RACV Midwinter Rally – Creswick 21-22 July 2018

The RACV Midwinter Rally is becoming more and more popular, with numbers of members bringing veteran cars out to brave the cold increasing each year. The facilities at RACV Goldfields are always inviting and the fireplace in the foyer is a great place that you can always find members warming up and catching up around the warmth.

A number of entrants arrived Friday for a relaxed informal dinner in the restaurant, discussing the weather forecast for the weekend and praying the rain stayed away, which it did for the most part.

Saturday morning came around and the carpark was full of cars, members and the pre rally buzz was alive! After a relaxed morning tea of scones, jam and cream, we departed the RACV resort and made our way to Clunes via a ‘long route’ option. This saw us driving through small country towns and sealed back roads where we could enjoy driving with other veteran vehicles and also the local farm animals, a few members even stopped to get up close and personal with some roaming sheep and cows.

The locals of Clunes were out in force to see us arrive and park in their historic main street, one used for the filming of many films and soon to be used for the new Ned Kelly movie. A homely country pub meal for lunch was enjoyed and a special thanks to the stand in chef who fulfilled our order after the normal chef called in sick (who knew we had that effect on people). We spent the afternoon enjoying Clunes and all it has to offer with plenty of antique shops, wine sampling and sightseeing done by all. The short drive home had us back in the warmth, out of the wind in time to relax and get ready for the Saturday night dinner.

We were treated to a talk by Fiona Lane, about the original owner/restorer of Greg Smiths motorbike (Sovereign) and the amazing story of how Greg got to meet 3 relatives of the original restorer recently in Tasmania by pure luck – a fascinating story! As customary, the cold start starters were announced and the excitement, nervousness and heckling began with the Hotchkiss trophy on display.

Sunday morning saw the traditional, hotly contested cold start competition take place with a number of new faces joining the ranks. As always, a big crowd gathered around the cars to heckle and encourage the starters who were busy pacing out there running track around the witches’ hats. As always, there were a few cars left in gear, switches not turned on and a few other surprises along the way (check out the gallery on our Facebook page or website for the videos). Congratulations to Peter Caffyn on his phenomenal effort and to all that participated, a great way to start the day.

Following from the cold start competition, we departed RACV Goldfields and headed on a leisurely 40km drive to the Creswick Wool Mills for lunch, and judging by the number of bags most people put in their cars, plenty of shopping was done(we all have warm clothes and blankets for next year’s rally).

As always, a great weekend of driving on veteran suitable roads and the weather held out for us. Well done to Daryl and Fiona for organising another great event for us.