From Clive Spreadbury…
The run started badly for me on the Saturday afternoon.
Having just fitted and adjusted the new front grill & surrounds to my Mk2A, I then commenced a full clean, polish, minor service, wheel & tyre black. I then headed off to the local service station to fill up with 98. Bang, a loud noise from the rhs rear somewhere. Initial investigation revealed nothing, then decided to return to the workshop to check it out.
Formal investigation revealed that the rear bracket holding the shock absorber to the diff housing had broken the weld and the shocker was just dangling down. Run in the Sprite reluctantly
aborted. No time to fix, have to take the Fairlane.
Arrived at the Victoria Park circuit via the Northern entrance, and enjoyed the thrill of driving into the Pit entrance & down Pit straight to where the other Sprites had accumulated.
Around 10 Sprites, an MGBGT, an MX5, an Alfa Sports, a Clubman and a Fairlane had made the trip. A good turn out of enthusiasts.
Gordon Boyce began by giving us an informative talk about the History of the event, both the Political problems in staging the event, and the costs & benefits to Adelaide. We learnt of the 2 rain effected race days in 1989 & 1991, and that Adelaide held the shortest Grand Prix in history due to the rain in 1991, and how as soon as the race had been cancelled the rain cleared up. We also learnt how hot the first event in 1985 was, and that the 1995 event was the biggest of any GP anywhere in history.
Gordon then explained the route to us and we all took off, beginning with a drive around as much of the old circuit that was still available to drive on.
Heading up Wakefield street, we drove past the old Wakefield corner and turned into Hutt street, heading down to Stag Corner apposite the Stag Hotel. Gordon had previously explained to us that the paint was still on the kerbing left from the old Grand Prix days. This part of the circuit was not used in the Clipsal 500 circuit, and had not been used since the Adelaide LeMans Race 0n 31/12/2000.
Continuing down Bartels Road, we turned right onto Dequetteville Tce, and marvelled at the fact that the F1 cars were doing 300kph down Dequetteville Tce, heading down to the Fosters Hairpin, at the Wakefield st corner.
Gary Beaton decided to carry straight on and head towards Belair. Maybe his brakes had failed. I myself like a sheep had followed him, the 2 of us only to get some practice in U turning on Fullarton rd.
We caught up the pack, heading down Wakefield st and turning left up Hutt street. We then headed up Glen Osmond rd along the Route previously taken by the Climb to the Eagle participants.
I so well remember working on Glen Osmond road and coming out every year to watch & cheer the participants as they made their way to the Eagle.
Arriving at Devil’s Elbow, I could not resist and gave the Fairlane a squirt around the corner, catching up to the pack. The Sprites were motoring pretty quickly up the hill at this stage which was most enjoyable. Passing the Old Eagle on the Hill Hotel, which is now a private residence, we stopped at the Park just beyond the old Hotel.
Gordon then gave us an interesting talk on the History of the Climb to the Eagle, and Don Cardone explained that he had raced and stayed in front of Sir Jack Brabham in the 1995 Dutton Grand Prix Rally which was the final event.
Driving further we turned off the freeway and headed on the Piccadilly rd. I then turned away from the pack and headed along the back road to Uraidla to show my passenger the ES&A bank agency that I used to run as a young teller back in 1970.
To my surprise, Gary B arrived down the road at Uraidla, and we again headed off to catch the pack up to head towards Lobethal.
Arriving at Lobethal, we than commenced a full circuit drive of the original 1939 Grand Prix Circuit, which was 14 kilometres in length. The lap was long with 2 very sharp hairpin curves. Gordon later explained that the original 400 kilometre 1939 race was completed in just over 2 hours, the winner’s average speed being a staggering 80 mph average speed in an MG TA sports coupe.
We then carried on through Lobethal and stopped at the Bushman Park for some lunch.
The spot was very pleasant with a lake, barbeque spots and toilets on hand.
Following the stop for lunch, Gordon explained to us the history of the 1939 event.
Barb thanked Gordon for the time and effort spent in organising and researching the day, as many of us have very fond memories of the 11 years that Adelaide hosted the Grand Prix.
We than headed off to Balhannah for afternoon tea, ourselves getting stuck behind a stray dog at Mt Torrens. We headed off to catch the pack up, but then drove straight past the turnoff and arrived back in Lobethal. Unable to find the pack we headed back to Cudlee creek for a coffee.
An enjoyable day & run was had by all.
Thanks to Gordon Boyce for all his efforts.