A Life In Cars

The life story of Dickie Sutherland


Adelaide to Cummings and back

Mini 2 cylinders most of the way Adelide to Cummins and back


Trip to Cummins with Ian  Thursday 28th December 67

Adelaide on the lower right up and over to Cummins the lower Left and back only 2-cylinder A series engine

Extract from Richard’s Log with entries from Ian and Vince

Loon volunteered Dicky to take Vince a Surfing buddy we met when surfing Daily Heard.  Vince was now working in Cummins for the PMG.   We begin the log of the trip at 10.30 am at Cavan petrol station.  $1.70 petrol,$1 Vince, 70c Dick, Grub Loon 50c

Port Wakefield Vince 70c Me Dick 8c   78c

At this stop, the Mini is experiencing Spark plug troubles.  Bad miss, still have a miss.  No sure what!  12.30 am Left Port Wakefield.

29.12.67 Friday

Berocca 84c Vince.  Awaiting for an electrical man to assist us in our troubles.  8.00 a.m.  IMF.

It is now 8.22 am and we are browned off by the lack of bastards with knowledge.  We tried the Shell station and no one in this here town wants to help us.  $2.00 petrol Ampol Port Augusta (Loon)

3 ½ gallons $1.52 Loon + 1 spark plug Dick. 82c.  Engine still running rough.  Burnt out 1 spark plug.  The new one also burnt out.  Each and every one of us falling off to sleep every so often.  The Morris running sluggish and can only use the third gear.  Poop.

Anyway, we battled on regardless of the impossible odds, rugged as we were with the “big heart” coming out at this stage.  Surf signs 5 miles out of Arno Bay we stopped for a nap.  The morning we took the Cummins turnoff.  Dirt road and quite rough and rockily.  Still can’t use fourth gear to any advantage.

Arrive Cummins 2.30 p.m.  We – Dickie and myself dined off to mud in your eyes dressed in puce.  Shithouse but still eatable.  We sat in the car for some time and then unloaded Vince’s gear which included bags, bags and a few bags.  Then went around to one of the lad’s place to dump Kirk’s board off.  We did this.  Then we went back to the pub where Quince (Vince) was staying and sat out the front for some several minutes.  We were greeted ($1.50 petrol Cummins)by some local lad Jimmy someone.  He sat with us for a while.  We then under sneaky conditions had a shower at the pub.  Very refreshing I must add.  (Loon)

Quince went around to see his woman so we went down to the lounge and had a beer.  After buying one each we had the fine sum of 38c to our name – ever so much.  We were about ¾ the way through our well-earned beer when a lad by the name of Mrs. Fuss came and joined us with another lad by the name of Ron Gill who turned out to be a Postal Clerk.   We talked and got to know each other a bit. (Loon)

Quince returned and said he was about to have tea and he would try and con us a free meal.  He must have done a fair bit of crapping to the landlady – anyway, we got a free meal.  Shit loads, we had soup, mushrooms on toast, steak & gear, milk and sweets, which Dickie had (the bloody pig).  We then went to Quince’s room and noticed it had been raining and was getting fairly soldiers.  Stupid me never had a jumper so I borrowed one of Quince’s mohair ones.  I looked like a real tourist. 

Dickie & I sat around and read surfing magazines whilst Quince got all doodled up to go and see his woman.  Then Jimmy & Mike arrived.  They were allowed to throw a shindig for us, but we were at a loss as to where we were going to have it.  Anyway, they gave us some dough to get about 11 bottles of Southwark and we obliged readily.  We got the grog, piled in the Mini, and pissed off to Mike’s place where we flogged his old man’s Falcon Ute and showered off.  Loon.

Friday 29.12.67

Petrol $1.74 Oil 23c Dick

Young Jim was driving the ute and we headed for some town.  There was all there and the trip took 3 bottles to complete.  Mike dropped Jim back to Mike’s place and chatted over four bottles of beer and at about 1.00 a.m. Saturday, we went to sleep, Ian on the floor and Myself on a bed (roughing it).

Saturday 30.12.67

The next morning we were off in a Corona.  Bruce, Jim, Vince, Mike, Loon and Me.  Boy was that vehicle cramped. Breaka was lamb, leg, and sardines with 6 bottles of beer to wash it down. 

We checked out Greenlies for surf and found it to be chopped, so we continued through Lincoln to Fisheries.

The surf was bout 4 feet on arrival, when we got in it built up to 6 feet, tubing, with a strong westerly to hold it up and make the surf rain.  Well, I found it a little cold, and come in.  Loon and the rest stayed out for quite some time.


Lunch, salmon, after lunch I got some sleep while the others surfed.  Later we stopped at Lincoln for chips and then on to Cummins where showers were in order so we went round to Vince’s place, the hotel, and showered.

Telephone exchange, (Vince’s place of work)

Ron stopped two of his mates in a ute, they drove us in style to Mike’s then back to the Telephone exchange, (Vince’s place of work).  At the exchange, we cooked a meal of meat and veg.  After tea, Ron walked us over to the pub, schooners all around and a game of darts.  Darts, Loon won, Ron second, and I didn’t score.

Bruce came in and Loon brought him some Larries (long-neck beers).  When we left the pub, we three walked into Bert a wee lad from the country.  Bert asked Ron to buy him a dozen and some sparkly.  That cost Bert a bottle and we all hopped, jumped, or fell into his Mini and drank it.

To the Exchange, Ron and Loon flogged one of Bert’s bottles.  Dear Ron also shortchanged Bert by 40c so with the addition of 3c we bought another bottle.

Ron had to operate the exchange from 10 pm.  We all annoyed the telephonist (Vince) at 10 we were head men of the project.  During the night, we or Loon made several calls, to some people we know and some we didn’t know.  After coffee and about 12.30, we or Loon and me set off for Mike’s cause that was where the Mini was and we were to sleep there that night.  Mike’s younger brothers were in his room till 1 am and about 2 and we were rabble (partying).

Saturday 30.12.67

I managed to sleep in the Mini from 3 a.m. until 8.30 a.m. I walked into the house and found Loon, Mike, Smithy, and Mike’s brother in bed asleep.  Smithy woke, cracked a harry and passed it around.  Before leaving, we checked the Mini, phoned up Mrs. Holmes and at about 11.15 am we left.

The trip home was quite good to Whyalla hitting speeds of about 60 mph down hills.  Lunch at Whyalla at about 3.00 p.m. and then onto Port Augusta.

The Mini was starting to lose power and an average of 45 was hard to keep.  From Port Augusta to Snowtown the Mini was down to 35 at its peak in 3rd.

Port Pirie.  Phoned  Mrs. Holmes and asked the chappes to come out after us at 6.30 p.m.  Pottered on at a breakneck speed of 30 mph and found the trip very tiresome and tedious.

Port Wakefield.  At about 10 pm we had coffee, pies and pasties then 2 gallons and on we went homeward.

11.30 pm.  The Mini broke, running out of petrol, 14 miles from Adelaide.  Loon hiked into a garage and got back at 12.10 am.  “Happy New Year,” he said and we shook hands.

Trip stats

13 ½ hours averaging 33 mph all the way.  The Mini burnt out two exhaust valves, and two spark plugs, apparently that’s all.  Oh, by the way, I had 50 cents left, and Loon was flat broke.

And onward to a phone box, rang Trevor then home to Loon’s to change cars to get to Trevor’s place.  The party at Trevor’s was down to Horm, Tony, Trev, Brice and Grant so about 2.00 a.m. I went to sleep.

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