TRAVELLING in wind, hail and rain, Ian Lister and David Bellinger’s 1975 Ford Fairlane zG 302V8 Auto has been through more than most in its six years as a Variety Bash vehicle.
Purchased in 2012 from Waikerie, it has been the trusty vehicle for the Beachport “sailors” who have raised thousands of dollars for children in need across the state through the generosity of the Beachport and Millicent communities.
Together with Mike Coonan and Reg Hamilton the team spent the last week travelling with hundreds of other dedicated bash participants from Mount Barker to Mount Gambier, gifting donations to families and schools with underprivileged children.
“The Variety Bash is the big celebration for the fundraising efforts over the past year,” Mr Lister said.
“It is a very emotional time for all of us involved and to be able to see our money raised go to those who need a little extra support is just amazing.
“However, none of that would have been possible without the incredible generosity both the Beachport and Millicent communities who have been a great support over the past eight years.”
Sitting idle in a shed for five years before Mr Lister and Mr Bellinger came across it, the Ford Fairlane was destined for bash greatness, already fitted with roll bars, underbody protection and a 302 Cleaveland v8 engine.
Although, as a 42 year old vehicle it has had to undergo some transformations over the years to ensure it gets the team from start to finish with the timing gear overhauled, a replacement of the differential and the addition of a new auto choke carburetor.
This year only a few small alterations were made with new back springs and front coils.
All these adjustments made for a terrific bash for the team with no major problems occurring over the week long journey.
“Luckily we all know a bit about cars so are able to fix most things ourselves which made for an easier bash this year,” Mr Lister said.
“But we did have to battle with dusty, muddy and wet conditions.”
Arriving in the Blue Lake city on Saturday afternoon, the Beachport team were gifted with beautiful sunny conditions to end their emotional filled eight days on the road.
“It has been a great bash and we hope we will be able to take part in many more in the years to come,” Mr Lister said.