Saturday, August 5, 2017

Bay to Birdwood 2017

Bay to Birdwood claims to be the largest and longest running classic vehicle event in the world. It involves a week of classic motoring events as part of Motorfest, culminating in a 70 kilometre drive from the Adelaide seafront to Birdwood in the Adelaide Hills. Birdwood is the home of the National Motor Museum. The event is now so large that it is split into two bi-annual events; the original event for vehicles built prior to 1954 and the Classic, for vehicles built from 1954 to 1981. For more information see the website:

The Bay to Birdwood route.

This year I'm going to attend the Bay to Birdwood along with 5 other cars from the Special Interest Vehicle Association. We are going to ship the cars to Adelaide, which is 2700 kilometres east of Perth across the Nullabour  Plain. Some are driving back. It takes about 5 days to drive at the leisurely pace of a classic car. I am not sure I'll be driving the return but we'll see.

In the meantime it's time to tackle all those little maintenance tasks to ensure she's fit for the journey. For safety reasons I've just had seatbelts fitted. They look pretty good. Thanks to Seatbelt Solutions of Welshpool.

The results look good

About a year ago I had my original exhaust replaced. The exhaust was in terrible shape with rot holes beginning to appear in the metal. The only thing holding it together was the 300 kilograms of oil and carbon trapped inside it.

So I had to find a new exhaust. The first one I tried was a sports exhaust sourced from South Africa. It was recommended to me by some fellow DKW owners who said it provided an increase in speed and performance.

Well, it certainly did increase the car's speed. On the freeway it performed really well and I'm sure it gave about an extra 5 miles and hour, but... unfortunately most of my driving is done on suburban streets at around 40 to 50 miles an hour and it really wasn't suited to that power band. The engine ran really rough at a lower speeds and, most importantly, the undampened exhaust note was quite deafening!

 Even at idle the sports exhaust was really noisy.

After a few weeks of driving I had the sports exhaust removed and replaced with something a little quieter, but this modern exhaust, although generally okay, did not work particularly well either. The engine and exhaust continued to vibrate alot and performance at speed dropped from a comfortable maximum speed of 75 miles per hour to around 65 miles per hour. It was time to go back to an original style exhaust.
I eventually obtained a NOS exhaust from Germany from Ralf Muller (, who has a great stock of original spare parts for most DKW models. Gary from Custom Exhaust Specialists in Osborne Park  ( installed the exhaust for me and the difference in performance has been amazing. The exhaust note is extremely quiet again, top maximum speed has been returned and the vibration and rattling in the exhaust system has stopped. Magnificent!

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