Around this time of year the quiet outback and surrounds of Lake Gairdner come alive with the sounds of man and machine having a crack at breaking the land speed record in any number of vehicle classes. These classes vary immensely and can include anything from the humble “postie” motorbike and all the way to a full blown purpose built streamliner.
This year I had the chance to go there again with Jeff Wilson and his good mate “Cookie”. We arranged to meet at Echuca and head across to Lake Gairdner via a brief overnight stop in Peterborough. A quick stop for supplies in Port Augusta the next day, then onwards to Lake Gairdner via Iron Knob and the dustiest 150 km of dirt road got us there mid afternoon on the Sunday.
Camping at the lake is the most basic of camping but in this area you wouldn’t want it any other way. Except for the sound of punters zipping around on all modes of transport and the distant sound of a vehicle trying to break some kind of record it’s an amazing place, “aahhh the serenity!” comes to mind.
This year seemed to have more bikes than in previous years and fewer cars than expected. Considering the 25th Anniversary of the event we had hoped for a larger contingent but we were far from disappointed. There were a few of the better know competitors there including Rod Hadfield in his Bronze Aussie Commodore, Norm and his Iron Knob Racing Teamin with their 200 mph plus 32 Ford and the “worlds fastest Ford Taxi”. Another eye opener was a flouro green XJS Jag complete with a chop top and fully blown Cleveland. Watching and hearing the beast fly across the salt at over 225 mph was worth the drive.
A couple of other vehicles getting a lot of attention was the “Flat Attack”, a beautifully engineered twin flat head red streamliner. Another worthy of mention was the orange Streamliner driven by Trent Clare. Although this team had done extremely well in previous years, sadly Trent lost control of the streamliner while attempting to break 200 mph (322 kph) rolling his vehicle multiple times and had to be airlifted to hospital.
For the bike fanatics there was a large array to look at from highly modified Postie bikes, a V8 trike, old Indians, Harleys and more. Not to mention a bunch of standard and fully stretched road bikes capable of 230 mph plus.
Unfortunately Jeff’s knee was giving him some greif and a load of pain so we decided to cut the trip short, missing out on more of the racing action and the infamous DLRA presentations and auction MC’d by Animal in his trend setting undies.
Hopefully I’ll get back there again in the future, although the drive there is a long one, the event and spectacle once there is well worth it.