Outback MagazineOutback Magazine


Deni does it again

Stories Julia Keady Photos Sally Alden


Some 30,000 people flocked to the 2002 Deniliquin Ute Muster

Deniliquin has done it again - set a world record, that is. A staggering 3070 utes lined up at this year's Play on the Plains Festival and Deniliquin Ute Muster, smashing the record set three years ago and attracting a staggering 30,000 people to the 'flattest plain in the world' in NSW's south-west.

Chevrolet utes owned by Ron Kirwan of Melbourne took out first and third place in Ute of the Year. The 2000 and 1956 beast-like creations stood like gleaming giants alongside Fords and Holdens in the Top 10 final judging arena. The decision was met with some controversy, with 2002 being The Year of the Outback and the event being promoted as celebrating the rural backbone of Australia. One ute-lover said the Chevrolets "didn't even look like they'd hit the gravel", however event organiser Shirley Virtue stood by the judges' decision. "We felt the judging was all above board and fair," she explains. "Obviously they were just magnificent vehicles. Unless we change the rules to read they must be Australian makes, then that's just going to happen."

Preliminary judging was performed by Deniliquin car enthusiast and ute museum organiser David Nolte, while the next stage was carried out by five local specialists, each responsible for judging paintwork, engine bay, interior/trim, undercarriage and general presentation. The final three judges, Holden legend Peter Brock, NSW Tourism Minister Sandra Nori and Allan 'Uteman' Nixon, were selected to ensure a Holden, Ford and unbiased representation. Story end

Full story and more pictures: OUTBACK December/January 2003

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