New life for vintage cars turning electric in return of South Australia’s annual Bay to Birdwood Run

New life for vintage cars turning electric in return of South Australia’s annual Bay to Birdwood Run

In a change for the history books, electric modified vintage vehicles will be allowed in this year’s iconic Bay to Birdwood event.

The event has become one of the largest historical motoring celebrations of its kind in the world, with cars dating back to the early 1900s taking on the 70-kilometre journey.

Classic and vintage cars will travel from the coast to the Adelaide Hills for the annual Bay to Birdwood Run.

After the event was canceled due to COVID last year, Organizer Michael Neale hopes for record numbers this year.

“It’s back on the streets of Adelaide, 1,500 vehicles making their way,” Mr Neale said.

“During COVID, 90,000 people turned up on the streets of Adelaide [2020]. I would love for there to be 120,000 this year.”

Man in suit infront of vintage blue car
Michael Neale hopes for 120,000 spectators this year. (ABC NEWS: Brant Cumming)

Green light for electric

In a world-first that aligns with a shift within historic vehicle circles, the Bay to Birdwood will welcome electric converted historic vehicles.

“By doing this we are actually saving some vehicles that would have been lost to us,” Mr Neale said.

“If you look at who’s doing the Bay to Birdwood today there’s a lot of younger people, men and women.

Bay to Birdwood Run 2016
Up to 1,000 classic and vintage cars took part in the 2016 Bay to Birdwood Run.(ABC News: Claire Campbell)

“I’ve only had two people express concern about it but that was more-so about if we can still maintain the historic integrity of these vehicles.

“We are paving the way for a broader understanding of what a historical vehicle is.”

Originally built in 1973, the owner of this Jaunt Motors Land Rover Series III EV said modified vehicles was a way of the future.

Lady smiling with blond hair standing infront of blue vehicle
Maureen Burger with her electric modified vintage Landrover. (ABC NEWS: Brant Cumming)

Marteen Burger said the program preserves history.

“This vehicle has a story. It was a farm vehicle and now we’ve kept some of that story with it, the teeth are still there,” she said.

“Converting the vehicle has required a lot of research and development.

“By converting them to electric, they’re more reliable, more powerful and a lot safer.

“We really appreciate the fact the story of these cars gets to survive.”


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