From the Chairman — July 2017
As we near the Annual General Meeting, I reflect on our Club’s core purpose ‘for the preservation of veteran vehicles’ and the wider veteran vehicle movement. As a club, our policy and objective is to specifically advocate for the authenticity and originality of vehicles or at least returning and maintaining our historic vehicles as they were originally produced. In fact, up until recently, it appeared that both our Federation of Historic Motoring Vehicle Clubs and our previous Conditional (historic?) registration scheme supported this view, requiring vehicles to be “as originally produced without modifications” to be eligible for Conditional (Historic) registration. This is no longer the case and after a recent experience I am starting to question whether bureaucracy is threatening our objectives and the existence of veteran vehicles. It appears to me that in the rush to amend “Historic registration”, some aspects of the new code haven’t been thought through or the ‘left hand is not talking to the right,’ as some major inconsistencies now affect the registration scheme as it applies to older historic vehicles.
As you all know, I have been actively restoring my early Brush Liberty Runabout in preparation for the National Brush Rally in early July. The next step was to register the vehicle. I had expected a few questions on the vehicle, but it’s very frustrating when the bureaucrat applies the incorrect criteria/form and does not appear to recognise that a 1910 Brush is not a 1955 Chevrolet (obviously there can be no difference, they are both vehicles and both can be LHD). I was asked to show where my dipping high and low beam headlights were (when they are acetylene), where the rear brake lights are (how to make Kerosene switch on and off when you apply your brake?) and it was suggested that I mount red reflectors onto the wooden axles! Whilst my Brush might be left hand drive, the requirements for it to qualify for registration under the code as a historic vehicle shouldn’t in anyway compromise or even sacrifice its historical authenticity. “Form MR629” is the relevant new Vehicle Standards Fact Sheet for LHD vehicles and I am still trying to think of a vintage or veteran vehicle that might comply given that the Form clearly states that: ”The vehicle must comply with the following requirements regardless of age of manufacture”. Now under the new scheme perhaps vehicles are not supposed to exist if they were manufactured prior to 1967. In fact the situation in reality is quite the opposite, older vehicles do exist and my aim is to restore the vehicle to its original specifications and these objectives should be endorsed and supported under a scheme which was originally designed to preserve historic motor vehicles and our motoring heritage!
In my other life I am a teacher and my Term 1 report on the HR amendments is that DPTI can and has to do much better and has failed to have any regard to truly historic vehicles in their rush to amend the scheme. Possibly if instead of playing to the media they put in more effort and read their own forms, the scheme could be made consistent with the preservation of some of our oldest and most historic vehicles.
VCCSA AGM and Annual Club Dinner:
Continuing the theme of our approaching AGM, I would like to remind you of the nominations for your Committee, and as we have the required number, no elections will be required. This should make for a swift AGM at the start of our next Gathering.
- Chairperson (1x required): Hamish McDonald
- Treasurer (1x required): Tim Rettig
- Secretary (1x required): Peter Allen
- Committee Members (5x required):
- Phil Keane
- Andrew Hayes
- Frank Cord-Udy
- Ian Voysey
- Julian McNeil
- Public Officer*: Dudley Pinnock
*The Public Officer is not elected, but an appointee of the Committee in accordance with Rule 6.3.
I would like to offer my thanks to those who nominated for these positions and will continue to show their stewardship of our club and its purpose for the next year.
Finally, many reminders have been shared regarding the upcoming Club’s Annual Commemoration Dinner, which takes place this coming Saturday Night at the Torrens Arms Hotel, Mitcham. Sadly, I will not be there to take part as I will be on my way to Queensland, but if last year’s event is anything to go by, I know it will be a very enjoyable evening. Thank you to Phil Keane for organising this celebration of our club.
Happy veteran motoring. Hamish McDonald (Chair)