AOA 2017 - Day 1: Registration, Meet and Greet

AOA 2017 - Day 1: Registration, Meet and Greet

Well we're finally here! Day 1 of Austins Over Australia 2017 in the beautiful city of Ipswich, Queensland. Thank you to everyone for coming from all over Australia to attend, including our visitors from the United Kingdom and New Zealand. A big thanks to the AOA Committee for getting us to day 1, there's been a great deal of work done behind the scenes and we're sure it will be well worth it for the great time we'll all have over the next few days.

We have over 140 Austins of all different makes, models and years and 300 people attending AOA 2017. Registration went well with everyone turning up to receive their Rally Pack. It was a great opportunity to see many vehicles arriving during the day. Many also took the opportunity for a drive around the Ipswich area to see the site. The Rally Pack included a suggested drive around the area.

Our guest speaker at the "Meet and Greet" was Councilor Kylie Stoneman, Councilor for Divsion 4, who presented a great story of interesting facts about Austins. Here's a transcript of her speech:

"Good Evening

My name is Kylie Stoneman and I am the local councilor for this area with Ipswich City Council. Our tireless Mayor, Paul Pisasale sends his sincere apologies he couldn’t be here with you tonight, and asked that I welcome you in his stead. So welcome to our fantastic city and thank you for visiting.

I enjoy the history of our city so did some research on Austin motor cars and Ipswich. I thought I would share some of the articles I found with you.

In 1919 The marriage of Miss Edith Lindemann and Mr Len Buch saw the bridegroom’s gift to the bride was an Austin motor car and bride’s gift to the bridegroom was a gold Albert. 

In 1921 it was reported that the ambulance center at Charleville had decided to purchase a new Austin motor Ambulance at a cost of approx. 1000 pounds, and also to have a rail motor constructed to be fitted with a water cooled Austin engine. This car would be built at the Ipswich railway workshops at a cost of about 500 pounds.

In 1927 a crowd of about 2000 had an afternoon filled with thrilling sport at the Automobile Club motor gymkhana on the showground. A procession through the city to the ground started the days fun. It was headed by the Ipswich Model Band on a motor truck. Many elaborately decorated cars and bicycles followed and most arresting of all, the worst car exhibits. The best worse was marvelous to look upon reclaimed without doubt from an ancient rubbish tip, its lost front wheels replaced by iron goat cart wheels, with a hessian hood and no body to speak of. It had an engine and mirabile dictu it went -, though making some noise and shedding insecure, parts as it travelled. A bad locomotive fireman could not have shown a better plume than rose from the radiator and spoiled the drivers visability. At the ground there was a parade of all the procession exhibits. Then the fun began with reverse gate driving for light and heavy cars. The Austin driven by C Whatmore, won by a series of thrilling speed bursts, forward and reverse.

In 1929, the local paper advertised Baby Austin Motor Cars, in all body styles, utility, tourer, sports –Easy terms. At McCarthy’s in Bell street. Mr J McCarthy, Bell street had taken over control of the agency for Austin cars around the same time that the new light car record for the distance, Brisbane to Sydney was established by Mr Raw, sales manager for Austin Motors Brisbane. He did the journey in an Austin Seven Standard Model. The journey was completed in 25 hours. The previous record was about 31 hours.

In 1930 it was advertised that McCarthy’s Cycle and Motor Agency provided a very interesting display of Austin cars and Ariel motor cycles. Including the baby Austin sports, family tourer, utility models and a very attractive model of the Austin Wasp sports.

Back a year - in 1929 it was reported that Lowoodresidents are exceedingly proud of their ambulance service. It was opened as an honorary centre, attached to Ipswich, but for two years has been directed by a local committee. Honorary centres also have been formed at Fernvale and Coominya. A casualty room and garage have been built on the same allotment as the residence owned by the centre, and the equipment includes an Austin transport car.

In 1939 Paramount Motors, in Nicholas street were showing the new Austin 8 car. At the end of a long, hard run, it is claimed the new car will finish with the engine running more quietly than at the start. The article went on to say that the equipment is particularly generous, including six volt lighting with foot operated dip and switch headlamps, electric horn, electric wind screen wiper with dual blades and open models, combined with stop and tail light illuminated large dial instruments and generous body appointments.

I’m sure there are many a story within the crowd here tonight regarding a connection with Ipswich and their Austin.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your stay here and look forward to flagging you all off tomorrow morning."

Tomorrow is our first run, starting at 9 am heading to Boonah. We will be sent on our way by Councilor Stoneman, in a staggered start with slower vehicles first. We should arrive in Boonah around lunch, with the afternoon free for everyone to enjoy the sights and attractions.

Here are some photos from Day 1.