Arts & Culture

Cooma Car Club turns 20 this Saturday – join the party!

Ian Campbell 7 May 2019
Keith Montague (deceased), one of the founding member of Cooma Car Club waves off a rally. Photo: Cooma Car Club.

Keith Montague (deceased), one of the founding member of Cooma Car Club waves off a rally. Photo: Cooma Car Club.

The Cooma Car Club AKA the Cooma Monaro Historic Automobile Club is celebrating its 20th-anniversary this Saturday with a Gala Open Day at its jaw-dropping clubhouse north of the town.

In its relatively short and proud history, the Car Club has purchased the buildings on Bolaro Street and established an outstanding workshop and showroom complex that is the envy of car enthusiasts all over Australia.

Kel Goodman has been a member from the very start – March 1999.

“There was a guy who put an ad in the paper wanting to know if anyone wanted to form a car club,” he remembers.

“So we all got together and this is where we’ve ended up.”

Two hundred people are now members of the club, an organisation that has a hand in a host of regular events on the Snowy Monaro calendar including Cooma Motorfest, Snowy Mountains Touring Classic – Surf to Summit Rally, Over 50s Classic, Girderfork Motorbike Rally, Mount Gladstone Hillclimb, and the Monaro Billy Kart Derby.

A self-confessed Holden nut. Kel’s collection, “starts at a 56 FJ and goes right up to VL Commodore, I’ve got about eight cars, it’s a bit sad and keeps me poor,” he laughs.

The comradery of the club is just as important as the gallery of historic and prestige vehicles on display in the clubhouse.

“Every Tuesday there is a group of men that get together here and they do maintenance and have a chin wag,” Kel says.

One of the highlights of the club’s 20 years was the role it played in the 2018 ’70 Years of Landrover’ spectacular that took over Cooma. They are gearing up for something just as big in 2020 for the Holden FX/FJ Nationals.

Cooma Car Club, Bolaro Street, Cooma. Photo: Cooma Car Club.

Cooma Car Club, Bolaro Street, Cooma. Photo: Cooma Car Club.

Adding more history and points of interest to the factory sized clubhouse is part of the vision for the future with plans for a mural and old fashioned mock-up service station along the back wall.

“But we also put a great emphasis on bringing young people into the club,” Kel says.

“We have a small hill climb car young drivers can borrow, and young people are always welcome in our mechanics workshop.”

Everyone is welcome to the 20th-anniversary celebrations at Cooma Car Club, 11 Bolaro St, this Saturday (May 11) for a great family fun day. The club’s extensive display of cars and memorabilia will be on show inside and outside, a free barbecue, live music, and kids’ entertainment will run through the day from 11 am.

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