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My Kombi's from Bays to Splits

Discussion in 'Kombi Stories' started by Barney Barndoor, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. Barney Barndoor

    Barney Barndoor Active Member

    Messages:
    491
    Location:
    SYDNEY
    Thanks for Overfilling the Kombi's fuel tank fellow Kombiists !!!

    So put your seat belts on & lets head to Sofala for the first time in the Kombi......

    Barney Barndoor

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  2. Barney Barndoor

    Barney Barndoor Active Member

    Messages:
    491
    Location:
    SYDNEY
    April 1987 "Easter Break"

    "Big Red Kombi's eventful first trip to Sofala"

    "The next best thing about being in Sofala is being in Sofala in a Kombi"

    Well Easter was fast approaching & Drew from TAFE said to me a few weeks before, are we all going to Sofala again for Easter as last year was a cracker with you & all your silly mates, I said "Bloody Oath Mate" but this time I'm takin' the Kombi so we can fit us & all our Sh-t in, so do ya wanna come along again or what, he said yyeeesss in a slow smart-arse way & then he slowly said under his breath "it's definatley gunna be a long weekend then". I said hey Drew I've got somethin' for ya & I pulled a one fingered bird outta me pocket. He just laughed & said he might take his Gemini along also...
    Drew was no taller than my Nan at 5 foot nothin' but a bloody good bloke to boot & still a damn good mate to this day.

    I introduced Drew to Sofala & my other mates from Kings Langley last Easter when I took Dad's Datsun 1500 2WD tray back ute which got named at Sofala "The Weapon Ute" as it went places or we forced it into places current Prado's & such wouldn't dream of...but that's another story..

    During the week leading up to Good Friday mornings departure I was getting the Kombi ready for it's first maiden voyage out of the Sydney Metro area & to Sofala. I decided to turn the middle seat around to face the rear & did all the general mechanical checks among other things, Big Red was eager to go. I had enjoyed being behind the wheel of the Kombi for nearly 8 weeks now, driving the Kombi 40% of the time but still getting my fix of the RX3's 235 Horsepower, I was considering selling the Gemini by this time as I only just put another 12 months rego on it & having 3 registered cars plus a Monaro, I could of done with a few extra bucks in the bank...........
    So I could at least afford to get a bloody good haircut...not...which I had to consider having anyway as I had to appear in court for a traffic violation (in the Gemini) this week which I appealed, but I was going to lose my licence sooner or later because of it..... I was more worried about the sledging I'd would of coped for my short haircut from my mates at the time....which would of happened all weekend...so looking back at the photos now I must not of had that haircut my parents advised me to get... my Mum used to say in the early nineties your hair gets longer everytime you buy another Kombi.....

    Thursday arrived....the Kombi was half packed ready to go & the boys were getting excited as was myself. I finished work on time & headed around to Rodi's Garage to fill up for the weekend, Joe was up for a chat again while he filled up Big Red & wished me a Happy Easter, likewise Joe have a safe one mate.....
    That evening I picked up all 8 mates & it wasn't long before they named the Kombi on the way to the shops "The Red Rattler" after our old Sydney trains because I turned the middle seat around... never a dull moment..

    We hit the shops for Thursday night shopping to stock up on some fresh food for the trip & a whole lot of junk food including Easter Eggs as you do, a couple of cases of Fosters & a few tubes of yes....condensed milk...Don't leave home without it!!!

    It was the 17th April 1987 & Good Friday morning arrived in which we all meet around 7.30am at Drew's place at Jamberoo Ave Baulkham Hills, Drew was taking Stu & Bruzz in his Maroon TE Gemini as he was keen to take on Mt Panorama Easter Monday & checkout the newly built Caltex Chase on Conrod Straight, Matt D took Ben in his Red Hilux 4x4 ready to take on Sofala's off road, Mark was on his L's & rode his new Kawasaki GPX250 who was also keen to check out the Easter Bike races at Bathurst over the weekend & I showed up in my Kombi with Ron & Dave just keen to cruise the open road & just be in Sofala.... Drew kicked off the morning subject by informing all of us about a hot chick who lived over the road (as you do in your teens) but she wasn't anywhere to be seen this morning & Ron asked whats her name, Drew said It's Natalie, we all headed off but not before Ron hung out of the Kombi's Sliding door calling out "Natalie" several times on the top of his voice..A Sofala trip always brings out the best in everyone !!

    The weather was terrific & we had a good scenic cruise over the Great Divide while infecting other oncoming motorists with the Kombi's approaching charm causing them to wave & give us the thumbs up in which we always returned the favour. Ron & Dave also found it infectious & loved riding in the Kombi. We then stopped at a servo the other side of Lithgow at Mt Lambie where Ron put us onto the cinnamon toast here last year, so we all sat down for another plate which hit the spot along with a hot chocolate chaser... ya gotta love the old country servo resturants... there's just something about them..

    Ron then jumped in with Drew & Bruzz. Dave, Stu & I then hit the straights towards Bathurst where we were passed by what we considered a flock of birds as all the Boys passed us, each with their own original hand signal................................. The Bay Window was alone on the highway but offering a great uninterupted view of the beautiful Australian Country Autumn Landscape from a higher perspective, giving me a more complete sense of freedom the further I got away from home....

    We approached Sofala around lunchtime with the unique sound of the flat four behind us with this being my 6th time here but for the first time in a Kombi. We entered Nans painting & parked right beside the Sofala Royal Hotel arriving about half an hour after all the others, but I'm sure we saw alot more along the way.....

    The boys were already in the Sofala Royal Hotel enjoying a game of Eight Ball in the back room over a few beers with plenty of sledging going on, especially when we walked in. Dave, Stu & I then joined them for a well earned lager & a few rounds of pool for the afternoon...... The country atmosphere here in Sofala is contagious just like a Kombi & can only be explained if you experience it for yourself....

    Later that afternoon it was time to leave the pub so I jumped in the Kombi & the boys followed me west about 2 kays out of town along the Hill End Road were we set up camp along side the mighty Turon River, the Kombi looked at home there, this was the 2nd time we camped in this particular spot & we have not change camping spots to this day. (The original campsite from our very first trip in the Gemini was washed away in the Big 1986 Flood)

    While we set up camp & started to cook up a feed for dinner Matt D & a few of the boys took off in the Hilux to collect some firewood for the night as it can get bloody cold out here.......By the time we had dinner ready Matt & the boys had a roaring fire going big enough to last the night & with several cases of Fosters the drink of choice in 1987 & nine blokes sledging each other all night around the campfire, with the baked beans kickin' in from all angles, all in all is was a great start to a great Easter weekend.....

    ....and I was bloody glad I was sleeping in the Kombi cause you should of heard some of those bastards snore & fart in their tents................

    As I walked past them towards the Kombi I thought geez they all would of done the Sydney Symphony Orchestra proud !!!
    I put my hand on the slide door handle & noticed the Kombi's white front hubcap missing to the unique sound of the Kombi's Sliding door opening, Then I slammed it shut for the night....

    Pic 1 Myself playing Eight Ball in The Sofala Royal Hotel with Bruzz looking on..(I must not of got that haircut)

    Pic 2 Stu's turn to have his shot with Mark & Dave looking on.

    Pic 3 Big Ron sitting in the Red Rattler the first night with his Akubra on the roof & Dave with Parra Jersey on considering getting another Fosters out of the case on the front floor of the Kombi.

    Pic 4 The Campsite after a big night on the Fosters.

    Pic 5 Mark Marking his Territory next to his new bike God Luv him & Drew's Gemini parked with the boys in the background.

    Pic 6 Drew behind his TE Gemini with Stu lookin' on.

    Pic 7 Ben between the Hilux the Kombi & while Mark has a seat in Big Red.

    Pic 8 Big Red at the Campsite with Ron, Ben giving the Bird & Dave with his Parra Jersey on.

    (Easter Break to be continued)


    Cheers....

    Barney Barndoor

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    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013
  3. Barney Barndoor

    Barney Barndoor Active Member

    Messages:
    491
    Location:
    SYDNEY
    April 1987 Easter Break part 2....

    Easter Saturday

    The next morning I woke to the familiar sound of the Turon River & worked out I needed to design something better to sleep on rather than a bloody Kombi rear seat (which I did some time later)...After brekky Mark jumped on his Kawasaki & headed off to the Easter Bathurst Bike Races for the day, the Kombi & Gemini stayed at camp for the day which made it look like someone was there & the rest of us then headed into town all on the back of Matt D's Hilux, I jumped off & walked into The Sofala General Store to get a few supplies & went up to the counter to pay June the store owner who said Oh' Simon Hi, how's the puppies going, I said their going well June but we left them at home for this trip, June then asked, what did you end up naming them, well the black one I named Rocky Balboa & Mark named the brown one Goliath, thats great she said, have another good weekend on the Turon...thanks June see ya later... We got to know June very well & she got to know most of us by name over the years, people in these parts never forget a face......

    Mark & I took a free puppy each (6 week old Cattle cross Kelpie's) that were "for free" in a box out front of the General Store on our January trip this year ...we couldn't resist..we were in The Weapon Ute amonst others for that trip.....I remember My Mum wasn't impressed at all when I got home with her as we were in the process of selling Kings Langley & we already had two silky terriers.. but Mum, Dad, my brother & sister & the other dogs got to love Rocko very much over the next 19 years.....Mark couldn't keep caring for Goliath & Ron ended up with him for some years..

    I walked out of the General Store & jumped on the back of the Hilux & we headed south out of town about 5 Kilometres until we crossed the Turon & hit dirt, we then drove up along the steep & narrow Razorback Track to the most spectacular mountain views in the area...& then onto a unique old abandoned shed at the top which we nicknamed Jessie's shed, (Jessie derived from an old local character that was always drinking at the Sofala Pub, we never knew his real name so we referred to him as Uncle Jessie as he reminded us all of the Character from the TV series "The Dukes of Hazzard" Jessie used to turn up each day to the pub in his beat up old brown LH Torana Sunbird which looked like he lived in it for years as I remember seeing his unmade bed on the backseat, with tinned food & Pilsiner Silver bullet beer cans scattered about the interior & an old black & white TV very roughly fitted into the dash where the glove box once was ) a Sofala trip is never complete without a trip to Jessie's Shed..

    While we were up at Razorback hanging around Jessie's Shed we did some four wheel driving & kicked the footy around while trying to dodge the cow patties & the spikey scotch thistles but it was also a good spot to collect firewood when needed & shoot the odd bunny...

    We headed back down Razorback then crossed the river & once we hit tar again there's a small climb up the hill with a & long run back down the otherside & at the bottom we crossed a cattle grid & then it immediatly drops quickly into a floodway & quickly out again & that's where you know it's time you were hanging on !!!

    After a few runs across the old floodway we all headed back into to town finding Sofala's main street a hive of activity, with people in & out of their cars enjoying Sofala's charm over the Easter break.....

    We decided to get some lunch & a well earned beer at the Royal Hotel & enjoyed the rest of the afternoon into the evening there playing pool & joking aroung as usual... Mark showed up on his bike at around 7pm after his day at the Bathurst Bike Races (where Mick Doohan was putting on some early grass roots form in the 250cc class) to the only sober bloke in the pub Matt D. We must of carried on till the pub closed at midnight before heading back to camp for another night where I couldn't wait to get back in the Kombi & hit the hay .....and belieive me tonight I wasn't feeling up to taking on my second tube of condensed milk......

    Easter Sunday

    I woke up not to the sound of the Turon River this morning but to the sound of rocks being thrown at the Kombi which after I got my bearings was only the boys pegging those little solid Easter Eggs at the bus & with no roof hood lining in the back it was bloody loud.....This was my mates way of wishing me a Happy Easter....I just gave 'em the bird....

    We then all got stuck into the bacon & eggs for brekky then the boys decided seeing it was Easter to head directly across the river on foot from camp up to a remote area called Red Hill for a morning shoot to get some bunny rabbits & also line up some old bottles & cans that were laying around for some target practice (life was a little more layed back then in this regard, but those days have now long gone which is understandable)

    After a few hours we returned to camp with a few rabbits which Mark prepared again for tonights Easter dinner, Mark has cooked up a few rabbits at Sofala for us over the years, Mark is from an Australian Croation background & naturally loves to Cook & has since become a renown Head Chef & has worked in a number of 5 star Australian Establishments also receiving a number of prestigious awards, both in Australia and Internationally.
    We all believe as mates Sofala rabbit was a big part of Marks grass roots in becoming what he is today...it was always tender with a unique spice to it when Mark cooked it... beautiful...you had to be there..
    If you would like to try one of Mark's amazing meals one night please head down in your Kombi to the famous Bondi Beach & park your bus out front of Hotel Bondi where Mark is the Head Chef there & have a chat to him about Sofala & my Kombi's while he prepares you an amazing meal..... Trust me......But I doubt rabbit is on the menu but you can remind him..

    That afternoon we all jumped in the Kombi & headed the 40 kays of dirt road into the Gold Town of Hill End & checked out it's amazing similair history to Sofala & it's Pub there which is also called the Royal Hotel like most of them around these parts. I think the NSW Central West is a hidden gem, so if you haven't been, get your Kombi out here one weekend as you & your Bus will love it.

    The Kombi went well but didn't like the dirt corregations on the Hill End Rd that's when Ron reminded everyone they were in a Red Rattler they laughed & I really did feel the weight of nine blokes in it around the corners & up the hills...(this road is majority tar now)

    We headed back to camp for the night where Mark then cooked his traditional rabbit on the campfire for us over a few beers , he put onions & spices in & around the rabbits & god knows what else but all I remember it was succulent. We said to him mate you should become a Chef.....after a few more hours & a few more beers around the campfire we called it a night...

    PIC 1.. June behind the counter of her beloved Sofala General Store.

    PIC 2.. June assisting a customer filling up out front of her General Store.

    PICS 3 & 4.. Goliath with my black dog Rocky Balboa (aka Rocko) these pics were taken in January 1987 on The Razorback Track in the back of The Weapon Ute" the weekend we picked up the puppies from June at The Sofala General Store.

    PIC 5.. Matt D's Hilux on The Razorback Track with Ben & Big Ron on the back...with a spectacular backdrop.

    PIC 6.. Winding our way further up the steep & narrow Razorback Track (roof view from the back of Matts D's Hilux)

    PICS 7 & 8.. Jessie's Shed in 2010 it hasn't changed at all either have the thistles & spikes....the photos just got clearer..... ouch

    PICS 9 & 10..The Floodway "that's where you know it's time you were hanging on !!! " Ben & the boys hanging on while the others look on... Bloody young blokes !!!

    PIC 11.. Busy Main Street in Sofala for the Easter weekend 1987 (complete with Police Landcruiser in town on Patrol for a busy weekend & a VW Beetle parked right out front of the Royal Hotel..

    PICS 12 & 13.. Mark on an earlier trip in 1986 holding & then Cooking up his succulent traditional Sofala Rabbit for us (that brown outfit he was wearing was coined "The Bog Outfit" back then & we still keep reminding him just for a good laugh...

    (to be continued Easter Monday Big Red Heads Home)

    Fellow Kombi-ists please let me know if you are enjoying the story content, the detail, the characters & the photos so far I am providing based around my grass roots travels with Big Red which will tie together more & more as my story unfolds .... as I have many more great detailed stories over the next 3 years to tell in Big Red that leads to my respect, passion & then an obsession for the VW Bus...

    cheers...

    Barney Barndoor

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    Last edited: Aug 21, 2013
  4. Barney Barndoor

    Barney Barndoor Active Member

    Messages:
    491
    Location:
    SYDNEY
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    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013
  5. Grantus

    Grantus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    15,841
    Location:
    Southern ACT
    It's a brilliant read so far, and I'd like to thank you, just for sharing.....:)

    Please continue, if you're up to it....
     
  6. Barney Barndoor

    Barney Barndoor Active Member

    Messages:
    491
    Location:
    SYDNEY
    Thanks Grantus glad your enjoying it..

    & if all you guys are enjoying the story, I am up for it...

    cheers

    Barney
     
  7. Barney Barndoor

    Barney Barndoor Active Member

    Messages:
    491
    Location:
    SYDNEY
    April 1987 Easter Break part 3...

    Easter Monday "Big Red Heads Home"

    After spending 3 nights in Sofala it was time to pack up camp & load it all back in the Kombi & head home but not before heading back into Sofala for our traditional lunch outside the "Bushrangers Arms" located next door to the General Store, they had the most amazing burgers & steak sandwiches there usually washed down with a can of Coke.... we usually sat out front for a chat about our weekend together, under the old awning, which looked across at the Royal Hotel it was a rugged rustic looking place like everything else here with plenty of Wild Western character with the odd horse passing in the street to complete the scene...... We all loved being in this scene as it offered that old U.S frontier town feel with always that stranger around we were brought up with while watching the Clint Eastwood westerns & playing cowboys & indians as kids, so It couldn't be helped but bring out the weekend cowboy in us all....

    Each & every time I enter into Sofala's main street I feel I am entering into Nans painting & I love bringing it to life each time for her with my family & friends or just by myself....... It's one of only a few places I feel closest to her to reflect......... it's very hard to explain the emotions behind it but its a very special feeling whenever I am there......

    Now my Kombi had become another special part of our Sofala folklore like many other cars we have brought here, It was time to leave once more after a great weekend so we filled up our tanks at the Sofala General Store & went into pay June who then said, see you later boys see you all next time...

    Ben, Ron, Dave & I jumped in the Kombi, Matt D & Stu jumped in the Hilux , Drew & Bruzz wanted to go & test the Gemini out on Mt Panorama along with Mark on the Kawasaki, so they shook hands with us & left towards Bathurst while Matt D & I both headed the opposite way to Ilford as we decided to take the Mudgee road south back to Lithgow for a change of scenery, it sounded like a good idea to us but Big Red had other ideas & wanted to finish the weekend off with a "BANG".

    Matt D passed us in the Hilux & yelled out "see you at the next Pub", I just gave him the thumbs up...We were about 30 kays south of Ilford & Big Red started to feel car sick & started missing after climbing a few mountains & nearly conked out on a railway crossing at Ben Bullen, I pulled over beside the rail line to take a look. I found a lot of oil thrown up the back of Big Red, he was bleeding, I checked the oil which read half full, I did top up the oil before we left Sofala but he only took point 2 of a litre, so I put a litre in & pressed on. Ron said geez mate thats a fair amount of oil where using, I said Yeh mate it is I'll keep an eye on it (Remember back then there were really no mobile phones so I couldn't even call Matt D to come back).........(Big Ron was another good mate from Kings Langley who I've known since I was about 10 like most of my other friends. Ron is also a Motor Mechanic & in the same class as Drew & I at Blacktown TAFE ).....

    Big Red went along OK for about 10 minutes & all of sudden approaching the 60 kay zone at Cullen Bullen "BAANNNGGG" Big Red dropped his guts & there were all sorts of strange grinding & rattling noises going on for the next couple a hundred metres, the boys looked nervous & I nearly sh-t myself but I said to the boys I can see the pub just ahead which easily diverted there attention for a second as we grinded to halt right outside the Cullen Bullen Royal Hotel where I shut Big Red down to ease the pain to his demise.

    I stepped foot out of Big Red onto the Castlereagh Hwy & walked towards the back of the Kombi instantly spotting a huge Tooheys Draught sign staring me in the face from the side of the pub... I looked back at a Kilometre of crude oil leading straight up underneath Big Red & I turned to the boys & sang " I Feel Like a Tooheys, I Feel like a Tooheys, I Feel Like a Tooheys or Two"...... and we started headed towards the front door of the pub & then my mates started laughing then sung......
    " I Feel Like a Kombi, I Feel like a Kombi, I Feel Like a Kombi or Two...

    (come on you old Kombi addicts you remember the old Tooheys adds.......... they were gold check these out ...
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zl5xnTqOQqQ
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yldJ5bJ1YMg
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=99JyJ3xXZ-A

    Matt D's Hilux was parked on the opposite side of the road & they were in the pub none the wiser. We walked in & Matt D & Stu had a half drunken schooner each on the table & they said what took ya's, I said "nothin' just takin' in the scenery boys" & ordered one round of Tooheys for the boys, then joined them at the table & then told them the good news....... It looked like we were in for a long afternoon at the Cullen Bullen Royal Hotel..Yep another Royal Hotel...but I could of thought of worse places to break down.....

    After a few discussions around the table about what to do & there was no use calling the NRMA as they would of just towed the Kombi to their holding yard. Matt D said I've got a good tow rope we can see how that goes so we went back outside to have a closer look. I climbed under the Kombi trying not to get any oil on me which I really couldn't see anything but I suspected a hairline crack in the engine case as there was oil was still constantly dripping out from the back of the motor..

    Matt D then walked across the road from the pub & got in his Hilux then did a U-turn across the Castlereagh Hwy & parked in front of Big Red, he then attached his tow rope to the front of the Kombi & we headed off very slowly pulled by the Hilux... it was now about 4pm..

    The Hilux's 2 Litre 18r motor was working overtime & we got about 18kms just before we hit the Great Western Hwy & Matt D pulled over at the Top of the Castlereagh Highways final uphill climb..Matt jumped out & said this is ridiculous Simon it's taken 45 minutes to do 20 kays, I said yeh I'm with ya (literally), theres a servo about 2 Kays away just this side of Lithgow on the Great Western Highway which is basically all down hill from here & on our left....so we headed to the servo...

    We pulled into the servo around 5pm which had a diner & Ron said bugger this I'm up for some Cinnamon toast who wants some & we headed inside where I spotted a red payphone & thought it was time to call Dad just to make his Easter break a little bit more interesting.....

    After a chat with Dad he said, it's not going to be easy getting hold of a car trailer on Easter Monday & told me to call back in 10 minutes...... I called back & he said theres none availiabe till tommorrow, No worries thanks Dad I will work something out...so I sat down with boys & had some cinnamon toast while we decided what to do...

    We ended up getting a sleeping bag & stuffed it with a blanket & put a beanie on top to look like a person sleeping in the Kombi, then laid down who we named Noddy on the back seat. We then got very few of our belongings a pillow along with bloody warm jacket & a tarp then locked up Big Red for the night.

    I then went & told the service station owner " I"ll Be back "

    Dave squeezed into the middle of the Hilux's cab between Matt D & Stu. Then Ron, Ben & I threw a tarp down in the back of Matts Ute jumped in the back & we all squeezed between the roll bar & sat on our pillows & pulled the tarp up over ourselves & we then headed off home no problem except it was just bloody cold & windy ... I got dropped off at home at about 8pm.....Thanks for the lift Matt see ya during the week mate.. Mate said, No worries mate good luck, if you need a hand picking up the Kombi let me know...Thanks again Matt..

    I walked in the door & Mum & Dad said what happened & I told them the story. Dad then said we will leave work early tomorrow afternoon at 3.30 then pick up the car trailer from the servo at Rydalmere in his 2WD Hilux & then go & pick the Kombi up from Lithgow & be back at the workshop by 9.00pm...... Thanks Dad

    ...... It sounded like he had it all organised....

    (to be continued "Easter Tuesday Big Reds Rescue")

    PICS 1 & 2.. Myself sitting on the Horse Hitching Post outside the "Bushrangers Arms" with Matt D, Mark & Stu sitting facing & Dave in his Akubra talking to a stranger with his back to us ( I have always loved the character of this place & the strange characters you meet & the "Welcome Strangers" sign above the door )

    PIC 3.. The boys outside of the Sofala's "Bushrangers Arms" enjoying a meal.

    PIC 4.. Recent pic of the main intersection at Sofala.

    PIC 5.. General pic of Ben Bullen Railway Station with the Railway Crossing in the background where Big Red nearly conked out on.

    PICS 6 & 7.. Big Red broken down at Cullen Bullen with a long trail of crude oil leading right to him forming an oil puddle.... Ben & Dave pictured still in the Kombi complete with finger mural written on the rear door stating the the word "DUNDEE" .........The Red sticker on the rear window was naturally a Sofala sticker....

    PIC 8.. Big Red broken down right outside The Cullen Bullen Royal Hotel with the Big Tooheys Draught sign on the side of the pub you couldn't miss.....also shows Matt D chucking a U-Turn across the Castlereagh Hwy to then hook up Big Red for a Tow.....Dave & Ben standing behind The Kombi..


    Barney Barndoor

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    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013
  8. Barney Barndoor

    Barney Barndoor Active Member

    Messages:
    491
    Location:
    SYDNEY
  9. Quincy1874

    Quincy1874 Member

    Messages:
    527
    Location:
    Mudgee NSW
    Too good, too good!!

    Loving the photos, my family and I drive past these places everytime we head to the coast, awesome to see them as they were. . . not all that many years ago!! Amazing.

    Especially love the Cullen Bullen train station, i'm going to stop next time and take a photo in the same spot to compare.

    Have you ever been to the Cullen Bullen Speedway??
     
  10. Barney Barndoor

    Barney Barndoor Active Member

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    Location:
    SYDNEY
    Quincy,

    Mate I'm glad your enjoying the ride, I have been to the Cullen Bullen Speedway a long time ago but not when the racings been on, do they still race there ?

    Mate if you or any other Kombi fans out there are keen our next Sofala trip is on Friday 18th - 20th October 2013

    I Would Love to see some Kombi's out there over that weekend & to have a beer & a yarn with all you die hard Kombi fans at the Sofala Royal Hotel.... Let me know if your keen...

    Cheers,

    Barney Barndoor
     
  11. Quincy1874

    Quincy1874 Member

    Messages:
    527
    Location:
    Mudgee NSW
    They still race, in the warmer months, on Saturdays I think, we went a few years back, good fun!!

    I have penciled those dates in the diary, could possibly come for a day trip, or maybe a camp out.... depends on which members of my family wish to come!

    Keep the stories coming Barney.....
     
  12. jennifer lane

    jennifer lane Member

    Messages:
    130
    Location:
    Caiguna R/House Nullabor
    Where is the LIKE button,I work remote on the Nullabor, An just love it when i see another post from u,keep up the good work. Cheers Jeni.
     
  13. Barney Barndoor

    Barney Barndoor Active Member

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    491
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    SYDNEY
    Hey Quincy or any other KC members,

    If you bring any Members of your family with you to Sofala in October & there not old enough to get in the pub or you have a wife like mine who may not want to talk about Kombi's all night over a few beers...........

    They have the best child minding service & wife minding service anywhere & they can be together & it's cheap & they can't annoy you while you talk Kombi's as you have the key... Just bring some loose change to throw in the red tin....

    See you in Sofala Guys. ... No excuses now...

    Cheers...

    Barney Barndoor

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  14. Barney Barndoor

    Barney Barndoor Active Member

    Messages:
    491
    Location:
    SYDNEY
    Hi Jeni,

    I LIKE your comment & would like one day to head along the Nullabor...glad your enjoying my journey & I've got a few Kay's to go yet so keep ya seat belt on...

    Cheers Barney
     
  15. Barney Barndoor

    Barney Barndoor Active Member

    Messages:
    491
    Location:
    SYDNEY
    April 1987 Easter Break part 4...

    Easter Tuesday "Lead up before Big Red's Rescue"

    Well I got up for work on Easter Tuesday around 6.30am as there was no TAFE being school holidays , but out of all the cars I had at the time none were here at home, they were all at work so I had to get a lift into work with Dad this morning in his work truck a 1980 Hilux which was a similair petrol model to Matt D's but not a 4WD.

    Dad having also had his fair share of cars so far in his life also took a fondness to the Volvo which was Mum's daily driver at the time being a White 1984 240 GL sedan, Since then Mum drove nothing but Volvo's for the next 25 years or so....

    Dad has always keep his cars immaculate & growing up I could always notice his passion even when I was a very young bloke growing up at home at 7 Sutherland St Yagoona , I used to watch him paint his tyres with tyre black, so one day I must of been about 4 years old when I took it upon myself to go under the house where he had his tins of white enamel house paint & paint brushes stored, Mum was none the wiser as she was resting inside heavily pregnant with my sister while taking care of my younger brother. I then managed somehow to get the lid off 4 litres of the white enamel house paint & decided to head out to Dads pride & joy parked in the driveway a White Push Button Automatic Valiant I believe, I then proceeded to paint the tyres for him & as a bonus the wheels, side mirrors, door handles & god knows what else, not to mention the paint on the driveway complete with 4 year old footprints, how was I going to talk my way out of this !!! then Mum spotted me "SIMON" she yelled "STOP" Dad was home in a flash & I never did that again....

    Dad poured a slab & built a purpose built 2 bay shed right out the back at Yagoona to repair cars in for some extra cash, I remembering him saying once to a mate "I feel for the B-ST-RD who needs to pull up that slab one day as theres dozens of Old Holden heads & some engine blocks in there, not to mention a pile of other old parts, but Sh-t I saved some money on concrete".

    While driving to work with Dad & since a young age I used to ask him things like what was your first job & what was your first cars, he then loved to tell me his old stories around his cars & friends & at times he gets out his old photos to show me which I love to see. His special stories he told me definaltley had an inspiration on me in creating my own....

    Dad & I always worked well together in the workshop which I have learnt so very much from him over the years which I truelly thank him for... he was & still is a very, very good tradesman who originally did his apprenticship at Kerrs Road Motors at Lidcombe & I even remember his bosses names George Forks & Geoff Greentree as he must of told me that story a hundred times.
    We didn't sublet much work out here at APB Auto as Dad tried to do everything he could inhouse except for engine machine work which we normally sent to Duncan Foster at Blacktown & with a limited amount of work being subletted out, I learnt alot of old school mechanics from him which rubbed off on me along with modern mechanics as I grew, this gave me the real skills I needed to fix anything especially my Kombi's.....

    Once we got into work we got stuck into it so we could nic off early to go & pick up Big Red before someone thought Noddy was dead in the back..

    Little did Dad or I know but we were both about to head into another memorable car story but this time together..........

    (to be continued)

    Pics 1 & 2.. Dad in green jumper enjoying a Pilsiner Silver Bullet with his mates in the early 80's looks like they were singing " I feel like a Tooheys or two "

    Barney Barndoor

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    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
  16. cameron

    cameron Member

    Messages:
    116
    Location:
    Melbourne
    keep it coming mate we're on the edge of our seats, great stuff, cheers, cam.
     
  17. Barney Barndoor

    Barney Barndoor Active Member

    Messages:
    491
    Location:
    SYDNEY
    April 1987 Easter Break part 5..

    Easter Tuesday "Big Red's Rescue"

    Dad & I got through a fair amount of our work as usual that Tuesday & had our customers vehicles returned to them by about 3pm, we then got together our salvage gear comprising of chains, D shackles, rope, tie downs, timber blocks etc & threw them in the back of Dads Hilux & headed off to the BP servo at Rydalmere where we picked up the car trailer complete with a winch on the front, we filled up the Hilux then headed off on schedule at 4pm with Dad at the helm for this trip..

    We headed along the Great Western Hwy towards Penrith then slowly up to Katoomba then easily down the Victoria Pass into Lithgow without a problem, but we knew the trailer was on the back especially going up a few of the steeper mountains putting us back to 3rd gear...

    We got to the service station just outside Lithgow at around 6.30pm where Big Red stayed the night, I opened up the van & Dad said why is there a bloody body on the back seat I said that's Noddy we just put him there to look like someone's here....as we had a load of everyone's new camping equipment still in here...Dad thought that was a bloody good idea....(Noddy's body wasn't bloody at all it's just Dad's nearly every second word, I actually made up a "Bloody Award" for him which I presented to him during my speech for his 70th Birthday last year which put everyone in bloody stitches & what did Dad say "That's Bloody Great Mate thanks....see pic...)

    We then got Big Red in position & winched him up on to the car trailer then tied & chained him down ready for an eventful evening trip back to the workshop.....

    Before we left the servo we decided to clean up & have a feed in the Resturant there as it was about 7pm. I remember telling Dad about the cinnamon toast Ron put us all onto a year ago & mentioned we had some here yesterday which I believe we had some after finishing a burger with the lot each...

    We headed off reasonably on schedule at around 7.30pm & Dad said we should be back at the workshop at about 10.00pm considering the weight behind us now. Once we left & got going up to speed the Hilux did well along the flats as we went by Lithgow & towards the Great Dividing Range where we started climbing a few of the mountians knocking us back to 2nd gear, we then hit some more easy going flats between Hartley & Little Hartley.

    Just after Little Hartley what stood in front of us was the Victoria Pass which rises up, uP & UP....& UP even a bit more....

    Victoria Pass...

    Mitchell's Bridge was opened in 1832 & forms the main part of Victoria Pass, on the western escarpment. Hand-built by convict labour, it remains in use on the Great Western Highway to this day with the steepest section of the Victoria Pass just over the original section of Mitchell's Bridge. The bridge is named after Major Thomas Mitchell, the Surveyor General of the day.

    The highway alignment reflects the severe terrain conditions of the region. Victoria Pass involves a number of 45 km/h curves on steep (10 percent) grades. The gradients are very steep, typically 10 percent averages over the main climbs with Victoria Pass having a section of 13.3 percent grade. This is the steepest section of classified road in NSW, and is the steepest section on any recognised freight route in NSW. Victoria Pass can be a significant impediment to trips between Lithgow and Mount Victoria for many truck drivers, caravan users, cyclists & even a couple of blokes in an underpowered 4 cylinder Red Hilux pulling a loaded Kombi on a bloody car trailer....

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Meaning of;
    im·ped·i·ment
    /imˈpedəmənt/
    Noun
    A hindrance or obstruction in doing something: "an impediment to progress".
    A defect in a person's speech, such as a lisp or stammer.
    Synonyms
    obstacle - hindrance - obstruction - barrier - hurdle

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Before heading up the Pass towering ahead of us in the pitch black we pulled over & checked over the Hilux, Trailer & Kombi...everything looked good & checked out fine so we headed off with only 3 Kilometres to the top where the small township of Mt Victoria lies.

    We got up to speed in 4th gear then the road started to briefly wind & the grade changed uphill fast with Dad giving the Hilux everything he could out of 4th before being forced back down to 3rd as we went around the first uphill 45km sharp 2 lane left hander on the outside while semi trailers & cars passed us on the inside, just out of the corner with the grade rising more & more every metre Dad was giving everything he had out of 3rd through the bends for the next 200metres before being forced back down to now 2nd gear where he pushed this gear for what seemed an eternity as we were slowly approaching one lane with cars & trucks trying to get by us before the lane ended.

    As the last cars whizzed by us the road then went into one lane as we approached Mitchell's Bridge & it got steeper & steeper, Dad was looking concerned & gripped the steering wheel even harder & said "Bloody Hell" as he exhausted 2nd gear & was forced into now 1st gear, I was even leaning my head forward in my seat to feel like I was getting somewhere further ahead, just like I do when driving the Kombi up a hill...
    We were now on Mitchell's Bridge the heart of the Victoria Pass climbing up towards the steepest section off the end of the bridge & we had a tribe of cars & trucks formed up behind us again as Dad was giving the Hilux everything it had & more like he'd never given a car in his life, just off the end of Mitchell's Bridge at it's steepest it starts to form 2 lanes very gradually while climbing, we could see it, to the smell of the clutch burning..."Come on ya Old B-st-rd" Dad screems out as the Hilux just got off the bridge & he started veering into the start of the left lane as the overtaking lane started to appear on his right but she wouldn't take anymore & bloody stopped dead, Dad yanked on the handbrake leaving the Kombi on the trailer half blocking the right overtaking lane, Dad yelled out "Bloody Hell" & thumped the steering wheel with his fist then put the hazard lights on & told me he wasn't taking his foot off the brake pedal, I quickly jumped out & pulled out some big timber blocks we had in the back & chocked the back wheels of the Hilux as cars & trucks dangerously passed on the opposite side of the road blowing horns. Dad eased off the brake pedal & got out & said " what the Bloody Hell are we gunna do now !!! ". .....

    (to be continued " what the Bloody Hell are we gunna do now !!! ")

    Pics & videos; I wish I had pics of that night but we had a bit on our plate at the time so hopefully I've painted a good picture so far for you all....

    Pic 1... Dad's Bloody Award I made up especially for his 70th Birthday.

    Pic 2... Dad signing the "Bloody Award" with a smile in agreement & was also signed by me as witnessed by all family members hearing him say bloody many times over the past 70 years.

    Pic 3...An old pic from the early 1900's of the Victoria Pass at Mitchell's Bridge.

    Pic 4...This is how I remember the Pass & as it still basically remains today except it was pitch black that night...you can see the single lane heading up over Mitchell's Bridge then just as it starts to go into 2 lanes that's where we ran out of steam.


    Video 1.....check out this youtube video link...we got stuck exactly at the 1 minute point of ths video heading uphill on the left, you can see the overtaking lane start to open up...we could of done with one of these trucks there that night....
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=X2ti9Vfdifg or try http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=X2ti9Vfdifg

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    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
  18. Syncro27

    Syncro27 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,139
    Location:
    Terrigal, NSW Central Coast
    That is still a big bugger of a hill - although they have improved it since.

    I did a syncro adventure to Lithgow area over the Queens Birthday Long Weekend and had the fun of that mighty hill.

    A 4cyl hi lux with a trailer and a kombi would stand no chance on that hill in its former glory!
     
  19. bagman

    bagman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,451
    Location:
    Hunter valley
    Oh yes vivid memories of going up .mt Victoria as a passenger 25 years ago with a real big headache after a big night out in lithgow - remember telling my driver at the time if we could avoid the bends - made as far as springwood - a mountain for many a challenge !!
     
  20. type2mania

    type2mania Member

    Messages:
    203
    Location:
    Melbourne
    This is getting really hairy now! I'll tow my '76 Kombi from Melb to Qld next month on my car trailer taking Newell hwy, through Great Divinding Range. Can't wait for next chapter...
     

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