The historic re-enactment left this morning from the Commissariat Store, 115 William Street, headquarters of The Royal Historical Society, at 9.35 am, on 5 July 2018 precisely 100 years after the original trip.
On the fifth of July at 9.35am 1918 Fred Eager left from the Treasury buildings in Queen Street carrying a sealed watch provided by Hardy Brothers to attempt to break the then record of 2 hours 35 minutes set by W.A. Elvery in a Studebaker in 1916. The route taken was Brisbane, Redbank, Ipswich, Calvert, Grandchester, Laidley, Gatton, Helidon and finally Toowoomba. Despite the risk of having railway gates closed due to two trains being on the main line and having to ford a creek at Helidon due to the bridge being under repair, Fred Eager drove “Old Whitey” to the front of the Toowoomba Post Office in the record time of 2hours 7 minutes and thirty seconds.
Graham Crittenden and his son Paul Adams are the owners of Whitey. They will undertake the Re-enactment. Graham Crittenden is the second oldest surviving member of the Veteran Car Club and has owned Whitey for 52 years, and “Old Whitey” has been faithfully restored by them. Albert Budworth, former Events Director RACQ, will follow Whitey along the route in a support vehicle. It is not a race, there is no prize. A slightly different route will be taken because of changes to the roads between Brisbane and Toowoomba. There are whistle stops at Goodna and at Rosewood to allow interested spectators, some in historic vehicles, to see Whitey. In Toowoomba the former Holden Dealership in James Street, again owned by AP Eagers will display Whitey for some days in their showroom. Peter Arnold, current President of the Veteran Car Club believes Whitey is the oldest surviving race car in Queensland.
Frederick Zina Eager joined the Royal Historical Society of Queensland in 1941 and remained a member until his death, and that is one of the reasons that The Royal Historical Society of Queensland was delighted to host this event. The re-enactment was sponsored by AP Eagers, Destination Brisbane Consortium has supported the event by enabling the access to William St.
The 2018 run was completed in 2 hours 37 minutes and 50 seconds.