Day 2 – Tibooburra – Nockatunga. At the tip, looking for a new leaf spring!
After creeping into town in darkness last night, we had no idea what condition The Rattler was in. Unfortunately, when we checked this morning, the news was not good. This time there were two snapped leaf springs! My first thought was that the journey was over, and we would have to find a way to get the car home, but the town of Tibooburra was not about to let that happen, and before we knew it we were headed to the local tip to scavenge anything that we could use to make temporary repairs. We found an old leaf spring, cut it down to size and bolted it to the newly welded repairs.
After fixing a broken brake mount, we were back in the road, and determined to catch the rally by nightfall in Innamincka. Unfortunately, as the roads out here would have it, after 60 kms we were devastated to see the repairs had failed. A block of softwood was cut to size with the axe, and now chocks up the broken leaf spring, held in place with some cable ties.
We were amazed that it held perfectly in place for the next 190 kms, and drove us to Nockatunga where we had to stop for the night after failing to solve the headlight issue.
As I sit here, my good friend Austen Ritchie, a true rally veteran (and neighbour!), is making the 1,000 km drive out to Quilpie to deliver a set of new leaf springs I had sitting at home for Ruby to use on the 2019 Peking to Paris Rally. He’s expecting to arrive in Quilpie around 5 am tomorrow morning, where Trevor will meet up with him in the Fuso. How lucky I am to have such a good mate to drive over 2,000 kms to help me out after seeing yesterday’s Facebook post!
So tomorrow, I’ll set off in The Rattler, while Trevor makes the 600 km round trip on the bitumen up to Quilpie, and joins up with me on the way out to Birdsville. Hopefully the chock will hold, and we will all make it safely to Birdsville, where the rally is arriving tomorrow night! Wish us luck!!!!