Historic vehicle owners from across the nation have jumped at the opportunity to participate in one of the world’s great historic motoring events.
Organisers of the annual Bay to Birdwood have warned unregistered entrants to get in soon because the late-October event is filling up fast.
Registrations opened on 1 June. Within five days, close to 50% of places were booked and organisers expect places to be exhausted within weeks.
Michael Neale, Bay to Birdwood Chair and History Trust Board member, is not surprised by the early enthusiasm for the event. “This eagerness from family vehicle owners through to historic motoring enthusiasts alike demonstrates just how much Australians love this event.
“With every running of the event, the profile of Adelaide is raised amongst the worldwide historic motoring community. In these times of increasing financial pressure, the Bay to Birdwood also provides an inexpensive day out for the crowd of almost 100,000 spectators, including grandparents, parents, kids, and friends, who will line the route on the day of the run,” says Mr Neale.
The Bay to Birdwood happens over the weekend of Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 October. The first stage, for the judging of the prestigious Bay to Birdwood Awards, takes place on the Saturday in the heart of Adelaide, in and around the museums precinct along North Terrace. Then on Sunday, the award entrants join over 1,500 historic vehicles to parade from West Beach, along Anzac Highway, through the eastern side of the city of Adelaide, up North East Road and into the Adelaide Hills. It all finishes at the beautiful township of Birdwood, where a day of celebration for thousands of visitors unfolds.
“At the History Trust’s National Motor Museum, people can get up close to the historic vehicles from the parade, meet the owners, share stories and refresh fond memories in a great celebration on the grounds of the museum, while enjoying great food choices and entertainment,” says Mr Neale.
The Bay to Birdwood regularly attracts over 10% of its entrants from interstate. However, organisers aim to increase interstate participation to pre-2013 levels of over 25%.
“I would love us to get it back to that proportion”, says Mr Neale. “Each of these entries represents one vehicle but often several people. They typically stay outside of the city at a venue where they can prepare their vehicle. They spend money locally, buying materials to fix last-minute repairs, they buy meals, they prepare for their picnics and they buy countless cups of coffee. They often stay for multiple days prior to or after the event and tour the beautiful South Australian countryside. In this respect, the Bay to Birdwood entrants provide welcomed patronage to many small family businesses. No wonder it is so popular.”