Text: Compiled from the notes of Barbara Gentilcore, John Stewart, Greg & Geraldine Massey, Susan & Ray McMaster.
Photos: Barbara & Tony Gentilcore, Ron Noonan and John Gerdtz

A mechanically challenged start for lots of attendees at the 2009 East Coast Meet, however the weekend was greatly enjoyed from the comments received at the end. One very identifiable aspect of the weekend was the Cowbell! This cowbell used to hang around the neck of Penny a Poll shorthorn owned by the Leedham family (Barbara Gentilcore’s family) in Willalooka, South Australia. It was later used to call everyone to meals, so it was a very effective way to get everyone’s attention on the weekend.
The first group photo of any Buick meet went very well. A lasting memento of a great weekend! The guys from Victoria, Rick and Rod made very admirable flower boys along with Ken on the way to Echidna Gully! We missed you Rob, sorry you couldn’t make it. Lyndon Hardman’s extensive collection of cars viewed on the Saturday afternoon included the same models as the ‘Big 3’. The Saint’s Volvo P1800, Maxwell Smart’s Sunbeam Tiger and last but not least James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5.
A contribution was made to Lyndon Hardman on the Saturday night at Echinda Gully from the East Coast Meet attendees towards the Australian Transport Museum, Lyndon was pleasantly surprised. A couple of days later he was back with us on the Monday morning cracking eggs for the Lions breakfast. All the best Lyndon with the Museum.
The Lions Club of Armidale did a great job cooking Friday night dinner and Monday morning breakfast. A very organised group of locals with the trailer all packed ready to go. The group, very ably managed by Jack Rapley were most efficient and accommodating. They also came to our aid with the lend of their tent for us to use on the Sunday at Walcha. Thanks very much for that.
Friday 23rd October.
We assembled at the Pembroke Tourist Park, Camp Kitchen at 5pm to register and found the BBQ’s starting and members gathering for the welcome evening. Victorian members were keen to talk about their plans for the National Buick Meet they are hosting in April 2010. It sounds like a lot of fun with a full itinerary of activities.Most drivers had a story to tell of the adventure of driving an older car to Armidale. Some cars didn’t make it at all!! However, after long discussions between the men, most of the car problems seem to have been resolved. The more beer consumed, the easier the problems became to solve! It was also about this time that the thunder and lightening came and the skies opened up on the tin roof, making it difficult to hear. Luckily it didn’t last long and when Barbara rang the dinner bell, there was a surge to the BBQ’s.
Moving around the group of over 100 people, there were many interesting stories of the trip from each of their home states. The aroma of the BBQ being prepared by the local Lions Club had everyone hanging out for dinner. We all found a place at a table to enjoy the food and drink provided and to catch up with new and old friends. After details of the next days activities, the group began to break up and wander home for some beauty sleep.

Saturday 24th October
Well, we all made it on time to have our group photo taken. The antics of the photographers amused us all as they ran to beat the timer lapse camera, hope they made it!
The parade of Buicks making their way to Armidale Showground was impressive and the display of cars, once parked proved very popular. Two vehicles stole the limelight taking people for joy rides on the oval. One was a World War II, 1941 Stuart model M31A tank, powered by a Continental 7 cylinder radial motor of 11 litres. In battle ready condition it weighed 13 ton, capable of 50 miles per hour 250 hp @ 1800 rpm, armed with a 37mm cannon and 2x 30 mm machine guns. Yank tanks are all named after Generals, eg. General Jeb Stuart. Some opted for a more sedate ride in a beautiful green 1910 English Talbot 25 hp., model 4T. The car display brought back many memories for the onlookers of past cars owned by family members.

Our trophies were hand made from locally grown timbers by local member Dave Carey. Dave also assisted us with the planning of the meet and offering mechanical back up for our runs. Thank you Dave. Frank Hall picked up a “red pen award” for thoroughly reading the Rally Booklet and highlighting some errors which he was spot-on about. Thanks for being a good sport Frank.

There were many hard luck stories associated with getting to the event and overheating up Moombi Hills but the committee awarded the Hard Luck trophy to the Parr family for the perseverance, in the face of hard luck. Vince, Shirley, Darryl, Donna and their children set out on Friday from Evans Head in their beautiful 54 Buick Wagon and only got as far as Grafton where one of the rear axles broke. They managed to get a lift for Vince and Shirley to Armidale with some other members and the wagon was shipped back to the family home in Evans Head on a truck. Having dusted off the 73 Century Luxus Colorado Hardtop, they gave it a wash and realised it wasn’t registered, so they had to get a pink slip and off to the RTA before closing time. Before long before they were on their way to Armidale without further delays. Many members who heard this great story said it’s exactly what Vince would have done so well done Darryl, Donna and kids.

Sunday 25th October 2009
It was a fine sunny day for those who were not the worse for wear from the previous night’s festivities at the Echidna Gully Woolshed dinner dance.After a quick wash and chamois the magnificent 66 Skylark was ready to join with the other men, women and their magnificent machines on the run to Walcha. Whilst some may have been confused as to the instructions of newest cars to lead with oldest at the rear most could count and we proceeded via varied streets through Armidale and then continued on a very scenic meandering trip to Uralla and then via Thunderbolts Way. There were some very startled sheep and a few farmers who appreciated the fine vehicles on display as we roared through the countryside. Applause was received from a motorcycle group of around 100 who were breakfasting in Uralla as the procession went through town.
The officials at the Walcha Showground then managed to efficiently organise all the vehicles into their respective categories for the Show and Shine. We were joined by a Mustang Club and other local car clubs with over 100 vehicles in total on display. Judging of the various categories was conducted with much offering of bribes and some solicitation for votes being carried out. If you didn’t win you may need to up the ante next meet.
Whilst the cars were on display many members were able to peruse the local stalls and sample wares from the Food and Wine Festival. Quite a few members were found congregated around the wine tasting stalls so we can be sure the fare was of good quality. This event also incorporated the finish line for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Mountain Bike Team Challenge. There were a lot of tired and dusty bike riders evident. After lunch the awards for the People’s Choice were presented by a representative from Shannons.
The Buick Car Club members then continued on to Langford Historic House. Small groups were taken through by the owners of this 1903 mansion built by the areas pioneers. The owners advised we were the first official group to be granted this tour and whilst extensions were not fully completed the renovations to the home so far were amazing with many individual features and unique National Trust listed furniture.
From there, members were able to explore the rest of Walcha and admire the streetscape sculptures. It was then back to Armidale to ready ourselves for the Presentation Dinner at Armidale Bowling Club. After a fine smorgasbord banquet the winners of each decade’s category were announced along with overall winner and best period costume. An enjoyable night was had by all with much discussion, Buicks being the main topic of conversation. All in all a very enjoyable day was had by all with many acquaintances renewed and much information gleaned and disseminated.
Sunday Evening Armidale
Everyone arrived at the bus stop showered and changed ready for a night out. Everyone climbed on board the buses and we were soon at the Bowling Club. A lovely venue with views over the town. We enjoyed a buffet dinner of 2 courses. Awards were presented, speeches made, it was time to party! Music was great. Farewells were made and back to the Caravan Park for a well earned rest.
ECM Show N Shine Winners

1910 – 1929 Peter and Margaret Cook – 1925 Tourer
1930 – 1939 Dave and Colleen Wilson – 1934 8/40 Sedan
1940 – 1949 Roly and Trish Morgan – 1949 56C Convertible
1950 – 1959 Martin Jansen and Terese Gleeson – 1956 Roadmaster
1960 – 1969 Ian and Nola Woodward – 1965 Wildcat Convertible
1970 – Modern Tony and Barbara Gentilcore – 1971 Riviera
Highly Commended – Phil and Mary Green – 1966 Buick Riviera

Walcha Buick People’s Choice Sponsored by Shannons tied:
1930 – 1939 Dave and Colleen Wilson – 1934 8/40 Sedan
1940 – 1949 Roly and Trish Morgan – 1949 56C Convertible
Walcha People’s Choice Trophy
Dave and Colleen Wilson – 1934 8/40 Sedan
Walcha Committee Choice Trophy
Roly and Trish Morgan – 1949 56C Convertible

Posted 12/2009