Kalorama Rally 2019

The Kalorama Rally has been conducted by the Vintage Drivers Club each year since the mid 1950s at the Kalorama Community Oval on Mount Dandenong.


Originally a driving event pitched towards pre World War Two cars it has in recent years evolved into a static display for cars up to 1990. Nevertheless vintage cars remain the feature, especially large Edwardian era sports and touring cars bedecked with huge brass lamps and radiators.


My first visit to Kalorama must have been around 1980 in my scruffy old 1938 MG TA. On the 24 March this year l returned to Kalorama in my not so scruffy 1948 MG TC. Like my 56 Chevy the MG is adorned with a supercharger which ensures a ready supply of power, a feature especially useful in the climb up Mount Dandenong from Montrose.


Much like tri-five Chevys, MG TCs have been much modified by successive owners over the last 70 years in pursuit of greater performance. Consequently a standard TC is today something of a rarity.


Indeed the TC will stand modification and abuse sufficient to see one victorious at the 1947 Australian Grand Prix. Other notable Australian Grand Prix results include a 2nd place finish in 1949, 4th, 6th, 7th and 8th in 1950, 3rd , 5th, 6th and 7th in 1951 and 2nd in both 1953 and 1954. Not too bad considering the modest origins of its pushrod 1250cc engine.


Amongst huge array of cars and motorbikes there were around a dozen MG TCs, all modified to a greater or lesser extent. The feature car for most was however the sole surviving 1914 Type S Grand Prix Delage, with its impressive twin overhead cam, sixteen valve four cylinder engine thumping through an unmuffled drainpipe exhaust.


One of only three built; the Delage arrived in Australia in the mid 1920s following a racing career in Europe and the USA. Australian owners include multiple Grand Prix winner Lex Davison and the Delage was extensively raced and hill climbed, including an appearance at the opening meeting of Maroubra Speedway Sydney in 1925.


The car was restored and returned to its 1914 guise some thirty years ago following its sale by the Davison family. However after terminally damaging its irreplaceable engine block the future looked bleak.

Happily, with the cooperation of the CSIRO and talent of Australian engineers based around Castlemaine the Delage has been returned to life

the wonders of 3D printing technology.

The original block was first laser scanned inside and out with the damage in the digital clone being repaired before a sand mould was created with a 3D printer.


A new block was then cast identical in every way to the original.

The following link tells the whole story: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-27/saving-the-last-delage-type-s-grand-prix-car/8310958.


Having the opportunity to hear and see the Delage running was worth the trip to Kalorama in itself.

After an enjoyable day l motored back down Mount Dandenong with the growing thought that any energy spent making the TC stop rather than go would not be misplaced.


Tim Perrin

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