The way we were: RACV patrols the Nullarbor

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Inspecting Eyre Highway Patrol supplies
Inspecting Eyre Highway Patrol supplies

In November 1962 the Commonwealth Games were held in Perth. RACV contributed six Dodge panel vans to an Australian Automobile Association fleet formed to patrol the Eyre Highway for a month.

This much-appreciated joint venture helped drivers on the challenging journey from Adelaide to Perth across the Nullarbor Plain. The highway was largely unsealed, temperatures reached more than 44° C and dust could cut visibility to seven metres.

Flags were placed at every dangerous hole in the road to minimise vehicle damage. Over 400 breakdowns were attended and many spare parts had to be sent from hundreds of kilometres away.

From the usual 22 vehicles a day, the daily total rose to 160. These included canny Western Australians who spotted the perfect time to head east, returning home before the operation ended.

Written by Helen Stitt
July 21, 2017