set of activities put together by the combined efforts of Corvettes of Melbourne and Vic Vettes.

This is the seventh event in succession Jenny and I have attended and each year we look forward to the next to catch up with our Corvette friends.

It is also the chance to travel with those interested from our club both to and from these nationals and have a good time along the way. Half the fun over Easter is the trip over and back and this year was no exception.

As Neil has already mentioned in last month's newsletter there were two groups which travelled over and leaving and returning at different times to work around their commitments.

We had seven Vettes go over and six returned around the Ocean Road a distance of some 2,200 kilometres.

On the Thursday we met at Tailem Bend and travelled via Horsham to St Arnaud. This allowed for an easy Friday cruise into Bendigo.
After forgetting to take the hanging clothes out of the wardrobe in the St Arnaud motel and after travelling some 30 kms, Jenny and I left our group to continue on as we returned to retrieve the items. As a result we had the pleasure of being pulled over by the highway patrol to explain why he had seen us travelling to and from St Arnaud as well as a licence and rego check then again on our way. Not too much time lost.

Neil's report covered the Easter weekend events well so will not cover that again here.

Easter Monday we headed off to Geelong stopping in Maldon where the small town was packed with people visiting to see their very impressive community street parade with the Chinese theme. It was here we thought our first major C3 convertible break down had occurred with liquid dripping out of the battery box at the rear. Upon investigation this turned out to be a once full mineral water bottle, which was lying flat in the luggage compartment, overheated, expanded and burst. Easy fixed.
The things you find out about your travelling companions and in this case a library card collector. So she headed off to the Maldon library, which was open, to collect yet another card, but as she was not a local and they did not know her she could not obtain one. Very disappointing for the person concerned.
Lunch at Castlemaine, which again was very busy and after finding a table for nine people and waiting for our order we found out more about another person in our group who used to run greyhounds many years ago and at different locations in this area. He explained the tricks of how to slow them down but I can't go into that as it is an old trade secret.

From here it was plain travelling to Geelong where we were invited to catch up with members of the local Corvette Club for dinner and celebrate their tenth year anniversary and a cruise afterwards.  A great night. 
On the Tuesday we travelled around the Bellarine Peninsular visiting places such as Portarlington, where our greyhound expert used to go for holidays when he was young, then onto Queenscliff to visit one of the many bakeries we visited for lunch. On our travels to Apollo Bay we visited the library in Torquay, able to get a card there, then by chance caught up in Anglesea on the foreshore with Goof and Mel as well as the relations of, you guessed it, the greyhound expert. Have a photo to prove it. A very pleasing unexpected encounter.
The drive around the coast was perfect with great opportunities to take photos and as it turned out not just for us but passing travellers who would pull up with us and take photos of the cars and not the scenery.
For Wednesday our destination was Pt Fairy and as we wanted to do the Tree Top Walk in the Otway National Park we were there at 9am to avoid the crowds which worked a treat. Well worth the experience if you have not already done it.

The Twelve, well how many are left, Apostles was our next stop, but did not miss the tourists there as they were everywhere, then to Port Campbell for lunch. Most afternoon's saw the tops come off of the C3's to enjoy great weather. The evening meal was at the local where we had to make plans for the next day, as nothing had been booked, so decided Robe would be our target. Accommodation was booked at that time and we could rest easy.
Thursday we left the Ocean Road and pretty well travelled straight through to Robe where we arrived early afternoon and had a leisurely day wandering around town as some of us had not spent much time there before. The evening meal was a nice stroll from the motel to the old historic Caledonian Hotel in the main street.
Friday was time to return home but not before the owner of the Lake View Motel took a photo of all the Corvettes in front of his establishment in order he could put it on Facebook.  A bakery morning tea at Kingston SE and again at Meningie for lunch where we said our goodbyes and heading home individually.
We all had a ball and as this trip was so successful those who attended are already talking about the Sydney Nationals next year and the travelling destination options.
Thanks to everyone who travelled with us and those who took the trouble to attend Bendigo.

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