Eddie Perkins (1920-2006) won the 1956 Mobilgas Around Australia Trial in a Volkswagen Beetle with his brother Lance as co-driver, helping to put this European car on the Australian map. He was the patriarch of this well-known motorsport family: his son Larry won multiple Bathurst 1000 races, and grandson Jack is a well-known V8 Supercar driver. This exhibition showcases some of his prizes for the 1956 rally win.
The Eddie Perkins Collection represents the prizes that were won by Eddie Perkins during his motor racing days of the 1950s and 1960s, especially the around Australia reliability trials. It includes an extensive collection of silverware and some ephemera, as well as the suit Perkins wore and the dress worn by his wife at the presentation ceremony for his 1956 Mobilgas Around Australia Reliability Trial win.
The reliability trials of the 1950s and 1960s were important national events and received wide-spread media coverage. They took the focus of the nation to many small outback and regional towns, helping to shape people’s understanding of the bush in the years after the Second World War. Well-known Around Australia Rally drivers include Possum Kipling and Gelignite Jack Murray (famous for throwing explosives from his car window). The Eddie Perkins Collection provides an example of the type of prize awarded in this era – full of intricate mainly domestic silverware. This collection is now on permanent display at the National Motor Museum