ABN 36 118 172 771


Great line up of cars that attended the 2007 National Rally in SA.

ALVIS NATIONAL TOUR: South Australia 2007



(Click on pictures to see a larger view)
The peace and quiet of a Saturday afternoon in Port Augusta was shattered as 47 Alvi arrived in town. The Standpipe Motel was a wonderful location for the first few days of the rally. The entrants were welcomed by smiling faces, pink hare ears, nibbles, drinks and lots of chatter on the verandah of the original hotel dating from the 1870’s.  
Dinner that night was a chance to renew acquaintances and to hear the various stories of the trip over to Port Augusta from Victoria, NSW, Queensland, SA, WA and Tasmania. For Frank Corbett his trip ended in Renmark with a blown 12/50 engine. He and his passenger Henry Anderson managed to get a lift with others to Port Augusta. In fact Henry arrived with Richard Tonkin & Penn Bradley in the Graber TA21- so he arrived in style. A few others had minor problems on the way over but all were fixed.
Sunday morning saw the Alvi heading down to an oval at the high school where all the cars could be parked while their owners enjoyed a trip on the Pitchi Richi Railway.  This is the original Ghan railway line and the steam locomotives and carriages all belong to the time when it was a very busy railway serving the isolated towns and pastoral properties between Quorn and Alice Springs. We had a steam loco to pull about 5 carriages, including the Commissioner of Railways carriage which had a rounded window at the rear for observing the scenery. It was a wonderful trip up through the Pitchi Richi Gorge, across iron lattice bridges, over hand built stone embankments to the Willows Restaurant for lunch. Judging by the level of noise during lunch there was plenty of chatter going on. After lunch, there was a bit of a wait for the train, as it had some problems building up steam. It was very pleasant sitting in the sun and looking down the valley. Most people ended up with soot in their hair as the footplates proved to be popular places to stand during the trip.  
The dinner that night saw far too many Indians and not enough chiefs to control the hilarity. The Indian Night was a great success especially as the Standpipe is owned by Indians so there were some wonderful curries on the menu. There were Indians ranging from Red Indians to Indians from India, an Indian Call Centre as well as the Worlds Fastest Indian and a couple of Indian bikers as well as one maharaja. There was much laughter as costumes were examined and Andrew McDougall (alias a call centre) was trying to interest anyone who would listen to his great deals. At the end of the night there were a number of prizes awarded: to Beni Hannam for being delightfully traditional as the best dressed Indian Lady, The best dressed Indian male to Mike Osborne as a North American Indian, the best dressed North American Indian couple to Gayle & Derek Dixon, the best dressed Indian Couple to Maritta & Dale Parsell as an Indian Motorcycle bikie couple, the most original outfit to Andrew McDougall as an Indian Call Centre and to Ian Parkinson for an Indian Outfit that was never meant to be worn whilst driving an Alvis motor car. It was a great night.
Monday was our first day of driving on the rally and it was a good run down the highway to Port Germein for morning tea and a chance to see the longest jetty in Australia at 1.7km. Some of the more energetic of us walked to the end of the jetty and back. Before we left, the boat launching vehicle was sporting an Alvis Red Triangle! Then it was a lovely drive through the Germein Gorge – a winding road through wonderful river red gums and twisted rock formations just made for Alvis cars. We continued up to Melrose and Mt Remarkable for lunch. All the cars lined up on the oval for a photo shoot. The trip home took us through Horrocks Pass which David & Elizabeth Horrocks were very interested in seeing. This was their first Alvis Rally in a lovely TE21.

Tuesday was the run up to Wipena Pound via the Wadlata Exhibition and Quorn. The exhibition was an excellent introduction to the history of the Flinders Ranges both geological and human. It made you realize how tough it was on the European settlers when they started to move north and to try and farm in a semi desert environment. Our lunch stop was at the Pichi Richi Railway workshops – needless to say there was a lot of wandering around steam engines in various stages of repair and marveling at all the metal and wood machining facilities as well as the great selection of dried timbers - a car restorers dream. The volunteer organisation does a wonderful job of maintaining and restoring the carriages and engines. After lunch it was onto Wilpena via Hawker and the Kanayaka Ruins. Kanayaka was one of the early homesteads in the region from the 1850-60’s, supporting up to 70 families. The fickle nature of rainfall and high stocking rates led to its demise. These days the properties are large and run 1 sheep to 10 acres rather than 10 sheep to 1 acre!  

Everyone arrived at Wilpena and settled into their rooms before the welcome drinks and dinner in the resort’s dinning room and a night of much laughter and talk plus Parky on the piano.

Wednesday and Friday were days when the various groups had the day to explore the Pound, climb St Mary’s Peak, take a scenic flight over the Pound or a 4 Wheel Drive trip along some of the gorges and along the ridgeline and wine tasting in the old Wilpena Station Woolshed. It was wonderful to be able to look in more detail at the environment of the Flinders Ranges.

Thursday saw it raining and it was the first time since1989 that it had rained all day! To break the drought all you need to do is organise a rally!! Still it was a good run up to Parachilna via Hawker for morning tea and the chance to see Jeff Morgan’s panorama painting of Wilpena Pound from St Mary’s Peak. He spent 4,000 hours on it using 60,000 photos. It was spectacular –you felt as if you were on the top of the Peak. Bob & Lesley Northey could vouch for the accuracy of the painting as they had climbed the peak the day before. Then it was a wet run up to our lunch of "road kill" – emu, kangaroo and camel. There was also Tommy Ruff stuffed with salmon. The food at the Prairie Hotel was excellent. The trip home was a repeat of the journey out except for the Blacket’s who decided to make life interesting by returning through the Brachina Gorge – they have some good photos of the 12/50 coming through the creek crossing. After dinner we were entertained by a local Australian country singer John O’Dea, who had composed a new song called "Raining  in the Pound".

The final dinner was a great affair with bottles of wine for each table provided by Brian & Joan Hemings as their way of being part of the rally – it was really appreciated by all entrants. It was a wonderful meal served by the friendly staff. If the noise level was anything to go by then it was a very successful evening. The various awards for the night were: Longest distance driven in an Alvis – Trevor & Judy Eastwood, Hard Luck – Frank Corbett, Entrant who has come the greatest distance with a car – John St Julian (NZ), Guts & Determination to overcome adversity – Bev & Peter Breise, Entrants Choice: Equal 3rd – Frank Moore: 4.3litre & David Horrocks: TE21 Drophead, 2nd Norman Zylberberg: Speed25 and 1st – Peter Scotney: TC21. It was great to see some of the first time rally entrants receiving acknowledgement for the restoration of their cars.

So the National Rally for 2007 came to end and we look forward to seeing everyone in Queensland in 2009. Congratulations to Stuart & Claire McDonald, Duncan & Clover Scott and their helpers for putting together a wonderful rally. It was great to be able to be able to see a very different part of the country.  

For the statistically minded there were: 8 South Australians, 19 New South Welshmen, 14 Victorians, 9 Queenslanders, 2 West Australians, 1 Tasmanian and 4 New Zealanders. Then the cars: 1 12/40, 13 12/50s, 1 14/75, 1 Silver Eagle, 7 Speed 20s, 1 3.5 litre, 3 Speed 25s, 3 4.3 litres, 1 12/70, 4 TA14s, 10 TA/TC 21s, 1 TA 21 Graber, 2 TD 21s, 1 TE 21 and DB5 Aston Martin. It was a wonderful array of the finest Alvis cars.

Frances & Andrew McDougall

Photography by the McDougalls & Geoffrey Farrence