A lovely, sunny Good Friday had arrived and so there was the mandatory last-minute check and then it was into the Mustang and off to Crafers, the gathering point for those ponies bound for Mildura.
We were officially on our way to take part in the Mildura Vintage Vehicles Club 22nd Easter Vineland Rally. Our last venture, in 2015, had been a great experience and those who had been before looked forward to renewing friendships and having a good time.
The first stop was for Morning Tea in Murray Bridge at the home of MOTM members Norm and Marg Goodwin, who were also to join us for the trip.
As they have in the past, Marg and Norm greeted the group with coffee, tea and what can only be described as gourmet delights. We can’t thank you both enough for the kindness you extend to us at the start of this weekend.
Though the group was reluctant to leave, the highway was calling and so we farewelled Lorraine and Tim who had driven up in their ’67 coupe and who were returning to Adelaide. We set off for Loxton and arrived right on time for a lunch stop (there’s no need to go hungry or thirsty on this weekend away!) Needless to say, the Mustangs gained lots of attention as we enjoyed lunch in Loxton’s main street.
Leaving Loxton, we headed for Lake Culloraine, a small town between Renmark and Mildura, located on the Sturt Highway. Every Easter volunteers from the service clubs set up a tea, coffee and biscuit van to give weary travellers a break – a great initiative to help curb the road toll. It goes without saying that we weren’t all that hungry or thirsty but we stopped to enjoy a cuppa, stretch our legs and leave a gold coin donation.
Then it was on to Mildura to check in to our ‘Headquarters’ for the weekend at the Mid City Plantation Motel. There was time to settle in before a 7pm “meet & greet” at the Mildura Club’s Gol Gol clubrooms over the border in NSW. Venturing across The Chaffey Bridge it was easy to see that Victorian police were serious about drink driving and, later that night, we were to learn their NSW colleagues felt the same way.
The hospitality of the Mildura Club was evident again, with friendly greetings and a BBQ in full swing. Tuna Mornay was on offer for those who prefer fish on Good Friday – catering for all. The Rally Director briefed us on the weekend ahead and we collected our rally packs, once again very well prepared and with a great carry bag included. Saturday morning’s starting point was the Buronga Wetlands area adjacent the Chaffey Bridge. A highlight of events such as this is the variety of vehicles, all the great marques, Ford of course, Rover, MG, Chrysler, Jaguar Triumph, Cadillac, Austin, Holden, Morris, Daimler and Holden.
A blaze of colour was arranged in years and in a really good setting, our Mustangs On The Move flag was soon flying and then we took a walk to vote for the various sections. Rae and I voted for a 1924 Model T Ford in the vintage section and a C cab utility whose colourful owner had driven her to all states and was leaving Mildura on Easter Monday to drive to Birdsville. Gave real meaning to the slogan, “Ford no boundaries.”
Lunch was served with the Mildura Club’s usual efficiency and then cars were flagged off on a tour that took us along good roads, through the back blocks of Dareton towards Wentworth and Curlwaa before returning to Mildura and to a recently opened Holden Museum. That evening dinner was at the Red Cliffs Civic Centre where the MOTM table was the target for some good-natured ribbing from MC, Graeme Skinner. Rest assured we gave as good as we got.
’s start, from the club rooms, was another chance to take in the countryside on good roads, as we travelled to the Millewa Pioneer Village. Established in 1986, the village portrays what the early settlers would have experienced when taking on the challenge of dry land farming. The Millewa, from difficult beginnings, is now successfully growing some of the country’s highest quality hard grain.
On Sunday evening, MOTM’s contingent made its way to the Mildura RSL for the Presentation Dinner. At a wonderful, fun-filled evening, the bonus of the night was Wayne and Cathy Busbridge’s Grabber Blue Mach 1 Mustang taking first in its class and also another gong for the ‘Peoples’ Choice’ award. Both announcements were met with much enthusiasm and loud applause and it was the first time we had ever seen Wayne stuck for words.
Monday saw our Mildura friends farewell us with a delicious breakfast at Gol Gol and a great end to another fabulous Easter weekend. Can’t wait to go back in 2019!