ANNA and John McSweeney will go cruising in their 1959 Ford Skyliner convertible to raise money for Variety children’s charity.
Departing from Gingin on March 9, the Roleystone couple will join a fleet of 24 classic, muscle and sports cards driving up the coast to Jurien Bay.
It’s the couple’s second trip after friends roped them into taking part.
“We ran out of petrol and friends on the cruise said they’d give us 20 litres of fuel but only if we took part next time,” Mrs McSweeney said.
The Variety cruise is not a race but a tour taking 3½ days where participants visit schools to entertain kids and perform a series of activities along the way.
“It’s really well organised,” Mrs McSweeney said.
“You drive pretty consistently but stop at schools along the way, talk to the teachers and children who get to look at the cars. They love it; it’s so good to see.”
Mr McSweeney will be doing all the driving, as Mrs McSweeney is not too keen on the left-hand drive.
To take part drivers must donate a minimum of $4000 ($3000 for new cars) to Variety, which provides equipment, programs and experiences for WA children who are sick, disadvantaged or have special needs.
In their first year the McSweeney’s paid straight from their own savings but this year Mrs McSweeney raised $3500 selling handmade Christmas decorations, using supplies sold at cost or donated by local businesses.
Mrs McSweeney said people from all over WA took part in the cruise.
“We have so much fun; they’re fantastic people to be with and you meet people from all walks of life, not just your area,” she said.
Mr McSweeney was a national drag racing champion and established McSweeney Racing with fellow star racer Geoffrey Clark.
Competing in Queensland, he saw the Skyliner advertised for sale, in pieces, in the local paper.
“The owner wouldn’t sell it to us, probably thought John looked a bit young, this rough and ready drag racer,” Mrs McSweeney said.
A year later the owner changed his mind and Mr McSweeney transported it back to WA, restoring the rare convertible to mint condition.