Car 869 -The Audi

Ready for packing!

The Audi is back with Gandalf carefully stowed out of the random rain drops.  Plenty of people stopping in Centre Rd Bentleigh to check it out and drop in some coins. The packing starts today.  We must deliver camping, spare parts and extra clothing to Sunshine for the semi-trailer to take for us on Saturday.  Then getting some sleep before an early start at Albert Park at 6.30 am.  All 93 cars drive around Melbourne to drum up support and then off to Wyndham vale to see the auction of a donated house!  Great work by our really top fund-raisers.  Then off again to Warrnambool for night 1.

Gandalf at Audi!

Lisa Bond, Audi sales person of the year, and Nerida at Audi Centre Brighton.  Gandalf has now been shackled on.  If you travelling down Nepean Hwy in the next week or so, check out the car at 869 Nepean Hwy, Brighton - what is familiar about that number?

Showing off!

Can you believe this! Car is now in the #AudiCentreBrighton Audi Centre Brighton showroom in pride of place! Go to 869 Nepean Hwy (just past Cummins Rd turnoff on way to Southland from the city on left) and you will see it in the window. Make sure you drop in and ask for Michael Johnston or Lisa Bond. #VarietyClubVicBash It will be there for the next 14 days and then we are off on the 20th.

Its a bash car!

New LT SUV tyres and donor stickers. The car is really a bash car now.  Tomorrow it goes into the showroom at #AudiCentreBrighton.  Most of the stickers are now on and at the last minute the dust light is on.  Gandalf will be finished later this week all ready for the roof.

The car is at Audi Centre Brighton showroom at 869 Nepean Hwy for the next 2 weeks.  Make sure you drop in. Remember, if you or anyone else is in the market for a car, Audi will donate $500 to our campaign for every audi car purchased if you mention 'Michael Hall'. Ask for Lisa or Michael. 

We've wrapped!

Wow, it never ceases to amaze me that people are just do keen to support Variety - the Chidlren's Charity in anything tey do.  Thanks for my friends at the Reserve Raod sandwich SDhop in Cheltenham for their generous donation to #VarietyBashVic.  We were there today getting the car wrapped by Ross and Display Makers and here it is done!  

I dropped into Audi Centre Brighton and collected more stickers.  Just some welding and the car will soon be in their showroom. 

More photos here 

Dash to get ready for the Mobile Workshop

Tomorrow we front at Dandenong with a checklist issued by Variety with 42 items on it.  Other lists cover first aid and spare parts.  Hopefully it will all get done in time.  If the car does not pass, we will not pass!  Just have to pick up a tyre repair kit on the way.

Race to the finish

Just 2 days to get the design rings on the car (red); the skidplates attached after expert welding by ARKY WELDING in Moorabbin; and the tree of Gondor on the bonnet.  Thanks to Richard Jefferey of who came by today with bottles of FreshWaveIAQ, that WoyWoy river mould smell will be gone by tomorrow.  Hopefully, we may be in Audi Centre Brighton very shortly.  Gandalf is getting restless!  (Did we mention we were leaving the country for a wedding and will be back just in time to make the weekend workshop).

Rookies Day Out adventures

Great day on Sunday.  Thanks to all of our hosts, not to mention the Variety Club Bash team.  It was wonderful to see one of the grantees and hear their story about how a properly designed wheelchair had made all the difference.  Great to meet some other new bashees and talk about skid plates and other important car bits.  A lot of fun was had driving through the Toolangi state forest and we only missed two turns - not bad.  Interesting dead end with a lot of cars all turning around in the mud and getting back on the road.  The real turn-off was only a hundred meters away!  We now know what dust lights are! Back at the ranch, Gandalf is coming alive!

Gandalf, horns and a skid-plate frame

Rain this week has meant working on Gandalf and he is close to ready to go on the roof!  The skidplate frame is now in place with much tig welding, bolting and as Michael says 'grinding not sanding'.  The cross beam connects into the chassis of the car and is designed to take frontal and upward forces. 

The kangaroo horns are now installed.  We are all set to go on the Rookie's day on Sunday.  We will see how it all works.  It might be the humans that need more work!

Gandalf in progress

Gandalf has aquired hair and black eyes.  The real challenge will be the eyebrows.  The real gandalf does not seem to happy about his look-a-like!

Yesterday the TIG welder arrived so we are making a strong push to get the skid plate done this weekend.  The repaired panels also need a coat of paint so let's hope it does not rain!

We've topped $6000 and Panel Beating done!

A huge shout out to all of our sponsors! Thankyou!

The car is back from LJS Panels in Cheltenham with a great panel beating job ready for the last few paint touch-ups. (Thanks to Laurie!).

In the meantime, Gandalf continues to emerge!

Mascot preparation

Giacometti, eat your heart out.  First wire model for our roof mascot.  Good likeness? 

The car is at the panel beaters in Cheltneham getting some TLC.

Looking forward to getting together at the Water Rat Hotel this week. We'll hopefully get some answers for this niggling questions.  Do we really need suspension coil covers?

Still looking for a welder to put the main skid plate bits together. 

Bending iron with a house!

Tonight's update is all about a tow bar.  Variety Club Bash rules require a 50ml tow ball at the front.  Audi's don't have a front.  They have strong rails coming forward with a tow 'D' on one side.  The rest is just light metal.  We have used 12 millimetre flat iron bent to follow and be secured to one rail. When it came back from the iron-monger though, it was not bent enough!  With no 4000k press we used the weight of the house and a hydraulic jack to finesse the 3 bar components into the right shape, pick up the D and end in a tow ball.  Some welding, some 8.8 bolts, grinding and drilling and it's snug.  Living the dream!  

Audi Centre Brigton overhaul

Last Friday the car came back from Audi.  It's great! #AudiCentreBrighton.  It boast new belts, clean fluids, a fresh wheel alignment and lots of TLC. The car now purrs.  Thanks again to Angelo and his assistant and to Michael for giving us their time.  The car now purrs....

Logos on their way!

To our wonderful sponsors, we are currently organising for logos to appear on this page next to your respective donations.  Sticker production is underway and if you have not done so already, send us your best highest resolution image.

Angelo, specialist Audi mechanic and his assistant



See more pictures at my facebook page

Up on the hoist at Audi Centre Brighton

Just settling down from the good news!  We have done it or more precisely our sponsors have done it - $5017!!!!!  Thanks to you all!

So here is our Thursday night update (16 May 2019).  The car is on the hoist at Audi Centre Brighton which is donating expert mechanical help. Angelo and his assistant (the one with the grin - is this his dream job or what!) are replacing belts, fluids and tuning up as they go.  The uderneath of the car has been revealed and the skid plate attachment points identified.  Next job is assembling the plate.  After that off to the wrap shop, then roof racks and maybe a half torso of Gandalf!

A Very Big shout out to donors!

I cannot believe that we are just over halfway to our goal of $5000!  Thank you to everyone and keep those stickers coming.

I was in #AudiCenterBrighton the other day and they are painting the floor in readiness for The Audi 100 which will be displayed in the showroom as soon as the car is 'finished'. Serious mechanical work starts this week.

The metal has arrived for the 'bash plate' which will go from the front right under the car.  This will protect it from hitting those pot-holes or more precisely losing the back end which has happened before in bashes!

The towball wooden prototype is shown with the newly arrived metal fabricated version next to it.  The offset is designed to align with the cars chassis.  Bash cars are required to have solid towballs so that rescue trucks can rescue them!

Hobbit Cloak production line!

Alyssa modelling Hobbit Cloak and hobbit pin

Off to Audi Centre Brighton for a specialist overhaul!

Audi Centre Brighton are sponsoring us with specialist repairs and will donate $500 to our appeal for every car purchased from Audi Centre Brighton.  Just mention my name and the Variety Bash.  Ask for Michael or Lisa!  The Audi 100 was delivered to them last Tuesday.  It will be shown in the showroom once it is ready.  Hopefully Angelo (the specialist) can locate an EHA valve made from 'unobtainium'. 

Audi - the look!

Our friend Julian Whitta designer extraordinairre of Hillcrest Design (and Audi recruit) has designed a brilliant wrap.  We are doing a Lord of the Rings theme so rings, brooches and hobbits will abound!  

Getting classic car registration - a day in the life of a bashee.

We had a brief meeting with Towball, long time revered Bash mechanic on the side of the road in Altona as I was going for scrutiny for a classic car registration. This was the day after the roadworthy where a mechanic checked replacement brake rotors and transmission mounts.  To my great surprise the wheel lug nuts came off the front left wheel just over the WestGate Bridge.  Towball bemused but helpful arrived and assisted in getting me going and checking that the car was OK.  I was apprehensive but he said ' could get to Geraldton with that!'


I'm taking part in the Variety Bash to help kids in need

Hi. We hunted for an old Audi to take on this year’s Variety Bash. (We found it - see the picture below).  There is not that much time to find one to fix up for the trip across Australia  -  from Melbourne Victoria to Geraldton, through the middle of WA. 

The Variety Bash seems like a great bunch of people doing a fun thing for kids. Its a good cause run like a military exercise by Variety – the Children’s Charity and its a good excuse to experience remote and regional parts of Australia and the friendliness of county towns and folk.

We will be joining entrants stopping at local schools and organisations to make donations to help kids who are sick, disadvantaged or have special needs.

We have great business friends many of whom have already told us they are happy to make some of their charitable donations through our entry in the Variety Vic Bash. 

Please join them and help us give Aussie kids a lift – donate today! Visit our page here

This picture is me arriving home with the Audi100 after a three day trip to Woy Woy in NSW to collect it - only one breakdown!

My Achievements

Goal! Ten donations received for kids in need!

$500 will supply an iPad for a non-verbal child

$1,000 will supply a specialised trampoline for children with sensory needs

$3,000 buys a portable scooter for a child with limited mobility

Oh wow $10,000 for kids in need. You are champs!!

Thank you to my Sponsors


Lmg Accountants

Hi Guys, Have fun! A great cause and good way to raise funds


Filterfit P/l

Its not a Merc but at least its German


Freudenberg Filtration Technologies (aust) Pty Ltd




Transformation Management Services P/l


Trevor & Alizon West

Great job guys! Enjoy the adventure.


Enviro Plus Car And Tall Van Wash Tecoma

I hope you use BP Ultimate 😉.... Good Luck


Meghan Hoare

Best of luck on this epic adventure! Stay safe and have a wonderful time for a great cause.


Rob Gordon

Best wishes Michael - good to dsee you are away from the screen


Counselling Appraisal Consultants


Select Airconditioning - Shane Loffler

The Coolest Car in town - Sponsored by SELECT AIRCONDITIONING


Walters & Partners Accountants

I hope it has the German reliability...


Lee Displays


Anne Hall

What a wonderful idea. Send me pictures.


David Fisher


Signor Tontodonati

Good luck Bilbo & Frodo Baggins!!!


Lisa Bond

We will be watching Michael


Michael Holcroft

Best of Luck


Michelle & Michael Wallace

Well done and good luck!


Philip Staindl

Drive like the wind!


The World @ Braeside Travel

Good Luck Boys


John Wallace

Don't take dynamite!


Dakdak Cafe

You have our full support : ) bring the car round for a photo outside the cafe and perhaps a round of coffees and breakfast buns before you head off - on the house of course....


James Egan

Best of luck! If you're on a road trip you need great driving music!!


Sebastian Buccheri

Good luck in your adventures


Liz Harris


George Karalis

Good, luck, have fun and take care! Great cause.


Michael Hall


Michael Johnston


Megan Lawton


Tania Sourdin

I am sure that you can do it


Thomas Petrakos

Best of luck on an exciting adventure. I hope you reach Mount Doom, find the ring and save Middle Earth!!


Big Post

All the best, it's a great cause!


Audi Centre Brighton Showroom Collections

Lots of visitors dropping in coins


Reserve Road Sandwich Shop Cheltenham


Lynne Burgess