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Corowa 2012.
Year of the 6x6.

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Sorry about the washed out picture above, but it was the only way I could properly show the Studebaker 6x6 on the left as it was printed very dark on the sticker.
"The year of the 6x6" was looking problematic for many weeks before the event. It was apparent from early on that a lot of people were delaying their go/no go decision or even cancelling their trip due to the flooding in the surrounding areas.
Due to the high river and lots of rain the most noticeable participants were mosquitos, very large ones in fact. The wags had already given them a name change and were referring to them as "Helicopters" (with the comment "they are too bl__dy big to be mosquitos").
"Year of the 6x6" became:
"Year of the Helicopter"
The weather was warm and agreeable until Friday, when it rained most of the day, Saturday was fine.
As always, 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.
I find that Corowa is what you make it.
Some of those who did not go justified it by saying "if you had to miss a Corowa, this was the one to miss". I disagree, as that attitude becomes a self-fulfilling event.
If you have low expectations, then your experience will likely be dull. Put some effort into it and your time will not drag.

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The official count of ex-military vehicles registered as attending was 165 this year, The main site as per tradition was Ball Caravan Park, however the wet conditions meant that the Airport was too soggy. This would have been a problem had there been a turn up of heavies, but you could count the number of armoured vehicles on one hand. The owners appeared, but the vehicles mostly stayed home.
The swap meet was transferred to the Show Grounds and the comments I heard suggest that this arrangement was well received, especially the over head cover, the lack of, being the major gripe each year about the airport venue.
On the flip side, I have been told that the overhead cover at the Show Grounds venue is bare ground, which became very muddy with all the foot traffic. Also, the inclination of the vendors to get under cover meant that area was over crowded and it was more the case of a scrum than a shopping experience.
Whereas at the Airport venue, it is accepted practice that the vendors line up on the dirt verges of the sealed road, thus mud is not a problem to the customers at least.

Armour:
The FV-436 was present and in use along with a White Scout Car and a Stuart Tank (on transporter). I did not see any other armour, although there was another White Scout Car there somewhere.

We arrived early in the week (Monday) and there was not a lot of atttendees at the Ball Park other than the early regulars. But that is how it is every year at that point in time. It wasn't until Thursday that it became obvious that the variety (if not numbers) of vehicles was down. Particulary armoured vehicles.

The helicopters (mosquitos) were constant companions to the point where it seemed to become a matter of honour not to get bitten. It is also the only time I have seen it to be socially acceptable to slap another person! This was always accompanied by a "got it" or an appology for missing.

As per last year, we had a mini family holiday, this year doing Ballarat and Soverign Hill prior to heading for Corowa. Due to the flooding around Nathalia and Numurkah we had to either travel high through NSW or low down through Vic to get to Corowa, so we weren't going out of our way by much through Ballarat. By the way, the Sound and Light Show at Soverign Hill is most impressive.

We arrived at Corowa on the Monday arvo after having visited the Tank Musuem at Puckapunal Army Base on the way. The Army has done quite a bit to the museum since I was last there around 10 years ago. A pity as they are now talking about demolishing it and rebuilding at another location! If they do, that will be the 3rd location in 30 years!

So, being that activity was a bit slow, we took the chance to explore a bit -
the 2 pics below are of the lagoon at Ball Park. This is an excellent spot as it is sheltered: over the last year the shire has built up much of the banks with large and very solid sand bags. At the closed end is a concrete launching ramp for boats and amphibs so anyone swimming etc is required to stay out of the way of water craft.

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Looking towards the river.


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Looking towards the boat ramp.


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One of the early arrivals, a very nice Austin Champ.


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As I took this pic another nice Champ drove into the shot.


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Wednesday, a tidy jeep, some attendees but by no means a crowd yet.


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A Dodge WC-62 6x6.


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For those who cannot go without their perculated coffee!
The camping version.
Note the hand holding the essential bottle of mosquito repellant at the top of the photo.


I have now been to my 5th year of Corowa, only the 2nd however with an MV (Kettenkrad).
I ended up doing about 35km all up on it, which doesn't sound much, but for a small tracked vehicle that isn't bad. The riverside track at Ball Park is an ideal place for rides and photos if you have a heavy or/and slow vehicle. The ground is quite robust and ideal for all but the largest of tracked vehicles.

One stranger made a deliberate point of thanking me for taking the KK and said how pleased he was to see it, and that he had always wanted to see one close up.
Again this year there were a few who made negative comments....... The jealousy is becoming tiresome. Some armour owners have commented to me that they no longer bring vehicles to Corowa for that reason.
After the problem last year of unknown persons climbing on the KK, I was better organised this year and there was not a repeat of that behaviour. Having to guard one's vehicle does limit socialising, however, I chose to drive it around rather than walk around at Ball Park, which meant I could still have some variety and control access to the vehicle.

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The Saturday morning parade forming up.


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An open cab GMC 6x6.
Picture courtesy Phil H.


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An Amphibious Jeep.
Picture courtesy Phil H.


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Dodge WC-61 6x6.
Picture courtesy Phil H.


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A Studebaker 6x6.
Picture courtesy Phil H.


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International Acco MkV F1 6x6 Tipper.
Picture courtesy Phil H.


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A WW2 Jeep in RAAF "Follow Me" runway marshall markings.
Picture courtesy Phil H.


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A WW2 Jeep with American Bantam trailer.
Picture courtesy Phil H.


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A rather battered Series 2 Land Rover.
Picture courtesy Phil H.


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A Land Rover with matching trailer,
either a late Series 2 or a "110".
Picture courtesy Phil H.


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Pinzgauer 4x4.
Picture courtesy Phil H.


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What looks like an LRDG (Long Range Desert Group) Chev
I would be surprised if this is a genuine example.
The crew have gone to a lot of trouble to be suitably attired.
Picture courtesy Phil H.


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M3A1 White Scout Car belonging to Rick C.
Picture courtesy Phil H.


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I think this is a Ford F60L CMP?
Picture courtesy Phil H.


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Possibly a Chev civilian that saw military service?
Picture courtesy Phil H.


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A Dodge WC-53 "Carryall"?
Picture courtesy Phil H.


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Some of the line up after the parade.
Picture courtesy Phil H.


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The 6x6 line up.
Picture courtesy Phil H.


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The Blitz line up.
Picture courtesy Phil H.


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Ron F's Stuart on transporter.
Picture courtesy Phil H.


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Close up of his early M3 Stuart light tank.
Picture courtesy Phil H.


Corowa ended early for us this year as we departed first thing on Saturday morning, for multiple reasons. Which is a pity, as the Saturday is always the best attended of any day of the event and the best time to be involved.

Below is a picture of what is included in 2012 registrant pack as handed out by The KVE (the organising body).
Different this year is the mug, the inclusion of this item caused some issues for KVE due to a number being damaged when received from the supplier: it makes for a nice memento.

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Registration Pack.

As the Kettenkrad experience takes up most of my time at Corowa, most of the photos that
appear in this article are not mine and were provided courtesy of Phil H. of Broken Hill.

Here is the list of attending vehicles registered with KVE:

Vehicle list:
66 Jeeps
19 Landrovers
10 Studebakers
9 Dodges
7 Blitz
4 GMC
5 Harley Davidson WLA's
3 Austin champs
3 Yamaha Motorcycles
3 Dodge 6x6
2 White Scout Cars
2 Unimogs
2 Chev 4x4
2 Mokes
2 Chevs
2 Indian Motorcycles
2 BSA Motorcycles
1 Zundapp Motorcycle
1 International F1
1 International tractor
1 Kettenkrad
1 BSA bicycle
1 Humvee
1 Ford F100
1 Toyota
1 Humber
1 Fargo
I Excelsior Motorcycle
1 Haflinger
1 FV436
1 M816 Kaiser Prime Mover
1 Kenworth Wrecker
1 Bedford QL
1 NM Mack
1 M3 Stuart tank
1 Inter MkV F1 Tipper
1 Malvern Star bike
1 VW
1 Fordson WOT 2


Total 165

That's it for 2012.

 

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