This was the day that everyone got a chance to meet the drivers
21st of May 1994
Held at the Darwin Wharf, this day was perhaps the best day of it all, you got to meet the drivers, and ask (Then leave…… green with envy), the day where you got to walk right up to the cars, and admire the beauty of each and every one of them.
The atmosphere was carnival like, everyone was buzzing with anticipation of the next day. The big race.
Although all the cars seemed to be on the wharf when we arrived, not every driver was there, only a few were missing. Most drivers seemed only too keen to have a chat about why they were there, and where they had come from.
We also had the bright idea to take a Texta/Chemi pen and a poster with the intention of getting each driver we spoke to, to sign our poster. A lot of drivers were quietly chuffed that they had been asked for a signature. To the best of our knowledge, this poster and one other belonging to a friend were the only posters with signatures.
Like we said… The atmosphere was buzzing.
What you have to remember is that this sort of humour wasn’t found on cars back in 1994. At the Cannonball Run, this was the only car with any humour on it.
Car 24: Toyota MR2
Car 34: Ferrari 308.
This car was owned by Terry Finocchiaro. A local favourite as it was locally owned. This particular Ferrari didn’t last very long. Not saying that the prancing horse isn’t arguably the best sports car ever made, it’s just that this particular Ferrari didn’t go more than a few hundred kilometres before the engine blew, the car caught fire, and it was extinguished by local police and a BMW entrant….
People were allowed right up to the cars, with most of the owners close by to answer any questions.
Car 110: Dodge Viper V10
Driver: Rob Mulholland
Navigator: Brett O’Brien
Entry 112: the Lamborghini Espanda V12
True Cannonball Run tradition here. “Smokey & the Bandit” is stuck on the top part of the windscreen, this car was made to do a Cannonball Run, legal or otherwise.
Entry 182: Pontiac Trans AM
We were up from Perth Western Australia for the event, and during the entire time we were getting ready to go to Darwin to see this event, no one from Perth had even heard of the Cannonball Run happening, let alone a car dealer actually putting in a car that was from Perth.
Entry 235: Lexus LS400
Entry 244: Mazda RX7
The universal symbol of perfection
Car 184: Porsche 911
The eventual winners.
Navigator: Andrew Kelly
Driver: Ron Conrad
The colour on this Chevrolet Corvette is a metallic dark green. These pictures don’t really do the colour justice.
Car 96: Porshe 928GT is in the background
Car 75: Chevrolet Impala
Car 114: Porsche 911 3.6 Litre Turbo
Car 132: Bufori
Car 58: Porsche 911 Carrera.
Car 52: Chevrolet Corvette Calloway
Driven by K Bromfield & McTaggart
Car 83: Subaru Liberty RS Turbo
Car 117: Porsche 911
Driver: Hans Voss
This was a locally built entry specifically made for the race like they did in the states. It had a big block chev in it which made it capable of speeds nearing 300Km’s an hour. The officials made the local boys modify the rear wing as it was “Not in the spirit of the run” … Pffft… What about the safety aspect guys… this car is capable of 300k’s an hour…. Do you think it might need a little something to keep the car on the ground?
Car 129: Chev 1500 Pick Up
Driver: Tony Broso.
This monster had a very slightly detuned sprint car engine dropped in under the bonnet specifically for the race. The beast is rumored to have dyno’d in at between 600 & 700 Horses at the trough … If you heard this thing fly past… you will know what you were listening to now.
Car 236: Jaguar XJS
Car 248: Pontiac TransAm
Car 141: Ferrari Testarossa 355