Variety NSW raises money by driving the wacky cars around the state

Heading our way. The wacky and wonderful Variety Bash will pass through Glen Innes on Sunday and Monday.
Heading our way. The wacky and wonderful Variety Bash will pass through Glen Innes on Sunday and Monday.

The “Variety Bash” has been going since 1985 when Australian businessman, Dick Smith, had the idea of getting people he knew to drive weird and wonderful cars around the rougher roads of New South Wales to raise money for charity.

This year’s event arrives in Glen Innes on Sunday when the organisers say they will “brave the elements of the New England tablelands and seek the hospitality of Glen Innes for our first night on the road and celebrate with the great people of the Glen Innes Ex-Services Club.”

And then on Monday morning, more than a hundred of the exotic vehicles will be on show at the Public School before heading off towards Narrabri after breakfast.

The organisers said that some of the money raised would help pay for seating in the playground.

The drive starts at water’s edge in Newcastle and Glen Innes is the second day’s destination. The cars are basically ordinary cars but adapted to look wacky – a tank turret might be added, or some sort of movie theme, Mickey Mouse is prominent. Other themes are: the Flintstones, Bob the Builder, The Purple People Eater and Star Wars. 

The whole event is organised by the charity, Variety, and its regional director, Jason Bourke, said: “All of the funds raised will provide grants to help give Aussie kids a fair go.” 

Variety’s Tina Woolfe said: ““There will be 105 cars ‘Bashing’ this year, which is by far the largest number of entries in the Bash’s history, and 315 participants including the crews and officials.

“The cars have different themes like the Flintstones, Micky and Minnie Mouse, Bob the Builder, The Purple People Eater and Star Wars. A helicopter also accompanies the Bash and one lucky child and their carer will be given a 20 minute helicopter ride over our town and the surrounding area at approximately 9 am Monday morning.

”The public are invited to come along and see the cars and meet the crews on Monday morning 21st May from 7 to 9 am.”​