On a perfect autumn morning on Sunday, March 8, with clear blue skies and a forecast for the day in the mid 20s, Auto Collectors Club of Murray Bridge (ACCMB) members met at the Johnstone Park clubrooms for an outing.
President Claude Minge and his wife Liz welcomed the 58 members present and gave their directions for the day's outing, which featured 27 vehicles ranging from a 1947 Chevrolet and a 1956 Humber Hawk to the president's yellow 1971 Ferrari.
Their destination was Birdwood, formerly Blumberg, and the National Motor Museum, via Palmer.
On arrival, after a brief look at the museum, members walked across the road to the historic Blumberg Hotel for lunch.
History tells us that the hotel originally opened as the Napoleon Bonaparte Hotel in 1865.
It is thought to be haunted by a little girl dubbed "Emily".
It is believed Emily fell down the stairs and broke her neck.
She is said to cause all kinds of mischief around the pub, stealing salt and pepper shakers, turning lights on and off and even causing cold spots and draughts throughout.
Following lunch, members walked back to the motor museum for a more comprehensive look at the many vehicle exhibits on display.
One of the day's highlights was a guided tour by staff member Dane of the restoration workshop, manned by volunteers, under the supervision of museum staff, while undertaking vehicle restoration and vehicle maintenance.
One such project was a Harnett Pacific, only one of three in the world.
A feature exhibit which caught the eyes of many an ACCMB member was a Bugatti Veyron, a very expensive and exclusive vehicle and a car that would need a lot of forward planning to drive.
With a fuel consumption of 41.9 litres per 100 kilometres, the location of petrol stations selling premium fuel would determine the route to take on a Sunday drive.
Other vehicles that attracted interest included an 1897 Peugeot chassis, one of Australia's oldest vehicles.
It was located in 1969 by the late Hurtle Nelson on a farm at Caloote, along with a Greeves motorcycle owned by Brian Kuchel, with both being members of the ACCMB in years gone by.
Members could not leave without looking at the 1938-39 Diamond T bus on display.
This bus was originally owned by Graeber's Bus Service of Lobethal, and in 1975 the ACCMB's members decided to purchase it, and another bus for spare parts, for the grand sum of $200.
Over the next four years it was lovingly restored to what the ACCMB could afford and used for club outings and Christmas parades in Murray Bridge.
In 1979 the bus became a club liability and was sold to Jerry Wilson and Roger Ingerson for $500.
Following the purchase, the two men and their families took the bus to Perth and back for an adventure of a lifetime.
Following its return to Murray Bridge, the bus was sold to a rock band in Melbourne and eventually purchased from a truck wrecking yard by the government of South Australia to be put on display in the museum, after its complete restoration to what you see today.
With the day nearing the end, members thanked the run's organisers, the Minges, for another great day out spent admiring vehiclar history.
Unfortunately this was to be the last ACCMB outing for a long time, as the coronavirus has since made its presence felt throughout Australia and the rest of the world.
The ACCMB's executive committee has taken responsible measures, declaring there will be no runs, meetings et cetera until further notice.
- More information: autocollectorsmurraybridge.com.