This article appeared in the 2nd issue of Vintage Caravan Magazine - June/July 2011
Having only just completed my caravan Vicky’s interior makeover the week before, it seemed as good a time as any to hit the road once more and show her off a bit. The occasion: the third annual Garterbelts & Gasoline Nostalgia Festival. Held for the first time in the idyllic location of Mt. Tamborine in the Gold Coast Hinterland, the euphoria started to set in even before we arrived at the showgrounds, as the perfect weather and breathtaking scenic drive up the mountain filled me with a sense of anticipation and adventure. The thrill of taking my little Vicky out and about to a new setting in conditions like this is one of life’s better joys and always makes me so proud and happy to be a caravanner.
Once inside the showgrounds, the pink flamingos were put in place and the banana lounge brought out to take advantage of the sensational summer-like weather. Then it was off the nearby Saint Bernard’s Hotel for a steak meal, some live rockabilly jives and the judging of the Miss Garterbelts & Gasoline pin-up contest. The party went on well into the night and saw me crawling back into the van way past my usual bedtime.
Early on Sunday morning, even with earplugs in, the familiar rumbling of hot rods could be heard as streams of entrants and their pre-1970 vehicles rolled in to the showgrounds in preparation for the big day – the classic and custom car displays. Several vintage caravans, along with Vintage Caravan Magazine’s own “Vicky” were also on display and proved to be very popular with the crowds. And I was stoked to spot this pink Vauxhall!
The great weather continued throughout the entire weekend creating ideal circumstances for a long weekend festival of lowbrow art, tiki carving, hot rods, classic and custom cars, vintage fashion, pinup photography, market stalls, plenty of rockin’ live music and lots and lots of dancing. Along with over 300 show cars, a crowd of almost 4,000 filled the showgrounds with most in full retro regalia creating a sea of slick back hairdos for the guys and circle skirts, petticoats, polka dots and parasols for the gals.
The next day, with all the cars gone, I was lucky enough to get some photos done of Vicky and I by the renowned pinup photographer: the gorgeous Helen Mclean before hitting the road for the 2-hour journey home. Assisted by Miss Christine from Lindy’s Charm School for Girls on hair and makeup, the Helen McLean pinup photo booth proved to be one of the most popular attractions of the festival.
A big shout out has to go to Paul Biagini and wife Amanda for putting together what was probably one of the best and definitely the most fun events I’ve been to in a long time. The choice of location and the enthusiasm and dedication to the nostalgia lifestyle shown by the festival organisers created a fantastic festival vibe and Vicky and I can’t wait for next year’s event!
This is the Saint Bernard from St. Bernard's Hotel at Mt. Tamborine who obviously has a very tough life - I found him lounging in the Pokies lounge!