Words and photos by Chris Mede

In September 2016 I attended the Clarendon Classic Rally hosted by the Sydney Antique Machinery Club Inc, out near Richmond. I’ve been going for a few years now, and thought I’d share the event with our members on The Regals web blog because I believe that most of you would really enjoy this show.

It’s not a Mopar related event although there’s a few old Dodge trucks in attendance at the show, but I feel it will still appeal to the majority of our members because it’s all about engines, trucks, tractors and cool old gear.

I’ve been into the historic truck scene for most of my life, and predominantly that’s what got me to this event in the first place. What started out as a display of historic running steam, petrol and diesel stationary engines has now turned into a massive 2 day event attracting hundreds of trucks, tractors, plant equipment and vintage vehicles.

2016 saw the inaugural Kenworth Klassic added to the display and it attracted over 270 new and vintage Kenworths from all over Australia. That’s on top of all of the many other makes of trucks in attendance. News is that the 2017 KK is shaping up to be even bigger with trucks coming to the show from all states. To Kenworth owners it’s quickly becoming like Chryslers on the Murray is to us.

Late last year my brother Andrew and I finally got serious and “stepped up” into the movement by purchasing our own trucks. While my 1980 Atkinson still needs a little bit of work before it’s on the road doing the show scene, Andrew’s 1982 Cab-Over Kenworth will be there on display.

That said, never mind if trucks aren’t your thing as there’s plenty more on offer. The Sydney Antique Machinery Club brings a huge amount of vintage static engines to display, and they are running all day long. It’s amazing to see these engines of yesteryear and to imagine how farmers and industry would have implemented them in daily life. Seeing exposed valves, rocker gear and conrods is the norm, and you can stare at these marvels for ages. Another attraction is the multi cylinder aeroplane engine that starts up numerous time throughout the day.

The event also hosts tractor pulling for most of the weekend. You’re not going to see any 5 engine blown nitro Hemi powered drag tractors like they have in the US, just simple everyday workhorses from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s pulling sleds. This “hobby” started as a means for tractor manufacturers to showcase the pulling power of their products at agricultural shows around the US from as early as 1929. A personal highlight is listening to the sound of the German manufactured single cylinder, horizontal, two-stroke, hot bulb engine of the Lanz Bulldogs which can run on almost any fuel. Speaking of 2 strokes, some of the Aussie built tractors are powered by 2 stroke GM diesels and they sound awesome (and loud) under load so maybe bring your earplugs!

As far as other moving machinery goes over the weekend, you can grab a ride on a variety of vintage buses or a vintage traction engine, and steam train rides depart from nearby Richmond station. Other attractions are the massive static display of vintage and veteran cars, trucks and tractors along with lawn mowers, compressors and anything used on a farm back in the day.

The weather wasn’t the best in 2016, so we headed into the huge hall and checked out the numerous displays inside. There was quite a variety to look at ranging from model kits, train sets, dinosaur skeletons, scale models and arts and crafts.

I’ve put together a selection of photos that shows what is on offer and although there’s many things I probably missed, you’ll get the idea. This year’s show is held over the 16th and 17th of September at Hawksbury Showground across from the RAAF base. Please find a link to the event flyer here. I highly recommend popping by for a look.