30th May Lunch Run to The Elephant Door – Sellicks Hill
We have been invited to visit The Elephant Door for a BYO Picnic Lunch. Run by Dean King and Suzie this venue host weddings and other gatherings, as well as the nearby vineyards are used to make a range of wines. We will be tasting these on the day and products will be for sale.
Meet at the Victoria Hotel Carpark, Main South Road, O’Halloran Hill at 10.00am – Departing at 10.30am
On the eve of the MSCA Peter Hall Memorial 6-Hour Regularity Relay it is timely to have a look back at the Sprite Club of SA’s involvement with this type of event.
During the early days of the Sprite Club, competition was a strong part of the Club’s events, so the 6-hours became part of this activity. The Triumph Sports Owners Association of Victoria ran very successful 6-hour races at Calder Park, north west of Melbourne .
These events were scored on a handicap system, to ensure the drivers could maintain a constant lap time, losing laps/scores for going to fast. This handicap allowed the slower cars and teams to compete for outright honours. Being a relay race, a sash was carried by the driver for each lap they completed and handed to the next driver before they entered the track. If there was a breakdown the sash had to be returned to the pits before the next car could enter the circuit.
These events during the mid 1970’s included the following cars and drivers – note some of these (members and cars) are still in the Club! Team was Richard Stokes – Lightweight MG Midget (ex-Surfers Paradise 12 hour car), Reiner (Joe) Walker – 1275 Midget (RGX-781), Dean King – Mk1 Bugeye with Galant motor (SUS-600) and Peter Smeets – Sprite MkIIA with a Corolla Motor.
The Austin 7 Club of South Australia organised similar events at Adelaide International Raceway during 1976-1978, and once again the Sprite Club entered a team. Working on the handicap system the Sprite Club was quite successful, coming second place in 1976 with 244 laps, and third place in 1977 with 245 laps.
There was a gap for a few years and during 1988 – 1992 Club members Dean King (and then Rob Peckett) in the Toyota Sprite and Gordon Boyce – Bugeye Sprite joined the teams of the Victorian Austin Healey Sprite Drivers Club to make up teams for the Mini Club of Victoria 6-Hour Relay Races at Winton.
These teams had the various vehicle make-up of Sprites, Midgets and assorted associate vehicles. The team names included The Bent Brothers, The Twisted Sisters (all female team) and Roofless Racing. There was also a specific All Sprite/Midget team for the AHSDC’s 25th Anniversary Year in 1991. Other members joined in with the AHSDC for Winton 6, 12 and 24 hour events during the latter part of the decade.
MSCA President, Peter Hall had competed in these events in his Datsun 1600 and knew the importance of these events for the “Car Club Competitor”. He therefore, with assistance of the MSCA Committee a Plan to run a 6-Hour Relay Sprint at Mallala for the local car clubs and their members. This evolved into a Regularity Event, meaning competitors only required a Basic/Level 2 competition licence, and the speed of the cars could be limited. It was aimed at the usual road going or slightly modified cars that could compete, rather that the out and out racing cars.
And the concept grew, teams from all of the MSCA clubs became involved, Sprite Club, MG, MIni, Alfa Romeo, Fiat/Lancia, Bolwell and later MX-5, Lotus and Porsche. There is also a large support of club members who help with Team Manager, timing, lap scoring, general car maintenance and repairs, as well as feeding and watering both the cars and the drivers. This adds to the spectacle of the day and the event.
In recent years, members from the AHSDC have travelled over the border, entering teams in the event as well, with these team often placed in the top 3 teams, also worked on a the handicap system. For the 2021 event there are three teams from the AHSDC competing!
We must also include the Clubbies SA teams that are also a part of the Sprite Club and have been entries in most of the MSCA 6-Hours. These guys and girls have a lot of fun and the team name “We’re In It For The Beer” adds to this.
So if you heading to Mallala this weekend, either as a driver, official, supporter, timer/lap scorer or spectator, you are being part of an important chapter in the Sprite Club of SA’s competition history.
Sunday May 2nd is the annual MSCA Peter Hall Memorial 6-hour Regularity Relay at Mallala Motorsport Park. After a postponement , it is back on this year with a total of 22 teams competing.
One Quarter of the field has a Sprite Club association with the Red Heifer Racing with Pat and Gerard Miller and We’re in it of the Beer with Sean Power and the Clubbies SA team.
Add to that three teams from the Victorian Austin Healey Sprite Drivers Club, Darkside, Spritely Gentlemans Racing and AHSDC Sprite Team 2 make up a total of five Sprite teams.
As well as our 2020 Lady Driver of the Year Helen Stephenson has joined with four other lady drivers to form Driven Women.
Each team is required to supply a volunteer to help with the running of the event. Each team will also need support with the replenishment of both cars and drivers, so if you have few hours spare your assistance will be gratefully accepted by all teams.
The 6-hour will start at 11.00am and will conclude with a trophy presentation at around 6.00pm.
This is a great day of motorsport and is also a great Car Club day, please assist if you can, either with the teams or just as a spectator.
Kimberley Franklin hosts the “What the Hills” Community News and Current Affairs program on Lofty Community Media 88.9fm and lofty.org.au every Monday from noon. During the program she catches up with local Adelaide Hills events, activities and people.
During the recent Over COVID Rock’n’roll Festival at the Lenswood Oval, Kimberley interviewed event coordinator and Sprite Club member Garry Beaton and President Gordon Boyce about the festival and particularly about the Sprite Club of South Australia.
The program went to air this week and is available as a Podcast via the usual platforms, including Spotify, Google Podcasts and Audible.
The 2020 Sprite Club Annual Dinner was put on hold last year due to COVID-19 , so a Re-United, Re-Union Dinner was planned for November, but it also was cancelled due to COVID-19. So the Committee, guided by Social Coordinator, Michael McClaren, planned a Re-United, Re-Union, Re-Visited Dinner at the Sporting Car Club at Unley.
Also incorporated with the event were the Stars and Their Cars Display, with the vehicles of Peter Dineen (MG Midget), Darrel Hanna (Sprite Mk III), Steve Leane (Sprite Mk II) and Gary Brock (Holden Tigra) displayed on stage as a backdrop to the evening.
The Dinner started with pre-dinner drinks and nibbles, after the usual COVID QR sign-in and it was a chance for many members to catch-up and socialise, some we have not seen for over 12 months. Then the catered Roast Meal was served and there was a vast array of meats, salads and vegetables for members to enjoy. This was followed by an assortment of desserts, tea and coffee.
President Gordon Boyce acted as MC and Interviewer and had the various members up on stage and talk about their early motoring history and about their specific cars. There was a theme with many owning Austin/Morris/BMC vehicles with the occasional Holden thrown in. Many of these cars had Twin/triple SU carbies fitted and the usual bits and pieces a new owner will add to their first pride and joy!
Each of the Member’s cars had a Re-United, Re-Union or Re-Visited theme as well. Peter Dineen’s Midget had been previously owned for 40 years by Richard and Mandy Stokes, so Richard was re-united with the Midget and joined Peter to talk about the car’s early life.
Steve Leane’s Sprite Mk II had previously been owned by Kurt Heinrich, so it is good to have the car’s re-union with the Sprite Club. Steve had slowly been doing bits and pieces to the Sprite since joining the club in late 2020. It is also a very early 1961 Sprite Mk II, so was celebrating it’s 60th birthday as well.
Many has last seen Darrel’s Sprite Mk III as a stripped bodyshell on a rotisserie at the visit to Marque Restorations last year. Gerard Miller and the team have done a fantastic job, and the Sprite has been re-united with Darrel and is looking just like to did when it rolled out of the factory many years ago. Also has the “optional” child’s seat located behind the seats, although it would require a very small child to fit in this space.
Gary Brock’s Holden Tigra was awarded Peoples Choice at the Over COVID Festival at Lenswood Oval recently, so was good to be re-united with this interesting vehicle and it’s electric roof. Gary was proud to show the retracting and raising of the roof, although too many operations can cause the battery to go flat!
There was also some trophy presentations for 2020 Lady Driver of the Year – Helen Stephenson and the 2020 Encouragement Award – Michael Doube. Congratulations to both winners!
Special thanks to Michael McClaren for his organisation of the event, and must also include thanks to partner Pat plus Chris and Tina Brine for the set-up and assisting with the dishes, etc. And thanks to Gary Brock, who magically produced one of his famous “Gary’s Quiz” to keep the members entertained between food courses.
24th April Hillclimb Multi-club 1 – Collingrove Hillclimb – Note this is on Saturday 24th April
2nd MSCA Peter Hall 6-Hour Regularity Relay – The Event will start at 11.00 am.
The Annual 6-Hour Regularity Relay attracts teams of cars from all MSCA Clubs, as well as interstate. Come along and help our Clubman and Sprite Club teams including three teams from Victoria, with various tasks, as well as spectate this interesting Club and Teams Event.
3rd May General Meeting
Fullarton Park Community Centre, 411 Fullarton Road, Fullarton Park.
19th May Mid-Week Meander – Eastern Edge Encircle Meet 9.30am for 10.00pm departure
Russell and Judy have planned another run for this Mid-Week Meander.
This time the route will be “dropping over the Eastern Edge” and touring some well and not so well used roads. Note: there will be approx. 7 km of smooth dirt road in this Meander.
Meet 9.30 am at the Main Oval Gates, Onkaparinga Valley Road, Balhannah for a 10.00 am departure. BYO morning tea/coffee, etc and Lunch will be at a local motoring named hotel.
Please let Russell and Judy know if you are attending for catering purposes – 0403 151 715
As the sun sets over the pine trees, and the coolness of the evening fell over the Lenswood Oval, the sounds of the Master’s Apprentices last few songs (Gloria and Turn Up Your Radio) echoed around the natural amphitheatre to finish up a wonderful day.
Hills farmer, orchardist, and Sprite Club member Garry Beaton, ably assisted by Molly, plus a number of fellow Hills residents saw the need to support the local district. Having been through the usual seasonal variations as a farmer, the recent bushfires and COVID-19 have put a range of pressures and issues on the Hills communities and the support services, the CFS being one of them.
Gary and his colleagues sowed the idea of having an event that would bring some people into the area and support the district. Rock’n’Roll music, local food, wine and produce plus a few classic cars should fit the bill. Add the Mater’s Apprentices as the headline act, the support of the Sprite Club for some display vehicles and the stage is set.
14 Sprite Club vehicles plus some of Garry’s neighbours vehicles made a total display of 22 cars. These included the vehicles of the usual attendees; Brines, Boyces, Beatons, Kings, Kinlays, Tyes, Chabrels, Schmarrs and Brocks. New members, Steve and Kathie Leane in their Blue Mk II Sprite, Peter Dineen displaying his Cream Midget and Grant Stephenson’s Bugeye having its first Sprite Club run in nearly 14 years, added to the line up added some different Spridgets to the display.
Some of Garry’s neighbours vehicles included Jaguar XK120, very original Torana A-9X, Mustangs, Corvettes plus el Camino Chev added to the Sprites, Midgets, Mini, Clemente Clubman, Lotus and Tigra.
The bands started at 12.00pm and belted out a range of rock’n’roll hits throughout the day. Food stalls, wineries and breweries provided the guests with enough of the local produce to keep the the hunger pains away.
Between the different bands there were gymnastic displays, belly dancing and other assorted activities to keep the crowd entertained. There was a dance floor for those who wanted to kick up their heels and a few rock’n’rollers showed their specific moves.
A “Most Appealing Car” award allowed the public to view the display vehicles and choose their favourite. This went to Gary and Faye Brock and their Holden Tigra. Well done to the both of you! Not only the oldest members in the Sprite Club, but they stayed well into the early evening enjoying the sounds of the bands.
Of course the highlight was the Master’s Apprentices, who played a variety of originals, covers and iconic songs that keep the crowd on their feet until the twilight of the evening. While there was one more band to go, most of the members headed back to the city thankful that they could support the event,and particularly the local region affected by a number of issues over the past few years.
Special thanks to all members for bringing their vehicles to support the event. Thanks to Garry , Molly and their fellow organisers for allowing us to join in the event, and we look forward to supporting similar activities in the future.
Joseph Lucas Limited of Birmingham, England advertised their business as the “King of the Road” ! Their products were, for that point in time, world class and leaders in the automotive electrical field. with a background in auto electrics is was always impressed with the workings of their various equipment and electrical accessories.
Often being blamed for cars and motorbikes having various electrical problems, led to the “Prince of Darkness’ label and the associated jokes – Why do the English drink warm beer………….Lucas Refrigerators!
Recently I obtained a Sprite wiring loom, as I was looking for specific wire sizes and colours for a project. On removing the cotton braided covering and the cloth tape revealed the wires and specifically the wire colour – with colours trace.
On investigation of the loom and specifically a number of the connectors, I noticed that the loom had undergone some repairs in it’s life span.
These included the main terminal on the generator, wiring to the generator and ignition coil, including the tacho wire. Some of these were poorly crimped, twitched together and taped with electrical tape!
These repairs, while made many years ago, could have been the source for a high resistance and the non-operation of the ignition, starting, charging or tacho.
So be cautious when blaming Joseph Lucas, it may have been someone else’s poor handiwork that leaves you stranded on the side of the road!
Catering for Austin Healey Sprite and MG Midget Enthusiasts