Flxible Clipper Club of Australia
MELBOURNE TO SYDNEY
60th Anniversary Re-enactment Run
“Race the Dog”
In the 1950’s, passenger road transport in Australia took a giant leap forward when Reg Ansett (Ansett Airlines) introduced the jewel in the crown to his Pioneer Tours fleet of a ‘state of the art’ long distance touring coach, an American design that was by far the best in the world at the time and built in Australia and called the Ansair Flxible Clipper.With a streamline design and boasting the ultimate in passenger comfort, these coaches opened up vast areas of Australia on tours and long distance passenger services throughout all Australian states, from the Outback to the Coast, the Snowy, across the Nullarbor and throughout Tasmania.
Today the Flxible Clipper Club of Australia members preserve and operate these vehicles mainly as motor homes with some preserved as VIP coaches which are very popular for weddings and special outings. They are enormously popular today. Older people remember them in their glory days and the young ones think they are cool.
In 1955 Government restrictions were lifted to allow long distance coaches to operate interstate express services for the first time and to compete with the railways. Pioneer Tours commenced the first interstate services using Clipper Coaches between Melbourne and Sydney in 1955.
This year, 2015, is the 60th anniversary of this event. The club commemorated the 30th and 50th anniversaries with a public display and interstate run between Melbourne and Sydney with a number of Clipper Coaches.
The 60th Anniversary commenced with a display of Clippers and ex Pioneer Highway Coaches at Essendon Airport precinct “Essendon Fields” on Sunday 29 March between 10am and 2pm – next to where the Clippers were originally built and an area steep in Ansett history. Coaches then departed for Sydney where people saw then enroute, travelling via Seymour, Euroa, Benalla to Wangaratta.
On Monday 30th March the coaches travelled to Canberra via Albury, Holbrook, Tarcutta, Gundagai, and Yass. The coaches were on display in the afternoon outside old Parliament House.
On Tuesday 31st March the coaches travelled to Sydney via Goulburn, Berrima, Mittagong, Bargo and Picton.