Bay to Birdwood: SA’s Best Classic & Vintage Car Rally

Bay to Birdwood Classic Car Rally

The Bay to Birdwood classic and vintage car rally is generally held in late September in South Australia during spring time.

I wanted to take some cool car photos, so I decided to go to the Bay to Birdwood for the first time, and I’m glad I did.

The car rally starts in West Beach and makes its way to the National Motor Museum grounds in Birdwood in the Adelaide Hills.

Spectators can see the classic & vintage cars at West Beach, along the Bay to Birdwood road route, and on the grounds at the National Motor Museum in Birdwood.

Plenty of people sit by the side of the road along the route to admire the vehicles as they drive to Birdwood, with many waving to the drivers and passengers.

Here is a Polaroid picture of four girls in an old vintage vehicle just before they were about to leave and drive out of the National Motor Museum grounds in Birdwood.

If you know any of these girls, surprise them! Yep, you’re on Greek Gods Paradise!

Vintage Car Bay to Birdwood

The plan was to take a few Polaroid pictures at the Bay to Birdwood, but I only took two instant film photos. This one and another photo I gave to the girls. It’s my new favorite Polaroid picture.

Bay to Birdwood – West Beach

The Bay to Birdwood started in a large reserve at West Beach called Barratt Reserve.

Gates opened early at 6:30 am, mainly for the classic and vintage car drivers themselves.

I arrived closer to 7:45 am since there was a welcome and smoking ceremony at 8:00 am, so I wanted to be there to see what that was all about.

By that time, most of the cars had already parked on the reserve, but a few vehicles taking part in the event were still arriving.

Stanley Steamer Car – Bay to Birdwood

This Stanley Steamer car is the first vintage car I noticed. The steam car had the prestigious pole position for the Bay to Birdwood.

Steam-powered cars are rare. This particular make and model vehicle is one of only five or possibly six in existence worldwide.

Stanley Steamer Car Bay to Birdwood

A wide variety of vintage vehicles were at the Bay to Birdwood, and yet, this one attracted a lot of attention.

I wanted to see a Ford Pheaton, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. Phaeton comes from Greek mythology, as he’s the son of the sun-god Helios. There was a story about the vintage vehicle and the family owners in the paper, so I’m not sure where it was hiding.

Volkswagen Kombi – Bay to Birdwood

A number of people dressed up for the Bay to Birdwood to suit their classic or vintage vehicle model.

Volkswagen Kombi

Something like over 1400 classic and vintage vehicles took part in the Bay to Birdwood. Rows and rows of cars were lined up on the reserve at West Beach.

Bay to Birdwood – Welcome and Smoking Ceremony 

At about 8:10 am, a guy performed a welcome and smoking ceremony. The first cars left at about 8:15 am, and the last few cars seemed to have departed by about 11:00 am.

Bay to Birdwood Welcome and Smoking Ceremony

Here’s a cool-looking blue Charger making its way around to the start line.

Blue Charger at the Bay to Birdwood

Here’s a blue and white Ford Falcon Cobra, one of only 400 manufactured.

Ford Falcon Cobra

Here are four Australian hillbillies in an old vintage vehicle.

Old Vintage Car Bay to Birdwood

Town of Birdwood

The town of Birdwood is famous for the National Motor Museum and also a pub with a red vehicle mounted in the air on the second story of the building. You can just see it in the distance under the white cloud.

Birdwood was way busier than usual since people from all over South Australia, including other states, visit Birdwood for this event. They either participate in the car rally or come to see the classic and vintage vehicles on show in this charming town.

Birdwood Town

Tip: Buy your tickets online to enter the National Motor Museum grounds as part of the Bay to Birdwood event. The line was long, so you could save valuable time buying any tickets online before going there. For instance, I had to wait 15 minutes in a long line to get to the ticket counter.

Bay to Birdwood – National Motor Museum

The first vehicle I noticed at the National Motor Museum car park was this one. It was a Minerva Type R 1909 Roadster. From Greek mythology, Minerva is the Greek equivalent of Athena, the Goddess of wisdom.

Minerva Type R 1909 Roadster

Maybe I should include a Minerva roadster in the best cars for Greek Gods.

I probably arrived in Birdwood at about 12:30 pm, but I should have gone there sooner.

The time was about 12:45 pm after I found a place to park and walked to the National Motor Museum. Then I had to wait in line, so I got inside at 1:00 pm almost on the dot.

A fashion show for the Bay to Birdwood was scheduled at 1:00 pm. So I watched a bit of that before going to see the cars on display around the grounds.

Later on, I took this photo, and guess what? It’s the same girl as seen in the Polaroid photo.

Best Female Fashion Bay to Birdwood Event

Here’s a photo of a Ford Falcon XA GT 351 at the National Motor Museum grounds.

Ford Falcon XA GT 351 and other classic cars

A bright yellow Chevrolet Corvette Stingray stood out in a grassy area further away from the National Motor Museum building.

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Bay to Birdwood

There were plenty of people around at the Bay to Birdwood event.

One thing that surprised me was hearing talk of Kronos (Cronus), the God of time. A politician gave a long speech on stage about the Greek God Kronos at the Bay to Birdwood.

‘Kairos’ (καιρός), an ancient Greek word was also mentioned in the speech. It means the perfect moment or timing, an opportune moment, the moment of truth, the defining moment. Well, something like that. Not sure how it related to cars, but it was interesting to hear.

Bay to Birdwood Awards

By mid-afternoon, the Bay to Birdwood awards were taking place. The awards were announced on a stage to the left, which you can’t quite see in this picture.

National Motor Museum Grounds Birdwood SA

Here’s the Stanley Steam car again, as seen from the rear side.

One of the awards went to a 1932 Chevrolet BA Confederate Moonlight Speedster (Concours d’Elegance – Pre-1950 Award). Here it is.

1932 Chevrolet BA Confederate

The Bay to Birdwood was a good day out, and the more you love classic and vintage cars, the more you’ll love the event.

If you’re in Adelaide at the right time of year, during late September, I highly recommend visiting Birdwood, especially if you’re a car enthusiast.

Access to the National Motor Museum is also allowed when you purchase a ticket to the event, which is a nice bonus. It’s one of the top Museums in Adelaide with Greek Myth Art.

Here are some more things to do in Adelaide, South Australia.

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Bay to Birdwood Classic and Vintage Car Rally