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something for your bucket list Guys

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something for your bucket list Guys

Post by BRUTLE on 7/4/2013, 3:19 am

my gf Ashleigh & i had the absolute pleasure to share the 2013 VanNats with the Builder of Australias most recognised Van & arguably the best van this country has ever produced, We took John Strachan builded of AlleyCat to the nationals with us, John had not been to a Nationals since he one Australia's Top Van in 1983 some 30yrs ago.
i had set out midway through last year to try to convince, Bride or Threaten John to come to me & to my surprise it didnt take to much to get a Yes Very Happy on one condition ...... i dont tell anyone he was comming, i thought Ok i can do that.
The next 9mths flew by we got BRUTLE barely together but enough to fire up & drive onto the oval .
we left our place in Port Macquarie early hrs easter Saturday & picked John up on the way with a 7hr tow ahead of us i wasnt sure how the trip would pan out but it was awsum we never even turned on the stereo, John kept us amused with stories of Vanning 30 yrs ago & before we knew it we were there.
We turned up at the gate & got the usual treatment a non club affiliated Vanner always gets at the nationals & that was when camping is tight only clubs are allowed to camp inside the secure compound they tried to put us next to the chemical toilets in the dust ouside the compound ..... this didnt go down at all to well with me & after a little 'debating' a spot miraculiously appeared inside the compound where i could park ... Happy Days !!!! it seams that where i had learned so much on the way up about what it was like to attend car shows as the President of Penthouse Vanners & owner of Australias best van John had also experienced what it was like to turn up as an independant Vanner.
However all this out of the way as we set BRUTLE up under her tent John took a short walk around & although we hadnt told anyone John was comming some of the 'Old Brigade" still recognised him & yet more tales of early vanning we was treated to. We then went & got ready for the fancy dress night which was awsum & loads of fun .
Wake up sunday it was show day & we got escorted around the arena by John pointing out mods that even i as a fabricator didnt even pickup he is a true wealth of knowledge about all things car related & to see the Vans through the eyes of a former Nationals Winner & Summernats Judge was inspiring & he has given me a theme for my very own Van, one that i would never have thought of but just nails it all in one !
after this as always comes presentation my favourite part of the Nats hidden away in a marquee within the compound away from the public & only assesable to those who pay the fee for camping for the weekend but thats just the way the Nationals rolls Hey! who cares we were there right bounce it was here where the promoters first announced that John was there, it was a great nite full of laughs bidding trophys & yet more laughs it was then after all the pomp & ceremony was over that one of the most memorable moments in Vanning for me took place it was just a small group gathered in the marquee amounst it the people in Vanning that mean the most to me & we were there for a one on one with John Strachan it was James Ellis who fired off the first round of questions & it continued on till the early hrs with John giving his own unique straight up answers
then before we knew it the Nats were over for another year & during our long drive home John told stories not only from the past this time but also included the ever so fresh 2013 Nationals we had just been apart of, i can only hope our weekend with John aka 'Little Stevie" has re-energised a former legend of our sport to participate in it not necessarily with a Van but in so many other ways
Getting back to the above topic you should all add this to your bucket list take a former Vanner to a Nationals or state titles the dont have to be a title holder just someone who was once passionate about the sport & spend a day or two with them & see vanning through there eyes & live it through there stories & if you are in a club follow the Majestics Vanners lead & involve them in your activities Vanning will only be stronger for it
Thanks John for making mine & Ashleigh's 2013 VanNats so memorable
Cheers AL Bennett
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Re: something for your bucket list Guys

Post by AGR071 on 8/4/2013, 12:59 pm

Great read AL.
You certainly were blessed.
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Re: something for your bucket list Guys

Post by Ramble on 12/4/2013, 12:35 pm

So Al...Is he going to get back into it & build a New and improved Ally?.
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Re: something for your bucket list Guys

Post by vanner065 on 25/4/2013, 2:49 am

Well said Al, i must admit my highlight of the weekend was the chat with John, as i said i didn't even know he was there until the Auction and i was still guessing if that was him there. It was great to hear his stories and the life of vanners back 30 years ago, its a pity this wasnt recorded but i guess those of us who sat with John will have a piece of vanning history to ourselves for the rest of our lives.
Great to catch up with you in Coffs on my way home too.
cheers
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Re: something for your bucket list Guys

Post by Ramble on 26/4/2013, 6:54 am

Saw you there James buying a poster or three (lol) and was going to intro myself to you but you where chating with some guys and didnt want to interupt..
It was an awsome show day and I was blown away as was my wife. We havent been into vanning since late 80's and was terrific to see all the interest vans still pull....Gettin stuck into mine now for Mildura and looking forwards to meeting the hard core group that still love the Van.
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Re: something for your bucket list Guys

Post by vanner065 on 29/4/2013, 4:13 am

U should of said something, i was only chatting to one of my mates, spewin, oh well make a point of doing it at Mildura
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Re: something for your bucket list Guys

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