Images

Elephants Door & Victory Hotel 26 May 26

Route details – nothing challenging, just a nice run down from Adelaide to Sellicks Beach.

  • Depart Fullarton Centre 1015
  • Follow freeway up to Stirling (arrive approx 1030)
  • Right at the Roundabout onto Avenue Road. Feel free to wait near Steamroller Park.
  • Right onto Sturt Valley Road through Upper Sturt, Iron Bark, Cherry Gardens and onto Clarendon, arriving at the Bakery at approximately 1050 for a coffee stop.
  • Depart at 1115 via Range Road and The Range
  • Left onto Victor Harbor Road, then right onto Pages Flat Road, heading for Pages Flat and thence Myponga.
  • From Myponga its right onto Main South Road, past the Victory Hotel and right into Rogers Rd and right into Plains Rd for Elephants Door, arriving approx 1200

If its raining or your car is off the road, just come along in your everyday car!

A detailed route map can be found here: https://maps.app.goo.gl/D8SBcmAUuMAzr1629

Regarding the meal at the Victory:

  • Its a set two course menu. I need to advise the Hotel by NLT Wednesday afternoon if its going to be entrée + main or main + dessert. Left up to me it will be main + dessert but please let me know your preference and the popular vote wins!
  • The menu can be found below or follow the following link: (https://victoryhotel.com.au/group-bookings/)
  • The pub wont split the bill. I’ll pay and everyone will need to pay me by EFT or PayID, or you can bring cash!
  • There are several spots left if you’d like to come along, just let me know please (0431247746).

Wanted to borrow

Wanted to borrow – a front hub puller for wire wheels!

Does anyone in the club have one that I can borrow?

For reference, its this one (pretty sure its the 8tpi one I’m after!!).

If I can’t chase one down I’m going to look into getting one made so if anyone would like one made, also, please let me know

Elephant Door and Victory Hotel Run

A quick reminder for people wishing to attend to let me know as soon as possible so I can confirm with the venue.

Email me or put you name into the list via this link: 26 May 24 – Victory Hotel Lunch Run.xlsx

Lunch cost is $60 per head for a two course meal.

I’ve got a cap at 30 and we have 19 signed up so far so don’t miss out!

Final route details will be posted later this week, including timing for anyone who wishes to join the run at the Clarendon Bakery.

Plan on about a 70km run to Sellicks. Not long, but long enough to blow out the cobwebs and everyday cars are more than fine (as I don’t think the Little Blue Car will be back on its wheels, unless some has a front hub puller for wire wheels hiding in their shed!)

5-Speed Gearbox Conversions

First it was the Celica or the Corolla conversion, pioneered, I’m told, here in Australia and ultimately formed the basis of another well known conversion kit from Frontline, using a Ford T9 gearbox (from a Sierra I believe). Over in the Land of the Free, a mob called ‘Rivergate’ did the same thing with a 5 speed box from a Datto (not sure which one, probably the 120y or similar).

The issue with all of the conversions has be availability of the gearboxes; the ubiquitous Toyota T50 has found itself behind everything from a Sprite or Midget through to a Clubbie or a Cortina or even small block V8. And as the donor cars are no longer made, the supply has dwindled toa trickle or members who are hording two or three spares ‘just in case’ … you know who you are … !

In the UK Barrett Engineering (https://barrattengineering.co.uk/) has developed a new conversion kit for our cars using the 5 cog from none other than a Suzuki Sierra/Jimny. The Jimny has been around since about 1970 in one form or other and has been called various things in various countries, including the Sierra here in the 1990s/early 2000s and the Jimny so, in theory at least, there is a relatively good supply of the gearbox from wreckers or brand new. The box has several advantages too, in particular that it doesn’t need to have the 2nd cross member removed as in the case of the T50 and the T-9 conversion.

We already have club member, Geoff Glasson, who has ordered a conversion kit for his Mk1 (and I’m hoping that he might be able bring it in to a meeting soon for a ‘show and tell’ session); Peter (the Plumber) and Chris (the Car Dealer) are both interested in the kit and have recently contacted Barrett to enquire as to a ‘bulk deal’ and if they can fill a pallet (5 or 6 kits) there is a decent discount to be had. Peter has already sourced several gearboxes and is well on the way to having 5 or 6 boxes available so their plan is a bring in the kit without a gearbox.

From Peter and Chris:

The kit comes with engine backplate, billet flywheel, starter motor, tail shaft, gearshift to suit sprite/midget hole location. Price is GBP2400 on their website, we have arranged a price of GPB2000 pounds plus approximately 450 freight to Adelaide Port (not including duties). 5 kits will fit on a pallet (with a gearbox) or 6 kits without, therefore the freight price can be shared. Chris regularly drives to Melbourne for work so can delivery to there and delivery of kits to other locations can be arranged.

Even including freight from Adelaide to anywhere in Australia, this is going to be cheaper that an individual importing it themselves, particularly as the guys have chased up gearboxes.

The kit will fit any rear wheel drive A Series car – Morry Minor, Marina, Sprite, Midget, A30/35, A40 Farina.

If you are interested please, have a look at the website and then let Peter (0418 823 545) or Chris (0411 867 118) know as they keen to make this happen.

NB: Peter and Chris need to know which engine you are fitting this to as the kit comes specific to an engine type. IE, they need to know if you are putting it behind a 948, 1098 or a 1275.

NBB: A question has been asked about ratios. Please see the comparison table of the popular conversions below:

May Runs – Reminders

Wednesday, 15 May – Midweek Meander

If you are coming along to tomorrows Midweek Run please be sure to let Russell and Judy know TODAY (or me if you can’t contact them) so they can book the lunch venue.

Details:

  • Starting Point – Hazelwood Park, 0930 for a 1000 departure
  • Total trip distance is 150-160km – 110 out, 50 back.

Sunday 26 May – Elephants Door and Victory Hotel

Reminder to let me know who is coming along. I’ve created a spreadsheet (click here) to you can update your details.

Final run route details are being developed – we will be meeting at the Fullarton Centre (ie, the Sprite Club clubrooms) at 0945 for a 1000 departure. There will be a morning tea stop (where you can also join us), arriving at Dean King’s Elephant Door at 1200. Lunch at the Victory has been amended to 1330. I need to understand how many are coming! The booking is currently for 20; however, they can cater for more (up to 30 in the cellar or more upstairs) so please let me know ASAP!

Runs in May

Two great club runs coming up this month!

All members and friends of the Sprite Club of SA are welcome to join in be it in their Sprite or Midget, Clubbie or other Associate Vehicle or, if the weather is miserable, in you every day car!

Wednesday 15 May – Midweek Run #1

Starting Point – Hazelwood Park, 0930 for a 1000 departure

Please let Russell and Judy, or myself, know so Russell and Judy can make the appropriate booking at the lunch venue. RSVP by 13 May please

Total trip distance is 150-160km, with the outward journey being approximately 110km via the most circuitous route possible! And … no dirt or gravel roads.

Sunday 26 May – Winery and Lunch

Depart – TBA. Run route details yet to be decided; however, a 1000 departure is planned

Destination(s):

Elephants Door Cellar Door – 1200

Victory Hotel Cellar Lunch – 1330

RSVP for the lunch is critical! A booking for 20 has been tentatively made with the venue able to seat up to 32 in the cellar if we let them know. Preferred meal format will be a $60 two-course menu (entrée & main or main & dessert) and dietary requirements can be met.

RSVP no later than 22 May please (to me – Robin)

Advice Sought – Frontline T9 5Sp Conversion

Over in Whyalla, our Club’s resident intrepid Spridget adventurer Adrian Faulks is currently installing a Frontline T9 5-speed gearbox kit and is running into issues that have left him, and Frontline, bemused and confused.

Has anyone in the club attempted this on their car? I know a lot of us have Dellow Toyota T50 conversion and some of us have the US sourced ‘Rivergate’ conversion using a Datsun/Nissan box and we even have on member about to commence using the newest conversion kit from Barrett (which uses a Suzuki box) however, I’m not sure who in the club, if anyone, is running the current Frontline kit. If you are, Adrian would love to hear from you.

Situation: The gear box is sitting further back in the tunnel that Frontline say it should; however, they also say that Adrian’s work seems to be spot on in terms of installation. They (and Adrian) are bemused as to why the gearshift is not sitting neatly in the extant opening (see below).

The only solution seems to be to cut away the rear of the gear shift opening; before he takes to the car with a grinder (or an axe) Adrian is keen to hear if others have had this issue please! If you have experienced this, please drop me a line and I’ll pass your information or details to Adrian to ponder!

For those of you who followed his most recent adventures and the failed clutch on the way back from Nationals, it wasn’t the brand new clutch at all … it was the equally brand new carbon thrust block that failed. Needless to say I’ve suggested that he talks to SpriteParts about a roller bearing release block instead!

Help Wanted – Peter Hall Memorial 6Hr

This Sunday sees the annual running of the Peter Hall 6Hr at Mallala. The Sprite Club, with a significant amount of help from the Clubbies brigade, have a long history of participation, including helping the Victorians to a podium place….

It take many hands to make the teams work and Sean Power needs your help! Please see below:

Great news – the 10 day forecast says Sunday will be 10 to 21 degrees on the day and unlikely to have rain.Fabulous news at the moment. Still can be cold at Mallalla.

We have a home base of Sheds 100/101 where we have always located, next to the canteen. Parking just outside. The shed has power for tools, charging and kettles. You can place stuff there for the day.

As usual, I do not know exactly how many volunteers are turning up on the day. I do know that the young ones who ruled the pit wall (2-3 persons) cannot make it this year. They were invaluable and adaptable.

This year we have 2 teams. I will manage the ‘We’re in it for the Beer’ and Pat Miller is going to manage the other team ‘Red Heifer’.

Drivers, this year you do not have to go out in the warmup  to set a time if you don’t want to. Just give me your time …. AND THEN STICK TO IT – winning is not about posting your PB or the fastest time, its about which team can stick to their laptimes for the whole race! Don’t give me a time that you are going to struggle to meet. Give me a time that you can peel off lap after lap after lap …. AND THEN STICK TO IT!!!!!

Each team need to just operate safely and not mess up the day by being disqualified by not having a car on track … this means we need the following resources to make it all work:

  • 1 person in formup to keep watching for change overs and to transfer the sleeve band from incoming driver to driver in formup
  • 2-3 persons on pit wall to provide times and signals to their driver to come in, slow down, go faster, stay out, etc.
  • 1/2 persons located on the hill to time and send messages to pit wall re time of their car or any emergency. They also contact others in team if they see their car crashed or disabled or other general black flag situation.
  • A volunteer or volunteers to assist MSCA run the event. We are short all sorts of officials and someone from each team has been rostered on to give an hour to MSCA to take up a position – e.g. at pit start area. 
  • Team Manager has to get times from Team members and rush them to the tower by 10.00am, plus try and keep an eye on things as they unfold.
  • Handy to have someone at the garages to keep an eye on drivers and let them know when ready to get to start up.  Also helps when there are breakdowns with car in garage and not ready to go.

Note the numbers above do not really include extras to give people toilet and meal breaks. Drivers can help out but with 5 per team, they have to be available for their next set of driving, immediately if anything goes wrong as a car has to get out on track.

Last year we did not have enough walkie talkies for all of the groups involved. It was challenging. Phones can’t be easily used like walkie talkies for casual quick updates of timing & emergency issues. So please, if you are a volunteer, find, borrow or pinch a set of walkie talkies so we can communicate. I have two walkie talkies only plus spare batteries.

So this year I am proposing for my team anyway that we do not concentrate on times and timing if we do not have the resources to time and communicate easily. Drivers set a time they are not easily going to beat and focus on being smooth. We let them go, communicating only on the wall to stay out or come in or whatever.

I rove between positions and try to manage emergencies as they arise and try to do the volunteer position plus liaise with the Race Director if things happen

Main thing is to have fun and keep the cars going.

We are in it to have fun, give the drivers lots of track time and come back safely. See you next Sunday from 8.00am onwards

2024 Spridget Nationals in Review

Last Monday night the Sprite Club held its annual Stars and Cars evening at the Sporting Car Club. Featured cars and owners were members recently returned from the 2024 Sprite and Midget National meeting in Wodonga.

The following event report is a mix of Grant’s travelogue and my own experiences. Photos are from all of from many people and I apologise in advance for not individually crediting people! Hope you enjoy!

Day 1 minus 1 week and a bit:

It’s been a busy weekend in the shed getting the Sprite ready for the challenge. Both the Sprite and I needed a stop at Mt Compass. Can you believe it 34 degrees at 9.30 . All loaded and ready to go.

Grant Stephenson and his Mk1 Sprite have been to over 20 National Challenges/Meetings since his first trip in approximately 1980 and this was the first year the Sprite has been trailered across rather than driven, and on a brand new trailer to boot! You’d think a new trailer would be trouble free, now wouldn’t you?!

My experience was the clutch failed a week or so out and, on the same stinking hot day, four of us cracked into the job and had the engine out and back in in about 8 hours, complete with brand new alternator, so I took the decision not to pack the old one as a spare. I mean, why would I take the old one when the new one is only a week old. Something else that would come back to haunt me. Mind you, every other spare I carried, from (several) sets of points and condenser to a new fuel pump were still in the same place I packed them when I got home!

Likewise, Adrian had been battling a failing clutch prior to leaving Whyalla and, with a 3500 round trip planned for them, discretion was the better part of valour and he had a local mechanic fit a new clutch. The new 5sp gearbox sitting in the back of his shed had to wait a bit longer before it gets used! You’d think problem solved wouldn’t you …. Somewhere around Mildura on the way over the new clutch started making strange noises, like a banshee screeching, every time the clutch was dipped. Nothing to see here, it’s a new clutch…..

Not to be out-done, Peter also knew he had some looming issues and ordered both a clutch Master and Slave cylinder but they didn’t arrive until the night he departed so he tossed them in, just in case. Mind you, his passenger for the entire trip, a 60l fridge, performed faultlessly and he had ice cold drinks for the entire drive!

Pete, along with the van Wageningen’s and Faulks, set off about 5 days early for the Pre Tour event and, as luck would have it, he had no clutch hydraulics by the time he got to the motel and spent the first night doing a Master and Slave cylinder change in the motel carpark. Somewhere between Adelaide and Victoria he also chipped a tooth on first gear. Luckily the beers in his car fridge were icy cold!

Day 1.

An interesting drive day one to the Challenge. David (Low) and I got breath checked by the local police at an Ouyen RBT, and yes we were all clean. An easy day driving, till I blew a tyre and destroyed a rim on the trailer.

I headed out shortly before 6am, first stop petrol and then meet up with Grant and Angela and David and Di at Tailem Bend, after which I was going to strike out on my own to visit the Flying Boat museum enroute to Wodonga.

The local petrol stations did their best to delay me, first with X-Convenience being out of 98 and 95 and then OTR having a dead pump. Eventually, with a coffee in one hand I was on my way, LED lights doing a fine job at turning the last vestiges of darkness slowly yielded to the ongoing daylight. A beautiful sunrise over the river valley awaited, as did an air temperature of ‘brisk’ 1C over the Adelaide Hills.

By sheer coincidence, I arrived at the same time as Dean with the yellow monster in tow. Discussions ensued and all present thought my plan to go it alone via Lake Boga was ever so slightly risky and so at about 8am Dean and I headed out, bound for Wodonga and adventures unknown.

Now, I’m lucky – with a 3.9 diff and a trusty Toyota T50 gearbox connecting the engine to the rear axle, The Little Blue Car comfortably sits on 105-110kph at about 3000 revs and 36mpg (about 7.5L per 100 for the metric amongst us), so its ability to devour distance isn’t really the issue, it’s the driver’s ability to be comfortable as the temperature climbed to nearly 35C by early afternoon that was the limiting factor, as was keeping bottles of water chilled!

The NSW roads were, frankly, terrible. If I were a NSW rate payer in the Riverina district I’d be justifiably concerned where my rates and taxes were being spent, again, something that a Spridget has a habit of reminding the driver!

Deniliquin was the nominated evening stop, although we considered rolling right the way through to Wodonga; however, fate, Murphy’s Law, and a large slice of luck intervened when the brand spanking new Turkish made Lucas Elektric alternator decided to stop alternating and so, with a cough, RDI-275 spluttered to a halt, approximately 10 miles shy of Denny. Dean and I looked at the engine and attempted to make sense of the symptoms when a local contractor, towing an LJ four door project car, pulled up behind and quickly diagnosed a dead battery. Mostly likely a collapsed cell we figured, given the bone jarring last 75km.

With a jump I was on my way, Dean following along behind. And 500m down the road, it died again. And this is when the kindness of country people showed through. Mr LJ Torana, Dennis Jukes of Jukes Contracting, connected up his jump start pack and said he’d pick it up from Reception of where we were staying in the morning. No names, no phone numbers, just old-fashioned values and trust that we’d do the right thing. “I know the place, I cleaned out their septic tanks only last week” he quipped. I couldn’t believe it!

Anyway, after much checking and the local NRMA guy calling Steve from the Sprite Club to attempt to fault find it over the phone, the new alternator was determined to be the culprit and Dean and I retired to the local pub for a counter meal, with the battery left on charge overnight.

All in all, an exciting Day 1!

Day 2.

Toolebuc to Wodonga no trailer issues but I’ve ordered a couple of new spares tyres and rims. Another RBT but the trailers wouldn’t fit so we got waved on. All settled in at the Blazing Stump Hotel. The Sprite is off the trailer for the Concourse tomorrow and it will be cleaned.

My fun was only just starting in Denny. Overnight we’d charged the battery and in the morning we disconnected everything that drew a power load. USB charger, digital engine/oil temperature sensors, spot lights, everything, even the thermostatic fan. This is where it gets interesting. See, in an attempt to find every usable bit of power my little 1275 produces, I removed the fan from the engine. Its worth 1-2hp so off it came. Unfortunately, that meant I now had no fan drawing air through the radiator once the electric fan was disconnected. No issues when trundling along at 110, but its something of an issue on a 30C+ day driving in a small city such as Wodonga. Hmm. Not such a great idea after all really!

Anyway, we got there. Dean had no issues at all and by 4pm I had a new alternator in the car thanks to Colin from Sprite Parts … and a reminder from Colin that only dumb people remove the fan. Yes, I think I deserved that!

Eventually both Peter (in the ‘Fridget’) and the Faulks arrived from the pre tour (still with his clutch sounding like fingers down a blackboard), the convoy of David & Di and Grant & Angela and Sue and Helen, who’d taken a slight detour from Adelaide … via Melbourne … ,as did Rob and Cheryl who drove their 370Z after attending the Pre Tour. You could accuse them of cheating, driving the 370, especially when they stepped out of the air-conditioned comfort of their reliable, dependable and luxuriously appointed sports car after I’ve just spent 10 hours in a Midget, with the roof off, worrying that the horse float ahead of me isn’t going fast enough and the car is overheating.

Or you might consider them simply smart … I’ll leave it up to the reader!

Thirteen Sprite Club of SA representatives. Let the fun begin!

Oh – at this point Peter discovered that the air-cleaner for this Weber DCOE was no longer attached to the car. Another thing to add to the list … and you try getting a Ramflo air cleaner in a country town on a Saturday.

Day 3.

7.00 am and out cleaning the Sprite, the sun was just up. Using the vacuum cleaner and the sponge, didn’t wake the neighbours up next door. Great display and so many Sprites . Then off on a 185 km observation run with some cryptic questions. Angela with her head down trying to make some sense of it all.

I have to admit, I might not have greeted the prospect of 185km though some of the best roads that Victoria has to offer with the same level of enthusiasm that others might have. However, without a navigator to help decipher the clues, I had a plan. I was going to use the IFR flight rules … I Follow Red (Sprites) … in other words, I followed the Low’s for navigation and I attempted to solve the cryptic clues. It all worked well until the car tried to overheat going up a climb behind a truck full of firewood, at which point I ditched the questions and just enjoyed the view and the drive.

And what a view and what a drive it was. The roads in the High Country are great, almost as good as the ones in the Adelaide Hills and the Barossa (!!). Stunning scenery, beautiful flowing roads, almost as if they were built with a Sprite or Midget in mind, and fabulous people when inevitably I stopped to let the car cool down (and reset the thermostatic fan temperature switch). Sprite people really are great!

However, I get ahead of myself – the Display Day. Another fabulous event with a display of 50 or 60 Sprites, Midgets and a few lovely associate cars. We all had drip trays yet, ironically, it was an MX5 that caused the most concern for the venue when it let one of its fluids go all over the concrete! The People’s Choice award went to a stunningly restored Mk2 Sprite and, as always, the display of cars brought out the locals and many many conversations about old cars and memories of youth. I put up photos of the event on social media and I had a number of comments from Sprite and Midget owners from WA, Tasmania and even from New Zealand, all of whom wished they’d know and want to know when the next one is so they can come along … there’s some food for thought!

At this point I really should talk about some of the evening events which included Rocker Cover Racing, always a crowd favourite. As with much of this event for me, this was another ‘first time’ and with a little help from friends (thank you Steve … again!) and family with parts, I managed to build the ‘Even Littler Blue Car’, as a homage to our Midget. Protests resulted as it has a Morris name badge (rather than Austin or MG!) and there was some consternation when we were seen oiling the bearings immediately before the races! At the end of the night, it was Queensland by the smallest of margins from SA, then Queensland #2, daylight, and then NSW and Victoria somewhere behind. Cheeky I know. Almost cause to hold another National Rocker Cover Race in a couple of years here in SA really…..

Day 4.

We took the bus tour and left the Sprite at the hotel. First stop Beechworth Asylum for a garden information walk, and a wonderful lunch, we were treated to the Kerrigan’s house from the Castle (note, it needs a total rebuild), then couple of other stops before on to the Beechworth Berries for ice-cream. The competition drivers headed to Wodonga TAFE campus for a day of sprinting.

Which is where I headed with my trusty 70-200mm lens attached to my DLSR. As an avid motorsport fan, I wanted to understand the motorsport elements; perhaps not actually experiencing it for myself, but to experience the atmosphere of the event. And what an event. Everyone there was having a ball, all highly complimentary of the tight circuit and the day in general. The photos don’t do it justice!

Dean left with the quickest laps, as might be expected. Oddly he didn’t fare as well in the regularity section!

Dinner that night was again lovely. The Blazing Stump Hotel we were using for our meals excelled themselves every night it has to be said. We had an opportunity to hear from author and musician Tim Hain about his photo-book of Stirling Moss in a live cross to the UK and the AHSDC raffled off one of his books, and other auction times including a lovely painting commissioned for the event, raising about $1000 for their club. Both the painting and the book made the way back to South Australia!

Day 5.

The last day of the challenge but two more drive days to go. We decided to have a look at the motorkhana. Well what a dust bowl! Brings back memories of Bordertown days . The night theme was 1920s Gatsby, so we all got to dress up . Angela got best dressed lady. Another brilliant Challenge, huge big thankyou to the organisers. So much work, so much fun.

Yes, the Motokhana. I’m still cleaning my lenses!

I took a sneaky detour out to the Hume Weir, site of a very early National Challenge. A very impressive piece of engineering and one that most South Australians should be thankful for yet most of us don’t know it exists, nor that it’s one of the reasons the Murray River has a constant supply of water through the year.

Peter’s car; however, returned home ingloriously on the back of a tow truck. His alternator bracket had broken, causing the alternator to snap one of the lugs off. Fortunately Rod Wells of the Bugeye Barn not only had a spare alternator but also a replacement bracket. Another SA car saved by the support of the wider Sprite and Midget community.

As for Adrian’s screaming clutch – it hadn’t gotten any better, in fact he felt it was now worse than the clutch he’d replaced. Only a trip to Melbourne (400km) and a drive to Whyalla (about 1000km) to go on their odyssey.

And the final dinner – just a wonderful way to close what was a great event. I’d taken a leaf from Grants book early in the Challenge and made sure I sat at a different table with different people every night. Everyone had an interesting story or anecdote from the weekend but one thing that was constant, was the enjoyment. Just a great four days.

Day 6.

We started the day with a farewell breakfast, I made an effort this year to talk to people that I’ve seen for many years but never spoken to it was so so good to make some new friends, two more drive days to go. No trailer troubles, but some seriously shitty roads. Good to see our mates have made it home safely.

6.30 breakfast and goodbyes, 7am and three of us are all westward bound. Once again it was about 2C as the sun broke through and began to burn off the morning fog.

Fingers crossed all the car behaves itself for the next 10 hours. And, blow me down, it did. Well, it had a small niggle – coming through one hamlet somewhere I could suddenly hear a different noise. Off to the side of the road and Dean and I are looking for the source. It’s the clamp around the exhaust, completely loose and running up and down the pipe. Its still there and its still loose. Maybe I’ll fix it in a week or so. It’s almost a lucky charm really!

As for the drive, it was largely uneventful. About 200 head of cattle ‘grazing the long paddock’ at one point and a roadtrain that decided it was turning right when Peter was about halfway down it’s length. The worse part of the drive were the moronic SUV drivers on the road between Mount Barker and Adelaide who took great delight in blocking both lanes of the freeway. Why would you want your shiny new ute passed by a pair of 50+ year old MGs…!

Home for dinner. Just over 800 km in just 9.5 hours. Not bad for a 53 year old MG! Total trip distance? 1815km, averaging 35mpg. 163L of Premium unleaded were consumed at a cost of $342.

Adrian, however was not so lucky. The clutch finally gave in in the picturesque town of Woodend and RACV took it back to their depot at Macedon. From there they were looking at options as to how to get the car back to SA to be rebuilt properly, complete with the 5-speed conversion, ready for its next big adventure. I possibly would not want to be the mechanic who installed the new clutch only a few weeks ago.

Day 7.

Final drive day home and just under 2000 km for the round trip .Just in case you were wondering , no I didn’t need to use the new spare wheels for the trailer . That was because I bought new ones. We all know what would have happened if I didn’t buy two new spares

It was great to have David & Di Low as our driving companions , I’ve known them for just over 30years but never really sat and talked to them properly. Thanks guys, loved it.

Hope my last seven days have been interesting enough to give you an insight on the challenge if you weren’t able to get there.

… I really couldn’t have put it better myself! Interestingly, the three Sprites that went across performed faultlessly. Even the often-temperamental race car. The three Midgets; however, (yes, Peter’s ‘Sprite’ was technically born a Midget) caused everyone the most grief! Two clutches, two alternators, one alloy rim and tyre, two tow trucks, one gear tooth, a master cylinder and other miscellaneous bits. Quite a record for a small group really!

As for David & Di. They took Easter to recover and then hopped into their MX5 and headed to Queensland for the MX5 nationals. You just can’t keep good people down!

And what happened to Rob and Cheryl you might ask? I believe their uber reliable Nissan made it back to South Australia with both passengers ensconced in air-conditioned leather luxury and has not stopped touring. I last heard they where on their way to Clare for a weekend in the wineries. I’m not jealous at all…!

And the enduring memories of the trip. For me it was the people. We have wonderful people in our club who genuinely care for their fellow clubmates, as did everyone who attended. If you stopped on the side of the road, so did a random other person to make sure you were ok. For Peter, it was the drive. He could have kept going and left the troubles of the world in his wheel tracks. We all have our personal memories from the experience, although Adrian’s may be a little coloured by their mechanical malaise!

Post script.

As the Club began its ‘Stars and Cars’ night on the 8th of April, the Faulk’s car was finally on its way to Adelaide, just over two weeks after its clutch gave out.

Videos

Please click the following links to see some of the video footage from the week. Sorry … mine is no where near as well put together as Wendy’s!

What next…

Some of you may have heard that the Sprite Club of SA is looking at hosting the next National Challenge, in 2026. Well, yes, we are looking at it. The Committee has given us permission to look at the feasibility of holding the event, so we are taking the next 2 months to really look at the challenges involved with hosting ‘The Challenge’. It’s not as simple as many might hope it to be, not least getting the date right as there are a few things to consider, not least the dates of the Gather Round and the Adelaide Motor Sport Festival amongst other ‘Mad March’ events here in South Australia. A single venue big enough to host all of us in ‘striking distance’ of Mallala is another consideration so some compromises may have to be struck to make this work. But the Club is giving it serious consideration.

A Festival of all things Spridget. Now, wouldn’t that be something…

Timing, they say, is everything! Stay tuned for more updates.

And if we can’t … I heard that Queensland said that they would, and I reckon a room full of people heard them say that too!

Wanted to Buy – 1098cc A-Series engine

Brian Davies from the Federation of Historic Motoring Clubs is looking for a 1098cc A Series engine to suit his Morris Minor.

He is after a minimum of a short motor, i.e. block, crank & camshaft, pistons & rods but anything up to a complete closed engine would be fine.
If the engine is in need of repairs he can refurbish or overhaul it if required.

If you have a suitable engine please contact:
Brian Davey.
Mob 0400 826 969

Easter Sunday Breakfast Run

The keen eyed amongst you may have noticed a Breakfast Run on the calendar for Easter Monday. The plan has shifted one day to become an Easter Sunday run.

Details:

Meeting Point: Sporting Car Club at 0830 for a 0845 departure

Destination: Lobethal (Emma & Ivy Café, 47 Main St, Lobethal)

If you can’t make the Sporting Car Club but would like to have breakfast, perhaps meet at Lobethal!

If you are heading along, please let me know so the guys organising can book a big enough table.

Cheers! See you out on the road

Bugeye Burble March-April 2024

Better late than never, please find below the (now combined) March-April 2024 edition of the Bugeye Burble.

Please note the change of date and location of the next General Meeting. It will be on the 8th of April and the Sporting Car Club from 6.30pm as part of our annual Stars and their Cars meeting. The regular meeting will be held at 7.30pm with Stars and their Cars commencing at (or just after) 8pm. All welcome, including members visiting from other Clubs keen to look at some of our cars and hear the stories of their owners!

Membership Renewals

Sorry to post about membership renewals again. This message only affects a handful of people within the club who have a vehicle on Conditional Registration and who are not currently financial.

If you have your vehicle on Conditional Registration and you have not yet renewed your membership, please do so by Friday 8 March 24 as the Club Registrars must report to Services SA on the status of financial members and Conditional Registration.

The report is technically past due and Gordon & Don have held off reporting to allow several members to finalise their membership.

The Club completely understands when members chose not to renew as we know people sell their cars on or buy into a new marque and want to immerse themselves in the enthusiasts of that brand! But we do get concerned when we know people still have their prized Classic and on Conditional Registration yet you haven’t renewed. If you are in this category and your car is laid up for some reason, please contact us so we can talk through the best option for you.

However, if your car is still being used on the road, you are currently be driving unregistered if you are not a financial member. Please contact us ASAP!

The Club does not have an option and we have to report to Services SA the status of members with cars on Conditional Registration. If you are reported it will mean you have to start from scratch and go through the whole MR334 process all over again. If there are circumstances PLEASE talk to myself or the Registrars before Friday.

MSCA Trophy and 50th Anniversary Picnic

Each year during February the Marque Sports Car Association of SA celebrates the winners from the previous season at it’s annual Trophy Presentation Day.

This year the event was held at the Mount Barker Oval on Sunday 25th Feb. It was also a chance to celebrate 50 years since the MSCA was formed.

The Sprite Club was one of the early member clubs, including MG, Alfa Romeo, MX-5, Triumph and Hot Bricks Modified Mini club.

There were trophies for Best Display (won by the Truimph club) and Club of the Year based on competitors and officials from the club, This year Alfa Romeo was the successful club. Trophies for Sprint Driver and Sprint Champion were awarded, as well as the overall driver in each class.

This year our own Lee Kernich was the winner in Class CC – Clubman 1600 – 2000cc in his Tiger Clubman – Congratulations Lee!

Thanks to all for making up the display of Sprite vehicles.

Also note the first Supersprint of the 2024 Calendar is this Sunday 3rd March at Mallala Motorsport Park – all are welcome.

Ice Cream Run Wrap-up

A warm Summers night, an ice cream on offer at the end of the run and suddenly there were 22 cars arriving at the Fullarton Park Community Centre for the start!

With Bugeyes (6 in total), Sprites Mk II , Mk III and Midgets plus an Aston Martin, MGF’s, MX-5, HQ Holden and Mercedes Benz the convoy was quite a sight.

After the usual briefing the cars headed along Fullarton Road to “Ring” the City arriving at Port Road – still in some sort of convoy -having been separated by various roundabouts and traffic lights.

Once on Port Road there was a regroup and the Sprites/Midgets/Assorted vehicles headed to Port Adelaide, over the Birkenhead Bridge and off to Outer Harbour before turning southward via the coast, Largs Bay and Semaphore.

A quick deviation up Grange Road had the group arriving at the Fulham Gardens Shopping Centre and 48 Flavours Ice Cream Shop!

Soon many were devouring their favourite flavours, including Helen Stephenson’s dog Wynne, who was enjoying a tub of ice cream as well.

Most had a chance to chat and compare the flavours, as well as inspect the vehicles. Once the cones were finished, most said goodbye and headed off into the twilight.

Thanks to Tiana Boyce (assisted by Mum and Dad) for setting and typing up the Run Sheet. Another great night, so keep an eye out for the next event.

MSCA Round 1 – Flag Marshals

A busy couple of weeks are coming up for the Sprite Club of SA with events and runs.

This Saturday evening (24 Feb) sees the return of a favourite flavour with the Ice Cream Run, followed by the MSCA Birthday event up in Mount Barker Oval on Sunday (25 Feb, all Sprite Club members are warmly welcomed, whether you have been racing or not and bring your car!!). There will be special guest speakers talking about their experiences and memories of the MSCA series over the past 50 years! There is also a prize for the best club display so bring your car for a great picnic lunch!

The following weekend we have both the annual All British Day up in Echunga, where I know quite a few members have entered their cars for the display and Round 1 of the MSCA out at Mallala where the Sprite Club have been rostered on as Flag Marshalls for the day, both events occurring on Sunday 3 March

If you are not heading to All British Day to display or spectate, and you are able to help out at the MSCA event, please let Pat Miller know (nanmiller@adam.com.au, 0421 289 706) or contact the MSCA directly (sec@mscasa.com). Flagging is a great opportunity to get close to the action with lunch provided. Any training required will also be provided.

And it doesn’t stop there, at least not yet! There are events in March and April, including the national Sprite and Midget meet in Wodonga and McLaren Vale Classics, a ‘sports car cruise, as well as another club favourite, Stars and Their Cars, being held at the Sporting Car Club on Monday the 8th of April from 6.30 at night (note the date – the Monthly Meeting falls on Easter Monday so we have been able to move it back a week – more to come!).

Ice Cream Run – Saturday 24th February

Summertime, Spridgets, and a Soothing Sorbet or two!

Join us for our annual Ice Cream Run on Saturday 24th February.

Meet at the Fullarton Park Community Centre Car Park (the main one off Fullarton Road) at 5.30pm for a 6.00pm departure.

We will depart from the leafy Fullarton and travel via Ring Roads past the iconic Adelaide Parklands, Botanical Gardens and North Adelaide, where we will head to The Port!

After a wander through Port Adelaide we will continue to Outer Harbour to enjoy a sunlit Costal Drive through Largs Bay, Semaphore and Grange – ending up at the Fulham Gardens Shopping Centre at around 7.00pm.

We will enjoying the produce from 48 Flavours, where we can sample one of more of the ……………………………………………48 flavours of ice cream!

The run is approx. 30 miles (45 Kilometres) and takes about one hour.

If you cannot join the run, meet us at the destination.

For more info please contact Gordon Boyce – 0417 897 905.

Reminder – Grill Badges, ICVs, Nationals etc

Grill Badges. Just a gentle reminder to get our order in for your 2024 Grill Badge if you are keen. We have a small number members who have ordered a badge at the introductory price and the order form will close on the 22nd of Feb so Darryl can get it all rolling. Get in before the introductory price offer expires!

Original Article: Sprite Club of SA 2024 Grill Badge | Sprite Club of South Australia

For the Order Form Click Here.

Individually Constructed Vehicles. Please note the vote at next Months meeting to include ICVs of less than 25 years of age for the purposes of Conditional Registration. You can vote by email (in accordance with the instructions in the email set out 12 Feb 24) or in person on the night. Please remember, you need to be a financial member to vote so …

Membership. We still have a few outstanding members (who we know still have Sprites or Midgets!) who have not renewed. If you would like to vote on the Constitution change on the 4th you need to be a financial member before hand! Also, if you have a car on Conditional Registration and you are not a financial member for 2024, you can’t drive on the road until you have (a) paid your subs and (b) had you log book stamped confirming you are a 2024 financial member!

2024 Nationals. There are still some spots available at the 2024 Nationals. If you would like to attend, please let the organisers know. You can contact me if you need their phone/email details!

Ice Cream Run. More details to follow but planning is somewhat advanced for a run on the late afternoon of the Saturday 24rd from the Club Rooms car park to a 48 Flavours somewhere in Adelaide. I suspect it might be near the organisers home! Stay tuned for more information.

MSCA Birthday Bash. All Sprite Club members are welcome! Details here: MSCA Turns 50! | Sprite Club of South Australia

MSCA Turns 50!

Attention Motorsport Enthusiasts

Come & help celebrate the M.S.C.A 50th Birthday on Sunday 25th February 2024

The MSCA was formed in August 1973 with four clubs and today we have eighteen clubs regularly participating!

Show & Shine – Club Display

Come along with your picnic basket and display your car and talk to, and support, other competitors who have competed in the super sprint series for 2023 and in the years past. 

The trophy presentation for 2023 will take place during the afternoon with past & current members talking about their experiences!

WHERE:  Mount Barker Oval, Alexandrina Road, Mount Barker

WHEN:    Sunday 25th February 2024

TIMES:   

11am –  Arrive to set up Club Display               

1pm  –  Club Display Judging

2pm  –  2023 MSCA Super Sprint Trophy Presentation with special guests and Birthday Celebrations

You don’t have to be a competitor to join in the celebrations. Bring you car and come along to hear the stories and support your club members!

Further information, please contact Sue Stephenson on 0408 858 046 or email comp@mscasa.com

Assistance Wanted!

Club member Ian Rawley has asked if someone heading across to Nationals at the end of March might have enough room to bring back a 1275 ‘short’ engine and a pair of springs for his Mk1 Sprite. Alex Robertson (of Queensland) has offered to bring the parts down as far as Wodonga when he comes down for the event.

He would be very grateful if someone can help him out! If you can, drop me a line and I’ll pass Ian’s details through.

Sprite Club of SA 2024 Grill Badge

Those who read the articles here may recall we asked for you thoughts on a new grill/badge bar badge for the car club earlier this year.

The overwhelming feedback was for the new full colour design (see below). This badge comes with two wing-nuts to fasten the badge directly to the grill.

We hope to have these available for purchase at $45 per badge (depending on order numbers we may be able to reduce this to $40) for Club members and friends soon; however, we need to order a minimum quantity of at least 25 badges, so, before we order, I’m looking to get as many pre-orders as possible, just so we know these are going to sell!

As an introductory offer, those who register for the initial order will get their badges at the discounted price of $35 (ie, $10 discount).

If you are interested in a badge from the first run, please follow the link >here< and register your details and the number of badges you wish to buy. I will leave the order list open until 22 Feb.

Payment can be via direct debit (preferred), cheque or cash. If you are using direct debit please put your name and what the payment is for in the payment details (Grill badge x 1 Fred Nerque) to make life easier for Kerry! If you want it posted out please include an extra $10 to cover postage (and tell Kerry that you’ve paid!!).

Direct Debit details:

Name: Sprite Club of SA

BSB: 085-005

Account # 207432628

Order to delivery is approximately 8 weeks but Daryll will try to get them quicker if we can so we can perhaps take them to Nationals.

For those who might still want the original style, please let me know as I’m talking to a local company who may be able to do a limited run for the Club.

A Celebration of Life

A celebration of the life of Paul Doube will be held at 3.30pm, 3 Feb 24, at Centennial Park, 760 Goodwood Road, Pasadena.

All club members are invited to come along and celebrate the life and loves of former Sprite Club President and Clubbie tragic, the late Paul Doube. It doesn’t matter if you knew Paul well or only in passing, he touched the lives of many classic car enthusiasts.

If you can, come along in your Sprite, Midget, Clubbie or other classic and relive your memories of Paul with his friends and family. If you can’t make it, the intent is to live stream the event; follow the link here https://www.centennialpark.org/funeral-services/.

And if you are looking for an early morning run this coming Sunday, consider heading up to the ClubbiesSA traditional ‘First Sunday’ at Perfect Note Coffee Shop in Blackwood. Paul was one of the founding members of ClubbiesSA and was part of the band of Clubbies who gathered at the Perfect Note on the first Sunday of each month for a fabulous coffee before heading off for a run along one of the many roads through the Adelaide Hills. Head up, grab a brew, see who else rolls up, pick a road and head off for a run.

Be Cyber Smart – the dangers of Personal Data Phishing on Social Media

Perhaps this is a strange topic to be writing about on the Sprite Club of SA. Its not about an upcoming event (stay tuned for the calendar, out hopefully this weekend) or a technical missive, but its a timely reminder for us to take stock of our personal cyber security.

Recently I’ve noticed a definite ‘up-tick’ what I believe to be personal ‘data harvesting’ activity that can have no use other than for nefarious deeds. And its becoming more and more prevalent across a number of un-regulated or poorly regulated chat communities or Groups. For many of us, social media has become an integral part of our daily lives, connecting us with friends, family, and the world at large. However, with the convenience and connectivity come significant risks, one of the most prevalent being personal data phishing. This silent threat poses a severe danger to users, as cybercriminals continually exploit social media platforms to harvest sensitive information for malicious purposes. In this article, I will hopefully give you some insights that I’ve learned over the past few years being involved with aspects of security and how you might consider protecting yourselves.

Why? Because about 18 months ago we were targeted with an attempt at identity theft as a result of one of the ‘high profile’ personal data spills and, even though it failed, the effort to close all the doors that were opened is considerable and time consuming.

Understanding Personal Data Phishing:

Cybercriminals often create fake profiles, impersonating trusted entities or individuals to establish a sense of trust with unsuspecting users. These profiles may mimic friends, family members, or even official organizations, making it challenging for users to discern the authenticity of the connection. How many times do you check the profile of the person in your long-standing Group who is suddenly asking you to ‘Post your ride’ for no apparent reason, yet so many people still do (or pictures of their dog etc etc!).

Phishers leverage various tactics to deceive users into divulging personal information. They may send messages, emails, or direct messages containing urgent requests, fake promotions, or seemingly innocuous links. Clicking on these links can lead users to fraudulent websites designed to capture sensitive data, such as login credentials.

This person doesn’t own a Sprite or a Midget but on the day ‘she’ joins the group, she asks for picture of peoples’ car … it may be genuine, or perhaps it not.

Third-party applications and quizzes on social media platforms can be Trojan horses for personal data phishing. Users are often enticed to grant these applications access to their profiles, unknowingly providing cybercriminals with a gateway to extract personal information.

Even seemingly innocuous information shared on social media can be exploited by cybercriminals. Details such as birthdates, locations, and workplace information can be aggregated to create a comprehensive profile, making users vulnerable to identity theft and other cybercrimes.

And to be clear, a cybercriminal might still be a pimply 15 year old kid just trying to skim some money from your account, or it could be a state-operated phishing enterprise looking to steal money and information from large corporations or Mum and Dad next door to fund their activities.

Protecting Yourself from Personal Data Phishing:

Vigilance in Accepting Friend Requests: Be cautious when accepting friend requests, especially from individuals you do not know personally. Scrutinize profile details, mutual friends, and activity to identify potential fake accounts. If in doubt, verify the identity through alternative means before accepting the request.

Verify Messages and Links: Exercise skepticism when receiving messages or emails containing urgent requests or suspicious links. Verify the sender’s identity through a separate communication channel and refrain from clicking on links unless you are certain of their legitimacy. Social media platforms often provide features to report and block suspicious accounts.

Review App Permissions: Regularly review and audit the third-party applications connected to your social media accounts. Remove access for applications that are no longer needed or are unfamiliar. Restrict the permissions granted to apps, allowing only essential access to your profile information.

Limit Public Information: Restrict the amount of personal information shared publicly on your social media profiles. Review and adjust privacy settings to control who can view your posts, friend list, and other details. The less information available to potential phishers, the lower the risk of falling victim to personal data phishing.

Educate Yourself and Stay Informed: Stay informed about the latest phishing techniques and scams circulating on social media. Being aware of potential threats enables you to recognize and avoid falling prey to malicious activities. Follow official security guidelines provided by social media platforms and cybersecurity experts.

Personal data phishing on social media is a persistent and evolving threat that requires constant vigilance. As users we need to be proactive in protecting our online identities. By understanding the methods employed by cybercriminals and implementing best practices to safeguard our personal information, we can navigate the digital landscape with greater confidence.

Social media is a powerful tool for connectivity, but it is crucial to remain vigilant and take the necessary steps against the silent threat of personal data phishing.

If you have any questions, just ask!

Vale Paul Doube

It is with considerable sadness that I write to inform Club members and friends of the Sprite Club of South Australia of the passing of former Club President, Paul Doube.

Following a long battle with his health, Paul passed peacefully in his sleep on Tuesday night. He put up a great fight right to the end. Not one to let his condition slow him down, Paul travelled to Perth last year and sought the warmth of Northern Australia during our winter. Remarkably, he had just come back from a beach sojourn at Stansbury where he and the family went every year for so long. There, with family and friends he spent a last, lovely summer holiday. Just back home with Ruth, the disease took its toll and he could fight no more.

Paul and Ruth were one of the founding members of ClubbiesSA, present at the very first gathering at Kilikanoon Wines and is one of the only Clubbie owners who attended every National meeting (and, indeed, every ‘Not the Nationals’ meeting). Paul, along with Clubbie stalwarts Barry and Sean, was also instrumental in developing the long relationship that the Sprite Club has with Clubbies SA and, to the best of my knowledge, is the only non-Spridget owning President of the Club, serving three terms.

Paul didn’t let his condition slow him down. He was often seen at the wheel of his beloved Clubbie or his MGTC with the oxygen bottle attached to the roll bar (and his wheelchair on a specially made rack on the the spare wheel!). Once asked why he was so slow up over a pass on a Clubbies Run he quipped that he had to slow down to change his oxygen bottle. Such was his determination not to allow his condition to slow him down.

Associate Driver of the Year, owner of the Associate Car of the Year, as a club member Paul gave the Sprite Club and ClubbiesSA his all and we are better clubs for that. We are a better club for his association and his enthusiasm, wit, and, most of all, friendship will be sorely missed.

Our deepest condolences to Ruth and his family, and his dear friends, many of whom are members of the Sprite Club, at this time.

Details of his funeral will be announced when they are known.

My personal thanks to his dear friend Sean Power for helping me writing this article. Photo credit to Gordon Boyce or as marked.

Australia Day Lunch and Thong Throwing Competition

Thongs, Pluggers, Flip Flops, Jandals, Plankies, Japanese Riding Boots or Chinese Safety Boots are all names for one of the worlds oldest forms of footwear. Worn with some minor variations across the ancient worlds of Egypt, Rome, Greece, sub-Saharan Africa, India, China, Korea, Japan and some Latin American cultures, the humble thong was designed to protect the wearers foot whilst keeping the top of the foot cool … and allowing it to burn in the summer sun. Not so cool in the centuries before SPF50+ sunscreen!

As Australian’s, of course, we found other unique uses for them, including harnessing the unique aerodynamic qualities nearest the pin throwing competition. A blend of lawn bowls, darts and bouche, Thong Throwing is as Australian on Australia Day as Two Up is to Anzac Day.

What is the best throwing style I hear you ask? Do you try for the ‘Maverick’, a flat spin style where the thong rotates through the air until the aerodynamic drag of the straps slows it down and causes it to drop like a stone like an F14 that’s flown through the jetwash and suffered a flame out? Is it the Lockett, where you line up the throw about 3′ left of the bucket and lob it with a strong backspin, drop punt style and then watch it move left to right inexorably towards the target as the friction caused by the straps cause it to gracefully curve through the air? Do you just try for the random lob and hope for the best?

What ever style you think is going to be serve you best, start practicing in time for the Sprite Club’s annual Thong Throwing Competition, held once again in the picturesque setting of the Chabrel’s front yard, overlooking the backstraight of Oakbank Racecourse!

Miles, I believe, is the current keeper of the John and Judy Bowering Memorial Trophy. At least I think he is!! I should know shouldn’t I!

Its a BYO lunch and drinks (and chairs if you have some fold outs that will fit into the Spridget!) and the Chabrels will supply dessert following the competition. Its a fabulous day to come and share a picnic lunch and meet friends new and old.

When: 26 Jan, from 1200

Where: Des and Penny Chabrel’s front yard, 2 Dorset Lane, Oakbank

Bring: Picnic Lunch and drinks, chairs if you have them

Please RSVP Des and Penny or myself so we know how many to cater dessert for.

Come along for a fun day out!

New Year’s Breakfast Run to Uraidla

What started out three years ago as three cars meeting for a New Year’s coffee in Norwood has grown into some 13 cars taking a morning drive up to Uraidla for coffee and breakfast. 13 cars at 9am on New Years day … and that doesn’t include the late withdrawals, one from illness and at least one from a suspected NYE hang-over! At this rate we will have the whole club turning out within a year or two! Wouldn’t that be an amazing sight heading up Greenhill Road!

The pictures fail to accurately show just what a glorious morning it was too. Hopefully a good omen for 2024.

Starting at the Sporting Car Club for the first photo of the year, the plan was simple enough. Get a group photo at the start, a straightforward run up Greenhill Road and coffee or tea at the Uraidla Republic Cafe. We had 12 cars at the start, picking up Don and Elaine on the way (Don gave the Midget a run for the first time in quite a while). If we do get any more cars we will have to park closer together at the Sporting Car Club or find a new start point as we just about filled the driveway! Quite a sight to behold really!

It was great to see club cars out that we don’t see all that often, cars that have left the club and have now returned with new owners, and just new cars and new members! And of course friends of the Sprite Club, the Shipards with their Mk3 Sprite and the Oliphant’s with their stunning 260z (although some of us were disappointed their ‘new’ 1960 Falcon XK didn’t come out for the day!).

Aside from one motorcyclist doing his/her best impression of a temporary road user it was a great run up the hill. Easy and straight forward, a good way to start the year I think! But I have to ask … with the number of fatalities recorded on South Australian roads last year you would think that vulnerable road users would be somewhat more circumspect on the first day of the year and show some patience. We were, after all, all doing the speed limit and not holding up the traffic! I’m not sure about the other drivers but I was mentally brushing up my first aid as I watched him/her weave in and out of the line of cars and the oncoming traffic … ok, rant over!

What’s coming up next I hear you ask?

The rest of January is fairly quiet until Australia Day and the club’s annual Thong Throwing competition, hosted again by the Chabrels. Its a fabulous day and a great way for new members to meet the Club over a BYO lunch and the heat of competition as the thongs fly, all whilst overlooking the picturesque Oakbank Racecourse. Stay tuned for more details on what is always a great day!

There was a bit of a ‘buzz’ around those at Uraidla about another breakfast run to somewhere with a few recommending the Rise Artisan Bakery at Nairne so again, stay tuned for run details to there soon.

Oh, and a personal note to self. Don’t attempt to follow a certain green Sprite through a twisting road. The driver (and probably car) are much better at going through curves than I am!

(photo credits – Gary Dodd, Paul Mitchell and some bloke with GoPros hanging off his car!)

Membership Update

On the last day of 2023 we have some 109 subscriptions on the book for a total of nearly 150 members, including 13 surviving Founder and Life members.

62 Club members have already renewed their membership subscription for 2024 and we hope to welcome back the 34 outstanding members back into the club fold soon.

Please note – if you are reading this and you are one of the 34 outstanding members AND you car is on Conditional Registration (ie, Club Rego), you wont be able to drive in 2024 until you are (a) financial and (b) your logbook has been stamped by the Club.

We completely understand that people sell their cars on or some of you may have your car registered with another club so this isn’t of concern to you, but for those of you who are still with the club and haven’t gotten to the paperwork, please don’t get caught out by the police driving what becomes an unregistered car as of 1 Jan 24!

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me on 0431 247 746 or email me at admin@spriteclub.com.au

PS: Happy New Year to everyone and for those venturing out for the run tomorrow, see you then! I’ve talked to the Café – they are open but are not taking bookings … its first in best dressed! If they run out of room we will try across the road!

New Years Breakfast Run to Uraidla

A group of us have bit a New Year’s Day ‘tradition’ of a photo outside of the Sporting Car Club and then a leisurely run up to the Urailda Republic Café for breakfast.

If you’d like to get the New Year into gear and get that first entry into your 2024 logbooks, come along and join us.

The plan is to gather at the Sporting Car Club at or after 0830 for a photo and head off at 0900. Nothing technical, just straight up Greenhill Road and keep going until we get to the Café for coffee and breakfast! Home before lunch time!

I usually book a table for 12 so let me know if you are thinking of coming along to make the booking bigger!

(And a gentle reminder … if your car is on Conditional/Historic registration with the club and you have not renewed your membership yet and/or not had your logbook stamped for 2024 by Gordon or Don, you can’t drive it in 2024 until you do.)

Spritely Bells

My sincere apologies to James Lord Pierpont…

Dashing through the hills

In a Mk1 Bugeye Sprite

Lucas Tungsten bulbs

Lighting up the Night

Horns on Midgets sound

Blinkers flashing bright

What fun it is to ride and sing

A Spritely song to night

Midgets Rule, Sprites are Cool

Clubmans lead the way

Oh, what fun it is to drive

On a summer Christmas night, hey

Jingle bells, Tappets yell

The clearances are out

If Father Christmas needs some help.

We’ll call the Sprite Club out.

A day or two ago

I thought we’d take a ride

And soon, with fading light

The Sprite was rolled outside

The car was lean and clean

But misfortune struck us low

The fuel pump did fail to tick

So in an Uber we did go

Jingle Bells, Petrol Smells

The SUs failed to fire

We couldn’t have any fun that night

As something was quite dire,

Alfas Rule, Midgets are cool,

Fords they rust away

We’d hope to take a ride that night,

But we ended in an old FJ!

A day or two ago

The story I must tell

I went back to the car

And on my back I fell

As I looked across

The problem I did see

And once it had been rectified

We could quickly drive away

Blue cars rule, red cars drool

The engine’s fired up

Oh, what fun it will be to ride

In a pale blue car tonight, (right??)

Jingle bells, something smells

The oil’s sprung a leak

Oh, what fun it is to fix

A Spridget late in the week

Now all the hills are green

The A Series burbles on

The wind whips through our hair

We sing this Sprite-ing song

Drop it down a gear

Around the bend we fly

Listen to the intake roar

And race off into the night

Jingle bells, jingle bells

Jingle all the way

Oh, what fun it is to ride

In Mk1 Sprite all day, hey

Jingle bells, jingle bells

Jingle all the way

If Santa needs a lift tonight

We can help him on his way!

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope to you see you all safe and well in the New Year!

(photo credits to Terry Shipard, and image borrowed from the internet, John Gazerk from the Midget Owners Group on Facebook and some random Sprite Club member with a camera at Victoria Square!)

SPROUTING FORTH 2023

Some of you may recall I undertook to bring Sprouting Forth back this year as an annual magazine to look back over the highlights of the year and selected history of the Sprite Club of SA.

With the assistance of a number of members, including Reinhard Walker, Gordon Boyce, Grant Stephenson, Sean Power, Sue Stephenson and Daryl Otterwill, as well as Nick Phillips of the MG Car Club of South Australia, I offer to you some Christmas reading and the first of what I hope can become an annual edition, Sprouting Forth 2023 (‘The Relaunch Edition).

As I’m new to publishing magazines online, I’ve provided you two options to access the magazine. One direct from the Sprite Club website, the other from an external hosting service. The magazine is best read on a computer or tablet at full screen size. If you have difficulty accessing it please contact me!

Sprouting Forth (from the Club Website)

Sprouting Forth (external hosting)

From all those involved with creating this, we hope you enjoy!

(My apologies in advance – I’m not a professional writer nor magazine editor. Any remaining grammar errors are probably mine!!)

Sprite Club Grill Badges?

The keen eyed amongst you may have noticed that the Club’s regalia list includes a Grill Badge, not something we have had for for sale a while.

At the Display Day back in November, past member Doug Gordon (who, after over 40 years, still owns his Midget!) showed Daryl and I one of the original Club grill badges and it got us thinking about new grill badge for members cars. Some calls ensued and as a result we have some options to present to members to consider for new grill badge.

As always with getting something produced, we need to meet some minimum order quantities to make them affordable (25 minimum in this case) so, whilst we’d like to have both for sale, its not a realistic option, so we are seeking feedback on the design and genuine interest to buy.

Option 1: A laser engraved reproduction of the original badge. Made from stainless steel, the badge would be approximately 70mm x 70mm square with a tab on the bottom to fasten to a badge bar or wire back to the grill. For an additional cost, the reverse side could be engraved with the current badge to give members a choice of which image to display.

Option 2: A full colour modern take on the original badge. Size will be approximately the same, also with a tab to allow it to be mounted to a badge bar or wired back onto the grill.

Estimated cost to members is approximately $35 (+/-$5)

We are keen to get your thoughts! Hopefully this link will take you to a shared spreadsheet where you can vote for your preferred design! The chosen design will (hopefully) become a key ring later on also!

Stocking Fillers!

Looking for last minute Christmas gifts?

Need something car related for that special someone?

Look no further than the Sprite Club regalia list!

We have in stock caps, (new) wide brimmed hats, beanies and scarves and other odds and ends – prices below!

Contact regalia@spriteclub.com.au or admin@spriteclub.com.au to know more.

Or of course you might want to talk to our wonderful Club sponsors and supporters – click on their links just to the left or right of this page for more information!

Log Books and ICVs

As some of you may be aware, the State Government recently announced a change to the Conditional Vehicle Registration scheme in so much as what are now known as ‘Individually Constructed Vehicles’, irrespective of their age, are now eligible to be registered under the States Conditional Registration program, the same program under which members of the Sprite Club can register their cars on what we colloquially call ‘historic registration’ for a maximum of 90 days driving per year.

There is a process that we need to follow to apply if we chose to go down this path. Its not an automatic scheme that we can offer simply because we recognise and accept Clubbies with the club and the committee is currently undertaking a review of the requirements and the process that needs to be followed if we, as a Club, decide to offer this form of membership. As a club we are not current authorised (as I understand it … I may be about to be wrong here sorry!!) to offer Conditional Registration to Hot Rods or Left Hand Drive Vehicles, only ‘Historic Vehicles’, those being vehicles that are 25 or more years old. We do; however, have a strong Clubbies community with members owning vehicles both younger and older than 25 year. The Committee is reviewing this and will decide if we wish, as a club, to apply to be able to offer Conditional Registration to the ClubbiesSA members with their newer Clubman cars who are members of our club.

Please also note that if we, the Committee, believe its in the best interest of the Club, we will need to change our Constitution (again!) and any change must be voted in by the Membership with at least 2/3rds of the Members present agreeing.

So, the Committee is meeting on Monday night (11 Dec) to discuss the next steps.

Logbook Signing

So … and this is the ‘log books’ bit of the Log Books and ICVs in the title … we know that some of you are yet to have your logbook signed or replaced for 2024 and I know that you all know that if you are not a financal member before 1 Jan 2024 and your log book is not stamped as being valid for 2024, that run you had planned for New Years Day can’t go ahead.

So … as we will be holding a Committee meeting at the Clubrooms between 1915 and 2000 (Monday 11 Dec) to discuss ICVs, once the meeting has closed Don and/or Gordon will be available for a short period to sign logbooks. Please note, I can’t guarantee Kerry will be present at this meeting due to another commitment so if you are seeking to get the Logbook signed next Monday night you must have paid your 2024 subs and you need to bring proof of payment (screen shot of the bank transaction or similar). We won’t be taking cash next Monday sorry.

Please note also that we won’t be in the normal meeting room; we will be using one of the smaller board rooms so you might need to ring or hunt around.

If you can’t make it on Monday, we will be running a ‘mail in’ service. The process is as follows:

Take a copy of you logbook (photocopy) and use this to sign any drives you might undertake whilst you log book is ‘in the mail’. All travel must be recorded into the log book on its return. This process will only cover up up to 31 Dec 2023.

Send your logbook, plus a copy of your registration AND proof of 2024 membership payment, as well as a stamped, self addressed envelope for its return (the Club is not paying for your logbook to be mailed back … sorry!). Don will be clearing the mailbox regularly leading up to Christmas and will sign and return your logbook if everything is there. This way you should have it before New Years Day

If you need a new log book, please also include $5 (per new logbook required). This will take a little more time as Gordon processes all the new logbooks so we will need to get your mail across to him; however, if you act quickly to get it into the mail, you should still get your new book before New Year.

Please remember, even if we have signed your current or new book and its ‘in the mail’ on return, if you have not received it before 1 Jan 24 you can’t drive until you have it.

The postal address for the Club is Post Office Box 21, Fullarton, SA, 5063.

Please keep in mind that we are a volunteer club and we are trying to help you get your logbooks re-signed as quickly as we can so please bear with us if it takes a few more days to get your book back to you!

Christmas Meeting and Club Magazine!

Just a reminder that this Monday is the final meeting of the year. Those who can make it along, we will be holding the traditional Christmas BBQ. Details of what you need to bring can be found >here<.

The evening starts at 1800 with the meeting at 2000

A quick note about the Club Magazine. I won’t be putting out a Burble this month, rather we are attempting to relaunch the Club magazine, Sprouting Forth, with what I hope can become an annual ‘Christmas’ edition (and the Burble for all the other months of the year!). With a lot of help from contributors its nearly done but I’m hoping that some of you might have some photos from years gone by that you might be able to help me with?

I’m particularly looking for photos from around 1973, 1983, 93 and 2003 – not heaps, maybe 1 or 2interesting or funny images from years gone by, with or without a few words to explain the picture or who/what it is. I’m borrowing from Sprouting Forth from years gone by with a couple articles and it would great to add to the history with a few photos from around that time. Hopefully I’ll end up with a dozen or so in total to choose from!

They don’t have to be professional scans or crisp images – in fact some ‘patina’ to the photos and some less than perfect smart phone scans can sometimes only add to the image!

If you can help out I’d be very appreciative and I’ll (try to) credit all of the suppliers of the photos! Best to send them to admin@spriteclub.com.au or spriteclubsa@gmail.com. My number is 0431 247 746 if you’d like to talk about it first!

2023 CHRISTMAS BBQ AND MEETING

The weather looks favourable for a pleasant summer’s evening to enjoy the Christmas Festivities with a BBQ in the Fullarton Community Centre park and the meeting to follow – hopefully I haven’t jinked the weather!

Start at 1800 (that’s 6pm for some!), followed by the final General Meeting of the year at 2000.

The Club will provide the BBQ (Miles has tested it!), meat, salads and bread. Everything else is BYO – drink, chairs, plates, cutlery, glasses etc.

Elaine and Carole have the salads under control but we’d love some help on the night to cook the meat!

This is the last official social event for the year so we’d love to see new faces and old! If its a nice evening you might even want to bring you car out!

Hope to see you all there!

(if the technology doesn’t defeat us, Grant hopes to put on some in-car ‘home movies’ from the 2023 Legend of the Lakes!)

Membership Fees and Application Forms

A quick note to say the 2024 membership fee structure and the updated forms are now available under the Membership tab or follow this link

A friendly reminder for all of you with cars on Conditional Registration. If you have not renewed your membership by 1 Jan 24 you can’t drive your pride and joy out for New Years Day breakfast. You must have your subs paid and your log book stamped by either Don or Gordon BEFORE you go out on the road, not after! Both Don and Gordon will be available for log book signing at the Christmas meeting.

If necessary, we will consider a one-off log book morning/night but we’d prefer not to do this!

Annual General Meeting

A short note to say thank you to the members who were able to attend the AGM last night and for 2024 Sprite Club of South Australia committee members. Your 2024 committee is:

President – Robin Dunk

Secretary – Peter Stanley

Treasurer – Kerry (we ended the year in the green!) Fisher

Club Registras – Gordon Boyce and Don Cardone

Federation Representative – Don Cardone

Motor Sport Secretary – Pat Miller

Librarian – Miles Jackson

Regalia Officer – Daryl Otterwill

Clubbies SA Rep – Sean Power

Webguru and News Editor – Robin Dunk

After a number of years on the Committee, including a period as the President and most recently at least six years as the Social Secretary/Coordinator, Michael McLaren has elected to step down from Club Committee duties. The Club is hugely indebted to Michael for his contributions and as the President I would like to thank him on behalf of all Members, past and present.

This; however, leaves us with a vacant position on the Committee for a Social coordinator and I’d like to call on all members to consider if they can spare the time to fill this role to assist the Committee to organise not only the Annual Dinner but organise or contribute to the various runs and social gatherings throughout the year that makes the Sprite Club the warm and all-inclusive club that it is. If you feel you can assist, please contact me directly to discuss. Rest assured, Michael and the whole Committee will ensure you are fully supported as you learn your way in. Please, don’t rely on me to organise the Annual Dinner as if you do we will all be a the front bar of the Goodwood Hotel for a counter meal on Trivia Night.

Quick Reminder – Display Day

Just a quick reminder that Display Day is on from 0900(ish) at Wigley Reserve.

Whilst we’d prefer everyone could stay for the whole day we know that weekends are precious and we all need to juggle various commitments so if you need to leave early its not going to be a problem, just let one of us know and we will make sure you have a safe path out to the road.

Likewise, we also know there are a few competing events on tomorrow, not least Cars and Coffee at the Sporting Car Club and also Cars and Culture at Morphettville, so feel free to come down afterwards. It ok to be late – we’d just love to see you and your car if you can make it!

Remember, Associate Cars, Clubbies and invited Clubs are most welcome!

Oh, and if your car is like mine and suddenly dripping more oil than the Exxon Valdez, please bring a strip of cardboard or rags to pop under your car. The Holdfast Bay Council takes a dim view to having Wigley Reserve covered in oil!

See you there!

Flogga ’73

From the archives comes the first of Reinhard Walker’s digitally recreated articles from old articles of Sprouting Forth. With the aid of digital scanning, Reinhard has been able to combine the old articles with the images he and others took at the time to really bring these fabulous memories to life.

The intent is to create a digital archive within the Members area so watch out for a new folder link in the menus in the coming days.

To attempt to control the file sizes on the web, Reinhard is experimenting with a new format called Story Maps. Rather than posting the full article here, you will find a link below that will take you to the article. It will take you away from the Sprite Club website and into the Story Maps environment.

Enjoy – this looks like it was an absolute blast of a road trip!

>Flogga ’73<

Vale – Julie Williams

We would like to inform the Members of the Sprite Club of South Australia of the passing of Life Member and previous Committee Member Julie Williams.

Julie became a member of the Sprite Club during early 1980 with her Red Bugeye – SNT-113 and joined her sibling Sprite Club members, Don (deceased) and Rick.

She quickly became associated with many aspects of the Sprite Club attending General Meetings and Social Events, including hosting these social events at her Fairview Park home. Soon Julie joined the Sprite Club Committee, volunteering as Social Secretary (1981 & 1991) and she held the role as Treasurer for six years (1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1992 & 1993).

Julie was awarded Life Membership of the Sprite Club of SA during the 30th Birthday celebrations in 2002.

Julie also attended many Bordertown Weekends for the Annual Motorkhana vs the Victorian Sprite Club, quite often driving her Bugeye to Bordertown after work on Friday Night. During the motorkhana Julie would drive the courses setting very competitive times, often faster than many of the male drivers! She would also feature in the Ladies Team, winning for SA and also was awarded the Sprite Club Lady Driver of the Year on numerous occasions.

The other event that Julie took seriously was the Don-Doug Observation Run. This run, initially set by brother Don and fellow Club member Doug Gordon, tested your cryptic and observational skills while travelling some of the picturesque roads of the Adelaide Hills. Teaming with nephew and Sprite Club member, Dale Halling, this combination were successful in winning this event numerous times.

Julie’s Bugeye had sat idle for a number of years and is now maintained and cared for by nephew Dale who drove the Bugeye in the 2023 Bay to Birdwood last Sunday.

The members of the Sprite Club of South Australia would like to pass on their condolences to all of the William’s family at this time.

Please note that a Funeral Service is to be held in the Carr Memorial Chapel, 1 Morphett Street, Mount Barker, on Tuesday 14 November 2023, at 2-00pm.

Thanks to Reiner Walker, Robin Dunk and Gordon Boyce for the images used in this article

Spam and Sprite Club Emails

Despite the best efforts of the spam filters from the web-hosting company, WordPress and my own cyber security, the Sprite Club emails and website, like many sites these days, continues to get spammed and suffers attempts to hack in. Goodness knows what these hackers think they are going to find in our pages!

Cyber activity has significantly escalated in the past 12 months with the number of attempts to hack into businesses (and Clubs) more than doubling. For example, I cleared out the email spam filter at 0730 this morning and by morning tea there were half a dozen emails offering everything from website upgrades, cheap Chinese machining tools and the usual assortment of, err, medications. I’m sure you get the picture. In amongst that were unfortunately genuine emails from new members or other clubs and individuals reaching out to us so you can understand if sometimes we miss a letter or a notice to the Club.

There have also been attempts to send Committee members and general club members spam emails that appear to come from either my personal email or one of the Club emails. If it doesn’t make sense, then likely it isn’t real. If in doubt, look at the senders email address. Hackers/spammers cloak their real addresses with a fake one to make it appear real but if you look carefully you’ll see the underlying email address that isn’t one of ours. Unless you are absolutely sure of who its from, just don’t click the links in the body or the title of the email. Check the website or contact me.

As a result of the attempt to use my personal email to contact other members, I’ve changed the web settings and I’ll try to only use the ‘admin@spriteclub.com.au’ email address and will pass the details to the ‘assistant webmasters’ (Darryl and Gordon) who also need to log in or upload an article. I realise a change to the sending email will be frustrating for some as I know some of you have only just managed to de-spam the Club from your system. As always, if you are not getting emails (but are reading this online or on the BookFace site) please reach out to me on 0431 247 746 or admin@spriteclub.com.au. Don’t be shy about asking for help! Just ask!

I realise this is frustrating as, in this modern world, the emails and the website are our main, often only, forms of communications so we need to keep on top of it!

In the meantime, please keep an eye on the website for upcoming events! Hope to see you all at the Display Day in a few weeks!

Robin,

President/Webmaster, Sprite Club of South Australia

Flaggies Wanted

If anyone can assist with Flag Marshall duties at Mallala for the final round of 2023 on the 29th of October, please let Pat Miller know.

We are not officially on duty (that was the cancelled meet at the Bend); however, MSCA is short on flaggies and they have reached out to the Sprite Club and others from the previous meeting to see if we can help.

If you can help out please contact Pat (nanmiller@adam.com.au, 0421 289 706) or contact the MSCA Secretary directly (sec@msca.com).

All British Day 2024

Goodness, we haven’t gotten to the end of 2023 and the club is talking about ABD for 2024?

Well, entries are open (>click here<) and they CLOSE on 3 November, unless sold out before. Yes, that’s only about 2 weeks away. So, if you are heading out on the Climb to the Eagle and you haven’t entered, you had better do so when you get home!

In all seriousness, they are expecting to sell out quickly. The feature marque is MG celebrating 100 years and they will be a prominent feature on the day. I am in discussions with the MGCCSA who are coordinating the MG display so we are trying to be co-located on the main field so our MGs will also be ‘part of the day’, as are several other clubs with significant numbers of MGs in their ranks

If you are keen to go don’t miss out – click the link (here again) and get your entry in.

I’m entered (and so is my dad with his Ariel motorbike, another featured brand on the day!). Hope to see you all there!

A Word from the Webmaster

Hi all

I’ve had a few comments about not receiving emails so I’m just doing a check as to who is getting their emails! I know, I know, the Webguru has lost the plot and sending out an email to see if you are getting an email …. if you are reading this on the Website or the Facebook site and you didn’t get an email from the club with this information on it, can you please email me (don’t say it…!) at admin@spriteclub.com.au or spriteclubsa@gmail.com or text me a message (0431 247 746) with your name and email address and I’ll recheck that you are in the system.

Please go into your Spam Mail history and look for emails from the club. If you need any help, please let me know and I can talk you through it.

I’d hate for people to be missing out on events like Display Day because an email has not been received.

Cheers! Robin.

MG Car Club of SA Annual Kimber Run

A quick note for all those of the Morris Garages persuasion in our club!

The annual MG Car Club of South Australia ‘Kimber Run’ will be held again on Sunday the 12th of November.

If you own and MG, this is one of the largest annual MG-only runs in the world and the only run outside of the UK that has the official ‘Kimber Run’ title, celebrating the founder of MG, Cecil Kimber. This year its doubly important as this year marks 100 years of the MG brand.

The run is always held up though the hills with the route a lightly guarded secret until you sign on for the day. Suffice to say, there is always a well organised morning tea stop and, for the first 300 people to sign up for the lunch, a two course lunch at a great location at the end of the run. Think of it like one of Russell and Judy’s runs, just with 100+ MGs!

It really is a great day out and highly recommended! If you are not in an MG its still a great procession to follow along in your Sprite or other classic.

Run details can be found >here< or I’ve uploaded the entry form below.

Display Day 2023

Yes, its nearly that time! Display Day 2023. So get out you polishing cloths and start getting ready!

When – 5 November 23, from 0900

Where – Wigley Reserve, Glenelg

All members are encouraged to bring their Sprite, Midget or Associate Car(s) along for the day to show off your pride and joy and promote the Club! If you have more than one car and you can manage it, please bring more than one car down to really add to the diversity of cars and marques on the day.

Invitations to display are extended to all members of the Austin Healey Owners Club of South Australia and the Rover Car Club of South Australia, and of course the members of ClubbiesSA … we realise its the ‘First Sunday of the Month’ for you so we’ve arranged for a coffee van to be onsite for your coffee fix!

If you are reading this and you are not a member of the Sprite Club or one of the other mentioned clubs but you own a Sprite or Midget, Big Healey or a Classic Rover, you are also invited to come down and display your car! We would also love to see an Austin A40 Farina or two (they are basically a Sprite with a roof!) and MG1100s/Riley Elfs. If you are wondering, please drop us a line at admin@spriteclub.com.au or call on 0431 247 746.

Visitors from interstate Sprite and Austin Healey Clubs are of course welcome too!

Prizes will be awarded to the best Sprite/Midget and the best ‘Associate’ car on the day, and the Club’s Sprite of the Year will be awarded!

For Club members, we are still seeking some volunteers to help with setting up for the day. We are also looking for some specialised skills such as Fire Warden and additional First Aiders. If you can help please let myself, Don or Gordon know.

For those bringing their steeds on trailers there will be an area set aside for parking tow cars and trailers.

Hope to see you all there for what promises to be a great day!

What a Grand Day Out

Four Sprites and a Midget burbling up though the Adelaide Hills and the Barossa Valley enroute to Collingrove on a beautiful crisp clear Spring morning on the club’s ‘Picnic Run’. What a fabulous sight and sound!

Setting out from The Gully Hotel for a straight run up through Birdwood and then on to Collingrove, of course someone (the President … err, me) was late to the starting point but luckily Don was patient and waited with new Sprite owner, Don Cameron (he hasn’t yet decided on joining a club but he and his lovely Mk3 are welcome to join our runs when ever he wishes!). Eventually we got there (only 20 minutes late … despite having no traffic on North East Road I still managed to get every red light!) and the three of us headed up to Birdwood where the Lows and Dean were waiting and then the run out to Collingrove. It really is nice when the 80kph limit ends and we can run up to 100 (or there abouts)! 5x 1275 A Series, all in good song!

Despite my car really not having a decent run in nearly five months it seemed in fine fettle for the run out with a muted rasp and a crackle and pop on the overrun coming down the hills. Most thought I was slightly crazy wearing a polo shirt and shorts (and Margy in a short sleeve linen top) on a 5 degree morning but as usual the heater was in fine form heating our feet and the escaping warmth keeping our ears and noses from freezing as we headed through the hills with the roof down and picnic hamper strapped firmly in place. A perfect way to start the month of October!

And what was it all about? The Sunday of the Labour Day long weekend sees the running of the Sporting Car Club of South Australia’s annual Barossa Vintage Collingrove Hillclimb and, thanks to the efforts of Sprite Club and Sporting Car Club Member Gary Dodd, we had pole position inside the pit paddock for the day, including a run up the course for those who desired to partake!

The Sutherlands joined us with their lovely Mk2 Midget (its still for sale … David … I know you’re reading this … caravan, Sprite, caravan, Sprite …) and, including Peter Stanley’s hill climb Sprite, we had seven Sprites and Midgets, as well as Pat and Gerard Miller with the Plymouth and the likes of Miles and others in more ‘normal’ cars. A great turn out really, consider it was the middle of the Long Weekend after all. Thank you to everyone who made the effort!

And what a fabulous day it was, with an amazing collection of historic South Australian and interstate cars and bikes taking on the twists and incline of the Collingrove climb. From cars built for the Australian GP in the 1950s (and in one case, driven by the 15 year old Great Grandson of the cars creator), to a hauntingly beautiful SS100, classic Speedway Sprint Cars and all manner and marques of cars and bikes in-between, there was something for everyone!

Thank you to the SCC-SA for the opportunity and thank you to all the owners and drivers of these fabulous cars who were only too happy to stop and talk and recount the history of their vehicles.

All in all, it really was a Grand Day Out! Hope to see you all soon on the road!

(photo credits to David Low and Margy Donaldson or as marked)

And now for a quick word from Management

Its been a while since I’ve penned a President’s update and as we lead into a busier part of the year with runs and Display Days … and the AGM, I thought it was about time!

I have to apologise as I’ve been somewhat distracted of late, but the good news is the grass is now down at ‘Sherburn’ (yes, the house has a name on the façade, one of those things people did in the early 1900s!) but I’m not sure if its firm enough to get the Midget out from its hiding spot. I have mesh to lay over the grass like a WW2 temporary runway so perhaps it will get up to Collingrove this Sunday. Anyway, its proved to be a good backdrop for the latest Club purchase as a result of the State Government grant funding we received earlier this year – new signboards to advertise the Club at displays and other events. Not sure how they are going actually fit into a Spridget but where there is a will, there is always a way! Other equipment include a battery operated Public Address system, fire extinguishers and first aid kits. All a very welcome addition for a small club like ours!

Annual Dinner. I really have to apologise for not penning a report about the Annual Dinner as it was a fabulous evening, thanks largely to the hard work of Michael and Pat. The food, which was amazing, just kept coming and I don’t think anyone went home hungry!

Michael and Pat where somewhat surprised when they where awarded the Tony Benetto trophy for all of their hard work behind the scenes making the club the club that it is, but anyone who has attended any of the Annual Dinners or Ice-Cream Runs or Cheese and Wine nights would agree its long over due and recognition for their efforts! Congratulations!

I’ve only been involved with selecting and awarding trophies for this year and I hope that every year is as easy to select the winners as it was this year. When I asked the Committee for their thoughts and nominations the winners where unanimous! The award winners where (drumroll please….)

Club Person of the Year – Elaine Cardone!

Associate Car of the Year – it dawned on the Committee that there wasn’t an ‘Associate Car of the Year’ award which we all felt needed to be rectified. With several cars in contention for this category, one we felt was an absolute standout, that car being Paul and Ruth Doube’s MG TC. We don’t yet have the annual trophy but we were able to have the small keep-sake made up in time. Unfortunately, Paul continues to battle his health but the Club will organise an evening to take the trophy to them.

Sprite of the Year – well, about that. The winner wasn’t there so we have decided to hold that award over the Display Day. The winner does not know if her or his car has won. Hopefully it has been put back together and it makes Display Day! Come along then and find out who it is!

Congratulations to all the award winners on the night!

You should have just read my last email about Collingrove so no need to talk about that here, but there are a slew of runs and displays coming up in the next few weeks. Events include the Bay to Birdwood and the Climb to the Eagle (3 Nov) with the main event for the club being the Sprite Club Display Day at Wigley Reserve on the 5th of November! All cars, Sprite and non Sprites, are welcome as are non-Sprite Club members. We will be asking for volunteers to help run the day as we can’t do it without your help! There will be invites going out to our sister clubs in the very near future to come down and join in the day so get your polishing rags out and start polishing!

Finally, a quick note about the Annual General Meeting. More will information about nominations will come out in the next couple of days, but if you are interested to help the club as a member of the Committee please consider putting your hand up. Yes, it is the day after Display Day but we need you to put a mark into your diary to come along. All Committee positions will be available and anyone can nominate to help out as a committee member. We have a wonderful and hard working Committee who, I think, have put on some great events over the past 12 months but many have been on the Committee for quite a while and they may want a break! Have a think, talk to a current Committee Member. Its an undertaking and yes, it is a little bit of work but honestly, its enjoyable and hugely rewarding when you see an event or a run go off smoothly. We can only function as a club if we have a Committee to run it!

That’s enough rambling on from me. Don’t forget, there is no meeting this Monday due to the Long Weekend, with the next General Meeting held over until the following Monday (9 October).

Happy Sprite-ing

Run to the Vintage Collingrove Hillclimb

An informal ‘run to Collingrove’ will take place on Sunday 1 Oct for Sprite Club members. The run will be relaxed and very informal, with the goal to be at Collingrove by 0900(ish).

Departure point will be the carpark of ‘The Gully’ hotel (near the Thirsty Camel Bottle Shop, with a 0810 departure. From there its roughly a 60km, 60 minute run up through the hills. Look for my blue Midget or red Alfa on the day … hopefully I wake up in time!

For those who are taking a different route and perhaps want to meet us along the way, we will depart the Birdwood Mill around about 0840.

Non-Sprite Club members are most welcome to tag along, particularly if you are in a Sprite or a Midget!

Just in case its needed, my number is 0431 247 746

Don’t forget, the Sporting Car Club has generously given us free entry for the event so pack your club membership card as, although Gary Dodd assures me me knows everyone and everyone’s cars, it might pay to take your member card … just in case he doesn’t really know everyone! If you are not in a Spridget on the day then please take your membership card.

There will be catering available on the day, but pack a coffee or hot water for tea just in case.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Parts Wanted – Rear Brake Adjusters

Rick Williams is looking for a rear brake adjuster for his Midget Mk 2.

He is chasing like a genuine second hand one after buying two new ‘reproduction’ ones (pictured); however, the threads bind and cannot screw in from the front. He’s seeking one to complete his brake overhaul.

Can anyone assist?

Upcoming Events!

Three weeks, four great club events!

As the days warm up so does the club event calendar. Be sure to mark the following up on the fridge so you don’t forget!

16 September – Club Annual Dinner at Hut n Soul. From 1830 for a 1900 start, it promises to be a great night for only $40 a head. Let us know if you are coming!

20 September – Mid Week Run. Arrive at Tilley Reserve at 0930 for a 1000 departure towards the north for another mystery adventure courtesy of Russell and Judy! All I can say we are heading north and there’s a great lunch destination arranged! Oh, and as always, pack morning tea! Total distance out and back is about 150km … about 100 out and 50 home! Contact Russell or Judy to let them know you are coming so they can book.

30 September – MSCA SuperSprint Round 4 . The action returns to The Bend (East Circuit) and the club is on flagging duty so if you can spare the day as a volunteer please let Pat know.

1 October – Club picnic run to the Vintage Collingwood Hillclimb. If racing at The Bend wasn’t enough the day before, 1 October sees the return of Sporting Car Club’s annual Vintage Collingwood Hillclimb for 2023.

A perfect opportunity to dust the Sprite and Midgets off, pack a picnic hamper and go and watch the likes of Gerard and club Secretary Peter take on the hill climb circuit!

Thanks to Gary Dodd, the Sporting Car Club have kindly offered Sprite Club Members free entry if they show their membership card and our Sprites and Midgets can be parked as part of the cars on display for the day, with, if time permits, a run up the course behind the pace car. Sounds like a great day out to me!! Entry is $15 for non club members with tickets purchased on line >here<.

And the events don’t just stop there. The Bay to Birdwood on soon (let the club know if you are participating, followed soon after by the annual Climb to the Eagle (click here for entry) and our annual Display Day at Wigley Reserve in Glenelg. Stay tuned for more information on Display Day as we will need some help to make this a great day!

The Need for Speed

The British Motor Corporation (BMC) always looked at various ways to promote and sell it vehicles. MG and Austin Healey used record breaking at Bonneville in the USA to help sell its vehicles in the ‘States.

Here is the video of the special streamlined Sprite breaking the 138 MPH speed on the salt flats.

Pie ‘n’ Pea Night

At this end of the Spritely Year we have a number of gastronomic events on the Sprite Club Calendar – the Annual Dinner is one of these – have you booked your seat yet?

To start this culinary journey the Annual Pie ‘n’ Pea Night is the perfect entrée to enjoy.

Saturday Night on the 26th August saw over 30 Sprite Club members head to the Fullarton Park Community Centre for this tasting event,

Hosted by Don and Elaine Cardone, the evening started with a range of pre-dinner drinks and nibbles, while the aroma of warming pies and pea soup lingered from the kitchen.

Soon the announcement was made and there was a Spritely Line to the kitchen where members collected their pie topped with warming homemade pea soup. A dash of tomato sauce and/or vinegar to add to the flavour, and a hush fell over the room while the meal was devoured.

Seconds were available for those who were still hungry, but most found the meal fulfilling! And at $6.00 per pie it was an economical night.

After a short break, the range of desserts was displayed and enjoyed by all, with a coffee or tea.

To add to the night Gary Brock had provided a copy of his “Gary’s Quiz”, which was game mastered by Des Chabrel – with chocolates provided to the winners – Thanks to Gary and Des.

A raffle, with win prizes kindly donated by Phil and Mary-Anne Kies, added to the night.

While members chatted about Sprites, Midgets, Social Chats, and everything else – there was a small team in the kitchen cleaning up, washing dishes, and putting things back in order.

Our thanks to Don and Elaine for the co-ordination and organisation of this great evening. Also special thanks to a range of helpers who set up the venue, assisted with the food preparation and serving and the clean-up. And thanks to all for providing nibbles and sweets.

Are you coming along to the Sprite Club Annual Dinner?

16 September, 1830 for a 1900 start.

$40 per head for a 7 course meal, its hard value to beat!

Did I mention a drink on arrival and door prizes? And have I mentioned its only $40 a head to catch up with old friends and make new ones?

Come along and see who wins the Sprite of the Year and who is recognised as the Clubperson of the year for 2023. And who will win the inaugural ‘Associate Car of the Year’?

We have the whole restaurant to ourselves for the night and the chefs can cater for all dietary needs. RSVP myself or Michael McLaren, including any dietary requirements, so we can let the venue know how may to cater for. Direct Debit payment to the club before hand is preferred.

Upcoming Events Reminder

Tonight (26 Aug)Pea and Pie Night at the Fullarton Centre Club Rooms. Hosted by Don and Elaine, this promises to be a night featuring a South Australian culinary icon, the Pie Floater. If you haven’t told the Cardones you are coming, it might not be too late! BYO and members to provide a share plates of savoury and sweet dishes!

4 September – General Meeting at the club rooms

16 SeptemberAnnual Dinner. If you haven’t RSVP’d myself or Michael, please do so as soon as possible so we can confirm numbers with the venue. The club is subsidising the meal cost and will be providing a complimentary drink on arrival too. At $40 per head for a lovely 5 or 6 course meal its hard value to beat and will be a great night. We can cater for nearly all dietary needs, be it gluten free, vegetarian or vegan as well as various allergies. Please don’t not come as you are worried we can’t cater for you! Come along and see who wins the ‘Clubman of the Year’ or the ‘Best Sprite’ (which might not be a Sprite!) or the Tony Bennetto award.

20 September – hard on the heels of the Annual Dinner is the next instalment of Russell and Judy’s mid week magical mystery meanders. Goodness only knows what they have cooked up for us this time, other than to say its off in a north by north west direction. Sounds like the name of a Hitchcock thriller!

1 October – Picnic Run to the Collingrove Hillclimb. A run not to be missed and more details to follow, suffice to say that the Sporting Car Club is recognising the Sprite Club on the day with free entry and our cars on display with the historic hill climb cars. Definitely one to put into your calendars!

More information on each event can be found on the website in the Spritely News or of course in the latest edition of the Burble

Can you please help with my front end?

The Sprite Club of South Australia has been contacted by MSCA Member and MG Midget owner Steve Bowra, who is after some assistance.

Steve has purchased a 1969 MG Midget which has suffered some front end damage over the past years. This damage is to the beam that supports the steering rack and the front shocker mounts – due to indiscretions with pot holes and other fixed objects – these items have seen better days!

Steve is looking for a Sprite Club member who has a dismantled Spridget so he can take some measurements of the steering rack support, front shocker mounts and other front end brackets, so he can sort the geometry of his Midget.

Please contact Steve on 0417 829 864 or shbowra@bigpond.com if you can assist.

Sprite and Midget National Challenge 2024

National Challenge Update from the AHSDC organising team.

A huge welcome back or welcome aboard and after such a long hiatus what a great event we have planned for you all.

Firstly, in this Bulletin No 2 you will notice a few changes. Due to popular demand we have extended the Challenge to four nights and moved Venues for a better package deal. All the accommodation has been upgraded and evening meals will be next door so as no transport needed and you can walk to and from.

Also the Post Rally Tour has been bought forward to a Pre Rally Tour so as not to collide with the Easter rush going home and will be based at Yackandandah.

We have endeavoured to keep prices at a minimum but still offering great value as we have always tried to do. There is some very exciting events planned for you which are by Invitation and or Appointment only and I believe you will find totally fabulous but we are going to keep them a surprise until you get here. So if you wish to attend the 2024 National Challenge in Wodonga please get on board and Register and pay your deposit.

We have now included a QR code on the Bulletin which will take you directly  to our AHSDC Website for all information or details.

Please find attached Bulletin No 2 which has cost details and further information. If you could distribute amongst your Club and keep the momentum going as well.

The attached Registration Form MUST be completed along with your payment details to ensure your placement and returned to me please.

For those interested in joining the PRE Rally Tour, I have attached details and information pertaining to this and you will need to contact/liaise with John Fowler directly as per his details on the attached.

Please stay tuned for further Bulletins and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact myself or Greg Corbin.

An Evening with Terry Clark

For a bit of a change, we have a guest speaker at the next Monthly General Meeting (7 August), Mr Terry Clark.

Organised by Barry Edson, Terry has offered to come in to talk about his experiences as a motorsport photographer. For a little more information about Terry please refer to the extract from the State Library below.

I’m sure it will be an interesting chat and I highly recommend members and guests to come along and listen! As usual, tea and coffee will be available.

From the State Library of South Australia:

At age 15 Terry joined the Royal Air Force as an apprentice in the trade of airborne wireless and radar fitter. With a good camera club in the RAF and some spare time, Terry’s photographic experience blossomed. The camera club had a really good quality 2 ¼ sq inch single lens reflex camera and full facilities for developing, printing, enlarging and processing the emerging technology of colour slide film.

Terry was posted to Australia to work on guided missiles in 1959. It was many miles of travel and many photographs and 8mm movie shoots before he returned for a brief spell in 1965 to the United Kingdom. Finishing his term in the RAF he migrated back to Australia to work on Jindivik a radio controlled target aircraft. On arrival in Woomera in 1967 Terry saw the opportunity to start a photographic service for the population and the local newspaper and he established Woomera Photo Services. In more than eight years as a Woomera resident he took many thousands of photographs, which unlike his wartime efforts did come out. The range of photographic assignments was extremely varied with weddings, social functions, many sporting events, local promotional postcards, ANZAC Day and 4th July celebrations, and covering visiting entertainers and sporting personalities.

Soapbox Derby, Woomera.
Photo from the Terry Clark Collection, SLSA

Terry left Woomera after nearly nine years to live and work in Adelaide as a Prudential Insurance Company Agent. As technology progressed Terry took advantage of the growth of computer-controlled multi image slide presentations and developed a business presenting slide shows at sales conferences around the world. This led to work for CAMS at Formula 1 events and fifteen years presenting slide shows at The FIA (Federation Internationale De L’Automobile) World Rally Championship in Perth. He was also fortunate to meet many international celebrities of which the highlight was having morning tea with and photographing Nelson Mandela when he was the President of South Africa.

Terry has never been a full time professional photographer but his work has taken him around the world with presentations in nine different countries as well as every state of Australia. Terry donated all the negatives of his Woomera work to the Woomera Museum and many of his prints and 8mm movies to The State Library of South Australia.

Your Club Needs You … to come Slot Car racing!

You club needs you!

Our numbers have dwindled, our position now parlous.

Some have succumbed to the winter malaise and others distracted by offers of food, wine, song and free accommodation.

We stand besieged by those from the Rovers, some may be Topless and others of the Clubbie kind. And we know not what of the warriors of the MGCC or if indeed those of AHOC Clan upon the hallowed track may appear.

We need you to step forth like never before so we can stand as one, united in a single cause, bonded by a marque.

I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves able to defend our club honour and set a standard of slot car team racing that will be the stories of legend.

We need you. Your club needs you…

… to come and have a Day at the Races tomorrow at Scalex World in Ridgehaven as the Sprite Club brings back an old winter favourite – slot car racing!

As advertised, the main event is a ‘Le Mans’ style teams race but that doesn’t mean you don’t come if you don’t have a team or just want to have a day reliving the joy of slot cars.

So come one, come all and see the Sprites fly around the track!

Track will open at 0900 and practice will start at 1000. The ‘race’ will kick off at 1100 and the number of rounds will depend entirely on how many teams we get on the day. We are already down a couple of people in the ‘teams’ due to a mix of the flu (and one who decided a bed and breakfast in a vineyard was better than slot car racing – seriously?) so we have some teams who may be looking for a fourth member and we have racing room for another team or two if you can find three mates or just see who is there tomorrow and join in with the fun.

And, for those who love a good coffee, head out to the Rezz for a coffee or breakfast with the Clubbies crew at 0900 before we head across to Scalex World for 10am!

$20 per head gets you track hire, a car and a controller!

Upcoming Events

Don’t forget these dates!

16 Jul – Le Mans Slot Car Challenge. We have a few teams on the books already but we can always use a few more!! And if you just want to have fun, come along anyway! We will be meeting at The Rezz at 9 for those who want a coffee first before heading over to Scalex World at 10. Come along for some mid-winter racing fun!

26 Aug – Pie and Peas Night. Nothing like a good pie floater to warm you up on a cold winters night. Please RSVP to Don or Elaine with numbers and if you can bring a Sweet or a Savoury

16 Sep – 51st Annual Dinner – details to follow!

20 Sep – Mid Week Mystery Meander – its a run to the North but I’m not sure if that’s going to be Cary Grant-esque North by North West adventure or more John Wayne North to Alaska. You’d better come along to find out!

1 Oct – Picnic Run to Collingrove Historic Hillclimb where our Sprites and Midgets will be on display thanks to the Sporting Car Club!

Please note also the club is on Flagging Duty on the 30th of Sep at The Bend so volunteers are requested to let Pat know. Perhaps if you are not planning on coming up to Collingrove on Sunday you might be able to help out on Saturday (or both!)?

The Workshop Rat

As many of you will know, Paul Doube, club member and ex President of the Sprite Club ,and stalwart of the ClubbiesSA movement is having a running battle with his health at the moment. A few weeks ago, to help me piece together some of my father’s recollections of his trips to Mallala, I asked Paul if he’d mind writing down some memories from his youth, a time when you could find him happily sweeping the floors at Garrie Cooper’s workshop, just soaking in the early days of Elfin Cars. Within the hour the following came bouncing back. Enjoy!

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The Workshop Rat, by Paul Doube

… I did indeed ‘haunt’ the Elfin factory on Conmurra Avenue, Edwardstown when I was a kid. I had developed a bit of an interest in racing and race cars, as my older brother used to bring home magazines about cars and racing, though these were usually English magazines, such as Auto Sport. In one of the Australian magazines, was an advertisement for Elfin Sports Cars, and I realised that the workshop/factory was not far away from my home at Clarence Gardens.

Garrie Cooper’s Austin 7 Special (photo Gordon Boyce)

After school one afternoon, I hopped on my trusty treadley, and cycled down to Conmurra Avenue, where I found an unlikely looking Besserblock workshop set back a little from the street, and which was next to a firm called Cooper Motor Bodies, run by Cliff Cooper (Garrie’s father), and where Garry and Elfin Sports Cars started out. I won’t detail the history of Elfin as that is easily available elsewhere.

In any case, I saw the sliding door at the front of the workshop was slightly open, and so I peered in, trying all the while to remain out of sight of the occupants of the workshop in case I was seen to be doing something wrong. It was an amazing sight to see a couple of racing cars under construction as well as one or two being either repaired, serviced or prepared for racing, and though it was a fantastic sight, I was desperate to find a way to get inside and have a really good look.

I can’t recall for sure but this must have happened a few times over the ensuing weeks, and on a few occasions I was sure I had been sprung, but there was a big bush growing in the carpark next to the office door and workshop entrance, and I figured if anybody saw me, I could hide in the bush. I only had to do that once when a car pulled in to the carpark area (not really a carpark, just an entrance way to the premises), and as the car parked, I hid in the bush to avoid having to fess up. I have often wondered what that person must have thought, as they clearly saw me peering around the workshop door, but that I had disappeared by the time they got out of their ute.

Elfin FJ, at Mallala. Driver – Steven Cooper, son of Garrie. Photo G. Nowak, via Flickr

Not long after that incident, it was school holidays, and of course, I had again cycled down to Conmurra Avenue, probably secretly hoping I would be invited in for a tour. All of sudden the garage door slid back, and this older bloke grabbed me by the front of my jumper, making me think I was going to be in trouble and have the police called (a real fear as my father was a policeman). It turned out it was Cliff Cooper, and he had a broom in his hand, again making me think I was about to get a hiding.

His words still ring clear to me when he said “instead of looking in, you might as well make yourself useful, and come in and sweep up“!

That was my ‘in’ to Elfin Sports Cars, and from that day on, I used to go down as often as I could, and simply walk in and grab a broom, and pretend to sweep up, in reality never doing much sweeping at all, and as much as possible, hanging around close to those working on the cars or talking about what they were doing. It was probably just as well, as many of the basic layouts of chassis were simply drawn in chalk on the workshop floor, and if I had swept those chalk lines up, I’m sure I would have been given a hiding.

It was a case of almost being in a live ‘Boys Own’ comic, as while many school mates were interested in racing cars, I was actually getting inside the factory, and talking to the people who designed and built them. Garry was a quieter bloke but very interesting to listen to, while Cliff was louder and I thought at the time, a bit of an ogre, but nothing could be further from the truth. Others were John Webb, the genius alloy body builder, Dale Koennecke who looked after the engines and built engines, and a smaller Italian guy named Ernest Littera, who seemed to me to be able to do absolutely anything, as well as Cliff and Garry, A younger guy was there at the time doing his apprenticeship as a fabricator, named Gregg Mobbs, and it was Greg who owned and raced an Elfin Clubman, and later designed and built the first seven of the seventeen Kestrel Clubmans, plus others who came in to do things, such a Bruce Wendt, a PMG Technician by day, but who also wired every Elfin to leave the factory. 

As an aside, there are a few later connections from that period, Bruce also wired my Kestrel Clubman and of course Greg welded up the basic chassis for my Kestrel (No 7) before I took over the build with great assistance from Tim Rees, and I later used Dale Koennecke as an expert witness in a case I was appearing as counsel in. When I had  Dale in chambers to proof him as a witness, he kept saying he thought I was familiar, to which I detailed my time going to the Elfin factory as a child. On hearing that, Dale roared laughing and said  “of course, the workshop rat”! Apparently that was how I was explained to people who came to the Elfin factory on a legitimate basis.

Graham Wright’s Elfin Mallala, at Mallala. Photo G. Nowak, via Flickr

I continued to do this for a couple of years, but schooling at St. Ignatius at Norwood got in the way, as I was never home early enough to get down to Conmurra Avenue, though I did drop in on a few occasions when I was on school holidays. From memory this would probably have been in about 1963, as I recall being about ten years of age at the time, and that would fit in with getting a bike for Christmas just before my tenth birthday. I recall that I probably did this for two years or perhaps slightly longer, as that would also fit with my going to St. Ignatius, so probably between 1963 and 1966. This would also fit with the cars I recall seeing, which were the Catalina/Formula Junior, Elfin Mono open wheelers, the first of the Elfin Formula vee cars, and Elfin Mallala sports car.

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… I’m sure many of us would give anything to experience first hand the sights, sounds and smell of 1960s motorsport, even just for five minutes. Paul, after being caught hiding in the bushes, got to spend his holidays and weekends in his formative years being small part of Australian motorsport history. We are all glad he didn’t sweep the floors too well!

Pea n Pie Night

Nothing says South Australia more than a hot meat pie surrounded by peas and once again the Sprite Club is bringing this culinary delicacy back with its annual Pea n Pie night!

Known to most as a ‘Pie Floater’ I can see the quizzical look on some readers faces as you read this but don’t knock it until you actually try it! Known universally as a Pie Floater, its literally a meat pie (traditionally a Pork Pie but any quality pie is good) submerged (originally upside) down in a bowl of hot pea soup! Believed to have been created in Port Pirie in the 1890s it became a late night staple of Pie Carts across Adelaide and Australia after a long night or just a great mid winter warmer tummy.

Sadly all of the original Adelaide Pie Carts have disappeared but the tradition still carries on and, thanks to the efforts of Don and Elaine, the Sprite Club will be putting on its own take on the ubiquitous Pea and Pie combination.

Where – Fullarton Park Clubrooms

When – 26 August (time TBC)

Cost -TBC but somewhere around $10 per member

BYO Drinks and a plate of nibbles or dessert

RSVP to Don and Elaine Cardone (0411 876 067) so they can gauge the numbers for ordering please. Please also advise if you intend to bring a savoury or sweet plate so we don’t end up with too much one thing!

Visitors are most welcome, just please let us know prior so we can cater for the right numbers!

Midweek Meander Update

A friendly reminder that there will be a Midweek Meander this week (Wed 21st), lead by Pat Miller.

Gather at Windy Point Upper Car Park at 0930 for a 1000 departure.

Route will be a scenic roll through the Adelaide’s southern hills, via Clarendon and Kangarilla enroute to Collectable and Classics at Strathalbyn for a late morning tea and to look at the cars on display and for sale there. From there its a run up the picturesque Strath Road to Echunga for lunch at the Hagen Arms.

Pat and Nan have checked the route and despite the miserable weather it was a great drive! Lets hope for nice weather on Wednesday!

Look out for Pat’s Falcon Ute at Windy Point.

If you haven’t already, please let him know you are coming on 0421 289 706.

Dry July in memory of Don

Earlier this year we lost one of our club stalwarts, Don Williams, to the effects of cancer and we have other club members who are or have been engaged with their own battles with this insidious disease.

This July Don’s nephew and fellow club member, Dale Halling, will be raising a non-alcoholic glass to Don and through the Dry July initiative to a better life for all people affected by cancer.

By taking part in Dry July, Dale, an many others like him, will be going alcohol-free and raising funds to help make a difficult time a little easier for cancer patients, their families and carers. If you are able he would be very appreciative if you could make a small donation to this most worthy of causes.

Your donation will help fund services such as a lift to a life-saving appointment, guidance from a specialist nurse, connection to an informative voice, access to therapy programs or a bed close to treatment.

To donate please head to https://www.dryjuly.com/users/dale-halling. The size of the donation does not matter, its the thought that counts and every small thought contributes to the cause.

Thunderbirds are GO!

Otherwise known as … the Mid Week Run for next week is ON!

Thanks to Pat offering to run the day, the June ‘Winter Solstice‘ mid-week run is go!

Date – 21 June 23

Time – 0930 for a 1000 off

Starting Point – Windy Point Car Park (uphill car park)

Route – Pat is planning an easy run through the southern hills to Strathalbyn where we will stop for a late morning cup of tea or coffee and a wander through Ben Finnis’s Collectable and Classic Cars. Ben has asked for a $2 per person donation that will go to his Charity of the Month. BYO coffee/tea or support one of the local coffee shops!

Lunch – following Collectable and Classics tables have been reserved at the Hagen Arms in Echunga for 1230, just a quick trip up the road from Strath.

Please let Pat or Robin know if you are going so we can adjust the table numbers for the Hagen Arms (currently booked for 16).

Fingers crossed for reasonable weather!

Calendar Updates

Greetings all. Just a quick update on planned and unplanned activities that are coming up in the next couple of weeks!

17 June – Army Vehicles Open Day. Looking for something different to do this Saturday? Ever wanted to get up close to the latest in Army trucks? The Royal Australian Corps of Transport is holding an open day at Keswick Barracks from 1100 until 1400. Come and see some of the oldest and latest Army vehicles and listen to the Army Band play from 1200. Numbers are limited to 500 and bookings are essential via Eventbrite for this free event.

Book here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/army-transport-open-day-at-keswick-barracks-tickets-636969381567

21 Jun – Winter Solstice Lunch Run. We’ve combined several run themes into one and created a mid-week Winter Lunch Run to celebrate the shortest day of the year (a day or so early) with a run out to Strath and Echunga but I need a ‘Run Captain’ to run the day, record attendance, marshal troops, give directions and generally keep law and order. Should be easy right? Unfortunately Russell and Judy are indisposed and most of the Committee are tied up so I’m calling on a volunteer … and an idea of numbers so I can book an appropriate venue for lunch! Please let me know at spriteclubsa@gmail.com or call/text me on 0431 247 746 if you can help out!

Run details to follow once we know we can run the run (so to speak!)

Finally ….

25 June – Breakfast Run to Murray Bridge with the MG Car Club. Departing Veale Gardens at 0900 for a run out along the ‘old road’ to Murray Bridge. Details can be found here, here and here! All welcome to tag along!

Oh – and don’t forget to get your Slot Car teams together for the event of the year at Scalex World on the 16th of July. Should be a great day and we can’t let the first winners not be the Sprite Club!

Calling All Cars, Calling All (slot) Cars

Save the date – Sunday, 16 July 2023. A day that may go down in the annuals of motor sport history as the day the Sprite Car Club (SA) Slot Car Cup burst onto the racing calendar. Yes, that’s right, its the world famous SCCSCC. I’m not sure its really world famous and to be honest, I’m not 100% sure we will have a Cup to award to the winning team, but it will be a great day of fun competition at Clive Spreadbury’s Scalex World slot car complex!

The race. The main event is a ‘Le Mans’ style race with six teams of four drivers per team. Each driver will get to race for a set time and its a simple formula … the team with the most laps at the end of the race time wins!

And the cars? You will be racing identical Austin Healey Sprites of course! No traction or aerodynamic aids, just pure hand-eye-throttle coordination to keep your car on the circuit! These are no ordinary slot cars. You wont find these in a shop as they have been custom built by Clive using the best steel chassis and motors covered by hand built bodies.

Now you can’t have a competition without having challengers so we will be issuing a challenge, laying down an electronic gauntlet if you like, to some like minded car groups in Adelaide to stir up some competition and possibly create an annual event. Who will we challenge and who will have the courage to attempt to become the inaugural winners of the SCCSCC? You will have to come along on the day to find out! And of course if you are from an interstate Sprite/Midget club and visiting Adelaide we’d love to see you on the day too!

All three tracks will be running on the day with the the main event hosted on the competition track. The other two tracks will open to those looking to practice their skill or just relive your youth and have a go at racing a slot car! Dust off your old Slot Cars (1:24th and 1:32nd scale) or hire a car on the day and relive your childhood. A warning though … its highly highly addictive!

For those teams chasing Cup glory bonus points will be awarded for each ‘marque representative’ slot car you bring along. I know one member of the Sprite Club has two in build already so best get cracking!

When – Sunday 16 July.

Where Scalex World (3 Paul St, Ridgehaven).

Cost – $20 per person which includes a car, track hire and a controller.

Practice from 1000 with racing starting at 1100 until 1300

Getting there. Every third Sunday of the month the ladies and gents of ClubbiesSA meet at the Rezz for breakfast. Sean assures me we are all welcome to join them so to really make a day of it, head to the Rezz for a coffee and from there its just a hop, step and a jump over to Scalex World!

Afterwards. If the weather is kind it’s a BBQ lunch in the park across the road afterwards so pack a BBQ picnic, otherwise we will head to a local pub!

And if you are really keen, Clive is also a Scalextric retailer so if (or when) the slot car bug(eye) bites he can satisfy your competition adrenaline rush with all the equipment you might need!

Support to a very good cause

Daryl, our Regalia Officer brought to my attention what I think is a really good cause that the Sprite Car Club might want to support.

His wife (and Sprite Club member) Ruth is on the Board of the Cancer Care Centre and is seeking to raise further funds to support people living with cancer. They have partnered with the Capri Cinema (Goodwood Road, Goodwood) and together are hosting a charity screening of the new Indiana Jones movie, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.

When and where: Capri Cinema in Goodwood, Sunday 9 July at 2.30pm. The movie will screen from 3.30 with all monies raised going to the Cancer Care Centre.

This is an exceptionally worthy charity. Sadly 1 in 2 people are affected by cancer at some point in their lives, be it directly or as a family member. The Cancer Care Centre is there to support not only those suffering but their affected families.

To book tickets for this event, please click the link >here< and follow the prompts.

In the words of Daryl and Ruth, please bring your Spritely selves and support a very worthy cause!

Minutes – May General Meeting

Please find the Minutes of the May General Meeting below for your review.

Please note, the proposed 28 May Winery Lunch as been postponed and will be combined with a run to Pub in late June (details to follow). In its stead will be the opportunity to join in the MCGG(SA) Breakfast Run. Refer to Spritely News for more information. Please let Robin know if you are attending and he will advise the MGCC of potential numbers.

Calendar Changes and a Breakfast Run with the MGCC(SA)

For the eagle eyed amongst us you will note a Midweek Run and a proposed Winery Run this month. I have to admit, I haven’t had a spare moment to organise them (sorry) and that’s pretty much the same for all of the Committee BUT, in their stead, we’ve been invited to join in the next MG Car Club (South Australia) Breakfast Run on Sunday the 28th of May.

Not a lunch surrounded by a vineyard (again … sorry!!), but a nice run up through One Tree Hill and back down to Carisbrooke Park for a BYO brunch picnic and a natter with like minded car enthusiasts and then off home to start the rest of the day!

General details can be found on the MGCC(SA) website (click here for the link) with the specifics for the day found here, including directions and a route map. The overview of the morning is as follows:

Sunday, 28 May, arrive Veale Gardens (South Terrace) for a 0900 departure

This month’s route is up North East Road to Golden Grove Road, thence on to One Tree Hill, prior to looping back onto Black Top Road for the run back into the city and on to Carisbrooke Park (just past the Old Spot).

Pack a thermos of hot coffee or tea and bring some morning tea and meet some like minded car enthusiasts.

Here’s hoping for a dry day – I can handle the cold as the heater in the Midget works but I’d prefer not driving in the rain as the windscreen leaks!

End of an era – and the start of a new one

Words and Photo by Sean Power, borrowed from ClubbiesSA with Sean’s permission

A sad but happy event happened the other day. Paul and Ruth Doube, stalwarts of both the Sprite Club of South Australia and ClubbieSA, asked me to drive their Kestrel Clubbie to the transport company at Wingfield so it could be sent to Perth for their son Michael to use. Paul can no longer drive it so this was the best option. I was proud to do this.

Paul and Ruth were at the first ClubbiesSA lunch meeting start up of the group in 2000 at Skillogalee Winery. Paul drove my Kestrel home that day and wanted one and then built Kestrel 117 and raced and drove it everywhere – about 115,00kms so far. It still goes well. We all had a tear once we signed off the paperwork, just check the photos. End of an era but with the car staying in the family, its the start of a new one … or maybe its just an extension of the same story as I’m sure we will see the Kestrel, with Doube at the wheel again soon!

Peter Hall Memorial Six Hour Wrap Up

(words by Sean Power. Photos from Pat and myself)

Sunday’s 6 Hour event at Mallala was quite a day. The weather Gods did smile on us in some ways – it did not rain and although the morning was freezing, there was bright sun for the main part of the day. It was cold if you did not prepare well, and I was grateful for lots of walking around and winter woollies underneath the jeans.

What a day – 2 composite teams entered for the first time in 10 or 12 years for a team of 5 (Red Heiffer) and 4 (We’re in it for the Beer) cars respectively. Red Heiffer originally had 6 cars but we gave Rob van Wageningen in his Nissan 370Z to a Victorian Sprite Car ClubTeam to help bring them over for the event. This kind act would rebound on us later!

Red Heiffer Driver Gerard Miller had problems from the start of the day with his beautiful old Buick race car. Usually faultless, it play up from the start and ended with a cannibalised battery from Dean King’s car and another devious electrical capacitor to keep it running, but only for short times. Eventual withdrawal in the final moments of the day. The rest of Red Heiffer just kept circulating. Dean’s car would be further cannibalised to keep on of the Victorian Spridgets racing. Hopefully he can piece it all back together again!

Most of the drama was with the “Beer” team. One of Dave Tye’s Lotus was not entered, blown engine from the Historics a few weeks ago. This left a starting pool of 4 cars. Things started well, then late in the day, Pat Mullins in the Tye’s Lotus Cortina, lost 2nd gear and had to retire. The gear is yet to be found! Shortly after, the Clubbie of John Coker lost a fan belt somewhere out on the track and he had to retire. Bugger! Rod Hammond (Puma) and Davin Umlauf, Kestrel Twin Charge), were left to continue and finish off the day. Lots of laps and close calls for this small team but we made it in the end.

I wish to thank the great volunteer group from both Clubbies and Sprite clubs, their partners and their friends and some other people I had press-ganged into helping on the day. It was a huge, long, tiring day but we managed to complete the day safely. On behalf of all the drivers, I thank all those who helped make the day such a success. Our club members really stepped in and ran the teams so well, from the Hill, timing, to managing the pit wall and form-up. With two teams entered, there is a lot of work managing the day. Next year, I will buy more two way radios, as the lack of comms equipment this year really showed.

Now to Rob! The Victorian Sprite team (Team Goblin) he was given to had, with him included, 4 cars in total. Rob had replaced both discs and front brake pads of the 370Z two weeks before yesterday. A warmup up stint and then an extended drive and he was back in the pits having had a total loss of brakes. Examination revealed complete wear of pads but no serious damage to rotors. Car withdrawn.

Today, a call to Rob found that his Victorian Sprite team (Team Goblin) had come third and he had been given a trophy. He was so proud. That hurt. In all the 20 years we have entered, our teams have never won anything, in fact we have always figured down towards the bottom end of each table. Even when we had entered 4 teams many years ago, we got nowhere. We have had fun with most drivers content with having fun and not always sticking to their stated times.

Sprite Club of SA Constitution Update

In my role as the President of the Sprite Club, I announced last night a Special Meeting to discuss and ratify an update to the Club Constitution, to be held following the General Meeting, 3 Jul 23.

A draft of the update has been emailed to all surviving Founding, Life and current Financial Members of the Sprite Club of South Australia. If you have not received an email and believe you should have or are aware of a Founding or Life member who we have not emailed, please contact me in my role as the Webmaster and I’ll endeavour to get the draft out. I’d also ask you to check your ‘spam’ or ‘junk’ email folders.

Bugeye Burble – May 2023

Please find below the Sprite Club Bugeye Burble where you will find the latest club information.

Please note the call for volunteers to support the Clubs two teams entered into the Peter Hall Memorial Six Hour at Mallala on the 7th. Many hands make light work of the day so if you can help out, even just for a few hours, Sean and Pat would be very grateful!

I’ve put in two ‘place holder’ events listed in June. A Midweek Run on the 17th of May, and a Sunday Lunch run on the 28 May. If you have a great idea for these events please contact the Committee and we will see if we can pull one or all of these events off, otherwise we will slide the Midweek run into perhaps Jul.

I will be calling some Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale pubs for the Winter Solstice Run to make a booking this week. If you have ‘must visit pub’ please let me know and I’ll add them to the list.

Finally, please note the ‘Special Meeting’ called on 3 Jul 2023 to discuss and (hopefully) ratify an update to the Club Constitution. The amendments are necessary to bring it in line with the current Conditional Registration requirements and the opportunity is being taken to help the club survive and thrive over the next 10+ years. There will be more information emailed out to all current members later this week; however, in accordance with the Constitution the Committee needs to provide two clear months notice of a Special Meeting. That was provided last night at the monthly General meeting. We need at least 20 members present on the night to vote on any change to Constitution.

Racing Midgets

Don’t forget the Monthly General Meeting tonight at the Fullarton Community Centre! Hope to see you there. To help you while away the time between now and 8pm tonight I found this article in the MG Car Club of SA magazine. I can’t vouch for its accuracy but it made for an interesting read…

A Brief History of a Brief Competition History

The original M-Type Midget helped bring motor racing to the masses and its competition history in the hands of both factory and privateer racers is well documented with tales of daring do from Brooklands to Lands’ End Speed Trials and even Le Mans. Yet try and research the competition history of the later Midget, you largely draw a blank. Type into Google something obvious like ‘BMC Motorsport History MG Midget’ and you get pages of hits about Minis conquering Monte Carlo or Bathurst, and Healeys (big and small), MGAs, MGBs and MGCs at Le Mans, Sebring, Targa Florio and rallies everywhere, yet you almost must hire a private detective, or at least scroll to the 6th or 7th page of Google search results to discover anything about the Midget! You could easily conclude that Works backed ‘Spridget’ racing was the sole domain of the Austin Healey Sprite but dig a little deeper and a rich and colourful competition history of Midget begins to emerge.

In terms of factory backed cars, the likes of the Big Healeys, the Sprite, MGA/B/C and of course the Minis feature heavily in the results sheets of many of the ‘big’ road and rally events across Europe and America. Drivers that were, or about to become, household names often filled their seats, including the likes of Stirling and Pat Moss, Paddy Hopkirk and movie star Steve McQueen. Formula One and Le Mans starts such as Innes Ireland, Pedro Rodriquez, Graham Hill and Bruce McLaren also all raced a Sprite or Midget at different stages of their careers.

Ever mindful of the advertising and publicity that success on Sunday brought, in 1961 the (then) new Midget was thrust into the rally program with three factory backed Midgets competing in 1961 and 62, before being withdrawn from rally events (but not before one was rebadged a Sprite and continued to compete in the hands of Works and privateer drivers for several years as both a Sprite or a Midget). The symbiotic relationship between Sprites and Midgets is something that rears its head again and again in the racing career of the Midget.

As a Works backed rally car, the Midget might not have lasted all that long; however, as a road racing car, the pages of its history were only beginning to be written. Inspired by the outline of the Aston Martin DB4, Dick Jacobs (of Jacobs Racing Team fame) took a racing coupe concept to Albingdon where it came to the attention of Syd Enver and, after some modifications, it became the ‘Jacobs Midget’. The new body was more aerodynamic (a huge advantage when you consider the output of the humble A Series engine) and when completed tipped the scales some 150 kg lighter than the production car. Again, a huge advantage given the powerplant. Three coupes were produced, two of which were raced by Jacobs Racing who found class success in events such as the Nurburgring 500 and 1000 and one to a privateer racer.

Such was the success of the Jacobs team with their two humble Midgets, the cars were returned to the Albingdon where the Works team took over their running (under Dick Jacob’s guidance) for a number of events in 1965 including Sebring and the Targa Florio, with Paddy Hopkirk returning to steer the Midget at that event. All three exist to this day and, like its sibling, the ‘Sebring Sprite’ has spawned a number of replicas.

Two production Midgets then were taken racing in 1965 for the ‘World Championship of Makes’, held in Bridgehampton in the US. Lightened with some aluminium panels and mildly tuned 1293cc engines one went on to place third in class before being used by MG USA in 1966 to promote the launch of the Mk3 Midget and its ‘new’ 1275cc engine. These cars then passed into private hands to race on in events throughout the US for a number of years. One car has disappeared but one survives to this day, the only one of the five ‘works Midgets’ (not counting the Jacobs cars) believed to survive to this day (the other three being the Mk1 Midget rally cars, all of which have been lost to history).

When you talk to a Spridget aficionado about racing, the Sebring and Le Mans Sprites are never far from their lips. And nor they should be. Donald Healey’s team won or placed in their category at Sebring on a number of occasions and the Le Mans Sprite was ultimately developed into a car capable of 150mph on the Mulsane Straight for hour after gruelling hour (albeit using a highly modified MGB gearbox!). A far cry from the humble showroom car! Healey, always mindful that sales were always a must to justify the racing program, particularly in the US, a far more standard Midget would be entered in the Production categories at Sebring, although with no lesser drivers than those steering the Sprites (Graham Hill for example). The irony (ignominy perhaps?) was that these MG Midgets were all, in fact, re-badged Sprites and after the events were returned to being a Sprite and subsequently sold on! The Midget does get almost the last laugh though … the final of the Healey built ‘Works Sprites’, was completed in 1969 for the Targa Florio just as BMC withdrew its backing from Healey Racing. Sold off to a privateer it was raced extensively in the US, including Sebring, often recorded in the record books as …. a Midget!  

No article about racing Midgets would be complete without a doff of the hat towards John Spritzel, the BMC tuning wizard and his entry into the somewhat controversial 1968 London to Sydney Marathon (won by Andrew Cowan in a Hillman Hunter). Not only did he help organise the event, but he entered it in an MG Midget and was holding well into the Top 10 cars until the Australian outback beat the Midget’s suspension, ending his race!

As the basis of many a race car in marque sports car events, Midgets continue to grace tracks across the country. Easy to work on and still relatively cheap, add the mandatory safety equipment even to a standard car and you have bags of competition fun and they are simple enough that any mug spanner turner can easily find 25-50% more power and handling with little effort or outlay before you really get silly!

Peter Hall Memorial 6 Hour – Can You Help?

Sue Stephenson, our great MSCA 6 Hour event organiser & Sprite Club member, has an urgent appeal for help.

One of the two Vic Sprite teams has a member who has had to pull out and they are reduced to only three cars.

CAN YOU HELP??

Is someone willing to effectively pull on the Big V, become an honorary Victorian for six hours and help get two Vic Sprite teams across the border and to the start line?

Sue has asked Sean’s Red Heiffers, as they have six cars entered, if one of them can switch sides for the day, and they will, but Sean has offered the spot to another Sprite Club member if they might like to go racing for the day. You just have to become a Victorian (for a few hours) … and that’s ok as its for a good cause!

And no, if they are well placed you can’t speed up or slow down to put them off the podium!

If you have your license (don’t quote me, but I think ‘all’ you need is a Speed Licence … Sue will quickly correct this I’m sure!!) and your car needs to be appropriately equipped for the day, then please contact Sue Stephenson (comp@mscasa.com) as soon as possible. If you’d prefer to talk to her in person and you don’t have her number, contact me (Robin) or another club member and we will pass you the number.

First in, best dressed.

Austin Healeys at the Sporting Car Club

Hot on the heels of our own Stars and their Cars evening, the Sporting Car Club of South Australia invited us and the Austin Healey Owners Club to their Classic & Modern section evening to celebrate all things Austin Healey night, where Don’s stunning Sprite was one of the feature attractions!

Three amazing cars featured on stage, a genuine 100S with an incredibly well documented history and pedigree, a beautiful 3000 MkIII (BJ8) and, of course, Don’s 1960 MkI Sprite.

If I a dollar for each time I heard ‘I had one of these’ from people pouring over the Sprite! I genuinely think people were stunned at the lengths Don had to go to to restore the Sprite. The effort required to just restore the bonnet I think left many amazed, a story made even more interesting as he’d sourced the bonnet from another ex Sprite owner and Sporting Car Club member (Doug Gordon) who was present on the night …. I don’t think even he realised how much work had to go into just the bonnet!

For those who don’t know, to straighten the Sprite’s bonnet it was completely unstitched (unwelded), each panel was individually straightened and re-shaped, before it was all rewelded, lead wiped and repainted in Carnation Red as we all know it today!

A big thank you must go to Sprite Club member (and outgoing SCCSA Classic & Modern section president) Gary Dodd who’s brainchild it was to bring together the Sporting Car Club, the AHOC and the Sprite Club. A great night with some fabulous stories about the history of some amazing cars!

Thank you to also to Gordon for the photos from the event!

Stars and Their Cars – April 2023

The April General meeting of the Sprite Club of South Australia sees the members head to the Sporting Car Club clubrooms for the Stars and Their Cars night. This annual event is a chance for the members to showcase their vehicles and allow us to enjoy the benefits of automobilism.

This year President Robin had chosen Non-Sprite and Midget vehicles as an opportunity to view other vehicles from members garages.

The vehicles on display this year included:

  • Grant Stephenson’s Ford Capri GT 3 litre V6
  • Don Cardone’s Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV
  • Phil Kies Triumph TR4A
  • Paul Mitchell’s Mini Jem

The meeting commenced with pizza and drinks to start the night, then some general meeting items before the opportunity for the “Stars” to talk about their “Cars”.

Gordon Boyce interviewed each member about their involvement with the Sprite Club and some details of their ownership of their cars. Each of these vehicles had been through some form of restoration from minor to major and these stories were discussed during the talks.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Grant’s Capri has had a number of engine rebuilds over his 40 years of ownership, the latest providing a very sweet sounding and driving package…and no he will not sell the car!
  • Don and son Joe described the simple “lets just tidy up the engine bay Dad!” that ended up with a full repaint, retrim and subtle upgrades to the Alfa…another vehicle that will remain in the family for years to come!
  • Paul’s Mini Jem – based on a fibreglass kit from Taylors of Medindie plus Mini Cooper S running gear has transformed from a road to track use vehicle and back to road use vehicle – Paul even drove the vehicle to Mackay, QLD!
  • Phil’s’ TR4A also started a a few cosmetic repairs at Member Gerald Miller’s Marque Restorations and has ended up as the beautiful vehicle we see today – winning Associate People’s Choice at the 50th Anniversary Display Day in 2022.

Members were then free to mingle with the “Cars” and talk with the “Stars” about their vehicles.

The Sprite Club would like to thank Grant, Don and Joe, Phil and Paul for bringing their vehicles along and sharing them with our members.

Also like to thank Michael and Pat for organising the pizzas, drinks and the venue.

Rain? What Rain??

Oh, that rain……

If there was a direct route from Balhannah to Hindmarsh Island, that was most definitely the route not travelled today. Rather, today we first headed east then south west along some of the some of lovely driving roads that wind their ways through the Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsular regions until we reached the mystery lunch destination of the Island Café on Hindmarsh Island.

Only the weather tried to throw a spanner in the works with intermittent rain up until the morning tea stop at the Callington Oval. Perhaps it was the rain that kept the final numbers down but we still had eight cars out for some exercise. My excuse for not driving the Little Blue Car is that it can’t get out of its garage due to a rather large (and growing) mount of soil in front of the garage doors and not the rain, but the intermittent showers still didn’t stop several of the Spridgets going sans roof, with Judy and Russell keeping the faith in their Midget, as did the Schubert’s in their Bugeye!

A great run it was, along some great winding backroads, a lovely lunch and, with the sun quite finally ensconced in the sky by lunch, a fabulous vista … from inside the restaurant!

Can’t wait until Russell and Judy dream up their next run!

Thank you Judy for the photos!

Nancy the Morris Minor

I saw this post on Facebook last night and thought it worthy of reposting here for those who don’t have Facebook. Her name is Steph, she lives in the UK and she has a Facebook page called @idriveaclassic which for those with social media is well worth a read.

I think her post encapsulates what Classic Car ownership is all about. It doesn’t have to be the biggest, the fastest or rarest to win your heart. Nor does a perceived lack of technical skill need to stop you from participating. They have a way of teaching you how to care for them.

I read all to often negative comments towards people who have recently bought a classic car and ask what some might consider ‘basic’ question and are then questioned if they really should own a classic car. It only takes one or two comments like that to turn a new owner away from the movement when all they need is some guidance as to where to find information and some advice on some simple techniques.

——————————————

Today I picked up my Morris Minor, Nancy. My favourite car, the reason I love classics and the car I will *never* sell.

When I was 25 I purchased this car for £500 with my first two weeks wages after uni burning a hole in my pocket 😂

The car hadn’t been on the road since the very early 1990s and it was 2012. Quite frankly, it was a bloody reckless thing to do for somebody with zero mechanical knowledge.

She passed MOT first time with zero work and I just started driving her. She was more than a bit scruffy with drainpipe bumpers and painted in boat paint and I regularly got laughed at. However, she never let me down (well, once in France, which I still get teased about) and I loved her so much.

I said right from the get go she’d get restored and nobody believed me because I had zero mechanical knowledge and no decent capital behind me. I mean if I’m honest, I didn’t know how I’d do it but I’d got quite far on blind ignorance so far, so just thought I’d crack on.

Anyway, took her off the road in 2015 and today, after extensive work by a talented restorer, she comes home.

I’ve got a video coming but first I need to get her MOT’d! It’s booked for Tuesday 🍀

If you’re interested in seeing her, she’ll be on display at the Practical Classics Resto Show in Hall 5 this coming weekend and if you can’t make it, don’t miss the upcoming video!

Ps. Some advice: If you’re balls deep in a resto with no forward plan, if your project car is on hold due to finances or if you’re just winging it in a scruffy car until you can afford the respray, it’s all good. You WILL get there.

Pps. I bought E5, I know somebody will ask this 😂

Twilight Sports Car Cruise

A beautiful autumnal evening was laid on for the first of the Sprite Club ‘Sports Car Cruises’ for 2023. A slightly smaller gathering than recent events, but a great bunch of classis cars and their owners non the less wended their way up Old Belair Road, round past the Belair National Park and then across the hills via Upper Sturt Road and then up and over Mount Lofty before a sunset run down Greenhill Road back into Adelaide.

With road lit up by the magic of Lucas lighting and the procession greeted with colours of a spectacular sunset over the Gulf, a more picture perfect backdrop could not have been asked.

Our motley crew of Sprites, Midgets, MGTC, MGBs, MGFs and other classics, including Don’s achingly beautiful Alfa Spider (a car that appears on everyone’s list of the 10 most beautiful cars), Zane’s now award winning Datsun 260Z and Frank’s amazingly original HQ Kingswood (that brought back many a memory of long trips and bench seats), we seemed to attract the attention of many a walker as we rolled through the foothills! Even Chris put in an appearance with his delightful VW Beetle which did its best to test his mechanical ability on the run! The hills were certainly alive to the sound of music, or at least the burble of a couple of Bugeyes and friends!

And only on a Sprite Car run would you find a TC needing to stop so its driver could switch over his oxygen bottles! Paul’s health may not be what it was, but his mind and ability as sharp as ever so it was lovely to have him and Ruth along with their MGTC for the run. So much so we broke a ‘club rule’ and awarded him the prize for the Best Patina for the second run in a row! Now they have matching coffee mugs so they don’t have to fight over who gets to use the trophy for their morning brew!! The TC is always so well turned out and the effort they go to to enjoy a run is worthy of more than just a coffee mug as a prize!

If you are reading this from another club and wondering if you are welcome to join us for a run, or indeed any of our events, then the answer is yes! We welcome members from other clubs with other classic cars! If you are a past member, don’t be shy and just join in too! We regularly have members from other car clubs from across Adelaide and indeed the State.

Upcoming events

Members (and friends), don’t forget the next two upcoming social events:

29 March – Russell and Judy’s Mid Week Meander “A Southern Sojourn“.  Meet at the Balhannah Oval Tennis Club Carpark at 0930 for a briefing before we get under way at 1000 and saunter off in a generally southerly direction. If you’d like to join us for lunch you NEED to talk contact Russell or Judy (or me) as numbers at the lunch venue are limited; however, if you are not inclined or can’t stay for lunch, come along (just ensure you’ve got petrol for about 160km in the tank!!)

3 AprilStars and their Cars. The next monthly meeting is at the Sporting Car Club where we will celebrate the classic car journeys of four of our members and take a closer look at some of their cars! Other clubs are most welcome to join us. Its free for Sprite Club members and only $5 per head for non members.

For those fans of motor racing, the next couple of weeks are action packed also, with the Adelaide Motorsport Festival this coming weekend and the hill climb season officially kicking off on the weekend of 1/2 April at Collingrove.

Basically, there is something for everyone over the next couple of weeks!!

Happy Spridgetting!

Photo Credits to Kathie Leane and Margy Donaldson

Collingrove Hillclimb 2023

Did someone say ‘hill climb’?

For all those of the hill climbing persuasion or just those curious to understand the attraction of racing up a steep and twisty track, circle the weekend of 1/2 April!

Why I hear you ask?

Well, because the Sporting Car Club is hosting its first of two ‘Come and Try’ days at the Collingrove Hill Climb track on Saturday the 1st of April (and that’s not April Fools day joke) and then the first full competition event on Sunday the 2nd with Round 1 of the Collingrove Challenge Trophy.

Paddy Hopkirk going uphill very quickly in a Midget
Targa Florio 1965

I’ll admit it, I am ‘hill climb curious’ but I also have a very good understanding of my driving ability, (or lack there of) and a morbid fear of failure, but I may venture out there, even just to watch and ponder what if??!

National Challenge Meet Flashback

If you are getting my emails (some aren’t!!) you might have seen the Sprite Clubs are garnering interest around bringing back the National Challenge for 2024. If you are like me and new to the world of National Challenges or just reminiscing about events past, Gordon sent the following Flashback from 2001!

What is a National Challenge?

The National Challenge started as an interstate motorkhana between the NSW, ACT (this club closed soon after) and Victorian Sprite Clubs. This was at Wagga Wagga in April 1970. The venue was moved between Sydney and Wagga Wagga over the next few years, and in 1973 it was held during August. Some of the SA Sprite Club members ventured over for a look.

In 1974 the venue moved to Hay, as it was more central for the SA members. SA won the event outright, thanks to the driving skills of Founder Member, Joe Walker!! During 1975 Queensland had some representation and SA had 36 members present. 1976 was the final motorkhana at Hay, with discussion held towards making the weekend a “National Challenge”.

1977 saw Hume Weir race track the venue for the Sprint event, with standing and flying laps, a motorkhana on the banks of the Murray River, Ladies Teams and a winery visit on the way home. This event was held on the ANZAC Day long weekend with over 70 competitors from NSW, SA
and VIC. It also marked the first wheel turn, on what is now Don Taylor’s “Super Sprite”, which took fastest time of the day in the sprints, beating John Moore (VIC) in his 327 Chevy powered panel van.

For 1978 the event moved to the longer Easter Weekend, but doubts over the Hume Weir circuit caused the event to move to Winton (VIC) for 1979. This proved popular with the inclusion of driver training, private practice and concours d’elegance, for 170 participated with 90 competing, with 9 from Queensland.

1980 was also held at Winton, and then in 1981 it moved to Oran Park near Sydney. By now the format of Good Friday – Private Practice and Driver Training at the circuit, Easter Saturday – Sprints (later becoming Super Sprints), Sunday – Concours (am) and Motorkhana (pm). During the evenings there would be many Social Activities including dinners, dances, trivia quiz’s, Sprite Olympics, theatre sports, spark plug changing competitions and the famous “Fluffy Bunnies” (see how many marshmallows you can stuff in your mouth and still say “Fluffy Bunny”).

Over the next 10 years the National Challenge moved between VIC and NSW using many race circuits. 1982 was back at Winton, 1983 Catalina Park (NSW), 1984 Winton, 1985 Oran Park, 1986 Winton, 1987 Oran Park, 1988 Winton, 1989 Oran Park, with 1990 being a highlight at Phillip Island (VIC). This was one fantastic, but quick racetrack.

Cost of running the event and having a central venue for most Clubs led to Winton hosting the National Challenge for 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994. Members wanted a change of venue, so it moved to the newly opened club track at Wakefield Park near Goulburn (NSW) for 1995. The
Sprites returned to Winton for 1996, and headed north to Wakefield Park for 1997, 1998 and 1999.

The 30th National Challenge was held at Winton during 2000, with a revised format (due to track bookings) of Friday practice and sprints at Winton, Saturday motorkhana at the Driver Education Centre at Shepparton and a concours and navigation run on Sunday.

Two things were included over the past 10 years, a regularity event on the Friday for those Sprite drivers who cherished their cars more than abused them and more social events, including a theme party on Saturday Night (so you did not compete or drive home with a sore head!!), social drives to surrounding points of interest (wineries!!!), so members could make the Challenge a holiday as well.

As you will notice SA has yet to host a Challenge (although interstate members have been asking for over 20 years to have one here!!) The committee has been busy over the past 18 months fundraising, investigating accommodation and motorkhana venues and planning this event.

I think you will agree it has been well worth the wait.

A Sprite Odyssey National Meeting, Gordon B, 2001

Upcoming Events

Upcoming events to keep in your diaries!

12 MarchMSCA SuperSprint (Round 1, including the MSCA Come and Try Day)

18 March Sports Car Cruise. Departing Claremont Avenue (Netherby) at 1845 for a 50km evening run through the hills and back into Adelaide – all invited so bring a friend from another club along with her/his classic!

29 MarchMidweek Meander #1. Meet at the Balhannah Oval Tennis Club Carpark at 0930 for a briefing before we get under way at 1000 and saunter off in a generally southerly direction on one of Russell and Judy’s magical mystery tours! Hopefully it doesn’t rain!! You’ll need petrol for at least 160km of driving!!!

1/2 April – Collingrove Hill Climb Come & Try (Sat) then Round 1 of the Collingrove Challenge Trophy (Sun)

3 AprilSTARS & THEIR CARS at the Sporting Car Club – not to be missed and it already comes with a twist … every good plan needs a back up right? Come along and find out what I’m talking about!!!

14 April – Sporting Car Club Healey Night. Come and listen to Don discuss his car along with some other equally delicious Big Healeys. Our quota is nearly full so if you want to come along contact Robin or Peter ASAP

23 April – McLaren Vale Vintage and Classic. The Sprite Car Club is being hosted for the lunch at Bec Hardy Wines this year, along with our friends at the Sporting Car Club of South Australia, so I’m sure our Spridgets will be in good company this year!! Entry details here

7 May – Peter Hall Memorial 6 Hour Regularity Relay

7 May – British Classics Tour (McLaren Vale to Victor Habour). Entry details here

Sunshine and Rain

I don’t think the last two Sprite Club of SA outings could have been more different. A warm barmy night, perfect for ice-cream and a summer evening cruise, followed by the overcast, wind and rains of All British Day!

Ice Cream Run

A perfect night for sampling the offerings from one of the newest ice creameries in town greeted the club. After a short interlude to reflect on the passing of Don and the passing out of Michael’s near cryptic clues for the route, it was ‘wagons ho’ for a scenic tour of the inner southern suburbs and the mandatory evening run through the city (although it was foiled by the road closures for the Fringe Festival).

One of us got a bit confused and had a bit of a detour on the way to the event but despite this, we had approximately 15 cars of all descriptions, including Gordon and his daughter Tiana who took the majority of the images of the run (thank you Tiana!).

With traffic lights and the road closures we were bound to have the group split up along the way yet we all managed to arrive safe and sound back in Unley to sample the offerings of 48 Flavours (some sooner than others – some people will do anything to be first in line for ice cream!).

I figure I’m one flavour down and only 47 left to sample now…! Just don’t tell Margy!

A huge thank you to all who organised the run with a special mention to Michael McLaren for pulling this together.

All British Day

The weather could not have been more different to the Ice Cream Run. Chance of light rains said the BoM. Phooey. Starting with a heavy-ish sprinkle of rain at 0800 as the cars came out of their sheds (and at least one un-named member considering pushing it back into the shed right then and there … two hours of washing and polishing the car too mind you!), the sun briefly came out in Echunga and, for an even briefer moment, it started to feel quite warm, until it didn’t. At times it bucketed down, followed by all to brief interludes of sunshine and then the wind would pick up as the next front moved through with yet another burst of rain.

Unlike Chris who said ‘rain, what rain?’ as he drove home in his Bugeye sans roof, most of us put up the top and tested out the weather sealing on the way home. For those interested, it rained just as heavily inside my Midget as it did outside so I’m not sure why I bothered to put the roof up at all!

With a few late withdraws, the Sprite Club had 14 cars on display in the club area and at least one member displaying his Sprite with another club as well as a few other Sprites and Midgets scattered through out, including Steve Kent’s mum and dad with their Sprite. Dean’s race car attracted a wealth of attention throughout the day (and decided it needed a jump start in the pouring rain), as did Clive’s Bugeye which is also currently for sale.

We also had a visit from a new member, Kelly Bannon (from Greenock) who came down with her partner Mark to finalise the paperwork for her BRG MkIII Sprite. From the lengthy discussions he was having with Dean and Chris, Kelly’s lovely Sprite might be on an upgrade path very soon if she doesn’t keep an eye on it! It was also fabulous to see Adrian and his partner up from Whyalla and Rick Williams and his son Sam out with Don’s car which now in their care.

Despite the forecast, a mouth watering display of cars congregated in Echunga, from the ubiquitous Morris Minor and the humble Austin A30, through Rileys, Jensens, Triumphs, Land Rovers and Aston Martins, not to mention more Jaguars that you could count! Nearly every British marque was on display, including an equally delectable range of motor bikes.

All in all a great day despite the rain, with lots of interest around our cars and we may end up with two more members which is never a bad thing!

The Sprite Club was well represented in the logistics of the day, with Chris, Michael, Gordon and Don all helping with the traffic control on the day and Darryl for bringing up all of the display gear. Thank you all for your efforts. For a small club we certainly hold our own on days like this.

Also, thank you to Gordon, Tiana and Gary Dodd for their photos! I’m always happy to receive photographic contributions!

Sprite Club Sports Car Cruise #1

Yes, its back on and this time with a twist (and not like you did last summer either)!

The launch pad for the first Sports Car Cruise of 2023 is a little different, starting off in Netherby, alongside the Waite Arboretum (northern side of the road).

Date: Saturday, 18th of March

When: 1815 for an 1845 departure

Location: Claremont Avenue (click the link for a map of where to head and look for Pat’s ute on arrival!)

Pat has planned a route just short of 50km and a scenic early autumn run, taking in Belair, Mount Lofty and back down Greenhill Road, before finishing in the K Mart carpark for a short presentation.

Expected run time of about an hour and there will be a stop/re-group and photo opportunity at the start of Mount Lofty Road. Departure has been timed so the run down Greenhill Road should be just after sunset to avoid the sun glare.

Route maps will be provided prior to departure and Pat recommends bringing a navigator!

Invite a friend with a Sports Car or Classic Car and lets make a night of it! If you classic isn’t on the road, bring your daily and just join in with the evening!

Everyone is reminded that they are responsible for their car’s roadworthiness – a timely reminder as some may be heading home in the fading light or the dark so be kind to your Lucas electrics!

Vale – Don Williams

Don and Christine Williams

With sadness I would like to inform the Members of the Sprite Club of South Australia of the passing of previous member and past President Don Williams.

Don joined the Sprite Club of South Australia during the mid 1970’s with his MG Midget. Don enjoyed all aspects of the Club from the Social side to the various competition events at Mallala and Collingrove Hillclimb.

Don then purchased an early 1958 Bugeye Sprite, which he used for a number of years, then restored for use at Collingrove hill climb. This vehicle is still in the Sprite Club under the ownership of Jim Schubert. Don’s wife Christine was also a Sprite owner with a nice BRG MkIII Sprite.

Don and fellow Technical Studies Teacher and MG Midget owner Doug Gordon schemed and planned the famous Don-Doug Observation Runs. These events used many cryptic and complicated clues for drivers and navigators to find various items, answers and route to get to the finish point. Questions like “What’s the number on a Dobie Dico?” and “How many CC’s and hoops at the Community Centre?” kept many couples driving in circles looking for the answers.

Don held many Sprite Club Committee positions including President during 1978, 1981, and 1983, Secretary, Editor, and Competition Secretary.

While Don and Christine were active members, so were Don’s brother Rick and Life Member Sister Julie. All were Sprite owners at various stages. Julie’s Bugeye is still in the Sprite Club being cared for by nephew Dale Halling.

Don purchased a 1966 MG Midget during the 2016 and enjoyed the vehicle on various club runs and displays. The MG Midget was a feature car at the 2019 Stars and Their Cars meeting.

The members of the Sprite Club of South Australia would like to pass on their condolences to Christine, daughter Sally, and the William’s family.

Upcoming Runs and Events!

Just a short reminder of upcoming Sprite Club events and club runs.

This Saturday (18 Feb) – Sprite Club Ice Cream Run.

Who doesn’t like ice cream!

Depart Fullarton Community Centre at 1800 sharp!

5 March – All British Day.

We won’t be doing an official club run to the display but feel free to organise small groups and arrive in style. For those just visiting, we are on Oval 1 towards the centre, near the Shannon’s Tent, the Jensen. Morris Register and Austin 7 Clubs. Fingers crossed for great weather!

18th March – Sports Car Cruise. Details to be promulgated!

29th March – Mid Week Meander #1.

Yes, Russell and Judy are back and they will be messing with our minds and sense of direction as they take us on another mystery mid week run!

All I can say (in fact, all I know) is we will be meeting at Balhannah Oval Tennis Club Carpark at 0930 for a briefing before we get under way at 1000 and saunter off in a generally southerly direction. As always, its a BYO morning tea in a lovely locale, followed by a lunch at a location that is every bit equal to the SA Company Store.

What else do I know about the run … not much, other than, as always it will twice the distance out as it is back, all the roads are sealed (he promises!!) and we won’t be going over seas. If you can figure it out from there, you are doing better than me!

RSVPs are a must as there is limited capacity for lunch. Is that a hint?? Not sure!

3rd April – Stars and Their Cars

14th April – Sporting Car Club Healey Night. RSVP essential due limited numbers and $5 per head (payment to the Sprite Club please).

I Scream for Ice Cream!

THE ICE CREAM RUN IS BACK!!!

When – Saturday 18th of Feb

Starting Point – Fullarton Park Community Centre (ie, the Club Rooms)

Time – Any time you like but we hit the road at 1800 (6pm)

What – Michaels Magical Mystery Tour around parts of Adelaide for about an hour before we descend on one of Adelaide’s newer ice creameries!

So tighten up your wheel nuts and work up an appetite by polishing the car! No dessert for a week so you can indulge on Saturday Night!

And remember …. “Its a food, not a fad”

A Spritely Start to the Year

With the year kicking off on the 1st Jan with a breaky run to Uraidla, the social runs have continued on apace with the annual Thong Throwing contest on Australia Day and this morning, another breakfast run out to Uraidla, this time from Blackwood (to say hello to our ClubbieSA friends but alas, no Clubbies … except the chap heading down Goodies Road whist we were on the way up!).

Annual Throwing on the Thong

20+ members and family gathered in the Chabrel’s front garden overlooking the picturesque Oakbank Racecourse for the annual contest against the aerodynamic vagaries of the humble Australian thong (that’s a flip-flop to any non-Australian readers). Getting into the spirit 6 club members came along in their Spridgets although it was noted by many that the newly anointed President drove up in an Alfa and he was late (he promptly blamed his beautiful partner but she would have none of that!)

After the first round it was clear people had been out in the backyard practicing, with two contestants immediately putting their thongs in the hallowed bucket, however, after repeated rounds to split the contestants to find a winner, all contestants once again tested the sneaky wind conditions (5-10 knots, blowing off the racecourse for those keen statisticians) with a variety of styles on display to lob the ceremonial thong, resplendent in the Australian Flag, into the prize winning bucket. After this second round 4 clear experts emerged, with several lobbing both thongs in for good measure, with Miles eventually putting on a masterful display with a double header to take the converted John and Judy Bowering Memorial Trophy for the year. For Miles this was especially humbling as he revealed in his acceptance speech that on his first Sprite Club outing he had a mechanical issue and John Bowering came to his aide and he was off and running again.

Thanks must be given to Des and Penny again for a lovely afternoon and amazing dessert. Penny took great delight in showing off the photos of her airborne adventure and I will be forever jealous!

First Sunday Breakfast Run

This month the breakfast run was from the Perfect Note in Blackwood, a short blast through the hills and onto Uraidla again for breakfast. Why Urailda – well, if you’ve had one of their breakfasts or coffee you’ll know why!

What a great morning for a blast through the hills with no less than eight Spridgets along for the run as well as beautifully original HQ Kingswood and Datsun 1600 to round out the run. Even Jez was there and we have a photo to prove it!

Sadly, the Clubbies were not to be seen; however, we took a photo at the Perfect Note to prove we really were there!

Next Month’s 1st Sunday run coincides with All British Day. It has been suggested it might be a great idea to meet and drive out there enmasse – any takers to organise??

1st Sunday Breakfast Run to Uraidla Bakery

For the early risers, there is an informal run planned this Sunday morning (5th Feb) across to the Uraidla Bakery.

Meet at the Perfect Note Cafe (168/170 Main Road, Blackwood), grab a coffee and say hello to the guys and girls of ClubbiesSA, before heading off around 0830 across to Uraidla, via Upper Sturt Road, Stirling and Carey Gully to Uraidla, arriving at approx 0900.

Stay and have coffee and a fabulous breakfast or just grab a great coffee and head off to start you Sunday. I’ll probably doing later as we have a market stall to run (if you need dog couture, you know who to ask!).

Bring your Spridget or another car and enjoy a short run through the hills. Hope to see you there!

Australia Day Picnic and Thong Throwing Competition

Its Summer, its hot, the flies are thick and there’s that constant faint hit of sausages cooking on a BBQ where ever you do. It can mean only one thing …. its the annual Australia Day Picnic and Thong Throwing Competition.

Where? Its back at its rightful home at the Chabrel’s, 2 Dorset Lane, Oakbank

When? Thursday, 26th of Jan, from 1200 onwards

What do I bring? Chairs, a picnic lunch and drink. The Penny and Des will provide dessert!

As always, the highly coveted John and Judy Bowering Memorial Trophy is up for grabs. Can Fay take it two years in a row? Will Jez wake up in time to sneak in and steal it out from under everyone with a masterful lob? Maybe the youthful eye and skill of Chris will steal it away (so long as he doesn’t sell it!). You wont know if you don’t come along!

What is the John and Judy Bowering Memorial Trophy and why is it so important? If you don’t know, shame on you! It is more hotly contested than the Ashes and more history than the America’s Cup. Have you ever wondered where Ben Lexan got the idea for the winged keel from? There’s no mistaking the similarity between the keel and the thong strap, which gives the Aussie Thong such unique aerodynamic qualities. I’m told John Bertrand, on hearing about our thong throwing activities tried to come over from Perth to head hunt club members for the crew of Australia II but, not being a member, was turned away unceremoniously at the door. Even the Spin King, the late great Shane Warne tried to come along to get some new wrist flick ideas of a killer curve ball, such is the skill required to win.

Hope to see you all there. As always, if you are feeling off for any reason, please consider staying home as there is yet another wave of blasted CVOID and a good dose of mid-summer flu doing the rounds.

Please RSVP to me or Peter and we will let Des and Penny know how many to expect!

president@spriteclub.com.au , rsdunk@gmail.com or 0431 247 746, Secretary@spriteclub.com.au, spolst@bigpond.net.au

Flashback Friday – Five Ferries Run

With the current flooding of the River Murray and the impact to the communities and infrastructure supporting these people, it is timely for the first “Flashback Friday” of 2023 to remind ourselves of when the Sprite Club was involved with the Riverland district and particularly the River Murray Ferries.

This is important at this point in time as most of these ferries cannot be used due to the current flood flow rates and high water either stopping the ferries from landing or cutting access roads to the ferry crossings.

During 2012 it was planned to celebrate the Sprite Club’s 40th Anniversary with a tour of the key areas of the State. Starting in Adelaide the “Five Ferries Run” toured the Barossa Valley, Clare and Burra – with stop overs at each site, and enjoying the various produce of each of these regions – mainly wine!

Then the convoy of approx. 21 Sprites, Midgets and Associate vehicles from SA, Vic and NSW headed to the river port of Morgan. Here the “Five Ferries” part of the tour started. The plan was to cross the River Murray on five different ferries. Like all plans this changed along the way and a total of 10 ferries were used to transverse the River Murray.

These included the Cadell ferry – upstream from Morgan – as this was under pressure to be closed in 2012, due to minimal use – ironically the Cadell is currently the only ferry in the Riverland area that is still in operation – all the others having been closed due to the flood conditions. Cadell was the last ferry to close in the famed 1956 flood!

The other highlight was the mass loading of Sprites and Midgets – three-abreast, on the Swan Reach Ferry. This provided an ideal photo and video opportunity – refer to the YouTube clip below.

The run continued downstream crossing the river at Walker Flat, Purnong, Mannum, Jervois (Tailem Bend), and Wellington ferries. The bridges at Blanchetown, Murray Bridge and Goolwa were also used.

The convoy finished off staying at Goolwa for a few days before returning to Adelaide for the 40th Anniversary Dinner and associated celebrations.

The Sprite Club’s thoughts are with those impacted by the current floods and we hope to be able to journey to these areas in the near future to support the local businesses – as we did after the bushfires a number of years ago.

For more details of the “Five Ferries Run” here is the link to the detailed article on the Sprite Club web site and also the You Tube clip of the Swan Reach ferry crossing.

2022 in the Rear View Mirror

Ever wondered what happened in 2022? There’s already been a very comprehensive wrap up of the year by Gordon, posted only a few weeks ago so I won’t recap the recap! Instead, knowing how much people love numbers and statistics (secretly we all do), I thought a look at the year by numbers might pique some interest!

So, may I present, as best I can guess it, 2022…!

Cars

Always a good place to start. We are a car club, right? And we identify our cars by numbers – Mk1, Mk2. Mk3, 948, 1098, 1275, 1310, 1380 and so on and so forth! Here are some numbers you might be interested in!

82 – Historic Log Books on the books for the club in 2022 including:

37 – Sprites

14 – Midgets (come on Midget owners! We can do better!!)

Total Spridgets in the club for 2022? Somewhere between ‘not sure’ and ‘I don’t quite know’! I do know its more than 51 cars listed above! There are cars on normal registration, some are laid up being rebuilt, some are tucked away almost forgotten in the back of sheds and others are for racing.

More fascinating car numbers….

31 – the number of associate cars, including…

3 Minis plus a Moke

1 Mini Gem

4 Clubbies (and 4 different brands!)

5 MGB/MGB GT

1 MG Magnette

7 MG T series (yes, seven, so I’m told!)

3 Jags

1 Triumph

I’m sure the keen eyed amongst you will have added up the numbers and noticed numbers don’t quite balance! Clearly there needs to be a bit of an audit!

33 – Sprites and Midgets at the annual Display Day

Oh, and 24 – the number of cars sold by the club’s own Arthur Daily, otherwise known as the entrepreneurial Chris M this year (and 20 is the number of cars he still has – would you buy a used car from this man?)

Membership

Like any club, we live and die on money in and money out and there is no bigger source of our yearly revenues than our memberships. We had a pretty good year and nearly cracked 100 memberships for the year. A fantastic result! So consider the following numbers…..

50 – for $50. That’s…

$50 annual membership, and

$50 for the once off joining fee.

We have to have one of the best value membership schemes in the State don’t we?

96 – memberships. Lets crack the 100 for 2023!

13 – life members

151 – members and their partners. Did I mention the amazing value for SCSA membership?

Looking forward into 2023:

53 – members currently financial for 2023 (get your subs in – remember, if you are on historic registration and you are not financial, you are unregistered in the eyes of PC Plod!!)

Oh, and if you have a new log book for 2023, don’t do what I almost did, and record your first run in the old book!

Social

As we all came to grips with COVId and the nation started up again, we also did our upmost to get back into the swing of social events. 2023 will hopefully build on what we did this last year and hopefully we will see more people out and about enjoying their cars, but I think we did pretty well all things considered when you consider the following:

25 – attendees at the 2022 Australia Day BBQ and Thong Throwing contest. That’s 25 on the 26th (don’t you love number sequences, I do!). Lets aim for at least 27 at this years event – more on that soon!

30+ – at the Pie and Peas night. Sadly I can’t report on the number of pies or peas consumed on the night but from my own experiences at Pie Carts around Australia I can only guess it was quite a few!

40 – members who attended Stars and their Cars

45 – members at the Spritely Adventure wine and cheese night

50 – The years the Sprite Club celebrated

(50 is also about the number of times Jez or Chris M slept in and missed a run!)

75 – at the 50th Anniversary dinner at the pub

80+ – cars attending the Sports Car Cruises

750-1000 – kilometres Russell and Judy (and co.) have meandered to and from the secret locations!

Competition

0.2% – the overall winning margin in the Ray Pank Hill Climb series between 1st and Peter Stanley (in 3rd  place – could it get any closer??!)

2 – the number of teams competing at the Peter Hall 6 Hour regularity event (can we field 3 in 2023?)

3 – members regularly contesting the Hill Climb events

10 – SCSA members active in the Super Sprint series (in 6 different makes of car!)

599 – laps completed of Mallala and The Bend by the afore mentioned 10 members racing!

So, there you go. The year in review by the numbers. I’m sure I’ve missed many vital statistics and gotten some horribly wrong, so feel free set me straight throughout the year!

Hope you all had a Happy and Safe Year and I look forward to catching up with you all throughout the year!

(Oh – and 1 – the number of hang overs I’m sure several have probably had for 2023 already (not me!!)!)

New Year’s Breakfast Run to Uraidla Bakery

For those who are not recovering from NYE celebrations, there is a very informal run up to the Uraidla Republic Cafe and Bakery for those keen.

Meet at the Sporting Car Club at 0745 for a photo and a 0800 head off.

The route is up the freeway, via Eagle on the Hill and then across from Crafers to Uraidla, arriving at around 0830 for a coffee, breakfast if you are hungry, and a natter.

Meet outside of the Sporting Car Club, join in anywhere along the drive or just turn up at the bakery around 0830.

I’ve booked a table (under Robin) but they said they didn’t expect to be busy that early! I’ve booked the table for 8 as I don’t expect too many to be up and about but I think we will be ok if a flash mob of Spridgets turns up!

Its going to be a warm start to 2023 (37C currently forecast) so off home by 0930(ish) to all be back before the heat of the day really kicks in.

(The run has been organised by the South Australian Sprite and Midget Owners Facebook group. Its a non-club based group for enthusiasts and owners of Spridgets and similar vehicle. If you have a FB account and are not a member, drop us a line and join. Its for SA owners (or regular interstate visitors) only and we have group members from a range of clubs , mostly Sprite Club, but also the MGCC(SA) and a few other non-Sprite related clubs. Even one from the Rolls Royce club!)

A Right Spritely Christmas

Humble apologies to Dr Seuss and Clement Clarke Moore (and the faintest of Christmas nods to Monty Python….)

…..

’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

The stockings were hung by the garage with care, in hopes that St Colin of Sprite Parts goodies might land there;

The Spridgets were nestled all snug on their sheds, while visions of demijohns of HPR30 danced in their heads.

And mamma in her nighty, and I in my cap, had just settled our brains for a mid-summers nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter!

Away to the window I flew like a flash, tore open the shutters to the sight of a hell of a crash!

When, what to my weary eyes did appear, but a bloody great sleigh, and eight, slightly winded, flying reindeer.

And a bloke in a suit, covered in mud really quite thick, I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

Oh bugger, he muttered, the sleigh was bent right, out of shape and dented, with only tonight.

To deliver the presents to kids and dreaming car owners, now the night was all ruined, for a white Roo he had run over.

That doesn’t look good muttered I, then passed him a cold beer, his reindeer became startled and did up and disappear.

And the White Roo now joining the choir invisible, the remaining White Boomers to up and long bolted, their concern unequivocal,

Leaving little kids dreams fading , yet oh but so near.

A bent sleigh in the night, the steering all shot. The right ski was all bent, the left reigns in a knot.

“What the bloody hell now shall I do?” he said between swigs, tears running down his fat cheeks, as he thought of the kids.

Looks of disappointment of presents not there and losing their faith, in the jolly man with white hair

So I passed him my phone with “I know a bloke you might call. The Marquis d’ Restauration and there’s no job that’s too tall.”

“Really? Right now?”, the jolly gent spluttered, “but it’s so awfully late?”

“Can’t hurt” I replied, “those kids, they won’t wait!”

“Are you sure”, he replied, “do you think he might look?”

“Oh”, I said thoughtfully, “the sleigh might fit right in his book.”

So he dials the number and a bleary voice says “Tonight? Sorry, no way. Bring it round next week and we can try for March, or maybe for May.”

“There’s a list you know, of car owners’ naughty and nice. Don’t you have mechanic elves up North on the ice?”

Said Santa with a growl, lost deep in his funk, “They’re on their union stand down, now very likely quite drunk!”

“But hang on a jif”, the voice says with a hoot, “Lets call brother Pat and borrow his old Ute. With its cavernous boot, you can load up the sacks, then haul all the loot.”

“Yes”, I jump in, “but you’ll still need some help. That Falcon alone won’t manage the hand that’s been dealt.

With eight roaring Spridgets, you’ll never be late!” Call Gordon and Chris” I cry, “they’ve got several to offer, and if you plumb don’t ask, you never know what they can proffer”

“Then try Michael and Gary, Steve, Darrel, Garth or Nathan, but don’t bother Dean, he will tending his vines, dreaming of vintage and serving Shiraz to the nation”

“Russell and Judy will be out meandering along, and, oh, Chris M’s cars won’t be running, so you might want to call Don”

“Yes, I think these are you best bet, just don’t rely on Jez, he’ll most likely forget!”

More rapid than eagles his saviours all then came, and with a smile on his face, he whistled and called them by name:

“Now, Skinner! now, Union! Now, Dellorto and Weber!

On, Austin! on, Healey! on, Bug-eye and Midget!

To the top of the porch. To the top of the wall! Now race away! Race away! Race away all!

As valve rockers dance before the wild push rods that did fly, and with those A Series on cam, hill climb to the sky;

Up to the corkscrew, atop the Hills, they rapidly flew, with the cars full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

“Oh My”, muttered Santa, “this is now quite a Spritely Adventure!”

And then, in a twinkling, I heard back up on the roof

“Oh bugger and damnation, blasted Lucas electrics went poof.”

As I drew in my head, and was turning around, down the chimney St. Nic came back with a bound. Dressed in fur overalls, all stained head to his foot, and his clothes were all tarnished with gearbox oil and Lucas smoke soot;

A bundle of toys he now flung off his back, he looked like beaten and downhearted, like a tramp with only his pack.

“That’s it, I’m buggered”, he moaned, “the Prince of Darkness has got me”

His eyes were down cast, “Just carrots and milk, dear God, where’s the damn Sherry??”

His droll little mouth, now drawn down like a bow, And his beard mixed with grease, no longer whiter than snow. A stumpy screwdriver he held tight in his teeth, and puff on a Cuban and smoke rings like a wreath;

He had such a broad face and a massive round belly, that shook when he sobbed, like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right grumpy old elf, thank goodness for the Ute, for slipping into a Spridget, he was really not svelte!

Then with a glint in his eye and a twist of his head, soon gave me to know the kids of the world had but nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but consulted his phone, and called Sir Sean of the Clubbies, to more reliably light his way on, to continue his work and then fly all the way home.

Then he filled all the stockings, and if he didn’t give a faint little twerk,

And laying his finger on his rather large nose, and giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He lept into the Ute, with Sprites all on song, away they all flew, that burble heard long.

But I did heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all Spridgets a good night!”

Membership Reminder!!

Just a reminder that if you have not renewed your club membership and you have your car on Club Rego, and if your log book has not been signed off as you being financial, then you are not registered as of New Years Day! Contact one of us and renew now!!

And, if you are like me and its a new year and a new log book – don’t forget to sign your first drive for 2023 in the NEW book, not the old one!!

Don’t let 2023 be spoiled with a fine!

2022 Clubbie Nationals

With the ClubbiesSA members being such an integral part of the Sprite Club, I felt this report, unceremoniously lifted from the ClubbiesSA facebook pages (with Sean’s consent of course!) would be of interest to whole club.

______

Clubbie Nationals

(all words and images credit to Sean Power)

We’re all home (mostly) from the Nationals.

What a great trip 25 cars and 36 entrants completed to the 2022 Clubbie National in Jindabyne.

We planned for the worst, packing all sorts of snow gear, gloves and jackets and so on, and ended up using just some of it. We were sure it was going to be rainy.

Our first set of roads and accommodation was to Deniliquin on the first night – then that had to be cancelled due to flood evacuations introduced. Another route was considered, then that could not the achieved, so the third option, staying at Bernalla overnight, was selected.

The weather leaving The Bend was great for driving but as we progressed into Victoria and NSW, the roads turned challenging, particularly on some of the rural backroads heading directly to the waypoints we had chosen. At many points the procession of cars and trailers looked like a processions of V8 Supercars warming their tyres up at Victoria Park or The Bend. There were extensive periods of deep ruts, pot holes and washaways that you had to be constantly on the alert for. All of us got caught out at one time or another. Luckily for most of us, we got through unscathed. Barry, one of our Northern brethren had a moment of excitement when his trailer broke. Luckily Andrew Keen, in his always competent manner pulled a welder from his car, borrowed some electricity from a pub and temporally welded the frame so they could continue. He later did a major professional fix up at Jindabyne.

The continuous rain has left a legacy of billions of dollars of road work repairs that will take years to address at both local government and federal levels. The flip side, particularly coming from a traditionally dry state like SA, was the visual delight of seeing the amount of standing water at various roadside locations. Stunning sights of local small reservoirs, the enormous capacity of the Hume Lake storage, running water in creeks and rivers were some great memories. But the vast amount of greenery, grass, trees, crops and ripening fields of grain will stay in the memory for a long time. It was very much like New Zealand I thought, a comment backed up by NZ’ers, the Tyes and others. It is rare to see central parts of Australia so lush.

Jindabyne accommodation at The Station (remote from the centre of Jindy, but a great safe, place to stay) provided space to park cars and trailers comfortably and the huts are well set up, clean and spacious and economic.

The weather for the 4 days was perfect for lounging around in Clubbie Alley or for clubbie driving. Bright, clear and sunny, though you did need gloves and jacket when you were driving, as the altitude, mountains with snow still present and speed cooled a body down quickly. Coffee and wee stops were regular items.

About 80 cars and around 130 individuals attended the event. Interestingly, half the attendees were new to a Clubbie National. As usual, SA provided around 30% of the attendees. There were two runs able to be completed, one short of around 200km and the other near enough to 340kms with other opportunities to drive to places like Charlotte’s Pass, Cooma, Wild Brumby Distillery and so on. These runs were like some of the northern Sunday runs except magnified on a scale of 10. Big distances, great roads (potholes included), wide open spaces, brilliant clubbie weather, deserted and wide open roads and the ability to see for miles ahead mostly. There were few vehicles meandering to hinder a rather wholesome pace! There were a few breakdowns across the group (minor front guard issue for the Tyes, others outside SA group had troubles with electrics) but overall nothing hugely serious or dangerous or costly.

Catching up with friends and acquaintances from previous Nationals or recognising names and vehicles from those who participate regularly on the OzClubbies Forums could be easily done in Clubbie Alley, a regular feature of the Nationals. Many of the vehicles were spectacularly presented, but all had some feature or idea worth capturing.

The final dinner on the Wednesday night was memorable for several reasons. Firstly, three of the seven awards presented on the night went to South Australians. Firstly, Simon Gigney was fittingly awarded the Best in Show Peoples Choice award for his Honda powered Swift. Barry Schults got the Wank Factor Award for his implementation of his in-car phone system with remote activation (cleverly done). His table (his friends of course!) then jeeringly acknowledged him as a real wanker!

The last award was to Paul Doube (and in truth, Ruth as well), and this was the perpetual Kym Ninnes Award for the Longest Distance Travelled. Perhaps this time it was fittingly for the longest and hardest trip, as Paul is now and has been, permanently on oxygen. The elevation above sea level of our accommodation at Jindabyne was a further challenge he had to face during time at The Station, as the thinner air reduced available oxygen with bad effects. In accepting his award, Paul, a person never lost to words, one of the few there to have been to every Nationals and Not the Nationals, eloquently summed up what the Nationals meant to him, the friendships made and the supports given to him and Ruth by many people at the event. Paul was overwhelmed by the recognition and that the award meant so much to him at this time. Suffice to say, with the emotion in his voice and the challenges he faces, there were more than a few tears in people’s eyes at the end of his entreaty to make sure people come to the next Nationals.

I have included a photo of the only remaining people who have been to every National and Not the National events since they began. Simon, Barry, Paul & Ruth, all SA and Les & Brenda (Vic). Well done folks. And speaking of the next Nationals, Les Bone from Victoria was able to announce that Victoria will host the next Nationals in 2024, place and details to be confirmed at a later stage. I will keep you posted.

I have added a few photos of the event to this monologue, more of which may also be seen on the ClubbiesSA Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/clubbiessa

A great thank you to all the people from SA who made the long journey – a round trip of some 4,500kms, and especially to Tim & Mark Jolly for their long, long trip in their own Clubbies. No trailers for them! They are tough and resourceful. The whole SA team of Clubbie enthusiasts were great and I was proud to be with them. Special thanks to people behind the scenes who helped herd us in the right direction (most of the time) and keep on top of bookings and other arrangements. These were Andrew Keen, Phil & Jenny Coates, Simon & Cheryl Gigney & Barry Edson.

Third Sunday 18th December, 2022 & Father Christmas

In 2 weeks it is the final Third Sunday for the year. Come along in your cars if the weather allows. Am talking to Fred about parking in the front of the Rezz on the grass this week to see if possible. As usual, I am Father Christmas Grinch, handing out little gifts to everyone. The Rezz is going to look at supporting us as usual with giveaways of wine, hats and small gifts. A bit of fun for everyone to end another big year.

Annual Donation to support ClubbiesSA – third Sunday 2022

As you should know, I run ClubbiesSA on a donation basis, with the first donation going towards paying for the keyring and then each year, any money raised goes to support costs such as website registrations & other costs, general thank you gifts and support if we have activities, the 6 Hour hire costs, Christmas give aways and so on.

So this year is the same – if you can afford it, $20 would be appreciated. Just grab me on the day.

REMINDER TO ALL CLUB REGISTERED VEHICLE OWNERS

Your Sprite Club of SA membership expires on the 31st December 2022.

If you have a Club Registered Vehicle or a vehicle that is eligible for Club Registration, the requirements for this registration system are:

  • You must be a Financial Member of a recognised Car Club. EG Sprite Club of SA
  • You must have your Log Book signed and stamped to show you are a Financial Member.
  • You must have had your vehicle inspected within the past three years
  • You must have the current Registration Paper Signed and Stamped to state that you have a Log Book and you are a Financial Member.
  • If the vehicle has extensive modifications an DPTI Exemption Certificate is required
  • Without these completed you are deemed to be driving an Unregistered and Uninsured Vehicle.

The Current Fine for this offence is $750.00.

Logbooks can be signed at Monthly meetings by either Gordon Boyce or Don Cardone.

Please Bring the Following Items:

  • Membership Subscription and completed membership forms
  • Current Log Book
  • Current Registration Papers
  • $5.00 for the New Log Book (If required)
  • Subs can be paid at the meeting or alternatively you can EFT your Subs to the Club’s Bank account.

Bank Details

The Diary of a Wimpy Navigator

Hopefully you’ve had a chance to read Grant’s article about the Legend of the Lake hill climb at Mount Gambier detailing the preparation and the thought processes of competing a 200hp Mk1 Escort (200hp – in an Escort…??!) up a temporary hill climb circuit so I thought I’d offer you a perspective from the other end – under prepared, under done and a complete novice! Remember those days? I do, like it was yesterday – oh, that’s right, it almost was!

Its fair to say I’m a nervous passenger at best. Doesn’t matter if its sitting in the passenger seat of my car whilst my beautiful partner is driving (and its fair to say she drives better than me), sitting in the back of an Air Force PC9 whilst one of the Roulettes was turning my stomach inside out or just sitting on the train, I just like to be in control of my own destiny, even if I know I can’t do it any better.

Which pretty much sums up my weekend at the 2022 Adelaide Rally. No control over my destiny! And that was before the front left-hand tried to escape the rest of the car (it didn’t like us and protested its displeasure in various ways all weekend) … don’t start me on trusting other people’s mechanical abilities! The only person who can do a job right is me (maybe I have control issues…)!

So, what on earth am I writing about? Well, an old Navy mate, whom I hadn’t seen for over 20 years, and I ran into each other on a job a few years ago and, like anyone ex-military person will know, you just pick up the conversation pretty much where it left off all those years ago. Then, out of the blue came an invite to be the navigator in the Rally Adelaide in a car he’d just bought. Trust me – its’ going to be fun! Now, John likes his toys. He used to race a Ducatti in one of the feeder production superbike classes until two accidents, the second very serious (for him and the bike) left him unable to race on two wheels. This lead him down an all too familiar path – pick up a track day car which leads to another – sound familiar at all? Anyway, his current track weapon (a highly modified current spec Nissan GTR) was a bit excessive for events like Rally Adelaide, so, he set out to buy a good tarmac rally prepared Porsche 944 to have some fun in and somehow ended up with this crazy track special Maserati Grand Sport. Gutted of all semblances of luxury, two racing seats bolted to the floor, a Ferrari derived 4.2l V8 complete with race spec engine management, an exhaust system that will wake the recently departed and a custom-built race suspension. Sounds crazy right? Nearly 500 brake horsepower all going through a standard Selespeed gearbox that smelled like it was constantly 30 seconds away from melting due to the crawling along at each starting special stage line up. Now you might start to understand my nervousness!

Day One was interesting for both of us in many ways. I’d never sat in the car for any more than 30 seconds (loose weight Robin, loose some weight) and John causally mentioned he had only really driven the car in earnest once, not including the trips to and from the suspension shop, the tyre fitter and the run to Parc Ferme at the Show Grounds. He did warn me that it was loud, but even after the first day, neither of us yet understood quite how loud a 4.2 litre Ferrari V8 with a full race exhaust system was on the rev limiter. Oh, and don’t kick that box right where you want to put your left foot – that’s one half of the ECU.

The first few stages were interesting to say the least. Officially there was an 80kph or 100 kph speed limit on all the stages as a risk mitigation strategy post the tragic accidents in Tasmania earlier this year, but it became obvious that not everyone was obeying the imposed limits, mostly legitimately by accident on the first day. I have in-car footage of some of the stages that, honestly, I’m too ashamed to show anyone as I was either (a) scared witless as John man-handled what is in reality a very heavy Grand Tourer through the hairpins and winding roads (“for god’s sake mate, slow down or we are going to be thrown out of the event…”) or (b) holding my breakfast down as we descended the Cork Screw like I’ve never done it before … (“nah mate, that was slow – you should come down it in the GTR one day with me”… err, no thanks John, but thanks for the offer!). I don’t think I’ve ever been up to Eagle on the Hill quite as quick until then either (“mate, that was only half throttle – wait until tomorrow…”). So you get the idea. Not exactly the place for a nervous passenger with control issues….!

So, anyway, back to Day One and somewhere around lunch I sensed something wasn’t quite right. Me and vibrations have a kind of symbiotic relationship and as I get to know a car/ship/helicopter, I kind of get in tune with it on a spiritual level and can sense changes before others do. A 10rpm change in the main diesel on my last ship would have me instantly awake wondering why we had sped up/slowed down. The car was grinding every time we had a slow, hard right turn with the body work and the front left rubbing (never thought I’d be taking to a Maserati with an Ozito grinder, but I did – lots of firsts for me last weekend!!), but I had a nagging sense of a vibration in the front. “Its fine mate – its steering fine” says John repeatedly. The thought of jacking it up to check the tyres was quickly quashed, simply because we, err, didn’t have a jack. So, on we pressed. Each stage a little bit faster, a few more revs, later and later on the brakes into corners and harder on the throttle out. As John’s confidence with the car built (and my confidence in his driving increased) I had this nagging feeling that something just was not quite right. Then to the final stage on day one, up Lower North East Road. Those who know this stretch of road know that, with the exception of one double apex left hander, it’s a series of fast flowing corners. Confidence high, John really started pushing it, closer to the rev limiter, and, after being told to shut up about speeding (!), I finally sat back to enjoy the rush (or at least tried to!). Through the finish, hard on the brakes to make the sharp left back onto North East road for the trip back to Gouger St (and beers) all heck broke loose. We had been listening to the grinding of tyre on body work all day, but this was different and the steering wheel was shaking like a leaf in a storm. And, of course, there was nowhere to pull off. When we finally could, without a jack of course we couldn’t see anything wrong either. A very sedate drive down into the city but by the time we got to Gillies Plains it was almost undrivable so, no Gouger St beers for me. I’m told it was a good night!!

I have to admit there was a small prayer offered to the Motor Sport gods to release me from this rolling nightmare with a catastrophic failure of some sort. As it was, the bolts securing the spacers to the hubs had come loose. Two were completely out and the other three were hanging in by about half a thread. “I knew they were a bit short” says John. Needless to say, once ‘Frank’ from RAA had it sorted enough to get home, my first job of the next morning was to take all the wheels off and check the torque on all of the spacer bolts. We might have missed the first stage as a result, but I had a little more confidence in the Italian engineering, and after a check (tear down) at Urailda, all I had to worry about was the noise (oh my goodness it was loud – louder than front row tickets to a Guns and Roses concert) and attempting to keep John under control with the speed.

The Urailda lunch stop was interesting. Intent to checking the wheel spacers for security, I set about finding timbers to stop the trolley jack from sinking into the wet grass and proceeded to remove the fronts. This was of considerable amusement to the assembled masses, many of whom observed my progress from under the shelter of a large gum tree (yes, it was raining) and offered advice, but only one person (other than John) actually came and helped! An interesting window into the minds of some of the participants in the event! Mind you, we also knew each other and I think up until then he thought my stories of being a walking talking vibration sensor where probably somewhat exaggerated.

By this time I’ve just given up. Mentally I’ve rechecked my will, chastised myself for not handing the signed executor form back to the lawyers (Margy will find it I’m sure I think). As John’s confidence in the car grew and the wet roads dried out, the deeper into corners we plunged and the harder the shove in the back on the exit became as the car literally roared down the quiet Adelaide Hills back roads. A short sharp hill climb stage, followed by a crazy (to me) descent down Eagle on the Hill and then a run up Belair Road like I’ve never experienced, ever. I don’t think the Midget will go as fast on a straight downhill road with the wind behind as we went up it. Never, have I ever, been up that road so quickly (I swear it was 80kph Officer…). We thought the rev limiter kicked in at 7500. We were about 500rpm early and when it kicks in it creates a staccato sound akin to an AK47.

My final hope to surviving is we will be removed from the event Sunday morning for repeated speed transgressions on Saturday. The Rally Safe Lite app kept going off (and off and off) and, well, I saw the speeds we hit on the final three stages so I was sure (prayed) we were going to be thrown out. Then we stopped for fuel at the OTR at the top of the Belair Road run (it drinks fuel at a rate not unlike I was drinking Scotch each evening to calm my nerves) and all the other drivers in our packet had manic grins on their faces. The cars in front of us, an Audi RS3, a WRX Station Wagon and a vintage 911 RS had all distanced us on the ascent and the follow car (a Yaris GR4) had been up our quadrophonic tailpipes all the way up the hill with the navigator laughing all the way at the mechanical din we were making – damn. Oh well, I guess we are all out tomorrow (I hoped)….

…Alas – no. Despite my desperate desire to make it stop, armed with a deep understanding of how military grade GPS tracking systems work I was now strangely ready to defend our honour against the Rally Safe app and the GPS capabilities of an iPhone, but it was not needed. There was stern warning about keeping the speed under control and we had a private audience with the Chief Steward for an alleged transgression (a burn out coming out of Uraidla which we vehemently denied – we honestly didn’t but I guess someone complained about the noise of the car – there was a Maserati guy watching us go so maybe we made a little too much noise as we left, but no burn out – the clutch couldn’t have coped for starters!).

As for Day Three itself, its amazing how different the roads are only a few km to the south. Gone where the tight switch backs to fast flowing roads … and the tour speed limits that were, in the most part, well obeyed. Still, if you have massive Brembo brakes and warm semi slick tyres you can plunge deeper into a corner than any sane person would and there was the homicidal roar of that glorious flat plane crank V8 as it provided enough kick to probably launch NASA’s next moon mission as you exited the bend. We might have been warned about driving quietly in the built up areas but not on the road, much to the amusement of the many young boys and girls who lined the roads.

So, what did all this prove? As a navigator I’m completely useless. Most of the time I had no idea where I was or honestly, which way we were going! And clearly I have trust issues but I think at least some of those were justified. It probably also proved that I have addiction issues as I’ve now been browsing the Sprite Parts and PME online shop sites with the thought of putting the Little Blue Car into the event next year. Pretty sure it’s quick enough for the Main Tour (and can be made to go a little quicker through the bends with some minor adjustments…), the question is, can the nut behind the steering wheel be taught how to drive quickly, instead of being a candidate for Miss Daisy’s driver? Stay tuned – oh, and don’t tell Margy what I’m thinking about…she says I’m too impulsive!

2022 Christmas BBQ and Meeting

The weather looks favourable for a pleasant summer’s evening to enjoy the Christmas Festivities with a BBQ in the park and the meeting to follow – hopefully I haven’t jinked the weather!

Hope to see you all there!

(PS – if its nice, bring you cars out for an evening run!)

Legend of the Lakes 2022

For the last 8 years I have been going to Mt Gambier for the Legend of the Lakes hill climb as part of the Goolwa Ford crew . This year it was my turn to drag out the Escort, after it had a major up grade . We arrived at the track on Thursday afternoon , well its not the usual track . Most of the year it is a public road down to a beautiful  grassed picnic area next to Valley Lake, with approximately 150 cars entering the three day event .

Friday –  is classic day so entries are down to about 80, so plenty of runs;  which is a good thing as the only track time I have had before this stage was in the passenger seat of a 30 year old Landcruiser. Scrutineering went well as the car was all new and clean . The first run I had a bunch of nerves, so easy does it on he accelerator.  New car, New track made it to the top in 1.47 , nothing to be proud of, but the car ran well . Only four runs for the day, but I was happy  and finished with a 1.32 .

Saturday – after a few tips and a rev up by the team, and I was ready to go again . Still no tyre warm ups as the axles , diff , gearbox are a bit fragile I don’t think they will take 200 HP . My times kept getting quicker with each run, with Saturday finishing with a 1.29 . Unfortunately an oil spill on half of the track from another driver and rain put an end to the day two hours early . Our accommodation was at the caravan pk at the top of the track, so nice and close a the end of the day.

Sunday – back down to the track again at 7.00, soggy wet grass due to the over night rain, so no service crew vehicles in the pits . A quick check of the car and a run to scrutineering, all good to go. So its day three I haven’t broken the car yet, and all the parts I need to make the Escort bullet proof are on order. Still couldn’t bring myself to a burnout [ tyre warm up ].  My confidence is growing, so on day 3 I am looking for a 1.20, but the rest of the team said NO, aim for the teens so I had better pull my finger out.  On the start line and the Green light means go.  1st gear – 2nd  gear, hit the rev limiter and pushed the car, only two runs to pull this off, left hand into the bus stop turn, then right hand down jabbed the hand brake perfect slide on the rear [ all those hand brake turns at Border Town paid off ]  power slide out, hit the rev limiter again and across the finish line 1.17-32. Made it one and a half seconds quicker and my fastest time for the weekend . I’m happy, the team is happy, but still one more run to go for the weekend.  Final green light, GO nothing to loose, hit the rev limiter even harder this time using most of the 200 HP. Don’t bin it Grant, a little voice in my head said. Left hand into the bus stop, right hand down jabbed the hand brake [ you guessed it, over committed]  only supposed to be 180 degrees, I went at least 220 degrees. Damn it, by the time I got myself sorted there goes a second or two finished the day on a 1.19-90.

What a fantastic three days of motor sport with a new car, and all I did was turn the key and put fuel in it, didn’t even put a spanner on the car . I can not recommend this event enough, and will be back next year . The South Eastern Auto Club  do an amazing job every year.

What is a ‘Clubman’?

Now, I’m sure that our friends from Clubbies SA are thinking this is an odd question, but it was posed to me by my lovely sister when discussing the possibility of getting my father down as a guest speaker at the club one night. I’m keen to re-instate the tradition of a guest speaker talking about something topical, be it technical, history or just a good interesting yarn, all over a glass of wine and a cheese platter and to do that, I need to find people willing to come in and, as we would have said in the navy, spin a dit.

“Dad? What on earth would he talk about” she asked

“Anything he wants”, I replied.

“Like?” she queried?

“Anything! Tell a yarn. Talk about something topical from a point of history. Anything – you know how he likes to talk! Could be growing up on the River in the 1930s and the seeing last of commercial paddle steamers, the 1956 and 1974 floods, that’s certainly topical, or riding a motorbike with no clutch and no gearbox up to Birdwood. Even the countless trips to Mallala, Rowley Park or the local Speedway as a time keeper in the 1960s, anything really …  I’m sure the owners of the Clubbies in the club would be interested to hear his recollections of Garrie Cooper and his earliest cars. Anything really – he’s never short of a bloody good story!”

That lead to the obvious “what’s a clubbie” and then my attempting to explain what a Clubman Car was and it got me thinking; what, really, is a clubman?

That source of truth and accuracy (the internet) has as its #1 answer with the somewhat scandalous definition…’ A man who is a member of a gentleman’s club’. I’m not really sure that is the right answer in this case but was that the whole story? No, it seems. Like everything on the internet, its only very small part of the full story story and intimates somewhere the Bentley Boys might have gone post race!

Dive a bit deeper, and you’ll find a definition a bit closer to the mark ‘… an amateur enthusiast, someone willing to partake in their sport without necessarily being a winner, for the love of the sport.’ If the competition reports are to be believed, this is much closer to the mark, although I do get the sense of strong rivalry between drivers at time!!

Perhaps the best definition actually builds on the ‘gentleman’s club’ theme, which further defined these purported ‘gentleman’s clubs’ (which Google may leave you thinking were just private boys’ clubs and dens of iniquity and defined them as being formed after World War 1 and where sporting clubs where former soldiers could escape the daily nightmares of the horrors they witnessed. We hear every week on the news about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the suicide rate amongst ex-service people, police, nurses and paramedics and the current Royal Commission. With people suffering with all the benefits of modern medicine and phycological support, how returned servicemen and nurses from the horrors of WW1 coped is beyond me. My father talks of how his dad would rarely talk about his experiences and emersed himself in his farming but always looked forward to visiting his local RSL where he could be with his mates, no doubt exactly what the term Clubman actually refers to. Club level participation in something as a type of therapy and a way to escape the horrors of their recent past whilst having ‘jolly good fun’.

Many clubs today still award a Clubman Award. Its not to the best player/driver/scorer, but it’s the award for the person who turns up, gets involved, doesn’t moan. In many sporting clubs, the ‘Clubman Award’ was THE award to win as it meant you’d earned the respect of your peers.

‘The Clubman’ has, as we all know, spilled over into motorsport, not least the ‘Clubbies’ that form such an integral part of our club as we look towards 2023. Motorsport history of the 1940s and 50s is littered with ‘Clubman’ events on two wheels and four. Even the Isle of Man had a Junior and Senior Clubman TT category for production bikes that could be bought on the high-street one day and raced the next. I’m really not sure that is all that different to the daring-do racers at Brooklands or a local Hillclimb whom might have bought an MG Midget, Austin 7 or similar with sporting intent in the 1920s or 30s and gone racing without any notion of ever actually winning!

Is that all that different to most of the entrants in the Adelaide Rally that starts next week, or indeed the Peter Hall Memorial 6 Hour or any round of the MSCA or Collingrove Hillcimbs?

Then of course, there are the Clubbies. With their direct link to Colin Chapman’s game changing Lotus 7, when the motor racing technology advanced, people realised what the 7 offered amateur motor sport and an entire community developed around a class of car know affectionately as ‘a clubman’.

So, what, really, is a clubman? Whilst the term is a little outdated (clubperson maybe?), its someone who participates simply for the joy of participating and the bonds of friendship it brings. Today I took an hour out of my day to help young Chris get his Mini (yes, it’s a Clubman) running so he can, hopefully, come out and enjoy some of the events for next year. He tried to pay me and I’m not sure he understands why I politely refused (he can buy me a coffee one day), as hopefully he can tag along and start to understand what is meant to be a ‘clubman’.

Perhaps one day soon we might even get his actual Sprite or Midget up and running for club runs, but that might result in another story for here!

November Bugeye Burble

Here is the November Bugeye Burble and Coming Events for the next few months as the weather starts to warm and on opportunity to withdrawal your Spridget from the shed………………………

Keep an eye on the Sprite Club Website, Email Postings and Sprite Club Facebook Page for more information…………

11th/13st Nov            Legend of the Lakes Hillclimb – Mount Gambier – Entries have Sold Out!

20th November         Collingrove 70th Anniversary Hillclimb – Barossa Valley

Another change to the enjoy the Barossa Valley and the iconic Collingrove hillclimb

24th/27th Nov           Shannon’s Adelaide Rally

The Adelaide Rally is back with a revised format and course and open for Classic and Modern Vehicles.

A variety of Adelaide Hills roads will be used for the Rally.

Street Party on Friday 25th Nov in Gouger Street and Finale Party at the Victoria Park – Adelaide 500 circuit on Sunday 27th Nov.

27th November         Royal South Australian Yacht Squadron “Back to the Squadron” Car Display – From 10.00am

The RSAYS is pleased to invite all South Australians who have a connection to the past, or an interest in the future to the “Back to the Squadron” day on Sunday 27 November.

Owners of Classic Cars are invited to display their vehicles and to have them parked on the eastern lawn overlooking the Squadron pool to add to the nostalgic atmosphere of the “Back to the Squadron” day.  Any vehicle manufactured prior to 1997 will be eligible to participate in the display.  The cars can arrive and depart at any time during the day between 10.00am and 4.00pm.

To register your interest in being part of the Classic Cars display please contact Libby Ottaway on M: 0408 672 444

5th December            Christmas General Meeting – BBQ in the Park – From 6.00pm – Meeting from 8.00pm.

Fullarton Park Community Centre, 411 Fullarton Road, Fullarton Park.

To celebrate the end of another Sprite Club year and the festive season we will be having our BBQ in the Park prior to the General Meeting, starting from 6.00pm.

The Sprite Club will be supplying the meat, salads, and bread – as well as an assortment of wine and soft drinks.

Members will need to provide chairs, glasses and picnicware, etc.

Plus, the Committee has booked the perfect, early-summer evening: not too hot, not too cold and no flies or mozzies!

The General meeting will commence at the usual time of 8.00pm

Wild Weather Event

The extraordinary weather event that cut a swathe through many parts of greater Adelaide on Saturday has left a lot of us without power, trees in driveways and in some unfortunate cases, through cars and houses. I hope everyone in the Sprite Club has fared ok and all are safe and well and, like me, the worst of it is just no power for 48 hours.

If anyone in the club is aware club-mate in need of assistance, be it clearing debris, running a chainsaw or just taking a thermos of coffee, then please say so we can try to coordinate some help and support. I’m sure we can rustle up equipment if needs be.

It might seem incongruous to be posting online when people maybe without power and internet but I hope the tribal drums have been beating and people have been checking in with each other. If you know of someone in need or distress, please say and let’s see who and how we can help!

Robin and Margy

(Hopefully this posts – we are still learning out way with posting notices etc here!)

50th Anniversary Badges

The Sprite Club 50th Anniversary Car Badges have arrived!

If you have ordered and paid for a badge (or two) they can be collected at the Annual General Meeting on Monday 7th November.

If you would like one for your Sprite or Midget you can purchase these at the Meeting – Cost is $30 – either cash or EFT to the Club Account.

For those who attended the 50th Anniversary Dinner there is a special lapel badge version that has been made as a memento of this event.

These will also be available for collection on the night.

Sports Car Cruise Saturday 29 October

Reminder. Classic sports car cruise this Saturday 4pm for a 4:30 start from the western side car park of the Brighton railway station. An approximately one hour cruise along the Adelaide shore line. Route sheets will be available at the departure point. Finish at North haven where there will be a presentation for the most appealing car and the car with the best Patina.

Notice of the Annual General Meeting

Monday 7th November, 8.00pm at the Fullarton Park Community Centre, 411 Fullarton Road, Fullarton Park

The Annual General Meeting is soon upon us and a time for the members to decide the 2023 Committee for the Sprite Club of SA.

The current Committee has been together for five years and has maintained and run the Sprite Club through a number of major events and challenges. These include working through bushfires in the Adelaide Hills, the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated cleaning, social distancing and lockdowns.

Therefore some of the Committee members have elected not to stand once again for their positions. This provides an opportunity to join the Committee and help with the running of the Sprite Club for the next 12 months.

The positions that will be vacating are:

  • President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Web Master

So if you would like to be involved with running the Club, planning events and helping to Promote, Foster and Preserve Sprites and Midgets here is you opportunity.

Please contact one of the Committee to discuss further or if you have any questions, etc

Pat Millers “The Bend” adventure…

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Having entered the Lycoming Indy in the historic section of a big league race meeting at The Bend this weekend. We of course tested the monster out prior to the big day. Despite many hours of trying, we were unable to get the Lycoming engine to run. From having the exhausts glow red hot after mere seconds of starting to no spark at all. Friends at Parafield tested the magnetos which were both caput. Two more found tested and eagerly fitted only to have yet another failure. having fitted magneto no 3 the engine finally burst into life sounding better than ever. Our joy was short lived when we found the just replaced transmission input coupling had sheared off. A call to the event promoters enabled us to swap cars and enter the Irukandji in instead. We were unable to attend Friday practice session so our first run was in the heat of super sprint combat on Saturday morning where I had a good dice with an amazingly quick Lola sports car which was 1 second faster than the Irukandji. Round 2 saw the two of us locked in combat at the head of the field were the Irukandji proved just quick enough to pass the Lola and post a tine 1 second faster. The spectators seemed to really appreciate the spectacle. Sunday was different, rivers af water flowing through the pits, the whole place was awash races were being canceled or delayed, eventually they let us on the track in just a mild cloudburst. Within 2 laps I was saturated. on the edge of one corner there was water so deep it was literally like having a bucket of water thrown over the dash panel. Motor sport is very character building.

Flashback Friday – Early Sprite Club Videos

With the Internet and the digital age there is a fantastic opportunity to capture, store and share images, pictures and videos that would have previously been sitting idle on the shelf in a back room cupboard, cardboard box or lost in the shed!

A few of these videos popped up on an Facebook feed this week so thought it would be good to share them with you. These movies/videos were posted to YouTube by previous Sprite Club member Kerry Sarandis.

During the early years of the Sprite Club of SA the club was involved in motor racing, motorkhanas and generally driving the life out of these Sprites and Midgets. This was described at the recent 50th Anniversary Annual Dinner by Richard Stokes and Reiner Walker – well here is some more proof of those early days……….

In 1974 the Sprite Clubs Nationals between SA, NSW and Victoria Sprite Clubs was a motorkhana that was held at Hay, Victoria. There were 16 SA Sprite Club members attending this event. This video features many of the SA contingent that won this event outright!

Vehicles and members include Richard Stokes with his green Bugeye, Kerry Sarandis’s Red Mk III Sprite, Dean King’s Purple LC Torana XU-1, Phil Brown’s orange Bugeye, Doug Gordon’s Renault TS16 and the white MG Midget of Jill Gouck. It also shows how manoeuvrable a Spridget can be in an motokhana with use of the handbrake and the throttle.

In 1977 the Sprite Club’s Nationals headed to Hume Weir circuit, once again in Victoria. In this video feature a “racecam” lap of the circuit, showing the differecen in track safety to todays, motor racing circuits. It shows a number of interstate Sprite Club members vehicles, including Mike Dore’s (VIC) white Bugeye, Ray English’s (VIC) red Mk III Sprite Lenham Coupe and the SA Super Sprite (Datsun 1600 powered) of Simon Aram.

In the second Hume Weir video it features the first outing of the Datsun 1600cc powered “Super Sprite” that was built by SA Members Simon Aram and Mark Chown. This vehicle was later owned by SA Club Members, Dean King (then Toyota 2-litre powered), Rob Peckett and Don Taylor (Mazda Rotary Turbo – powered).

And the last video is the start of a Sports Car Race at Adelaide International Raceway with the famed Glen Dix dropping the National Flag to start the race.

Many interesting sports cars feature including the Boral Ford, Elfin 360, numerous racing clubman’s and the Bugeye Sprites of Richard Stokes (Green) and Dean King (Blue SUS-600). It is interesting to see the speed difference between all of these various vehicles. also great to see a good crowd standing on the mound under the Control Tower.

Thanks to Kerry for posting these to You Tubefor all to see, and for NSW member Scotty Gibbs for locating them.

October Bugeye Burble

Here is the October Bugeye Burble and Coming Events for the next few months as the weather starts to warm and on opportunity to withdrawal your Spridget from the shed………………………

Keep an eye on the Sprite Club Website, Email Postings and Sprite Club Facebook Page for more information…………

16th October – Bay to Birdwood – Starting at Barrett Reserve, West Beach.
The Bay to Birdwood is one of the world’s great historic motoring events and has been an iconic fixture on the South Australian events calendar since 1980. Entrant vehicles will depart Barratt Reserve, West Beach from early morning (8.15am) and arrive at Birdwood anytime from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

23rd October – MSCA Supersprint – Round 5 – Mallala Motorsport Park
The final round of the MSCA Super Sprint is back at Mallala Motorsport Park
Please support our competing Sprite and Clubman driving members – On track from 10.00am

29th October – Classic Sports Car Cruise – Twilight Beach Run – 4.00pm for a 4.30pm departure
Our stating point will be the Brighton Railway Station car park, western side off Cedar Ave. The drive will be basically following the coastline all the way through to the marina off Lady Gowrie drive. While it is great if you can come in a sports car or clubman don’t be afraid to roll up in your daily driver and enjoy the comradery.

28th/30st Oct – South Australian Hillclimb Championships – Collingrove Hillclimb.

4th November – John Blanden’s Climb to the Eagle
The tradition continues! Gathering in Victoria Park in front of the grandstand and the run will be Climbing to the Eagle, then the tour will head to morning tea with a guest speaker at the Blackwood Football Club oval. Entries and information: https://www.sportingcarclub.com.au/

7th November – Annual General Meeting – 8.00pm
Fullarton Park Community Centre, 411 Fullarton Road, Fullarton Park.
All committee positions will be declared vacant, so if you would like to assist with the running of the Sprite Club, please contact a committee person now!

Sports Car Cruise – Saturday October 29

Following the successful cruise of February last, this run will be a rerun of that event. Gathering in the western side car park of the Brighton railway station car park at 4 pm for a 4:30 departure. The rout will follow the Adelaide cost as much as possible. There will be a short regrouping on Military road adjacent to the west beach caravan park and playground. The run will finish at North Haven café and restaurant centre on Lady Gowerie Drive. The run should take approximately one hour. Not that much time and not that much petrol. Route instruction sheets will be available at the starting point. There will be a short presentation at the conclusion of the drive. Any questions please contact Pat Miller on 0421289706 or email nanmiller@adam.com.au

50th Anniversary Display Day Video

During the 50th Anniversary Display Day at Wigley Reserve you may have noticed Sprite Club member and Bugeye owner Malcolm Ludgate wandering around with with a selection of camera equipment.

Malcolm has put together a video of the day – providing a great overview of the day – Thanks for you efforts Malcolm!

Here is the link to the video:

https://www.facebook.com/malcolm.ludgate/videos/1126856691266533

Malcolm and wife Mylene have been involved with cinematography for many years specialising in underwater and nature documentaries, plus a number of other interesting projects – check out their web site for more information:

http://seafilms.com.au/

Flaggies Required – Sunday 25 September

From the MSCA SA

Good evening all

I am in desperate need of flag marshals for our next super sprint, coming up on September 25th at The Bend East circuit. Could you please ask your members for assistance at this event, and get back to me ASAP.  Thank you. Your help with this matter is appreciated. 

Regards

Michelle Edwards

MSCA Secretary 

All flag marshals will receive a free lunch and get to have a parade lap around the Bend east circuit and that is something to experience. If you can help please notify Michele or Pat Miller nanmiller@adam.com.au or 0421289706.

Regards 

Pat Miller

50th Anniversary Celebrations – Mid-Week Meander – 14th September 2022

To finish off the 50th Anniversary events, Club members Russell and Judy Schmarr planned a Mid-Week Meander – Northern Celebratory Ramble, providing members a chance to drive a range of roads to the North of Adelaide.

I will let Russell and Judy inform you of the day of Spritely Motoring….

“Starting out in the rain from Tilley Reserve at Surrey Downs, the 11 cars assembled faced a damp start to the 120kms Northern Meander.

Progress was a little slower than the last time we drove on the One Tree Hill Road, along the pot holed Humbug Scrub Road to cross the South Para River Ford and into Williamstown.

Looking out to the west we could see a glimmer of light in the otherwise grey skies as we drove through the Barossa Valley to our morning tea destination at Bethany by 11am. The shelter was welcome but still cold enough to just have time for a warm up tea or coffee before taking to the roads again.

We wandered up the Valley avoiding the large towns and traffic, turning off to enjoy the well loved Seppeltsfield Drive, then on to the little town of Greenock where we seemed to have come out of the rainy grey to see patches of blue sky.

In the rolling paddocks to Kapunda, Tarlee and Stockport the gaudy golden canola crops offered bright contrasts to the other staid green oats, beans and wheat plantings.

Coming out of Stockport our planning for no dirt roads came to grief as the road was being upgraded – wasn’t there on the test run – luckily only about 200meters to turn off the dirt to Hamley Bridge , still in sunshine, to enjoy a tasty lunch at our destination – the recently renovated Hamley Bridge Hotel.

Despite the cold and uncomfortable conditions our participants today were in good spirits, making the best of the day.”

Thanks to those members who braved the conditions at the start, glad to see the skies clear and provide a nice finish to the day.

Our thanks to Russell and Judy for planning the Mid-Week Meander – looking forward the next Meander.

Thanks to Russell and Judy Schmarr for the words and photos and the Hamley Bridge hotel for their photos as well.

50th Anniversary Celebrations – Sprite Display Day – 11th September 2022

To complete the Sprite Club of South Australia’s 50th Anniversary Weekend, the Club members washed and polished their Sprites, Midgets, Clubman and Associate Vehicles and headed to Wigley Reserve, Glenelg for the 50th Anniversary Sprite Display Day.

The weather held, and while cloudy and cool there was no rain to spoil the day.

The only hiccup was the Sprite MkIIIA of Des and Penny Chabrel that decided to have an electrical gremlin that slowed their progress to the display – assistance from the RAA and a bit of a tweak under the bonnet soon had the Sprite back on the road.

With 33 Sprites and Midgets and a similar number of Associate vehicles which included eight “Big” Austin Healey’s from the Austin Healey Owners Club – it was an impressive display of vehicles.

There was also three racing versions of Sprites on display – Chris Brine’s Bugeye, Clive Spreadbury’ s and Peter Stanley’s Sprite Mk IIA’s.

Once the cars were aligned there were many conversations and looking under bonnets as well as the usual “I had one of them many years ago” conversations with members of the public.

The People Choice Awards were popular with over 100 votes for both the Sprite/Midget and Associate vehicles. The voting was close, but the deserving winners were:

  • Sprite/Midget – Chris and Tina Brine – Supercharged Bugeye Sprite
  • Associate Vehicle – Phil and Maryanne Kies – Triumph TR4A

Chris and Phil both thanked those who voted and Phil also acknowledged the work the fellow club member Gerard Miller and the team at Marque Restorations had put into the TR4A over the past few years during it’s restoration.

We must also note thanks to those members who were able to bring more than one vehicle for the display – Chris Brine, Michael McClaren, Don Cardone and Marcus Booth – and thanks to their family members for assisting with the transport logistics.

As the temperature dropped and a slight mist of rain appeared it was time for the clean vehicles to head home.

Special thanks to Don Cardone for his co-ordination of the day, ably supported by Elaine Cardone, Ray Kinlay, Des Chabrel, Angela Wicks, Gary Brock and assorted helpers on the day.

The members of the Sprite Club of South Australia would like to thank the Federation of Historic Motoring Clubs SA Inc for their support of this special event.

Thanks to Robin Dunk, Steve and Di Kent and Gordon Boyce for the photographic images of the day.

50th Anniversary Celebrations – 50th Annual Dinner – 10th September 2022

The Sprite Club of South Australia’s 50th Anniversary Annual Dinner was held at the Lion Hotel, North Adelaide on Saturday 10th September 2022.

This dinner was attended by 73 past and present Club Members, and ironically was only a few kilometres from the site of the 1st Sprite Club Meeting, which was held in the Staff Quarters above the National Bank in O’Connell Street , North Adelaide.

The Cellar Room provided the Members a private area to enjoy and celebrate the forming of the Sprite Club 50 years ago. With a delicious three-course meal there was an opportunity to talk and chat with fellow Club Members and the memories of the past 50 years.

With a rolling slideshow of past photos, a memorabilia table displaying older photos, merchandise and trinkets from the past – there was an opportunity to view what the Sprite Club was like in the early days.

President Gordon Boyce welcomed all to the evening and introduced founding members Reiner Walker and Richard Stokes, who spoke about the days with Sprites before the Club formed on Tuesday 13th September 1972. Richard outlined how the Club went through the formalities of incorporation and constitution to set the foundations for the Sprite Club we know today.

Initial Sprite Club members – L to R – Dean King, Helen King, Richard Stokes, Reiner Walker, Mandy Stokes, John Clarke, Marilyn Warren

There was even seven members present who were there at that inaugural meeting, plus a number that joined during the the first 10 years of the Sprite Club

President Gordon then talked about the 1980’s to present day and the memorable and major events the Sprite Club has been involved with, from social drives to dinners, motorsport to National Challenges and of course the famous Bordertown weekends competing against the Victorian Sprite Club (AHSDC).

There were also anecdotes from Don Cardone, Steve Kent and Di Low.

The night was also an opportunity to award the Trophy Winners for 2022 – these included:

  • Sprite of the Year – Darrel Hanna
  • Club Members of the Year – Gary and Fay Brock
  • Tony Bennetto “Spirit of Sprites” Award – Don and Elaine Cardone

Congratulations to the Award winners!

Soon the night was over and many continued to chat and discuss Sprites, Midgets and a range of other topics late into the night.

Special thanks must go the Michael McClaren for arranging the venue, pre-dinner drinks and the menu and for Pat Lescius, Chris and Tina Brine for assisting with the room decorations and special placemats.

Thanks to Steve and Di Kent and Narelle Boyce for the photographic images of the night.

50th Anniversary Celebrations – General Meeting – 5th September 2022

The Sprite Club of South Australia celebrated it’s 50th Anniversary General Meeting on Monday 5th September.

With 34 members present, this event was the start of the 50th Anniversary Celebrations planned for the coming week.

Once the Meeting Agenda had been completed it was time for President Gordon to lead a roaring chorus of “Happy Birthday” followed by a few choice words and then the cutting of the birthday cake.

There was also a range of assorted sweets, treats and “bubbles’ to wash it down.

Thanks to Michael McClaren and Pat Lescius for arranging the cake and supper.

50th Anniversary Mid-Week Meander – Northern Celebratory Ramble

Wednesday 14th September – 9.30am for 10.00am Departure

Fifty years and one day after the Sprite Club of South Australia was formed in 1972, Russell and Judy Schmarr have planned a Mid-Week Meander to get your Sprites, Midgets, Clubman’s and Associate vehicles out of the shed for a social drive to celebrate this occasion.

Meeting at 9.30 am at Tilley Reserve, Yatala Vale Road, Surrey Downs for a 10.00 am departure this Mid-Week Meander will head through a range of varying roads in the regions to the North of Adelaide. In usual Mid-Week Meander style we will transverse different roads and many roads some will not have travelled before.

There will be a stop over for a BYO Morning Tea and a stretch of your legs.

The final location will be a Country Pub for a hearty lunch which should help to bridge your appetite from the morning tea break!

Please let Russell and Judy know if you are attending for catering purposes – 0403 151 715

Sprite Club 50th Anniversary Dinner – Final Arrangements


Saturday 10th September – 6.00pm for 6.30pm – Lion Hotel, North Adelaide

The 50th Anniversary Dinner will be held at the Cellar Room at the Lion Hotel, Melbourne Street, North Adelaide on Saturday 10th September.

Pre-dinner drinks will be available from the bar in the Cellar Room (Downstairs – Enter from Jerningham Street)

Starting at 6.00pm for 6.30pm with pre-dinner drinks, this will be followed by an enjoyable three course meal.

For more information please contact:

Gordon Boyce – Gordon.boyce98@gmail.com

Michael McClaren – social@spriteclub.com.au

Looking forward to seeing you there at this special night!

September Bugeye Burble

Here is the September Bugeye Burble and 50th Anniversary Events for the next month………………………

Keep an eye on the Sprite Club Website, Email Postings and Sprite Club Facebook Page for more information…………

5th September            General Meeting – 50th Anniversary General Meeting – Starts at 8.00pm.

Fullarton Park Community Centre, 411 Fullarton Road, Fullarton Park.

10th September         50th Anniversary Sprite Club Annual Dinner

The 50th Anniversary Dinner will be held at the Lion Hotel, Melbourne Street, North Adelaide, starting at 6.00pm for 6.30pm with pre-dinner drinks, this will be followed by an enjoyable evening.

This will be a subsidised event – the cost will be $50.00 per head for a three-course meal

Payment can be made via EFT to the Sprite Club’s Bank Account – please note your name and the number of people in the Description with the EFT Payment.   http://www.spriteclub.com.au/?page_id=1313

11th September         50th Anniversary Display Day – Wigley Reserve – Cars on display from 9.30am

The 50th Anniversary Display Day will be held at Wigley Reserve, Glenelg.

With cars on display from 9.30am, this will be an opportunity to showcase both our cars and Sprite Club to the General Public and help celebrate 50 years of the Sprite Club.     

14th September Mid-Week Meander – Northern Celebratory Ramble – Meet from 9.30am – Departure from 10.00am

Meeting at 9.30 am at Tilley Reserve, Yatala Vale Road, Surrey Downs for a 10.00 am departure this Mid-Week Meander will head through a range of varying roads in the regions to the North of Adelaide. There will be a stopover for a BYO Morning Tea.

The final location will be a Country Pub for a hearty lunch which should help to bridge your appetite from the morning tea break!

Please let Russell and Judy know if you are attending for catering purposes – 0403 151 715

25th September         MSCA Super Sprint – Round Four – The Bend Eastern Circuit

And for those competitively minded there will be the MSCA SA Super Sprint at The Bend East Circuit. This Super Sprint will allow drivers to tackle the 22 twists and turns of the East Circuit, covering 3.9 kilometres of the circuit. Most drivers cannot stop smiling after competing at this event.

For more info – http://www.mscasa.com/

2nd October      Barossa Vintage Collingrove Hill Climb

A showcase of 2- and 4-wheel vintage and special interest vehicles from yesteryear.

8th/9th October               Collingrove Hillclimb – Come’n’Try and Collingrove Challenge Trophy – Round 4

A great day out for both spectators and competitors at the famous Collingrove Hillclimb

10th October     General Meeting – Starts at 8.00pm.

Fullarton Park Community Centre, 411 Fullarton Road, Fullarton Park.

Sprite Club 50th Anniversary Dinner – Special Dietary Requirements

Saturday 10th September – 6.00pm for 6.30pm – Lion Hotel, North Adelaide

The 50th Anniversary Dinner will be held at the Cellar Room at the Lion Hotel, Melbourne Street, North Adelaide on Saturday 10th September.

To assist with the catering and final planning for the event, can you please inform Gordon Boyce or Michael McClaren (by Thursday 1st September) if you have any special dietary requirements that the caterers may need to consider.

Gordon Boyce – Gordon.boyce98@gmail.com

Michael McClaren – social@spriteclub.com.au

50th Anniversary Mid-Week Meander – Northern Celebratory Ramble

Wednesday 14th September – 9.30am for 10.00am Departure

Fifty years and one day after the Sprite Club of South Australia was formed in 1972, Russell and Judy Schmarr have planned a Mid-Week Meander to get your Sprites, Midgets, Clubman’s and Associate vehicles out of the shed for a social drive to celebrate this occasion.

Meeting at 9.30 am at Tilley Reserve, Yatala Vale Road, Surrey Downs for a 10.00 am departure this Mid-Week Meander will head through a range of varying roads in the regions to the North of Adelaide. In usual Mid-Week Meander style we will transverse different roads and many roads some will not have travelled before.

There will be a stop over for a BYO Morning Tea and a stretch of your legs.

The final location will be a Country Pub for a hearty lunch which should help to bridge your appetite from the morning tea break!

Please let Russell and Judy know if you are attending for catering purposes – 0403 151 715

Pie’n’Pea Night – Wrap-up

Over thirty Sprite Club member’s attended the Pie’n’Pea Night at the Fullarton Park Community Centre on Saturday 20th August.

Instead of using a member’s home for the event the organiser’s decided to use the Centre’s facilities and kitchen. This allowed plenty of space to prepare and serve the food, as well as space to catch up, talk and mingle with other Club members.

Starting with nibbles and Angela’s yummy home made mini quiches, the taste buds were soon activated. Don and Elaine Cardone were busy in the kitchen warming pies and stirring the home made pea soup.

After a quick welcome, the Club members lined up at the kitchen for a warming bowl of a Vili’s Pie topped with the pea soup. Don and Elaine were assisted by an assortment of kitchen staff including Carole, Jenny, Ray, plus a few others. Some member’s even lined up for seconds!!

With Gary Brock’s Alphabet Quiz and Phil and Maryanne’s Wine Raffle (which raised nearly $100 towards the night) there was enough to keep all busy. Thanks to all of you for these activities on the night!

Sweets was next on the agenda, and with plenty of cakes, tortes, and assorted tasty treats – there was plenty to go around.

The winners of Gary’s Alphabet Quiz were announced – there was a tie between two tables – and the drawing of the wine raffle concluded the night.

In usual Sprite Club style, all member’s helped clean up and pack up, so it was not a late night.

Our thanks to Don and Elaine for their organisation and catering of the night – and also special thanks to those who helped behind the scenes, with either providing food, serving or cleaning – this all helped to make this event a great night!

50TH ANNIVERSARY SPRITE DISPLAY DAY

Sunday 11th September – Wigley Reserve, Glenelg

As part of the Sprite Club of South Australia’s 50th Anniversary Weekend, The 50th Anniversary Display Day will be held at Wigley Reserve, Glenelg.

This will be a display of Sprites, Midgets, Clubman’s and Members Associate Vehicles.

Car will be on display from 9.30am, and this will be a chance to showcase both our vehicles and the Sprite Club of South Australia to the General Public and help celebrate 50 years of the Sprite Club of SA.

There will be People’s Choice Awards and there will be a coffee van on the site.

Please bring along your Sprite or Midget, we would like to see a many vehicles in restored, original condition, race or competition, or under restoration.

Please note that Clubman and Member’s Associate Vehicles are also welcome as well.

We have had Club Members come forward to volunteer as either a Fire Warden or First Aider (Thanks Gary and Angela) but if you have these skills and can assist these individuals with these duties on the day please contact at your earliest convenience either:

Don Cardone – DonCardone@adam.com.au

Gordon Boyce – gordon.boyce98@andrew_lord

Please note that the entrance to Wigley Reserve is via the roundabout at the end of Anzac Highway – please follow the Marshalls Direction.

Also please bring a piece of cardboard or similar to put under your car to capture any oil drips, etc – to prevent damage to the grass.

SPRITE CLUB 50TH ANNIVERSARY DINNER – CATERING NUMBERS REQUIRED BY 28th AUGUST

Saturday 10th September – 6.00pm for 6.30pm – Lion Hotel, North Adelaide

The 50th Anniversary Dinner will be held at the Cellar Room at the Lion Hotel, Melbourne Street, North Adelaide on Saturday 10th September.

To assist with the catering and final planning for the event, can you please finalise any dinner bookings by Sunday 28th August.

Also if you are aware of any past members that may like to join us for this celebration can you please forward this invitation.

Starting at 6.00pm for 6.30pm with pre-dinner drinks, this will be followed by an enjoyable three course meal.

This will be a subsidised event – the cost will be $50.00 per head for a three-course meal + pre-dinner drinks.

To assist with the catering for this event can you please finalise your Dinner payments by 28th August 2022.

Payment can be made via EFT to the Sprite Club’s Bank Account – please note your name and the number of people in the Description with the EFT Payment.

http://www.spriteclub.com.au/?page_id=1313

Looking forward to seeing you there at this special night!

MSCA Sprints Flaggies Required

It seems the clubs rostered have been unable to supply sufficient flag marshals for the Super Sprint meeting at Mallala this Sunday Aug 14. If there are any Sprite Club members who would like to help out here could you please let either Pat Miller email nanmiller@adam.com.au or ph 0421289706 or  directly notify Michele at the MSCA. email MSCA Secretary sec@mscasa.com. Volunteers would need to be on site 9 am, competition generally finishes by 4 pm. Lunch is provided. Should there be any questions feel free to phone Pat on the above number.