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Corowa 2010.
Year of the Jeep.

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Last year's Corowa (2009) turned out to be quite different to what I had expected, being that the weather was nice (rain included) and there were lots of interesting vehicles.
The following article is my experience of Corowa, it is by no means representative of anyone else's experience or a comprehensive record of all the vehicles that were there. A web search for pictures of Corowa 2010 will turn up quite a few sites of photo galleries.

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The official count of ex-military vehicles registered as attending was 266 this year, which was a record and if nothing else, proves the hobby is very much alive.

As this year was focused on the jeep I wondered whether or not it was worth the long trip, being that I am armour and track focused. Jeeps did predominate and after about the 3rd one I was rapidly losing interest. So, it was up to me to make the most of it, which I did by using the opportunity to meet people I knew via the internet, but had not met in person.

There were no tracked armoured vehicles present and just 2 wheeled armour - the brother vehicle to my Greyhound and an M3A1 White Scout Car. As to amphibious vehicles (the original purpose of locating the event at Corowa) there were 4 Amphibious jeeps and 1 DUKW.

As per past years, there was an informal schedule on a "come if you want" basis. Tooles' disposal warehouse was again open and many Corowa attendees took the chance to do the Alladin's Cave visit and most returned with goodies. It was again mainly clothing, tarps and rolls of material: Bill Toole mentioned there has been no worthwhile surplus sales in the past year. So stock is the same as previously.

We had intended to have a small holiday both before and after Corowa. But as appears to be the case every year, Corowa is never predictable. It must be the time of year! We left home in Broken Hill early on Sunday 7th March. We had intended to stay in a cabin in Shepparton that night: as we approached Echuca we received a phone call from the caravan park wanting to know when we would get there. The lady stated they were forecast for a big storm and she was worried we would arrive during it. So we opted to stop at Echuca, have a leisurely dinner and then head to Shep. As we entered Mooroopna (Shep's twin city) it became evident that:
a) The storm really was a major event.
b) It had been and gone, everything was wet, broken, but calm.
c) The storm appeared to only have really hit the Mooroopna/Shepparton built up area.

On arriving at the caravan park we were astounded at the amount of damage, mostly to trees. There was a small pond about 6" deep in the drive way and about 50 metres long.

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  So we booked in and thanked the lady for the phone call. There was no electricity and that would still be the case the next day. Being that all the hot water systems were electrically controlled gas instantaneous units, there was no hot water either. The lady told us of one couple who were in their caravan which was parked under one of those caravan ports and who had an exciting ride in their caravan out from under the port at the height of the storm. Doubtless next time they will set the handbrake and chock the wheels.

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It was evident that most of the attractions we wanted to see over the next couple of days were damaged and would not be open, so we contacted our accommodation in Corowa to see if we could arrive a couple of days early. We could, so off we went to Corowa. If nothing else, we have learnt that March is "anything goes" as far as weather and the Corowa region!

There were more people and vehicles at the Ball Park (the main meeting point) than I had expected so early in the week. The majority arrive on the Friday afternoon. There was a reasonable sized group camped at the airport. Being that there were no tracked vehicle entrants this year, I had wondered if the airport site would be a failure. This fortunately appears not to be the case: particularly so at meal times when there was always a cluster at the "Jump Shack". Evidently the food is very well priced and the servings "generous".

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Amphibious jeep with trailer


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Shovel and Axe detail on a jeep.


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Studebaker 6x6.


At one point I noticed a bloke taking detailed interest in a Humber 1 ton GS truck and asked him if he was considering buying one. A discussion ensued and after about 10 minutes he revealed that he wanted an ex-military vehicle "to convert into a shooting buggy". There are very few vehicles which would be more unsuitable for that job than a Humber. Besides that, I was not keen on somebody hacking up yet another ex-mil vehicle, so proceeded to talk him out of the idea. My suggestion being for him to locate a Suzuki 2 stroke jeep, which are cheap, simple and still fairly plentiful; but most importantly they are not ex-mil.

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Humber 1 Ton GS truck.


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Amphibious jeep.


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M3A1 White Scout Car.


As for me, not being all that interested in jeeps, most of the photos that appear in this article are not mine. The following photos were taken by Phil Hillier of Broken Hill on the Thursday morning for the rally out to a nearby farm.

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Jan Thompson, KVE (Corowa organising company) sitting in rear of red jeep.


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Studebaker 6x6
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Jeep in Special Air Service format.


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Landrover.


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Lots of jeeps.


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Haflinger.


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Mark (the owner) and "T-Rex". I think this is a Mack, but
Corbitt and White also built trucks in this series.



Now we move on to the street parade and the airport on Saturday.



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M-37 The replacement vehicle for the Dodge 1/2 Ton.


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Chev Blitz.


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Lots of Landrovers.


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Jeeps aplenty.


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Ditto.


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More jeeps.


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The amphibious jeep was nicknamed the "Seep" (Sea Jeep),
so I suppose this is a "Teep" (Train Jeep)?


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2x Amphibious jeeps.


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M8 Greyhound Armoured Car.

That's it for 2010. 2011 is the "Year of the British and European vehicle, so it will be interesting to see what comes out of the woodwork.

 

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