Auto club members do hot laps at Bend

The Auto Collectors Club of Murray Bridge (ACCMB) participated in a run to The Bend Motorsport Park on November 19. The day had come, although very warm, for the long awaited visit to take place.

President Claude Minge, the organiser for the day, then gave a brief outline of the day’s activities at the Johnstone Park Clubrooms, before asking every driver to “start your engines” before moving off in convoy to Tailem Bend.

94 ACCMB  members and friends travelled in 45 vehicles ranging from Trevor Wehrman’s 1925 Chevrolet to the latest model Kia Stinger owned by Milton Hall.

There was a wide array of vehicles including Valiant Chargers, Ford Mustangs, Ferraris, Jaguar, Chev Corvette, a 1967 GT Falcon, Mercedes Benz, VW, Holden’s of various models and even a 1929 Graham Paige. 

Members and friends were greeted by friendly, well-organised staff in the reception area of The Bend. 

Everyone enjoyed a few refreshments while admiring a very impressive collection of race, prestige and exotic cars which were displayed in the foyer.

Then it was “Hot Laps” on the two different circuits. One being 7.7kms and the other 4.9kms long.

We experienced not only the length of each circuit, but were amazed at the width of the track itself, the number of corners, each of varying angles and cambers, and is certainly not a flat track compared to the Mallala raceway.

Most senior driver on the day was Joe Porker, accompanied by his wife Audrey, both aged 91 years, driving in their 1958 Chev.

The youngest person attending was Zayd Wehrman, aged 14 months.

Hard luck story of the day was Ted Julian in his Austin, who drove from Tailem Bend to the line-up area but the Austin “refused” to enter the track.

After our “Hot Laps” we all enjoyed a great lunch served in “The Bend” restaurant on the second floor of the complex, overlooking the track. 

A raffle was drawn with 5 lucky members winning the opportunity to return to “The Bend” for some “Fast Laps”.

The facilities and the track at “The Bend” are top class and with further development of the landscaping, road extensions and additional accommodation, it will become a credit to the Shahin family, who have made their dream become a reality.   

For anyone who hasn’t visited “The Bend” it is definitely worth the drive. Even if you are not interested in motorsport, the transformation of what was once a rough mallee scrub block into one of the best motorsport facilities in Australia, certainly warrants a visit.