WDHVC 50th Anniversary ....




The Original WDHVC Badges - by Ray Matthews

The group of enthusiasts that formed the Club in 1967 got things happening very efficiently and very quickly. In the report of the inaugural meeting held on Tuesday 13th April, it was reported in the first newsletter Vol 1 No1 (as of then not yet named “Backfire”) the subject of the Club badge had already been discussed.

Several designs for badges were submitted by Norm Lehmann, and it was arranged that they, together with any others received, should be referred to the Committee for decision. By the next newsletter Vol 1 No2 the President announced that car badges would be available shortly and investigations into the availability of lapel badges would be begun. So it can be assumed by May 1967 a design had been finalised and the badges had already been ordered.

Although Norm’s designs were not used, he at this early stage expressed the desire to see the word “Geelong” included on the badge in addition to the Club’s name and many years later and badge orders later the suggestion came to be.

The first badges were made by the “Victoria Enamelling Works” in West Geelong, and they were done in white vitreous glass enamel on a formed steel disc 110 mm in diameter. They depicted the cross section of a veteran beaded edge tyre encircling the monogram. HVC in red enamel, while around the outer edge was the Club name in black block letters, written clockwise.

The first badges, nicknamed “the saucepan lid”, were made by the “Victoria Enamelling Works” in West Geelong, in white vitreous glass enamel on a formed steel disc 110 mm in diameter

In “Backfire” August 1967 the badges were advertised for sale at $1.50 each and a set of rules had been formulated governing their display and distribution. It later became known as “The Tyre Cross section” motif which apparently had been “borrowed” from the design of a car club badge in England. Our big white badge, now nicknamed “the saucepan lid”, engendered a love- hate relationship with members, and when all of the first batch of 100 had been sold and it was time to reorder, it was agreed that a new badge design be adopted.

I was asked if I could come up with a prototype badge and I made a one off that was circulated at a meeting but it did not generate a lot of interest, as by that time (1971) the trend was for club badges to incorporate a motor vehicle as a prominent feature.

On the prototype badge, I emphasised the word HISTORIC as the word was continually being written and spoken about as HISTORICAL and is, even to this day, by newspapers when we are being featured and worse still, by some club members.

The quest to have a car on the new badge won out and through our member connections in the Veteran Car Club, we came in contact with a Mr. Ian Smith of Buninyong, Victoria and he offered to do a design for us.

After acceptance, they were ordered, and this is still in its original form with the exception of a few minor alterations.

Ian was conscious of avoiding “one make” rivalry and decided to portray the rear view of a vintage car to ensure anonymity and when these new badges went on sale in late 1971 they were very well received.

I had included in the wording “FOUNDED 1967” on my prototype and this was included in the design. The name of the club was no longer written clockwise on the now smaller badge but had “WESTERN DISTRICT” on the top and “HISTORIC VEHICLE CLUB” on the bottom and the HVC” monogram was left off. Because the car as shown had a steel Sankey spare wheel mounted on the back, some members then claimed that the car shown was in fact a Morris, thus somewhat undermining the aim of it being unrecognisable.

The current badge, based on a 1971 design by Ian Smith of Buninyong, portrays the rear view of an anonymous vintage car and includes the club’s name and location – Geelong

As mentioned, the current club badge is virtually unchanged from the 1971 design, with the exception of the addition of “GEELONG” and the centre plating being chrome instead of brass.

When the push came to have all organisations incorporated, the W.D.H.V.C. and hundreds of others were caught in the stampede, the justification being given as for legal reasons and supposedly protection from litigation. Badges ordered after this time now included the letters INC. The whole paintwork on one batch of badges proved to be not all that desirable with the result that the paint cracked and fell off, revealing the brass plating, but this was only after long service and exposure to the elements.

Miniature versions have been available over the years including of course our lapel badge in scaled down version. The badge has been used on printed and woven garments, stationary, china coffee mugs and carry bags for as well as being our club badge it is also our official club emblem.

P.S. The August 1967 reports that the Club’s radiator badges are on sale for $1.50 ea. The November 1967 “Backfire” urges members to purchase badges as the financial outlay had sorely depleted Club funds.

NOTE - Actual badge sizes and colours not shown

The 50th Anniversary Badge


The Melbourne Zoo Visit 1998 - by Trevor Schneider

On 29th April 1998 the Club Rally Coordinator, Ken Batson, organised a trip to the Melbourne Zoo. It was arranged that the 204 Club members attending, would travel in the late John Masterson’s historic bus fleet, using five 1950’s style buses plus two modern coaches, which enabled members to alternate between the vehicles. In the April 1998 “Backfire” Barbara and Colin Chappel reported on the success of the day, noting that arrangements were made for the buses to be parked inside the Zoo grounds. Barbara particularly mentioned that the old buses reminded her of travelling to school in similar vehicles.


The Bellarine Bus Lines (John Masterton) buses are pictured above. This shot was taken on 21 August 1994, when the bus fleet was used during a Surf Coast Rally. The lead bus in the photo is a 1946 Bedford OB with a Grice body. It was originally operated in Toowoomba, Qld until the mid-1970s, before being acquired by John Masterton, who then completed a superb restoration. Driver Classics purchased the Bedford in July 2000. Although General Motors sold complete Bedford OBs as forward control buses, other bus body builders such as Grice from Sydney, built bodies without modifying the chassis and retained the conventional layout as was done with this example. This Bedford OB is powered by a Bedford 214ci, 6 cylinder, petrol engine with a 4 speed constant mesh transmission.


Getting the Seasick Rally into Motion - by Max Tucker

During the late 70s a Christmas rally organised by the club saw 40 adults and 20 children leave from Queenscliff and travel on the ferry across the bay to Sorrento. Most members brought a picnic lunch which was consumed in the beach area. We took part in some fun and games, before returning to Queenscliff. This was before the car ferry was operating and the boat we sailed in was comparatively small, so you bounced around a bit while on the water (a few were “seasick”) and against the pier, which made getting on and off quite tricky. One of the ferries was the Hygeia. This boat is still in existence today.


“The Seasick Rally”Proper

The Mornington Peninsula Historic Vehicle Club came across to Queenscliff on the ferry in 1982 and our club met with their members for a picnic lunch. The next year we travelled to their side of the bay and were hosted by their club members. This event was the start of what became known as the “seasick rally”, where the clubs alternated travelling and were looked after by the host club. It is still an annual event, with the next one happening soon!

Club Meeting Venues - by Max Tucker

The inaugural public meeting to form the Club was held in April 18th 1967 at the Highton

Public Hall in Barrabool Rd. The weatherboard building in which the meeting was held has since been relocated to a farm property in the Barrabool Hills and was replaced by a Community Centre.

From May 1967 to Jan 1972, meetings were held at the Royal Commonwealth Society Rooms in Latrobe Terrace. This venue was arranged by our first President Tim Spurgeon.

The Club membership continued to grow, and from February 1972 the Club met at J.C. Taylors social rooms in Gheringhap St. Larry Bartlett organised this as he worked for Taylors at the time, and use of this venue continued until April 1974. The building was later demolished.

From May1974 to February 1976, the Club was permitted to meet at the Western District Car Club rooms at McCurdy Rd. Herne Hill. This venue is now used for residential purposes.

In March 1976 we commenced meeting at the W.D Hope Centre at Norlane where the former Shire of Corio granted us use of one of the former migrant hostel “igloo” buildings. Numerous working bees were held to remove the internal walls and create a meeting room with a tiny kitchen at one end. This use continued until September 1990. The buildings of the former migrant hostel have since been demolished or relocated and many of them can now be seen on the left hand side of the Hamilton Highway just past Merrawarp Rd.

In 1990 the Club was considering adding a small extension to the W.D Hope Centre buildings and enquiries were made about other possible venues that could cope with the growing membership.

Frank Tamis was also a member of the Vintage Machinery group based at the Showgrounds and he suggested that we should investigate the possible granted use of the “Simpson Pavilion” and our Club meetings have been held there since October 1990.

The Royal Geelong Agricultural and Pastoral Society has assisted us in numerous ways and permitted our Club to make improvements initially to make the building suitable for our meetings and then in 1997 allowing us to extend the hall in a westerly direction. This work was largely carried out by Club member working bees. Then in 2000 a joint project saw more working bees construct the toilets and storeroom on the south side of the hall.


The late night rally - by Max Tucker

Sundown to Sunrise - held on Saturday 2 December/Sunday, 3 December 1972

At about 8.45pm the 10 entrants started on the first section of the rally from “Woollies”.

They drove through Fyansford, along the Hamilton Highway, across to Ceres then through Moriac to the first control point in the car park of the Winchelsea Hotel.

On the second section we travelled via Inverleigh and Meredith to Steiglitz to finish next to the old cemetery.

The final stage of the event then proceeded to the You Yangs via Little River and Lara, to complete the rally.

With CFA approval a barbecue breakfast was enjoyed by the entrants and navigators, who completed what seemed to be a very long and enjoyable rally.

Thanks were given to Bruce Williamson and Keith Smith who organised the night rally.



Ian Mann – 1934 Talbot

Ray Matthews – 1934 Chrysler

Doug Ritchie is – 1929 Dodge

Max Tucker 1929 Pontiac (1st)

Nigel Bartlett – Armstrong Sidley

Trevor Schneider – 1928 Ford A (3rd)

Tom Anderson – 1930 Ford A

Gordon Roberts – 1933 Plymouth (Ballarat)

Ron Woods – 1934 Hillman (2nd)

Graeme Anderson – modern.

Distance travelled about 140 miles.

Footnote: “We couldn't see where we were going!”

When talking about this rally, Max explained that one reason the cars went slowly was so as not to outrun the headlights on the old 6 volt systems!- Ed