Vintage car for CareFlight
Something quite different was travelling in the Pilbara recently, which had other road users looking back to see if they were imagining seeing a vintage car chugging along the coastline.
Yep, they sure weren’t imagining anything.
A small group of air-cooled, Franklin car enthusiasts, are travelling around Australia in a restored 1927 American Franklin 11b.
Owners, David Rundle and Geoff Morris, took the challenge to raise money for the medivac charity CareFlight.
They departed from Sydney back in August last year and arrived in Karratha on Friday, April 20.
It was back in America, where Mr Rundle found the car – which is now the only road-registered Franklin in Australia – when he stumbled across it in a broken down shed in Arizona.
The car, which had been in the shed for 34 years before being shipped to Australia, is what Mr Rundle calls ‘unique’ and ‘worth saving’.
It has been a long, hard road for the group of friends, breaking down in the middle of nowhere, including breaking an axle at the Leichardt River crossing just before entering the Northern Territory.
“We were on the local radio saying how we broke an axle and had no way to fix it,” Mr Rundle said.
“A resident called Mark Brustolin heard our story on the radio and called up saying he could fix it.
“He then welded and shaped Toyota parts to make a Franklin axle.
“I think it’s an even better design what Franklin made,” he laughed.
But why would anyone want to travel around one of the hottest countries in the world, especially with no air con?
“A lot of young people have lost the spirit of adventure,” Mr Rundle said.
“I want people to get out and enjoy life; go camping and have fun outside, not be tucked away inside.
“Our intention is to be the first Franklin to circumnavigate our country without necessarily following bitumen.”
Mr Rundle is a definite motor maniac, still holding the record for the fastest motorbike journey from England to India in 1970.
His partner even laughs at all the vintage cars that are parked at their home in Sydney.
Just by cash donations, the group have raised over $8000 for CareFlight, which does not include the donations made over the phone direct to CareFlight.
If you would like to support the run, you can make an online donation at www.franklinaustrek.org.