CLassic Outback Trials

Find out about the history of the Classic Outback Trials


The Classic Outback Trials were the brainchild of Phil Bernadou, who was ably supported on most editions by Tom Snooks (as Clerk of Course 2009-18) and Steve Hollowood (Clerk of Course 2022). A dedicated band of key officials also enabled the success of these trials. The concept arose from the Red Centre to Gold Coast Trial, after which there was a perceived demand for a multi-day special stage event predominantly for classic cars and conducted in “the outback”.

Following the 2010 edition, the organisational workload dictated that the event would be conducted every two years. COVID got in the way in 2020 and the final edition was ultimately run in 2022.

Five of the seven editions were conducted entirely or partly in Central NSW, with the first four editions starting in Forbes. The 2016 and 2018 editions moved to Central Australia and were conducted entirely in the NT with the base in Alice Springs. The first visit to the Red Centre almost ended in tears when unseasonal rain caused the cancellation of the first day! The final edition returned to Central NSW but started in Parkes. All editions used stages on private property, mostly pastoral leases, as well as forestry areas and the occasional shire road.

In each edition the winner was in a classic car and it was Andrew and David Travis who dominated, taking out five wins. The 2016 edition introduced a “Cross Country” category, a “Modern” category and a “Regularity” category. The “Modern” and “Regularity” categories were  continued in 2018 and 2022.

Classic Outback Trials and winners

YearAreaWinning DriverWinning Co-DriverCar
2009Central and North NSWTerry NaishRoss RunnallsDatsun 1600
2010Central NSWAndrew TravisDavid TravisDatsun 1600
2012Western NSW, SA and NW VicMatt SwanPaul FranklinHolden Commodore
2014Western NSW, SA and NW VicAndrew TravisDavid TravisDatsun 1600
2016Red CentreAndrew TravisDavid TravisNissan Gazelle
2018Red CentreAndrew TravisDavid TravisNissan Gazelle
2022Central NSWAndrew TravisDavid TravisNissan Gazelle