Mildura Weekly : Friday October 3 2014 Vol 8 No 48
NEWS 09 FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2014 MILDURA WEEKLY.COM.AU back fond memories for one Mildura man of a historic stop-over in Mildura by one day. It was a visit that introduced Mildura to... Between Broome and Derby a third Toyota was forced to retire when it hit a kangaroo, and at Carnarvon the Nash Metropoli- tan finally called it a day, although this was many thousands of kilo- metres further than most thought it would get. By Derby, five more competitors had retired, then two of the Skoda teams crashed in the dash through the Kimberleys. Another four cars would retire on this section alone. Just before Katherine, Witter’s VW slammed into trees – Wit- ter broke his arm and Stewart his nose. At Darwin, yet another Toyota retired. On the section between Darwin and Tennant Creek, Jack Phillips rolled his Morris, and was thrown from the vehicle and killed. At Renner Springs Jack Vaughan rolled his VW, and as Ron says, rally organisers would have been very concerned that there would be no competitors able to cross the finish line, par- ticularly given the treacherous Mount Isa – Cloncurry stretch ahead. But the drivers in these events were a pretty determined bunch, and onwards they traveled. Next out of the race was a Vanguard at Cloncurry, then a Holden at Blackall, and at Dalby a Skoda was forced to retire. As the re- maining competitors staggered into Brisbane, those left ‘stand- ing’ couldn’t help but spare a thought for the tenacious driver K. Hapgood, who was black - flagged by scrutineers when they discovered his Holden had faulty brakes. Of the initial 67 cars that left Sydney, only 36 remained to make the run down the east coast. A Ford Zephyr would re- tire at Sydney, and a Holden at Cooma. ‘Gelignite Jack’ Murray’s Chrysler Royale broke an axle near Manila, but he was able to limp along to Melbourne. Ron says that unfortunately, given the toughness of the event, few spectators bothered to turn up at the finish line to welcome the 34 remaining competi- tors, amazing considering Mel- bourne’s reputation as Australia’s most sports-crazy city. The finish was covered in con- troversy. The winner was initially proclaimed as Canberra business- man Greg Cusack, whose VW had taken the honours with the loss of only three points. It was for- tunate for Cusack that the com- mittee had overturned an earlier decision to award him 52 points at Green Head. But just as the trial had thrown up countless obstacles en-route, in a cruel twist of fate a protest committee would overturn the overturn, effectively re-instating the original 52 point penalty! Murrayville’s Eddie Perkins was now awarded the victory. As rally organisers were ‘lick- ing their wounds,’ with in-fight- ing and event repetition seeing them fall from favour in the pub- lic’s eye, the end result was the cancellation of a planned 1959 rally. It was another six years be- fore Australia saw another round- Australia event. ...stretching both to their very limits An avid outdoorsman, Togo en- joyed sailing, water and snow ski- ing, scuba diving and golf. He also loved flying, a pastime he enjoyed for 30 years, and in 1996, realised a long-held dream when he flew his single-engine Cessna on an 89-day world tour from Long Beach, Cali- fornia to Nagoya in Japan. Yukiyasa was also a leader in the Southern California community where he had made his home, and was lauded for his philanthropy nation-wide. He was on the receiv- ing end of many accolades, includ- ing an honorary doctorate from California State University, and was heavily involved in the Japan/ America Society and the World Af- fairs Council of Los Angeles. He was awarded the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Award for his contri- bution toward strengthening the understanding between the USA and Japan, the Greater Los Angeles World Trade Association Hall of Fame Award for outstanding con- tributions to world trade, and re- ceived the Medici Award from the Los Angeles arts community for his personal commitment to the arts. Yukiyasu retired in 1993, and co-authored the book ‘Against All Odds,’ detailing the history of Toy- ota. He died in July, 2000, in Yoko- hama, Japan, aged 75. Ron said it was interesting to note the part that Mildura played in the life of Yukiyasu and Misako. “Apparently the Toyota team didn’t make it to the finish line, but I’m sure the rally helped build Toyota’s knowledge of what was needed to be competitive in the Australian car market,” he said. • FOOTNOTE; After much con- troversy, Perkins won the 1958 rally, driving a Volkswagon, one of several in the rally (See ‘A test of Man, and Machine,’ start- ing previous page). Other cars included Chryslers, Datsuns, a Peugeot, Holdens, a Nash Met- ropolitan, Skoda, Vanguards, Ford Zephyrs, a Rover 90, Hill- man Minx, Austin Westminster, Morris 1000 and a Morris Mi- nor. • JAPAN-MILDURA CONNECTION: Yukiyasu Togo entered the round- Australia Mobilgas Rally fresh from his win in the round-Japan rally. His wife Misako acted as navigator in both internationals, competing in the Japanese-manufactured Toyota Crowns. The Australian rally was featured in the Evan Green book, ‘Journeys with Gelignite Jack,’ FAR LEFT. Japanese rally mate + FREE ROOF INSPECTION ROOF INSPECTION CHECKS ALL GUTTERS, FLASHINGS & ROOF SHEETS Beat the Heat! $70 AIR CONDITIONER SERVICE SPECIAL* *Evaporative Air Conditioners Only CALL NOW 0419 276 220 F. 5027 6241 E. firstname.lastname@example.org www.frankstockmanplumbing.com.au VIC & NSW LIC. 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