Drivers, start your engines
THE streets of Murwillumbah reverberated to the sounds of thoroughbred racing engines yesterday as the Speed on Tweed festival came to life. A lunchtime parade of classic racing cars and bikes under police escort snaked through the main business centre to the delight of lunchtime shoppers and those just out to have a look. The cars paraded through the main street and out to the showground, but could not stop at the Bus Stop as planned because of construction work. The parade was led by the very rare 1934 ERA R1A driven by Ian Tate, president of the Victorian Historic Racing Register, followed by such cars as a 1955 D-Type Jaguar, 1966 F2 Elfin Monococque, 1959 Cooper Climax, 1934 Alvis Brooklands, a spectacular Ferrari Maranello and others including a brand new Elfin streamliner powered by a Holden 5.7litre V8. The D-Type Jaguar was purpose-built to win the gruelling Le Mans 24 Hour race. Owner Keith Berryman said the car had a superb engine and many innovative features but it was the huge disc brakes which allowed it to win three straight Le Mans races from 1955-57. Joining the parade was another classic with Australian connections, a 1959 Cooper Climax, very similar to the one in which Jack Brabham won his first two world driver's championships in 1959 and 1960. Festival director Roger Ealand drove his classic 1936 Alvis Brooklands in the parade and said afterwards he was extremely pleased with the start to the event. "If you can believe it, there is a bigger buzz about this than last year and it is all looking very promising," he said.