The Lobethal Grand Prixby Kendrea Rhodes

If I said Dodge Special, Vauxhaull J Model, Super Charged MG, ‘A’ Model Ford, AT Chevrolet or Ford V8 Special, you’d think I was just talking about old fashioned cars. Well these are not just cars, they are mechanical masterpieces, built to race with thumping engines and graceful bodylines. These majestic beasts, and more, will be devouring the Lobethal racing circuit in a spirited demonstration of their prowess, and in the footsteps of their predecessors.

The Lobethal Grand Carnival will be held on October the 11th and 12th in the spirit of the original races that began in 1937-8. There will be an estimated 80 cars and 35 motorcycles touring the 1938-48 Grand Prix circuit in Lobethal that weekend. These vehicles are all considered “in the likeness of” those marvellous machines from 60-70 years ago. There will even be some celebrity appearances from cars (or most of their parts) that actually raced in the original Grand Prix’s, not to mention some of the original drivers and riders too. An astounding 70% of participants are locals from the Adelaide Hills, two of whom I caught up with in Lobethal.

Trevor Dunford, of Udder Delights, has built his 1939 Vauxhaull J Model from scratch (pictured ???). It is a 1.8 litre overhead valve engine with 6 cylinders, triple SU carbs and a tubular exhaust system – of course I have this on advice from Trevor himself, but when you see this car, the things you will remember are the vivid sky blue paint job and reverberating engine beat. Trevor takes his machines seriously; he is a member of the Sporting Car Club of SA, has two other cars in mid-build, is a pilot and an astute businessman. His number 14 Vauxhall is no newcomer either, having raced at Goulburn, Winton, Mallala and Collingrove. He describes himself and fellow drivers as ‘gentlemen racers who respect each other and their cars’.

Alistair Turnbull of the Lobethal Bierhaus, will be in the drivers seat of his 1937 Dodge Special, and before you ask, its RED (pictured ????)! It also sports a 4.2 litre side valve 6 cyclinder engine, all aluminium body and 3 speed gear box. Alistair isn’t new to motor sports by a long chalk. In the 70’s he raced motorcross and in the 80’s it was Go Kart’s and now, his everyday runner is a beautifully restored, 1929 Chevrolet Roadster. Being a local, he was inspired by the upcoming event and couldn’t resist entering. The Bierhaus will be hosting an invitation only pre-race evening for all the drivers and riders and will have a beer tent open all weekend.

The Lobethal Grand PrixThe Circuit starts in the Lobethal Main St. and runs clockwise on Mt. Torrens Rd., turning right at Hairpin Bend (Onkaparinga Valley Rd) through Charleston and right to Lobethal via Kayannie Corner (Woodside Rd). All roads adjoining the circuit will be closed and detours will be in place on secondary routes too. Closures are in effect from 12.30pm to 4.30pm on Saturday and Sunday. The cars will be available for public viewing in the ‘pit’ area at the Lobethal Lutheran School Oval (off the Main St.) from 10am and Vintage aircraft will be flying overhead throughout the day. For more information visit the website: