ARARAT - Champion racehorse Black Caviar can add another victory to her illustrious career after the car dedicated in her honour was voted the Best Presented Vehicle during the 2013 Cystic Fibrosis Great Escape Car Rally.
The 1975 Statesman was the pride and joy of local team Ron Harris, Greg Colquhoun and David McCarthy, who once again hit the road for 10 days to help raise money for Cystic Fibrosis Australia.
Mr Harris said the salmon car with 25 black spots, representing each of the star mare's 25 consecutive victories, developed a cult following along the way.
"When we arrived we just got mobbed because people had been seeing it on social media and when they saw it live the general reaction was 'unbelievable' - everyone wanted to take a photo of it, so it was a bloody good theme," he said.
"The rally was great and once again every day was different. We didn't have a lot of water this year, which is interesting considering this is where all the floods went through, but there was a lot of dry dusty roads."
The 10-day adventure covered more than 4,500km from Mudgee to Nelson Bay via Rainbow Beach, while the Ararat trio added an extra 2,500km as they made their way to the starting line and on the return leg home.
Mr Harris said the rally always provided plenty of highlights.
"This year there were a couple of long days, 650km days and some areas you were only doing 50km/h for an hour or so because it was pretty rugged, but it is never a race," he said.
"You just get from A to B and get there in a matter of time which suits you and have a lot of fun along the way.
"This year they had a lot more theme nights than anywhere else. We had Friday the 13th, everyone dressed up for that and it was a really good night, then at Rainbow Beach it was a Hawaiian night and there was also a Karaoke Night where every car had to get up and sing a song, we were woeful! We had no idea what we were singing."
This year's rally raised a total of $380,000 from 38 cars, with 'Car 25 - Black Caviar' raising the fifth highest total of $16,500, which guaranteed a fifth starting position each day.
The car's showcase piece is a detailed carbon print of Black Caviar on the bonnet which the team had originally planned to be auctioned on eBay during the rally and have it sold at the end of the event as an extra fundraiser, however Mr Harris said items can only be listed on the website for a maximum of 10 days.
"That meant I had to keep re-listing it and that reset the bids, so we withdrew it but it will be auctioned eventually," Mr Harris said.
"We've been in touch with Country Racing Victoria, who sponsor (cystic fibrosis sufferer and jockey) Harry Coffey and we are going to take it to a couple of meetings, obviously including the Ararat Gold Cup meeting.
"That will get the car out there a bit more and then try auctioning it again after that. Andrew Calvert who did this one, said he would make us another one when we sell it and obviously we are going to need another bonnet for next year."
Last week Mr Harris took Car 25 to Nagambie to join in the festivities as a full sized bronze statue of the unbeaten Australian racehorse was unveiled.
Mr Harris said Black Caviar's trainer Peter Moody and jockey Luke Nolan both gave to car the thumbs up.
"We showed Peter the car before we went on the rally because we took it down to a race meeting at Caulfield," he said.
"We told him how we had the Black Caviar car and he said how he'd heard about it and how he didn't have a runner in race six, so we met him down at the horse stalls and he came out and had a look and he was just shaking his head saying that it looked incredible.
"We got him to sign the bonnet and a couple of stubby holders and things like that - he is just a really top bloke."