Victorian automotive history comes to life


At 10:00am today, 48 of Australia’s oldest and rarest motor vehicles will leave RACV Noble Park for a nine-day event to celebrate the centenary of the RACV Alpine Trial.

In 1921, RACV launched its first of a series of Alpine Trials to test vehicles and advocate for better roads and services in Victoria’s high-country region.

The RACV Alpine Trials were popular with private individuals and motoring companies, attracting up to 60 entrants to each event. Each vehicle carried at least two people, including the driver, an observer and sometimes an administrator.

The trials’ routes were onerous. At the time the Australian Motorist reported that the RACV Sports Committee deliberately designed the trial to be “one of great severity” so manufacturers’ claims about their vehicles could be put to the test “for the benefit of prospective purchasers.”

To celebrate 100 years since the first Alpine Trial, RACV and the Vintage Drivers Club (VDC) will recreate the inaugural event.

The President of the Vintage Drivers Club and Event Secretary, Glenda Chivers, is delighted to celebrate this centenary milestone.

“I would like to thank all the participants, the organising committee, and RACV for their support and passion for this event,” Ms Chivers said.

“Our members are excited to recreate this piece of Australian automotive history over the coming nine days.”

The vehicles participating in this celebratory event are all manufactured between 1921 and 1930. Australia’s oldest Bentley, one of the original participants in the 1922 trial, will be joining the fleet again in 2022 alongside RACV’s 1928 Model-A Ford.

The 1921 trial ran from Melbourne to Lakes Entrance, Tallangatta, Mount Buffalo, Wangaratta, Healesville, Ballarat and Geelong before returning to Melbourne.

This year’s event will follow, as closely as possible, that 1000-mile route and run from Saturday, October 15 to Sunday, October 23. Other towns included this year will be Mansfield, Bright and Creswick.

RACV’s General Manager of Social Impact and Corporate Communications, Louise Steinfort, is proud to bring this unique piece of automotive history to life.

“The Vintage Drivers Club, along with the event committee have done a fantastic job of organising the RACV Alpine Trial Centenary,” Ms Steinfort said.

“This event would not be possible without their dedication and commitment to preserving the history of Australian motoring.”

The continuation of Alpine Trials by the Victorian Light Car Club, and then by the Historic Rally Association, makes it one of the world’s oldest surviving motor sport events.

/Public Release.