Vintage cars roll in: time to put the pot on

THERE is a drawback to driving open-topped vintage cars, according to Castlemaine enthusiast Graeme Bennett.

When it rains, the wax runs out of your moustache.

Mr Bennett encountered that drawback on Tuesday when the Great Ocean Road 80th anniversary car rally headed up to the Otway Fly treetop walk on its way from Lorne to Port Campbell.

Apart from that minor problem, Mr Bennett said the five-day rally had been excellent.

He said his 1923 six-cylinder Auto Carrier (AC) had handled the climbs through the Otways without incident.

The AC’s top speed was about 90km/h because, without front brakes, going any faster could be perilous, its driver said.

Travelling with Anne Schmidt, Mr Bennett’s AC was one of about 40 pre-Second World War vehicles that visited Warrnambool and Port Fairy yesterday for the final day of the rally, which was organised by the Victorian Vintage Sports Car Club to celebrate the opening of the Great Ocean Road in 1932.

Participants got into the spirit of celebrating the past by dressing in period costume, but yesterday’s warm weather meant most dressed for comfort.

However, the heat did not stop Mr Bennett who went one better with a zany outfit that included a teapot hat.

The rally stopped for lunch at Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village where it drew a crowd of admirers before gaining a wider audience with circuits of Warrnambool’s central business district.

The village added to the old-time atmosphere by firing a small historic swivel gun to start the cars on their circuit of the CBD.

The rally received a big welcome at its terminus in Port Fairy where the cars paraded down the main street, which was decorated with bunting.

The town’s celebrations also included children’s box-car races and displays by south-west car clubs.

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