Day 15

Wauchope to Renner Springs 273 km

Another great day but another day with no internet or mobile access, funnily enough we drove past a Telstra Countrywide sign today with my phone showing zero bars, maybe Telstra’s marketing department should talk to their tech guys.

As we are driving/riding veteran vehicles such telecommunication problems are not really a concern and by and large no problems occurred certainly none that involved remapping, rebooting or any other such thing.

However our support vehicles are not imune to such things, a certain Nissan Navara that had it’s cracked fuel rail replaced in Port Augusta, failed to proceed at Devils Marbles after springing another leak in the fuel circuit (probably from a clamp not being done up from the first job). The pipe was pushed back on, a cable tie used to hold it, but with air now in the system the car would not start. Of course there was no mobile service so the Nissan help desk was a drive back to the phone box at Wauchope (twice) meanwhile a simmilar Navara was flagged down and the friendly owner knew exactly how to bleed the system so the Support Vehicle now does not need support….. for the moment.

For the 50% that read the rally book today, a lovely detour was had onto the old road, it was completely devoid of traffic with lots of grade changes and curves just like roads used to be.

Renner Springs is lovely just don’t turn up with 40 odd cars and bikes and expect to be welcomed.

This post was sent from Daly Waters (Day 16) unfortunately internet is too lousy to post pictures, will be tomorrow from Katherine

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Day 14

Ti-tree to Wauchope about 190 km

I’m writing this at the surprisingly good Wauchope Hotel, caravan park. We just had a lovely meal in the bistro but as there is no mobile coverage here, this post will happen tomorrow assuming we have coverage at Renner Springs.

Today was a ditto of yesterday about the same distance with the same tail wind but the temperature is creeping up which is not a bad thing especially as the weather at home is still rubbish.

photo 2We passed through Barrow Creek which is much better than last year as now they have water to flush the toilets otherwise not much seems to have changed, also stopped at Wycliffe Well Roadhouse UFO centre of Australia and bought some green alien sunglasses as you do.

Lost the 1917 Harley of Marcus Wills Cooke today with a cracked head/barrel not sure if that will be repairable on the run, the up side is that I will be able to sleep in as it makes a hell of a racket warming up in the morning.

Peter Hamilton did some soldering on the Turnbull Maxwell’s radiator which is a rather unorthodox design (if you can figure out how it works please tell me) . Graham Donges is back on the road with the Brush, I have included a photo of what was left of the now re metalled big end.
Lyndon Hardman’s Talbot was very fortunate it’s owner never throws anything away as after shearing the flexible magneto drive Lyndon produced a skate board wheel out of thin air that was soon fashioned into suitable coupling. Any hoarders out there please do not take encouragement from this.

20140816_142827_resizedBest use of a clothes peg went to Rod Cripps’s cruise control on the Overland (photo attached).

Otherwise a very good bay in paradise.

This post was sent from Daly Waters (Day 16) unfortunately internet is too lousy to post pictures, will update tomorrow from Katherine.

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Day 13

Alice Springs to Ti Tree 193 km

Today we had 193 glorious kilometers of tailwind assisted travel from temperate to tropical although the climate is definitely still temperate but no need to rush these things.

Carrot and Michael Holding were my passengers today and the movie below was taken by Carrot, I’m just glad we had stopped for a leak as I’m not sure I would have noticed these things in the rear vision mirror.

Thanks everyone for the photos, lots of them today although some are not of today.

I think most people were just doing general maintenance except Graham Donges who has rejoined us with a now remetaled conrod and I believe it has been installed tonight.

The best “Bush Mechanic Fix” goes to Barry Deeth’s Ariel with a beautifully soldered (Brian again) spout from a petrol can and it’s corresponding bright orange cap replacing the original tank filler that fell off .

I have been asked how many are still running and the answer is 39 plus 4 backup vehicles. Four did not start at all, five have failed along the way and the drivers/riders have become “Swaggies”

As they say up here “All Good”

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Day 12

Erldunda to Alice Springs about 200 km

Easy day today, straight up the Stuart Highway with the wind mostly behind us this time.  As just about everyone took off before I was out of bed, I can only assume they all made it. There is no doubt frantic spanner work going on as I write this but as we are spread all over Alice tonight I have no idea of the progress, tomorrow we are all together again so I will do a bit of an audit then and report back.

In the hotel carpark Marcus is rebuilding his trailer, seems like you cannot rely on secondhand BMW wheels having quality tyres as they were retreads and have done what retreads are good at doing, regressing to their natural state, bald.

Caught up with Shayne Harris today, Shayne is the man behind the rally book, he needed to be in Darwin tomorrow (yes that is 1500 km away) so has continued on  in the Hilux, we will catch up with him again in Coomalie.

Jodie Thompson and Daniel Sargent have done a interview with the local ABC  so something may turn up on their website.  Also Jodie has a Facebook page for the rally you can access it here.

Thin on pictures again but have been rescued by John Wightman (again) and Jodie thanks John & Jodie. Anyone else on the Rally with pictures or interesting stories, grab me and I will decant them from your phone, camera or computer or just send them to me.

The last few photos from Geoff Chennells from the aviation museum and Francis Birtles gets a mention (wrong rally sorry Bob)

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Day 11

Yulara to Erldunda 243 km plus windage

Today we travelled back to Erldunda straight into an arctic or should I say antarctic gale, I had so many clothes on that a straight jacket provided more movement.  I have included a photo of our latest innovation available in all the better stores.

photo 2aAnyone who did not notice the wind had too many cylinders in their car/motorcycle and should not be counted.

Several vehicles were trailered on the premise that they had already driven/ridden the road, albeit in the other direction, of course they have missed the point of long distance rallying and that is suffering. It’s the only thing that you will remember in a few short years.

Other than the suffering a good day was had by those that did participate and the coffee at Mt Ebenezer was good.

The Johnson Overland not content with 243 km drove straight through to Alice Springs so the things that fell off during the trip can be welded back on again.  Lee Wright made it on the Triumph at an average of 35 kph  but had to go through a thorough de-icing at the bar afterwards. Chris & Christina used up their mileage allowance yesterday going to the Olgas so the Chenard Walcker went on strike today and is threatening more of the same unless a two hour lunch rule is written into it’s contract.

Another angle on today can be had at

Only a few photos today as most cameras are only rated down to -5ºC


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Day 10

Uluru Rest Day 0 – ∞ km

Just checked the weather at home, a low of 3.3º a high of 10.7º. That is not the weather we are having.

A bit of spanner work went on in the campground today, I removed 35mm of toe out from the front end and a big chunk of my clutch throwout bearing, the theory being less bearing equals less rattle, there is an end point to this theory that I’m trying not to think about.

Lionel Simpson was seen with his now bottomless fuel tank that no amount of soldering will save. Andrew’s T Ford is now running mostly on 4 cylinders.  Speaking of T Fords, Scotty’s has become a trailer queen and is saving her strength for the hospital in Alice Springs.

Chris & Christina eschewed the workshop and headed for the Olgas in the Chenard Walcker and made it back with the occasional wheeze from the engine as the vac tank stole the manifold vacuum.

A fair proportion of us drove around the rock and thanks to Barry Walters (B2) for the deal and Jodie Thompson for rounding up the troops, some of us flew around it as well.

Pictures from John Wightman, Sue and I. It looks from John’s photos that he made it to the Olgas as well.

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Helicopters and Jackets

As we are all spread out tonight I will use the blog to get the word around

Firstly Barry Walters (B2) has organised a deal with Helicopters here at Ayers Rock with a 20% discount if we can get 10 people also at Katherine a 15 min. flight can be had for $100/person min. 3 people.  Please get the word around.

As I have been asked, I am taking orders for rally jackets, if you are sick of admiring someone else’s they are $50 plus $15 freight to your door.  Please get back to me before the weeks end.


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Day 9

Erldunda to Yulara 243 km

First up I was so tired yesterday that I did not know what day it was, I have now corrected the heading for yesterday to Day 8.  The reason I and several others were a bit weary is that the Sizaire was involved  in a minor accident involving a rental Subaru overtaking me while I was making a right hand turn into a rest area, luckily we were only dealt a glancing blow but the Siz front is a bit bent, the fuel tank split, the brass hubcap smashed and the steering box damaged.

Quite frankly I thought the the Sizaire would be a trailer queen for the rest of the trip but instead a small army marshalled to make that not the case.  I would like to thank in particular Chris, Colin, Daniel, Brian, Andrew the rest of the Sargent’s good and bad and anyone else who stood around holding torches, passing tools etc for the 8 hours it took to make the Sizaire ready for the road.

After Day 8, Day 9 was pleasantly mundane.  A trip through rolling hills, fantastic vistas and I have been told great coffee at Mt Ebenezer (closed last year). Curtain Springs supplied a decent lunch and the most expensive petrol so far.  Scott Staples decided to have the tyre change from hell on the side of the road, I have heard whispers that it may have taken 3 hours. Robert Couper left us today to fly home from Alice, David remains to pilot the Overland.  Several others have gone straight on to AS for mechanical work.

After a couple of teething troubles the Sizaire ran like a train, clocking 67 kph at one point although due to the misalignment of the front end a steady diet of new rubber will be needed to get to the end.

You may notice some odd pictures below, they are inanimate objects that have been run into in the caravan park, no wonder the roads are not safe.

Pictures by Sue Lee Wright and John Wightman


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Day 8

Marla to Erldunda 253 km

Too tired will catch up tomorrow


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Day 7

Coober Pedy to Marla  232 km

The weather has been perfect since we left Birdwood so I had better not mention it again in case I put a mozz on it.

Fairly uneventful day, Chris Knoop still sorting a car finished 5 days before the rally, it is the best place to do the sorting  although which of the 50 or so opinions is right?  Joy’s Oldsmobile needed some minor fettling and Marcus’s Harley (that’s the one that always passes you) refuses to restart when hot, many wise heads were seen pondering the dismantled magneto. To a certain extent it would be a pity if the fault was found as although Marcus always passes me I always get to pass him at refill time.

Alan Maden has rejoined us this time in the American la France it appears that the Dodge did not use enough fuel. Some wag calculated that it gets about the same economy as a triple trailer road train, but it does look great!


I have included this photo (look closely) sent to Carrot from Arnold in Adelaide (where Carrot’s Peerless now rests) with the following message:

“Give me the word and this piece of shit will never trouble you again!!!”

Photos today from Sue, John Wightman and I.





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