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Offline mhh

  • Chief Test Pilot

  • Joined: Feb 2006

  • Location: Adelaide
On the ' they would only fly Virgin' comment. Qantas is the only airline that flys to Alice Spring and a likely sponsor.

They need to fly to Adelaide then and catch the train.

I understand your points above and they were my initial thoughts too.  But looking at it another way, this is not the Pritchards' idea. Russ has brought the idea to them and is trying to persuade them to come.  We don't know why they haven't ever been to the site - grief does strange things to people. Maybe they couldn't afford it, perhaps they couldn't face it.  The Pritchards aren't demanding anything.  Russ is trying to tempt them out of their home to take part.



Offline amgsl55

  • Tooth hurty

  • Joined: Feb 2011

  • Location: Adelaide
They need to fly to Adelaide then and catch the train.

I understand your points above and they were my initial thoughts too.  But looking at it another way, this is not the Pritchards' idea. Russ has brought the idea to them and is trying to persuade them to come.  We don't know why they haven't ever been to the site - grief does strange things to people. Maybe they couldn't afford it, perhaps they couldn't face it.  The Pritchards aren't demanding anything.  Russ is trying to tempt them out of their home to take part.

But is the train one way or return trip ?

Furthermore air travel will be needed for some participants ( if the event happens) and in previous experience qantas has always been helpful with sponsorship deals.



Offline mhh

  • Chief Test Pilot

  • Joined: Feb 2006

  • Location: Adelaide
But is the train one way or return trip ?

Furthermore air travel will be needed for some participants ( if the event happens) and in previous experience qantas has always been helpful with sponsorship deals.

Virgin flies to Adelaide and Darwin from Brisbane so that's covered.



Offline Paulstar


  • Joined: Jul 2008

  • Location: Sydney
Anyone here able to help Russ with his website?  It would be a shame not to renovate it.  It is an important record of a unique event in Australia's motorsport history.

I had a quick look, it's not something from a technology point of view to reno but rather to knock down and rebuild. Russ where are you located? If this thing has legs I'd be able to put some time behind it around Christmas.



Offline Cannonballrun.info


  • Joined: May 2009

  • Drives: 2004 Mercedes CLK 320 Advantgard
  • Location: Perth
  • Name: Russ
Sounds like you need more than $10K then. What's your total budget for the Pritchards involvement?  What is size of deposit required?  I still think that it is enough to fly the Pritchards there.  The idea that they need a train trip thrown in is a big ask for a sponsor.  But assuming the costs could be met somehow, how keen are they really?  Not keen on media, a bit pissed off at the disrespect shown at the memorial (fair enough too), elderly and infirm, fussy on airline choice - there's a lot that could go wrong here.  Having said that, the idea you have pitched to the ABC is a brilliant one for an Australian Story - did they reply?  I'm visualising a brief memorial service at the site, maybe the families from Japan involved too. Cars coming from all over.  It would be something to see.  Who were the sponsors of the Cannonball Run itself?  Maybe they would help financially to bring the Pritchards back.

Regarding who might drive to the Centre for the anniversary, I guess it should be open to anyone who wants to, no matter what car they have.  The pics you saw of exotics at the Rock were a small bunch of us here, some of whom might want to return but not enough to build an event around.  Guys, anyone interested?  I know I am. I think it would need to be a drive there and back event, not a truck-in situation.  This forum would be a good place to organise it - or a Facebook event perhaps.  I'd been thinking about a 10 year anniversary of the first Exotics in the Outback event in 2005, but this might be a better event to commemorate.  The return to the memorial needs to be compelling enough to stand on its own in case the Pritchards can't make it - having them there would be a bonus.

Anyone here able to help Russ with his website?  It would be a shame not to renovate it.  It is an important record of a unique event in Australia's motorsport history.

Hi mhh and thanks for asking all the right questions :-)

I am thinking a budget of around $15K would cover it for the Pritchard's. I'll get me and my families own way there. My simplified way of thinking is 15 companies with $1000.00 each... That's nothing or 'not a risk' when a business views it like that. Especially if you think we could get the ABC involved. If we have a few company flags, stickers, whatever it takes to get the name splashed around, I would be asking each company what they want out of it and doing my best to make it work... for starters they'll be a life long sponsors on the Cannonball Run website. It would be a type of loyalty as far as I was concerned.

Deposit required is 10%, so a little under $1000.00. I really want this to be a community event so that everyone feels a little ownership. If I had 15 000 people going, all putting in $1.00 each... I would love that even more. Charging money to turn up is not an option. Its for the people, by the people, not an event to pay to see after driving all that way.

I sent out an email last night to all the Cannonball Run email list, and the winner... Ron Conrad said it was a great idea he would be there. (Unfortunately he said he had sold his Porsche that won the event and he regrets selling it) For me that's a big coo. I have a pair of "race official" overalls. Maybe a pair of Race Official Overalls signed by the winner will generate enough for a deposit at an online auction by the 19th of this month according to the travel agent (The date the deposit is due). that's great.... I just thought of that. On that train of thought I have a poster that was signed by nearly every driver, and it's framed with antiglare glass... I would auction that as well That could be $2K worth in those two items alone... wow... this has really got me thinking.

On your thoughts of asking a single sponsor to cover the train ride, yeah I here ya... but what about the Ghan Train themselves, they might throw it in, I just need to ask right?

"Are the Pritchard's keen" Well, here is what I know... they are really keen, ... I mean really keen. To test that I asked Gerry Pritchard (Gerry) to go to a travel agent and organise everything. He did that, and then he told me his wife dragged him back the next day to "get it right" hahahaha, you have to know that the wife (Carol) doesn't really speak of the Cannonball Run because of the thoughts she has (It doesn't help that their doctor has told them many years ago, they have depression and they will never get of it. Nice hey). On this day when she went to travel agent it was the first day she had gotten involved, she got that people cared enough to have the event happen.

But they are scared at the same time. Gerry has been looking forward to this for 2 years now. Carol for a few days now Gerry had made up his mind they would go back in 2014 but they had the following concerns:
1) The media.
You have to understand they were really hounded and bashed by the media.

2) The Northern Territory itself.
For them its the place their son has died. I can relate to that. I live on the very road my brother died in a motor bike accident 5 years ago. That's how I chose to deal with it, many would be the polar opposite. That's what I can see the Pritchard's have chosen to do.

3) The memories that this will bring up for the pair of them.
They have been sweeping this under the carpet for 20 years, and now, we are about to open the wound wide for all of the people to see and feel.

I would ask that you put yourself in their shoes if you can relate. If not and you cant relate, please don't judge. It will more than likely be the way I am putting it. They are some of the nicest old people you will meet. Seriously they love their garden, that's about it. (To give you an idea how good their garden must be, a bride knocked on their front door out of the blue and asked if they could take photo's in their front yard with a photographer a couple of weekends ago.) My point is, they are the sort of people that would help anyone out. 

About the Virgin flights. Yeah I was the same as you ... thinking "Who cares who you fly with, what's the go with that" then I thought... pffttt, how judgemental is that. I will only fly with QANTAS because I am a flight / and frequent flyer points snob. (Well... I don't tell the company I work for that... I tell them its because I have a QANTAS Club membership and it will save the company money if I don't have to buy meals. :-) Really... I love the points to upgrade to business class every now and then) So my point is, I have a reason, they have a reason, I could find out but do I really need to know, it's their preference so I said "Okay whatever it takes"

I sent the ABC - Australian Story email to them about 20 minutes before I posted on here. This forum and community when I use to speak to Ash Simmonds a few years ago was a very receptive community. It was my plan to have you guys involved right from the start. In fact my plan was hit the ABC, let the guys know at Aussie Exotics give the bag a bit of a shake and see what falls out... then chase down all the leads.  I don't expect to hear anything for at least a week from the ABC if at all. They clearly state that if we are not interested we wont be contacting you. I did know that I would get some feedback from the guys at Aussie Exotics though.

Your vision is exactly the same as mine, only yours was better... you invited the Japanese families, that's a great idea, (That's what I mean when I say "Shake the bag and see what falls out) I have their address from 20 years ago... who knows what the culture is like in Japan. They could stay in the same house for a lot longer than the typical Australian family. Cant hurt to send a letter and see what happens. I love the idea.

Your ideas of who were the initial sponsors, yes I had thought of that. I can only remember the NT Government was one, and the Mindle Beach Casino, they are on my hit list. I have hit up Virgin today for the flights to be covered.

You have certainly asked some good questions mhh. This is the frustration for me, I have all this information in my head and when people don't understand and they bag the idea I say to myself "c'mon what about...." and then I realise they don't know everything I know and I am asking people to trust the idea with no background knowledge. I have to allow people time to catch up. I have been planning this for 6 years and I expect everyone I talk to will be up with what's going on, This obviously doesn't work. Let me apologise for this now... and more than likely in the future. This is why I love all the questions you are asking. Helps me get it all out.

Bring it on, ask away. Thanks again. I trust this has answered a lot for people as they read         



Offline Cannonballrun.info


  • Joined: May 2009

  • Drives: 2004 Mercedes CLK 320 Advantgard
  • Location: Perth
  • Name: Russ
I deleted my post thinking it may offend people. We all don't have the same family values yet to this appears to be capitalizing on the generosity of others (IMHO) and should the media be involved they could potentially have a field day and let's not forget the potential Facebook a twitter rants.

My post was something like this:

These people haven't paid respect to the place their son died all those years ago yet they now want the Rolls Eoyce treatment? Round world tickets will be cheaper

As for comments of various driving groups disrespecting the memorial, I was there a few years ago with the AE group, there was no disrespect but a quiet acknowledgement of the frailty of life when our passion for expensive fast cars knocks on the door of our mortality.

Hi amgsl55,

I'm sorry it came across like that for you, this wasn't my intention and I can only assure you this is not like that for Gerry & Carol. I would hope that a train ride and a couple of flights is not a Rolls Royce experience, but then I have realised you don't have a visual of Gerry and Carol as I do.

If you could let me indulge you for a second... Picture this, your parents have had a son die and your parents are in their 70's and I suspect bordering on being in their 80's. They have had medical problem after medical problem and to top it off they have had depression for 20 odd years. You just want the best for them but you cant afford it right, a last holiday right.

Don't get me wrong, I have never personally met the Pritchard's so I cant relate to them like they are my parents, but they send me pictures of their garden and when they have Keith's (One of the official's that died in the event) kids come over for birthdays. (One of the kids has followed in his fathers footsteps and become a mechanic. I get photos sent to me like I am a family member.

I just had the thought... what can I do for these people, and how can I enrol others in what I know so that I can have a few people pitch in a few bucks and have this idea happen for them. why.......... because we can, and it would make them smile. sometimes $15K for a smile is worth it. Along the way it will be fun, and wouldn't it be cool to have had a hand in that. Would you like to help out? Because this is what I am essentially doing. I'm not asking you directly for money, I'm asking for ideas to help out. If you told me you have a cool ute and your dad was a butcher, and you could bring a barbeque across to the memorial and cook some snags... then... "Thanks for your contribution" you see what I mean. It's like "Pay It Forward" we may not be able to do something directly, but we may know someone who knows someone. I'm just asking that you start the conversation with anyone that might like to throw in a few bucks or a few ideas, or... a barbeque and a big load of snags.

And... thanks for saying that the AE group paid their respects the way they did. I have had no evidence of this in the past and I'll be able to pass that onto the Pritchard's with integrity. That's the power of the knowledge you have, I now get to make a difference to someone else through what you have said. They would never have known that believing that people go to the memorial and stand on or do burnouts around it.

Thanks for actually writing what you have said. I realise it would have taken something to delete your first post and then say something later. If you don't say anything I cant address it, so I appreciate you said something.

Does this address everything for you? If you have more questions or even an opinion .... ask away.



Offline Cannonballrun.info


  • Joined: May 2009

  • Drives: 2004 Mercedes CLK 320 Advantgard
  • Location: Perth
  • Name: Russ
On the ' they would only fly Virgin' comment. Qantas is the only airline that flys to Alice Spring and a likely sponsor.

Okay... I didn't know that but they want to fly to Adelaide and train to Alice Springs.



Offline Cannonballrun.info


  • Joined: May 2009

  • Drives: 2004 Mercedes CLK 320 Advantgard
  • Location: Perth
  • Name: Russ
They need to fly to Adelaide then and catch the train.

I understand your points above and they were my initial thoughts too.  But looking at it another way, this is not the Pritchards' idea. Russ has brought the idea to them and is trying to persuade them to come.  We don't know why they haven't ever been to the site - grief does strange things to people. Maybe they couldn't afford it, perhaps they couldn't face it.  The Pritchards aren't demanding anything.  Russ is trying to tempt them out of their home to take part.

That... is perfect... mhh, I can see you get it... love it, yes that's exactly what I have been trying to communicate. only we can take out "trying to tempt them" we have got that in the bag now, I just need to fulfil on the money side of things some how. And that is why I have come to you guys... for the ideas. Maybe you know someone or have an idea.



Offline Cannonballrun.info


  • Joined: May 2009

  • Drives: 2004 Mercedes CLK 320 Advantgard
  • Location: Perth
  • Name: Russ
But is the train one way or return trip ?

Furthermore air travel will be needed for some participants ( if the event happens) and in previous experience qantas has always been helpful with sponsorship deals.

Okay I can answer this one.

The train ride is from Adelaide to Alice Springs, then two days later it's from Alice Springs to Darwin. That's it, yes you are correct the rest are flights.



Offline Cannonballrun.info


  • Joined: May 2009

  • Drives: 2004 Mercedes CLK 320 Advantgard
  • Location: Perth
  • Name: Russ
I had a quick look, it's not something from a technology point of view to reno but rather to knock down and rebuild. Russ where are you located? If this thing has legs I'd be able to put some time behind it around Christmas.

Awesome. (Not that my work has to be knocked down but... great you can help out) I am located in the most remote capital city in the world. Perth.

Thanks for this contribution, do think you would be able to attend on the 24th of May as well?



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