Over 50 years ago the Illawarra Vintage Car Club was the idea of two apprentice motor mechanics, working at Dwyers the Holden dealership in Wollongong. They both owned old cars and decided to see if anyone else was interested in a club for cars 20 years and older.

The meeting was held in October 1956 with 6 to 8 people in attendance. That night the Illawarra Vintage Car Club was born, and by the end of that month there were about 20 members.

They decided on a motto for their new club, it was "Illawarra Vintage Car Club Forever Reliable" and they also designed a badge that had a wheel with an old car in the middle resembling a T Model Ford with their motto inscribed around the wheel.

They also made a club name plate to screw onto the number plates, one of which is proudly displayed today on a foundation member's club car.

Back in the early days club events such as - Gymhunterques being a Gymkhana - a Treasure Hunt followed by a B.B.Q., Collector Hunts - Gymkhanas - Reliability and Navigational Trials were great fun events. It was great family fun with girl friends, sisters, brothers and Mums & Dads coming along. From these events came the "Vintage 100" which is a surprise run with questions to answer on the way and when arriving at the destination. This event is still held today in the club.

1956 Vintage 100 - 1935 Ford V8

In the 50's the club had the use of an abandoned air strip at the Oaks and later another air strip was bought at Bargo by a member where events like Flag Bending - In and out of Marked Garages, and at the end of the day a 100 lap race around the air strip.

1956 Vintage 100 - 1935 Chev V8

One of the members donated a trophy for a Point Score winner which Ken a present foundation member won 4 times, tying with another member in 1959 & 1960. Our club still has a Point Score Trophy awarded each year. Sadly after 4 or 5 years the club began to take a back seat to girls - then marriage and families.

Thankfully the club was revitalised in the 70's by two of the foundation members and a small group of people interested in old cars.

The Illawarra Vintage Car Club in this era continued to be a family orientated club that enjoyed the social aspect of vintage motoring. The club was made up of mainly families with children ranging from a few months to teenagers, and most of the vehicles were in the 20's and 30's.On long trips it was nothing to have someone else's children in your car whilst yours travelled with other members, this also went for navigators.

1923/4 Saurer - Used to carry luggage on early trips

In the late 80's early 90's the club started fundraising in order to build a motoring memorabilia museum and in 1993 the museum was opened. This created two separate identities in the club, those interested in the museum and those interested in the vintage car club and vintage motoring, so in 1994, after a period of only 12 months, it was decided that the museum go a different way to the club. This enabled the club to continue along the lines for which it was originally intended.

Since then, the club provides a happy environment for historic car enthusiasts. Now in the 21st centenary we are mostly an older aged club, with a history stretching over 50 years, with vehicles from the 20's to the late 70's.

A few years ago a foundation member had a chance meeting with some members of the club, and rejoined the club with his family. The rejoining of this foundation member seemed to complete a circle of history for the Illawarra Vintage Car Club.


In 1956 after the Illawarra Vintage Car Club had been formed it was decided they would have a club badge and club motto. They designed a badge that had a wheel with an old car in the centre resembling a T Model Ford. Inscribed around the wheel of the badge was their motto "Illawarra Vintage Car Club Forever Reliable". It had a white background red and black writing and red and black car.

The first club badge with motto

In 1972 a small lapel badge was designed with a green background with the initials I.V.C.C across it, this was the club badge until 1994.

small lapel badge

In 1994 at a turning point in the club a unanimous change was made. Members submitted ideas for a new badge and the new badge was decided upon. The significance of the centre-piece - that is the Illawarra Flame Tree - is immediately obvious. It is the tree of the Illawarra. The brilliant red of the tree catches one's attention and contrasts so well with the dark green and white of our uniforms.

Current Badge

The club is indeed fortunate to have a logo so appropriate for our local area and they wear it with distinction - the "Illawarra Flame Tree".