About Us | History
The Bay to Birdwood Run Committee was formed in 1980, the year in which the first Bay to Birdwood Run was staged. The largest most continually held motoring event for veteran, vintage and early classic vehicles held anywhere in the world.
The first Bay to Birdwood Classic was held in 1997 for vehicles built from 1st January 1945 (and at least thirty years old). The Classic is establishing a world class reputation alongside the original Vintage Run.
The event initially commenced at Glenelg ("the Bay") with the Run finishing, as it still does, at the National Motor Museum, Birdwood. A 70 kilometre route which travels along metropolitan main roads, through ten Council areas, past over 100,000 spectators, until it reaches the foothills where the remaining 20 kilometres are a one way route through the scenic Adelaide Hills.
The Start is now located at Barratt Reserve, Adelaide Shores, to facilitate the increasing entrant numbers and to provide for spectator access amongst the vehicles.
The Bay to Birdwood Run Committee Inc is a not-for-profit incorporated association which recognises two equal partners- the Federation of Historic Motoring Clubs SA and the National Motor Museum, which is a part of the History Trust of South Australia. All operating expenses are sourced from sponsorship and partnerships together with entry fees, commissions and donations.
The Bay to Birdwood Run was first held in 1980 when the Federation of Historic Motoring Clubs, SAS Channel Ten and the National Motor Museum were invited to join in developing an event to commemorate the issuing of the first South Australian driver's licence to Dr William A. Hargreaves back in 1906.
The original agreed concept was a biennial run for pre-1950 vehicles from Glenelg (fondly known as "the Bay") to the National Motor Museum in Birdwood.
By 1990 the Run had established itself as Australia's premier historic motoring event and had earned Australia wide recognition by winning the National Tourism Award as the best special event or festival staged in Australia.
The Run is the largest most continually staged historic motoring event held anywhere in the world. Vehicles must be pre-1956 and meet entry criteria.
Australia, because of the survival rate of old vehicles, has become internationally recognised as one of the world's major storehouses of historic vehicles. South Australia has the highest per capita rate of ownership of historic vehicles in the nation. The advantage of having the National Motor Museum here in the Adelaide Hills, along with a well-established restoration regime, has resulted in the preservation of historic vehicles becoming an important part of the South Australian culture.
The event is organised by the Bay to Birdwood Run Committee Inc. with the constitution of this not-for-profit incorporated association recognising two equal partners: The Federation of Historic Motoring Clubs in SA and the National Motor Museum; part of the History Trust of South Australia. This same committee is responsible for the staging of the Bay to Birdwood Classic held in alternate years to the Run and which is for vehicles post 1956 and at least 30 years old).
The Run Operations Committee manages the event and is made up of skilled and experienced volunteer members from the Federation and staff of the National Motor Museum with outside volunteer assistance for organisation of the event, the provision of first aid, fire safety and marshal manpower.
This truly is a community icon event from over 10,000
participants in entrant vehicles to the volunteers
through to the hundreds of thousands of spectators who
line the 70km route to watch this historic motoring
cavalcade as it travels through metropolitan Adelaide
and the hills region on its way to Birdwood. It takes
1.5-2 hours to pass any one-vantage point. The South
Australian community has truly embraced the Run (and the
Classic) with their continued support on the last Sunday
in September each year.
As the number of interstate and country South Australian entrants grew, it was decided in 1986 to introduce a range of motoring and social activities around the Run under the title of the Motorfest.
2003 saw the inaugural Cruising Classics with a format similar to that of the established Motorfest. An eight day fun program for the motoring enthusiast saw this new addition entrench itself as a “must do” in the Bay to Birdwood Classic Run years. It’s just simply Classic entertainment for everyone to enjoy”
The Bay to Birdwood Run and Classic are proven community festivals. This annual event has now firmly established itself as an icon major event for both entrants and spectators alike. One of the world’s great motoring spectacles!
South Australian Tourism Commission
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