[xk] Across Australia in an XK

This brings back pleasant memories 1978 setting of from Perth in my newly
restored XK120 roadster 660224 to go to our first National Jaguar rally in
We had brought the car 12 months earlier as a pile of parts carried out
complete paint, trim, mechanics, chrome and wiring etc the last few weeks
were frantic trying to finish it and we were still finishing off the last
items at
11pm the night before we left.
The recommended departure time from Perth was 3.30AM this allowed you to get
some miles done before Mr Plod arose and put you in the right area’s at the
right time to avoid kangaroos we overnited at Balladonia 587 miles or 951km
a little sooner than planned but had a slight hiccup with points in the fuel
pump which we cleaned with a nail file. Having had a number of late nights I
was falling asleep at the wheel before we got to Northam only 60 miles from
Perth so my wife of 8 months got to drive for the first time and in fact
drove for most of the first day
Next day it was 598 miles and overnight at Ceduna then off to Adelaide. From
Adelaide it was onto West Wyalong 546 miles then off to the big smoke
Sydney. Going through Lithgow and
having come from a Place like Perth were it never really gets cold we
were totally unprepared I had a knitted beanie but we had to resort to a
pair of socks as gloves and a towels wrapped around our waste under coats.
The rest of the trip a total of 6,879 miles in 6 weeks went like a dream
brought a
XK140 MC coupe S804502 with sandcasts and race history in Melbourne for a
song although it was a little worse for wear!
We tried one night on the way home to drive straight through but stopping
for a kip I found it is really impossible to sleep in an XK120 roadster just
keep driving.
Sorry to inform you john but I kept a log of the refuelling petrol ranged
from 15.5c per litre through to a whopping 28c per litre!!!
I am guessing you will see prices at $2.50 plus a litre but can I suggest
take some Coles and woollies 4 c discount vouchers you can fill at Ceduna
using them and at Norseman if you fill up at the highway petrol station you
pay big money drive on to centre of Norseman all of 1km and petrol drops 50c
per litre! typical highway thieves.
I would hope clicked into overdrive at the steady 110km which is generally
the hwy limit in SA and WA you should be getting 25mpg +
You lucky devil and I wish you a safe and enjoyable trip.
regards terry

John Smith did the trip in 1976 in the XK140 804687 and there was still 400
miles of dirt from border to Ceduna basically by 1977 it was all sealed

For those interested in the road conditions I should tell you that it will
not be a multi-lane H/way but predominately a single lane both directions
with a 100km speed limit. We expect to be travelling for five days to reach
Perth and average 22-25 mpg.

Tomorrow we are off on a 400km shake down run to test out the car !

First met a much younger Terry McGrath when he drove across OZ from Western
Australia. I think from memory that his trip was a fair bit quicker in a
XK120. Was the road tarred all the way then Terry??

Regards to all

John Ledbrook