Declan McKearney and Samantha Martin, from the popular show Resto My Ride recently completed the challenging Variety, the Children’s Charity - Variety Vic Bash.
The event, which raises much needed funds to support children in need, saw the team leaving Melbourne’s iconic Queen Victoria Market on a cold August morning with the final goal of arriving in Darwin in some 11 days.
“Completing the Bash has been on the bucket list ever since I landed in Australia in 2005,” said Declan McKearney, Grand Poobah of Team Resto and owner of Bodymaster Prestige Paint and Panel, where all the hard work and hijinks takes place. “This year we bit the bullet and our good friend Martin Stone of Sheen Panels offered up his Bash prepared HR Holden as our trusty steed.”
The HR Holden was already a Bash veteran when Declan and the team got hold of it, but that didn’t stop them giving it the full once over, as well as injecting a bit of more Resto My Ride personality into the Aussie classic.
“When she was first delivered to our shop we were blown away with just how good she was,” Declan explained. “Me and the guys though that she was almost too good to subject to another bash, but enthusiasm soon got the better of us and spanners were flying as we stripped her down in preparation for another adventure.”
When the car was delivered to the Resto My Ride team it had been painted bright yellow and quickly became known around the workshop as the Yellow Submarine.
“While the yellow certainly stood out, it didn’t really have that cool vibe we aim for in all our restos,” said Declan. “I sat down with the rest of the build crew and we brainstormed a few different themes, but when someone suggested we go with ‘The Redback’ we all knew straight away that we were onto a winner.”
The transformation from Yellow Submarine to Red Back was completed in record time with the Resto My Ride team working around the clock to get it completed before the start of the event.
“Anyone who has seen the show knows that we don’t do things by halves,” commented Declan. “We pride ourselves on quality and even though we started with a solid base, we when through her head to toe to make sure she was ready for the tough journey that lay ahead.”
During the build the HR was not only transformed from the Yellow Submarine, into the Red Back, a number of other upgrades were also completed to ensure she’d make the long trip to Darwin.
“With a route starting in the middle of a chilly Melbourne winter and heading north, straight up the red center before crossing the finishing line in the sweltering Darwin heat, we knew that the cooling system was going to be under pressures for the entire 11 days, so we made the decision to run Evans Waterless coolant and it certainly paid off.”
Evans Waterless Coolant Evans manufactures the ONLY line of waterless engine coolants. Evans coolants do not use water, and therefore eliminate the engine problems caused by water.
“Converting your cooling system from a traditional water-based coolant to EVAN’s Waterless coolant isn’t difficult as all,” explained Declan. “All you need to do is drain the system, flush it with EVAN’s Prep Fluid to remove all the water from the system then fill her back up with either the High Performance, Heavy Duty or Power Sports coolant depending on your vehicle and application.
“We ran the High Performance waterless coolant in the Red Back.”
By all accounts it was a pretty crazy couple of weeks in the run up to the start of the event, with the team sacrificing sleep to get the Red Back to the start line on time.
“It’s funny, we were so busy pulling it all together that I didn’t even drive her until the second day of the event,” Decal said. “But as soon as I got behind the wheel I knew all the hard work had paid off as she was great to drive and just ate up the miles as we travelled from Mildura in Victoria to Wilpena Pound in South Australia.”
The next couple of days saw the bash entrants wind their way up the heart of this great brown land, visiting places known the world over for their rugged beauty including Coober Pedy, the Painted Desert, Kings Canyon, Alice Springs and Katherine before crossing the finish line in Darwin.
“It was an amazing trip and we certainly gave it the berries on the long dirt roads in the outback,” Declan reminisced. “Her sweet spot was about 115kph.”
Of course there were a few technical issues along the way as you’d expect when driving a car that’s more than 50 years old from Melbourne to Darwin.
“We did encounter some brake and fuel issues but they weren’t too difficult to resolve,” he said. “The biggest challenge was when we lost compression in cylinder number one about two days from the finish line.”
With more than 1200Kkms to Darwin and with the Red Back running on only five cylinders, it was going to be an effort to make the finish line.
“We knew that we couldn’t fix the engine issue out in the middle of the bush, so we made the decision to push on with the engine only firing on five cylinders,” said Declan. “Of course that put the engine under more strain and meant that she started running a bit hot, making out decision to choose EVAN’s Waterless Coolant a critical factor in helping us reach Darwin.”
The Red Back travelled more than 1200kms on five cylinders delivering the Resto My Ride team to Darwin on time for the big wrap party.
“Those last 1200kms were a tough slog,” Declan remarked. “We were driving with one eye on the road and the other on the temperature gauge just waiting for it to boil, but that EVAN’s gear is some amazing stuff.
“Every day we’d check the coolant level, expecting to top it up and every day we were surprised that even though it was a cylinder down and running a little hot, it hadn’t used a drop,” said Declan.
“After 11 days, crossing the finishing line in Darwin was an amazing feeling. It was certainly one of the most memorable trips I’ve ever completed and the Red Back did us proud,” he added.
To check out all the fun antics and drama that occurred on the adventure, check out the Resto My Ride Facebook Page, visit restomyride.tv or their website www.restomyride.com
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