Sunday, 30 August 2015

“Let’s be glad there are still a few crazy men in the world”.

We are sitting in bright late-summer sunshine on the lawns of the home of Risto and Marja-Liisa Heiskanen, confronted with a groaning table of Finnish hospitality. The Vice President of Finland’s Automobile Historical Society (Autohistoriallinen Seura), Markku Pellinen, is welcoming Ian and Bill, the two crazy men who thought it would be a good idea to drive a couple of vintage cars halfway across the world, with no sponsorship, no arranged publicity, just a set of cheap T-shirts and caps, a backseat full of tools and spare parts, and a few mates.

The President of the Finnish Vintage Machinery Club (Wanhat Masiinat), Kari Kaartama, also presented a club emblem to the by-now swollen headed crazy men. The lawn was graced by the presence of a veteran 1952 Mercedes Benz, Citroen and MGB (Kari Kaartamas is thus also a very good mechanic to take on any British car).

The day before we had been honoured with a raising of the Finnish flag at Kari's sister Anniki and brother-in-law Matti's lake-side "cabin", and more local gourmet produce, this time a fabulous salmon soup plus trimmings, followed, in the Finnish tradition, by a wood-fired sauna, including a plunge in the lake. I should add that the Finnish sauna tradition is not at all prudish, but not a single photo has survived this particular ritual.

It only remains for me to sign off for 2015. The Dodge is waiting in Helsinki for a ship to Sydney. The Whippet is in a shed, pending a possible sale to one of Finland's many car collectors. The faithful Land Cruiser, now with over 360,000 km on the clock, will come home too. And Michael Noyce has invited us to a re-union at Wollombi in November to bore each other even more.

AND we will live again, briefly. We have been invited to present at the Adventure Travel Film Festival in Bright, Victoria, on 12-14 February 2016.

Thanks for following us and for the almost 46,000 hits in the 2 years, and for all the encouraging comments.


  1. Wow. Congrats to the Dodge, the Whippet and the Land Cruiser ..... Oh and the blokes who drove and kept 'em chugging along!! Great yarns and pics. Celebrate well

  2. Thanks Mike and Jules. Glad you liked it. The pleasure was all ours.


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