From restored farming tractors and war vehicles to the impressive Ford Falcon GT 351, there was something for a plethora of wheel enthusiasts on Saturday – the start of the Weeks of Speed in Gunnedah.

The morning started with a parade through the main street of cars, tractors and motorbikes before drivers made their way to the Woolworths car park and Wolseley Park for their pride and joy to be on display for the morning.

The Gunnedah Aeroclub contributed with a fly-over that was witnessed by spectators who had their feet firmly planted on the ground.

The display of vehicles was presented by the Gunnedah Rural Museum, with plenty of crossover of clubs and enthusiasts in the area including The Boggabri Tractor Shed.

A well-known name to the Weeks of Speed events was Ray Darcey, who was at the car park to introduce special guest and former Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson.

Mr Darcey also spoke about how it was 27 years ago when the Week of Speed was first started by tourist officer Chris Ryan.

He was tasked with finding a way of drawing people in during March and a cart race around Memorial Drive near the pool was the beginning of a much-loved festival.

“It is a pretty unique festival,” Mr Darcey said at the opening event.

“We have had a few people try to come to town and pinch it off us.”

He thanked people for turning up to the beginning of the festival and the support received to continue the Weeks of Speed festival.

Find gallery here: Weeks of Speed 2024: Street parade and Clash of the Sirens Gallery – Gunnedah Times

“We can put it on but if we do not have the support, we have nothing.”

John Anderson opened the Weeks of Speed festival after relaying his interest in vehicles at the show.

Being around the machinery brought out the passion for restoration and knowledge from the former Deputy Prime Minister.

Similar to the Willys Jeep that was on display, Mr Anderson’s father has also owned a vehicle and trailer.

“It is a great privilege to be here,” Mr Anderson said at the opening.

“I share a passion for old machinery with you.”

He spoke about how there is a competitive side ingrained into the Weeks of Speed activities.

“It struck me that young people have always had an interest in competition,” he said

He relayed extensive knowledge on the history of the Merlin Engine, going as far to say: “We wouldn’t have won [World War II] without it.”

The passion for restoring and keeping historical vehicles in top condition was evident among displays.

The Gunnedah Times spoke with multiple owners, some who have spent years of care and commitment to organisations who keep vintage vehicles as a part of history.

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