report available soon
A perfect summers day and a venue right at the waters edge was waiting for the street rods & chrome bumper car enthusiasts at Sea Works in Williamstown after they'd cruised in from two locations this year. Bradford Badges in Braeside and Hoppers Stoppers in Hoppers Crossing. Both venues opened up, with Betty Bradford's scones, jam and cream battling for top spot with Peter Koenig's open house. Our thanks to both businesses for hosting our cruise start points this year. The cars arriving in Nelson Place heading towards Sea Works put on a moving car show for the public to enjoy. They must have paid attention because 100's came through the gates to inspect the cars up close when we opened up the front gates. Cruisers who traveled directly to Sea Works joined in and before long we had nearly 200 cars spread across the pier, inside the building and all around the open areas.
Pete & Trev from Two Phase started up the music to entertain us for the day, and the team from the Williamstown Maritime Association [the trustees of Sea Works] had the BBQ, coffee tent and Pirates tavern all cranked.
It was time to take some photos; the scenery provided by the location is spectacular. Boats in the marina one side, ocean going ships cruising out into the bay, the CBD of Melbourne providing a scene not usually associated with Melbourne, and tall masted ships and docks on the other side. In the middle, 100 colorful street rods and classic cars. It was a site to enjoy. Of course there was the craft market down the street, cafes in Nelson Place to cruise along and the Pirates Tavern to check out and so on.
2pm came around very quickly. We started out by announcing our winner of the Best Presented award and Daniel Seretis's Raspberry Red Holden Panel Van took home the pack of car care products. Congratulations Daniel.
Then it was time to draw the winners of our summer charity raffle. First prize of a fully working scaled electric model of a Mercedes Benz sports car worth around $1000, and it was won by Jo Perry. Jo had only a few minutes prior left the venue and was she excited to get the phone call. Thanks to LGC member Ron Mills for delivering it on the way home. Second prize of a remote controlled helicopter was won by Peter Matthews from Dromana. Third prize, a collectable model of the Mad Max Falcon Coupe went home to Newport that night. Thanks to all those who supported this fund raising effort over the last few months. Congratulations to the winners.
Now, back to the Poker game. With hands of equal value it was time to play hi card draw to sort out the final overall winner. The Red deck game was ultimately won by Helen Bevis and the Blue Deck game by Cherry Ridout. Both ladies went home with an esky each overflowing with goodies.
With the formalities over, Two Phase cranked up the music again and the day rolled on. Even an hour later over half the entrants were still enjoying the day. We finally dragged the Variety Club guys off the public entrance and were able to present them with a $500 cheque to help their fund raising efforts.
Our thanks to all that contributed to help make this a fun day out cruisin'.
Thanks to all the players for coming to play our version of Texas Hold'em and we hope to see you all back at the poker table next year.
Local Williamstown identity Terry O'Hare saw one of the many posters advertising the Texas Hold'em cruise at Seaworks Williamstown and contacted Alan with a view to displaying his car. It took a little while for the story to come out, but this was no ordinary car and we are extremely grateful to Terry for contacting us and a huge thanks to him for allowing us to display this amazing vehicle.
Australians Terry O'Hare and Jack McDonald designed and developed the Project 500 car for an attempt on the Australian Land Speed Record in 1973, which at that time was held by Sir Donald Campbell.
Powered by a Rolls Royce Derwent jet engine with custom designed afterburner. Braking is assisted by two specially designed slotted parachutes fitted to ejection tubes at the rear of the fuselage.
Build cost in 1972 was estimated to be $150 000. Engine has 2750lbs of thrust and 4125lbs of thrust when the afterburner was engaged. Although tested for a recorded 378mph, Project 500 was wind tunnel tested at 500mph plus during the design phase of the project.
Designed to break the 500 mph (804 km/h) barrier, the Project 500 car unfortunately never confirmed its potential due to the unseasonal rains that flooded Lake Eyre that year, causing the attempt to be postponed.
Further attempts were planned in subsequent years but, apart from a test run at Lake Hindmarsh in northern Victoria in 1974 where the car reached 378 mph (608.3 km/h), the Project 500 car never completed a competitive run to challenge Campbell's record.
The Project 500 Jet Car has been fully restored in recent years by apprentices at the Kangan Batman TAFE College. It went on display at the Ford Discovery Centre in November 2004 till January 2005. This seems to be the only other time the car has gone on display in its 35 year history.
Project 500 Jet Car specifications
Power Plant: Rolls Royce Derwent jet engine with custom designed afterburner, developing 2750lbs of thrust or 4125lbs when the afterburner is engaged
Well there you go, an amazing piece of the long forgotten Australian Land Speed history, unfortunately Terry who still owns the car, wasn't available for me to speak to him on the Sunday, but I will be following him up with a view for a story in the Dry Lakes Racers Australia newsletter.
Does anybody remember this car from 1974 or have any photos or news/magazine articles from that time? I'd be very interested in tracking down some more information. You can contact me direct at
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