Twin Bridges Rally entrants enjoy Auto Collectors Club of Murray Bridge's 2017 classic car event

The Auto Collectors Club of Murray Bridge’s seventh biennial Twin Bridges Rally commenced on Friday, October 20 as visitors from Queensland, Victoria, many parts of South Australia and local areas were guided into Johnstone Park by a newly restored and exhibited 1927 Chevrolet Capital truck owned by club members Trevor and Deirdre Kitto, on display at the heritage gateway to the oval complex.

Rally participants then converged into the ACCMB clubrooms to register for the event and collect their rally bags, sponsored by Murray Bridge Autopro, overflowing with contents from various sponsors, before partaking of afternoon tea.

At 6pm was the commencement of the weekend’s activities, with joint coordinator, emcee and ACCMB member Graham Edwards welcoming all to the dinner.

This was followed by ACCMB president Claude Minge officially opening the weekend’s procedures.

During dinner, joint rally coordinators Maureen Edwards, Elaine and Roy Bretag and Ricky and Neil Kaak outlined the three days’ activities.

With dinner completed, this was followed by a heads and tails competition run by Mr and Mrs Edwards, a heritage Abbott and Costello movie, raffle draws and some humorous jokes by the emcee and Jill Matschoss.

On Saturday the 21st was an early start, with the assembly of 53 veteran, vintage, classic and modern cars in their classifications at the wharf car park for public viewing, ladies’ choice voting and the judgment of a local dignitary, Murray Bridge Mayor Brenton Lewis.

During the assembly Mr Lewis officially welcomed all 100 rally participants to Murray Bridge, trusting that their stay would be a memorable and enjoyable one.

With all duties performed, Mr Lewis flagged the first group of vehicles, up to 1950, away and en route to their next stop of the day: the Tailem Bend Football Club, where a scrumptious morning tea was provided by the club’s hard working lady volunteers.

Before the group moved off on their next leg to Meningie, Mrs Edwards thanked the football club for their hospitality.

Arriving at Meningie, vehicles were parked in the museum-restaurant reserve overlooking magnificent Lake Albert in the vehicles’ respective categories, ready for judging by Coorong Mechanical Restoration Club (CMRC) members, while rally participants enjoyed their main two-course meal of the day, catered for by the Meningie Cheese Factory Museum.

Prior to entering the restaurant, those people who wished to be judged best dressed for the era of their vehicles remained, enjoying the dress of the many couples who entered.

Following a thank you to restaurant owner Sandeep and staff, along with the staff at the museum, by Mrs Bretag, her husband then presented rally bags to CMRC members for their help and assistance leading up to the event and on the day.

With all members having finished their meal it was off next door to the Meningie museum for a trip down memory lane to the bygone era of Meningie and the district’s heritage.

Some members, on their return, decided to travel the scenic route around the lake to Narrung, over the ferry, past historic Poltalloch Station, established in 1839, before returning to Murray Bridge.

Dinner at night, with the theme “pizza, pav and BYO drinks”, was again held at the ACCMB clubrooms, magnificently decorated by the organising committee and volunteers, complete with sponsor advertising, including a specially produced DVD running throughout the weekend which also thanked the rally’s many sponsors, including all ACCMB volunteers and raffle prize donors, for their support.

Items during the evening included “The Car Song”, written and sung by ACCMB life member Lyn West, who was accompanied on piano by Ms Matschoss; a heads and tails competition by the Bretags; and raffles by the Kaaks, with Jim Stocker as the runner.

Sunday the 22nd commenced with morning tea at the ACCMB clubrooms followed by a visit to one of two heritage venues: the Round House, overlooking the mighty Murray and the twin bridges, or a heritage walk around the old railway buildings, including the old railway cutting and railway station precinct, with tour guide and local historian Ken Wells.

Then it was back to the clubrooms for midday lunch, followed by trophy presentations for the weekend, presented by Shannon’s Insurance representative Jeff Hughes and Mr Bretag.

Trophy donors, winners and vehicles were:

  • Shannons Insurance best overall vehicle: Claude and Liz Minge, 1929 Studebaker President.
  • Meguiar’s ladies’ choice: Rolly and Denise Bartlett, 1947 Alvis TA 14.
  • Australia Wide Assist dignitary’s choice: Mike and Arlene Chapman, 1938 Pontiac Silver Streak.
  • Wittwer Motors up to 1950: Noel and Rae Cowie, 1936 Dodge sedan.
  • Graham Edwards Crash and Pratt Towing 1951-60: Howard and Myra Wright, 1960 Mark II Jaguar.
  • Murray Bridge Autopro 1961-70: Des and Joy Ayres, 1965 XP Ford Falcon coupe.
  • Bridge Batteries and Solar 1971-87: Neil and Ricky Kaak, 1975 VW sedan.
  • Murray Bridge Caravan and Outdoor Centre 1988 on: Peter Smith, 1992 BMW M730IL.
  • Bridge Autospark modified: Peter and Honey Williams, 1954 FJ Holden.
  • Best commercial: Gino and Grant Parrotta, 1970 Ford Falcon ute.

On completion of presentations, Mr Minge congratulated all winners before presenting the rally’s coordinators with a gift in appreciation of their hard work and the excellent presentation of yet another very successful event.

He then wished all participants a safe journey home and hoped to see all again at the eighth biennial Twin Bridges Rally, to be held on October 18-20, 2019, before closing the 2017 event.