Rare Spares sponsors the "Welcome Strangers” team in the Autumn Shitbox Rally, 8th – 17th May 2019

Rare Spares are proud to announce that they are sponsoring Aaron Barnes’, a long time Rare Spares customer, team the “Welcome Strangers” in the Autumn Shitbox Rally, Perth to Sydney via Uluru – May 8th – 17th.

The Shitbox Rally challenges teams to drive cars worth less than $1,000 across some of Australia’s most formidable roads, all in the name of charity. Aaron and the ‘Welcome Strangers’ will be tackling these formidable roads in a VS Commodore Ute.

Aaron Barnes provided us with an update on the build and everything that needed to be completed to get a RWC (road worthy certificate) for the upcoming rally.

“It’s been one hell of an undertaking to get this ute going. So far we have completed the following to get it RWC and ready for the long journey ahead -

  • New Tie Rods Ends
  • New Castor Bushes
  • New Front struts
  • New front rotors and brake pads
  • New rear rotors and brake pads
  • New rear shockers
  • New engine mounts
  • New Radiator
  • New water pipes
  • New LHS Rear tail light
  • New side indicator lens
  • New Tyre
  • New Spark Plugs and Leads
  • New Pinion bearing in the axle
  • Replaced Rocker cover gaskets
  • Replaced inlet Manifold Gaskets
  • New Oil Temp Sensor
  • New Air Filter
  • New Cat back Exhaust
  • New headlight globe
  • New RHS Bumperette
  • New rear reflectors
  • New Oil Filter New oil
  • New Coolant
  • New Fuel Filter
  • Added a Nudge Bar
  • Added a Tonneau Cover

 

Still to go are the flood lights on Nudge Bar and the Custom Roll bar to hold spare wheels and Jerry Cans.”

“I am sure there may be a couple of small things I have missed as well, but that is the majority of what has been done and is still to go. I completed all these myself with the guidance of a local retired mechanic called Neil Boyle. I call him "The Mechanical Yoda" as he knows everything and has saved 1000's in getting it done by a workshop.” 

“We had completed all the issues pointed out by the RWC report and completed them only to have it drop a cylinder, overheat and have coolant pissing out as we arrived to get it finalised. We managed to get a pass and came back to find the inlet manifold was stuffed and needed to be replaced. 7 Hours later we had it fixed and started it up and it purrs like a kitten now, the ECU has levelled out the missing cylinder and it's all going well.” 

“The day arrives to go to ViCROADS on Monday and we are driving along thinking we are home and hosed and all of a sudden the revs jump up to 4000 and we slow down. The transmission has just dropped 4th gear and is stuck in 3rd... I could not believe it, after all the work we had done it's just been one thing after the other with this ute. So we arrive at Vicroads having Transmission fluid pissing out on the inspection bay mixed with coolant and I am thinking "this is not good."

“Luckily the VICROADS guy was a top bloke and once he knew we were on the Rally he was happy to give the car a quick sighting and hand over the plates. So we are officially Road Worthy but have a potential time bomb transmission on our hands...”

“So hopefully everything is fixed now, if not, we may not make it across the Nullabor to start the Rally.” 

“We have raised $5,500 so far so we made our target of 5k and we are officially in the rally and the pressure is on to get this machine rally ready.”

Check out Aaron’s youtube channel “Barnesy’s Builds for further updates on the build - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN816jozxyemfTzXYNIM68g 

 

Vacation Nation - Looking Back at the Humble Holden Vacationer

As Aussie as thongs, meat pies and kangaroo’s, the humble road trip is an Aussie institution. Most of us will remember those drives in the back of the car as the family headed North, South, East or West to that holiday home, camp site or Uncle’s place somewhere up the road. No doubt those fond memories were re-created with the next generation, this time with you in the front seats!

With such a treasured pastime as the road trip, Holden were in tune with this fact, and playing to the feelings of freedom and good vibes of those holidays, launched specific ‘Vacationer’ models. This up-spec’d model would appeal to those looking at a special model that could make the long hauls across our vast nation somewhat more comfortable.

In 1972 the Holden HQ Kingswood Vacationer model was released. And what a beauty she was. Premium additions like a luxury centre arm rest and door to door carpets, chrome wheel trims and a selection of two-tone colour options, joined the 202 engine and tri-matic automatic gearbox with disc brakes.

The Vacationer model made appearances throughout the majority of the subsequent Holden line-up, culminating in the last appearance of the vacationer model in 1995 when Holden released the VS series. At the time of release, the VS Commodore Vacationer was $30,370 which in today’s money is $50,951.

What did you get standard for your money when ordering a new Vacationer in 1995? Air conditioning, power door mirrors, remote (keyless) central locking, power steering, power windows all-round, plus the all-important cruise control to gobble up those highway miles.

While we don’t think Holden will revive the Vacationer model any time soon, it was an interesting model that for many years was a reflection of the habits of a vacation nation!

Were you one of the many children who spent countless hours’ road tripping in the back of a vacationer? Or maybe you still own a Vacationer? Head over to the Rare Spares Facebook page and let us know in the comments section below!