There was a certainly an extra touch of class in Rouse Street on Wednesday, July 11 as the Gold Coast MG Car Club made its triennial pilgrimage to the Pink Place (Best Western The Henry Parkes Tenterfield Hotel) for Christmas in July.
Expedition organiser Jim Lutherborrow said he always looks forward to when Tenterfield comes up in the rotation, which is shared with Toowoomba and Montville.
In all 46 people in 24 cars made the trip, and Mr Lutherborrow said it’s a challenge to find places that can accomodate everyone and provide all the amenities required.
The cavalcade of class made its way from the Gold Coast stopping for lunch at Bonalbo before rolling into Tenterfield at around 3pm. In the evening they’ll enjoy a three-course Christmas dinner in front of the fire.
There’s some free time in the morning for those who wish to check out some of the local attractions, with each participant equipped with a folder of information from the Visitor Information Centre. Then the drivers will head for home around 10.30am on Thursday, taking them through Casino in time for lunch at Kyogle.
“It’s difficult to find a motel with 26 rooms and a licenced restaurant that can seat 50 people,” Mr Lutherborrow said.
“There’s only one in Montville and we have to book out the whole motel in Toowoomba as well.”
The club came close to booking out the Best Western The Henry Parkes, with the motel’s Lea Crotty going to great lengths to ensure that the group was well-catered for.
The sight of the classic cars parked around the motel’s quadrangle was a sight to quicken the heart of carlovers. The English-manufactured classic MGs were made from the late 1930’s through to the late 1970’s. Manufacture started up again in the late 1990’s of what is referred to as the modern MGs.
Settling in for the night, car owners were busy clipping on their car’s covers, not relishing a frosty seat in the morning. Also apparently the aerodynamics are not as depicted in the current television commercial as a windshield doesn’t save passengers getting buffeted by the wind.
Many of the older cars’ soft tops no longer operate, but Murray Arundell for one doesn’t miss his in even the most inclement weather. He prefers to dress to the conditions knowing the vehicle is robust enough to handle a little rain or snow in the interior.
He said his 1949 MG TC ‘runs like a dream’. He’s had it for 30 years and said he just about knows how to drive it now.
The car was in a pretty sad state and barely drivable when he took it on, but he and mate Rob Baylis put it all back together. Mr Baylis also owns a 1949 MG TC, but his goes faster because it’s red.
At the other end of the scale Carole Cooke’s 2017 MG3 in bright yellow is a vision, but she’s hanging out for an MG Roadster with rumours of it going into production by the end of the decade.
The car club has regular monthly outings as well as three overnight tours a year, of which the Tenterfield one is the premium, of course, according to Mr Lutherborrow.
Once this trip is over he will start organising next year’s, to be in Toowoomba. It will be 2021 before the club returns to Tenterfield, en masse at least.