6 October, 2020
Cadillacs Cruise Country
MEMBERS OF surrounding communities were magnetised towards the recent congregation of Triumph TRs. Now another car contingent has recreated that nostalgic feeling. Six elegant Cadillac vehicles have made their presence known during their journey across the Outback.
The vehicles are part of the
Cadillac-LaSalle Club of Australia, a non-for-profit organisation established
in 1970 and dedicated to the preservation and restoration of Cadillac and
LaSalle vehicles across the nation.
The club was scheduled to hold its annual national meeting at Mudgee, New South Wales in March, with more than 600 members and 1000 vehicles set to attend. However, due to border closures and Covid-19 restrictions, the congregation was postponed until April 2021.
To compensate for the loss of their national meeting, 11 members from the Brisbane branch of Cadillac-LaSalle Queensland hopped in their more than 60-year-old vehicles on September 19 to make their way out west.
President of the Cadillac-LaSalle Club of Queensland, Phillip Moses, said despite having a combined age of more than 300 years, the Cadillacs persevered through the unforgiving Outback terrain.
“We left Brisbane and travelled through Roma, Tambo and Winton,” Mr Moses said.
“We spent three nights in Winton, taking in the incredible sights and spent two nights in Longreach before our east-ward loop back to the coast.
“The combined engine displacement of the cars is 45 litres and they performed very well. It can be challenging to keep old cars running, but these are General Motors cars and, therefore, it’s not difficult to source parts.
“It has been difficult to keep them clean. We’ve been putting in a lot of time and elbow grease each morning to wash them, especially after our drive on a dirt road in Winton.”
Mr Moses said the most fascinating car out of the illustrious pack was a white 1959 Cadillac Coupe Deville.
The 61-year-old model was the first vehicle to cross the 2.74km Houghton Highway Bridge, connecting Redcliffe and Brisbane, when it was officially opened on December 20, 1979.
Queensland’s longest-serving premier, Sir Johannes Bjelke-Petersen KCMG, was a passenger during that drive.
Mr Moses said the regional road trip had lifted the spirits of him and his crew following the cancellation of their national meeting, which was set to be one their biggest, to celebrate the organisation’s 50th anniversary.
“This event is one of our largest organised trips. We endeavour to make small trips once or twice a month,” he said.
“These cars always draw a crowd and have done so throughout our travels across western Queensland. People have even taken drone footage of the cars in procession.
“People out here have been very warm and welcoming, and we’ve really enjoyed it.”