Saturday, October 02, 2010


Phill Hunt sent this note from South Australia:
"Hi Paul,
Do you know of the Bay to Birdwood run held in Adelaide, South Australia every year?  This year was its 30th Anniversary and it is now the largest continually run vintage vehicle event held anywhere in the world.  Due to its size the B to B has now split into two runs (pre 1956 and 1956 – 1977) held on consecutive years. The run is always held on the last Sunday in September. This year’s event was a pre 1956 run.
(Gent in period gear with a 1912 Hunter, a direct-drive Veteran)
In this year’s run there were approximately 1200 pre 1956 cars, commercials and heavy vehicles and almost 250 pre 1956 motorcycles. [That's an enormous turnout for a road rally! - pd'o]
I entered for the first time on my 1947 BSA C10 (above).
I had been to watch the B to B many times but being my first year a rider I was unprepared for the absolute unfettered and boyish excitement I felt at being part of it.  Seeing 1400 vintage vehicles pass by is no match for being in the middle of a pack 250 vintage motorcycles as the starter calls for us to start our engines.  The roar and smell of burning oil was a huge rush.
(The two 'policemen' are two brothers who had come down from Queensland with matching ca. '28 Indian 101 Scouts that had been restored as New York Police Dept Patrol bikes.  Their attention to detail was incredible.  They featured well in the Concourse d’Elegance.)
('Elementary, my dear Watson; just point and shoot!')
The press and the B to B website estimate that approximately 100,000 people line the roads of the 70 kilometre journey from the start near Glenelg (The Bay) to the finish at Birdwood.  To put that into perspective, 100,000 people is approximately 1/10th the population of Adelaide.  In the 70km journey, I could have spent the entire time beeping my horn and waving at kids running along the side of the road, families having picnics or car and motorcycle clubs who had set up pit stops complete with barbies and drinks for anyone who cared to stop.
(BMW R75M - complete with MG machine gun and Afrika Korps livery - in front of the National Motor Museum in Birdwood)
It really was a fantastic day and I’m busily trying to buy myself a bike that will fit into the post ’56 criteria so I can participate every year from now on.  Many of my mates will be in next years run with a ’66 Mustang, a ’66 MGB and an early ‘70’s BSA."
 (Nice early 'semi-unit' c. 1950 BSA A7, with the gearbox bolted to the crankcase)
 (This is the rally point in Birdwood - lovely!) 
(Plenty of cars on the rally - not all of them restored, yet!)
(A very interesting, and very yellow, Austin 7-based racing special, as used by impecunious Brooklands habitues)
(A sweet Sunbeam Alpine - the original version from the 50s - with passenger in period attire)


Matt said...

Nice post and pics - 250 pre '56 motorcycles would be something to see!

Tarmo said...

BMW can't be R75M, because BMW never built bike with this destination.

It isn't even normal sidecar driven military R75.

Looks more like R12 or R71 (more likely R12) but for closer inspection the photo should show left side of the bike.

But with all this stuff around on the bike, it's more like someones dream abot german military motorcycle than real war bike.

Brady said...

Very nice. I can't get enough old brit stuff.

phillhunt said...

Thanks for posting Paul and thanks for filling out the gaps in my knowledge of the cars and bikes.

The website of the B to B is here:

The official photographer's site is here:

Phill said...

Its an R12 and the sidecar is on the correct side the "right".It scared my wife when I took her for a ride in real traffic being on the right hand side. The only other one I know of is in the Camberra war museum and to my knowledge that one is not a military version where this bike is and the engine and frame numbers indicate that it could have seen service in Goa. I did have more history about this bike but I gave it to the guy who now owns it. I think the guy with the bike is the current owner.