The Annual Australian Kimber Run 2020 – Postponed

The Annual Australian Kimber Run 2020 – Postponed

Due to the present restrictions and social distancing I know you all will be saddened to know that I will not be able to organise AAKR this year – 2020.

We are in uncertain times and do not want to jeopardise our health and well being. I will instead make sure that the 2021 event is going to be one for all MG owners to enjoy.

As most members are aware our Club was given the go ahead to use the “Kimber” name as part of our annual run by The Late Cecil Kimber’s daughter, Jean Cook, when she came to South Australia and to our Clubrooms many years ago.

The first Kimber Run was organised by Brian Ballard and I am sure there are present members who went on that run in I think 1995 or 1996 I am told it ended with a dinner afterwards at the Grange Golf Club. My first one was in 1997 and I have been on them all since then.

Date wise the 1997 run occurred on 12th April in 1997 which was in memory of Cecil Kimber’s Birthday( in April) but this is when MG National Meeting are held so 1998 was 24th May then drifted out in 2000 to 6th August and then in 2002 we held them on 27th October and from then on remained in October /November each year until this year

There have been other Club members who were involved in organising these special runs, I became involved when Mel Whinnen , Babs Crouch & Neville Daniel organised one ending at Eagle on The Hill with a band and one of our MG owners played in that band.! Then later on the Hough’s and then our own current Club Secretary Berry Treffers with help from Dick Manning.

I must make mention of the wonderful help I got from Faye & the Late Jim Underwood during my stint of organising and there are of course many other members who are part of the teams over the years who help to get these events underway and who contribute to the running and who do it without question, this makes the task so much easier knowing that their role will be done efficiently, which makes the whole event such fun to be on seeing such a variety of colours of different models of MG’s in front and behind you, stunning!.

There have been a lot of AAKR events which come to mind which were absolutely stunning and I am sure lots of you will remember them as well. Like the run to Balaklava! That stands out as a hummdingga! Eh! In my pre-run organising when we were to visit Balaklava I had arranged for a roast dinner at the Balaklava Racing Club and it just turned out that the temperature in Balaklava by the time our MG drivers and their passengers arrived at the Balaklava Racecourse it was 43 degrees!! And I had organised a roast dinner for them, brilliant eh!! BUT to the amazement of all …..every one of the MG’s who started arrived at the Racecourse – hot and bothered but there!.

Not all of the AAKR’s started in the Adelaide at either the Parade Ground or the South Western parklands as has occurred for many years. To avoid too much city driving some started at either end of the City, one started at Gawler, and what a problem that turned out to be! I had arranged for a local service group to handle breakfast before our run to the Copper coast, it was a very cold morning where we assembled in parklands between the main shopping strip and the river and the local group had never catered for a big group early in the morning; they thought they would have plenty of time to get setup but didn’t have the water ready for the obligatory cups of tea or coffee and I had specified eggs on toast as well; as you can imagine the troops had driven from home and were expecting nice runny eggs on toast and a nice hot cup of tea or coffee; bugger!! They were nowhere near ready. I think quite a number did not leave Gawler until well after 10.00 am for our normal 09.00 start. Some decided to drive on anyway without the breakfast, after that I decided to scrap the provision of breakfast and just provide a morning tea and lunch.

Another event heading down to Victor Harbour ( I refuse to drop the U in Harbour please note) where we started from just behind the Arkaba and it was raining quite a bit and I had wonderful help by members directing the 150 or so cars as they left onto busy Fullarton Road. Now all of you know that there is a rather spirited person in the drivers seat and the rain soon slowed them down, well for a little while anyway.
Who can forget being passed by a blue K3!

The Late Phil Bradey was always ready and willing to join us on these drives bringing this wonderful and famously rare car for all of us to see and did so in such a way which frightened some with the sound as he suddenly came past you – That was him driving the K3 mate!

No one forgot that sound either! I do remember him passing Jan & I on a AAKR on our way to Clare when it was again a heavy rainstorm and the flowing spray coming off the rear wheels was amazing, incredible, I felt so sorry for his wife who was in the off-set passengers seat seeing there is no such thing as a hood! They had a bit of a relief when for the morning tea stop Mel & Babs had arranged for the K3 to be parked under cover in the Town Hall entry while we all had to make a dash for it to get our cuppa parked in the main street quite a way away.

Then the time we were on our way to Wakerie and he and Rod O”Malley diverted to the Wakerie half mile sprint track where the Monaro Club were holding a quarter mile sprint competition. The Monaro boys got the shock of their lives when this little old car beat them all with their V8’s over the distance and then joined and of course then proceeded to pass more of the MG’s before driving into Wakerie..

I most probably shouldn’t be telling you this but the story goes that in the K3 the Tacho is right in front of the passenger’s eyes and on this trip Rod shouted out to Phil; “What is 5000 revs in 4th gear Phil” and Phil replied “Oh about 100 miles an hour I think!” …. Not bad for a 1934 old MG! albeit one of the finest racecars for its time.

We have enjoyed lots of different model of MG’s in fact pretty well nearly every model, I remember that Chris Bucknell even tried to get the “R” Type along one year. But most prominent have been MGA’s and MGB’s and lots of T Types from TA to TF and some J’s and many saloons. The statistics are an important part of my short spiel when we were all assembled at the dining area with everyone waiting to find out what percentage their cars color was, it was always a foregone conclusion that the red ones were winners because….you know why!

I could go on about the time there were 2 K3’s in Mannum in 2009 but I wont!…..

I know there has been quite a variation in the style the AAKR’s have evolved from having Sausages on bread and salad on a plastic plate I your lap in a lovely seaside park to the full sit down meal with a glass of wine overlooking the mighty River Murray in Mannum,or up at The Vine Inn in Nuriootpa but the main thrust of the event is to give the opportunity to all MG owners to enjoy the comradery of like minded drivers whether they were from our Club or not, the offer is there to allow this to happen.

During the days I have seen quite a number of MG owners and their partners travel long distances to be a part of our event from the Riverland, from The Mount and even from over the Victorian border so our event is well known and respected as a pretty major event in the Club’s calendar. I have had the opportunity to keep these MG owners as friends ever since. As the last General Manager of the MG Car Company , John Thornley said to a mate of mine from Qld once …. Peter you can go anywhere in the world with those two letters …M & G and I know from my experience that this is so true having been to just South Africa and to New Zealand myself and met some wonderful MG owners.

Most AAKR’s number around 160 to 180 MG’s with the most ever being 201 MG’s in 2012 so it is hard to find suitable Restaurants or Pub dining rooms capable of serving such a huge number of people all at once but we will continue to offer what we can to keep this special event going, so hopefully next year we will be over the numbers assembling restrictions so please tune up the MG once again and with the famous words….

Ladies and Gentlemen Start Your Engines…..Head for the Hills!! Or wherever the AAKR instructions direct you to, there is a pretty good chance there will be roads you have never been on.

Mike Greenwood – Strathalbyn 2020