Almost as soon as Amelia ‘Milly MC’ McNamara first heard from a friend about The Variety Bash, a manic 10-day fundraiser to help Aussie kids who are sick, disadvantaged or living with a disability, she’d committed boots and all.
The long-time heavy vehicle pilot for her father’s business Ron McNamara Pilot Services (RMPS) quickly roped in truckie Sam Hill, who has run his trucking business, Hills Group Sunshine Coast, for the last five years, and is the mechanical whiz of the team.
Not even the 11th-hour defection of the friend who’d first got Milly MC keen due to work commitments could derail this dynamic duo.
Along with 149 other teams in a wide range of 30-plus year-old vehicles, they set off from Winton in their trusty Astra on August 29 bound for Yeppoon on September 7, via the iconic Birdsville horse races.
We caught up with Milly MC on a rare rest day before the final push to the finish line to find out a little more.
Tell us about your ‘bash’ car
I found a 1988 Holden Astra on Facebook marketplace that had already been used previously as a bash car, so the majority of the specs were done to the car that saved us a bit of time and money, but it needed a lot of work mechanically done to it to even pass a RWC.
Agnes Water Auto Mechanics worked on the car for 5 weeks to have it ready for us in time for the bash.
Tyrepower Bundaberg looked after us by ensuring we had a wheel alignment and new tyres on our spares to get us through the 10-day trip.
We also installed a stereo so we could listen to Alpha Blokes podcast on the bash. Altogether with the car, mechanics, stereo, RWC and rego we’ve spent a good $10,000 for the “88 Astra to be bash ready.
What’s involved exactly?
Each car commits to raising $8500 to help kids in need, which is raised by sponsors for your bash car, donations and fundraising.
How did you raise the $8500 entry?
At first, it was daunting because I had no idea how I was going to raise $8500 or if anyone would sponsor us.
However, being a part of the trucking industry, and known in the industry, I figured my best bet was to ask people/companies in the industry to be our sponsors.
Tom from Ace Heavy Haulage was our very first sponsor and soon enough we gained more sponsors: Heather Jones (Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls), Planthaul Heavy Haulage, TJM Earthworks, Ryan Northcott (HQ Blingman), SJH Heavy Haulage (Top Tier Sponsor), Mahers Heavy Haulage, The Jake Brake Kid, RMPS, Lucky Inger Designs, and a truck dealership that wishes to be kept anonymous.
RMPS (Ron McNamara Pilot Services) generously sponsored us by buying us the bash car.
90h Nation and Steven Roger together donated us a C509 Centurion Drake Model to raffle to raise money to reach our fundraising goal.
Mahers Heavy Haulage also generously offered to give our bash car a makeover and smashed out a paint job the weekend before the bash to bring the “88 Holden Astra alive with a “Ferrari Red”. It unfortunately does not make the car any faster.
Lucky Inger Designs created my ‘MILLY MC’ logo for the bash car and the colours of the logo and the car really complements each other and stands out.
A truck dealership that wishes to be kept anonymous sponsored us $500 and Kenworth Merchandise donated hoodies, beanies and stubbie coolers, which we were so grateful for as the stubbie coolers kept our rums cold and the hoodies and beanies kept us warm in the cold rainy weather we’ve been experiencing on the trip.
With the help of our sponsors and donations we were able to raise $11,500 for Qld Variety, which collected a record $2.3m in total this year.
- If you’d like to donate to the Variety, and support bash car “HVYHAUL #1207” please visit Milly MC’s donation page here. To follow her bash car journey and see more photos of the Variety Bash, follow heavy_haulage_pilot/Milly MC on Instagram and/or Facebook.