One team were reported to be carrying a 44 gallon drum (200 litres) full of fuel in the back seat of their car, a Valiant Charger.
Vern Wells, an Australian actor, was planning on producing a documentary film on the race. He was also mentioned as an organiser of the race (The Sun, 30 October 1984) and was quoted a couple of times in the press about the event. Plans for the documantary included hiring Paul Newman as narrator. According to Truth, 10 November 1984 PUB Films pulled out at the last moment, and their relationship with race organisers was "in the hands of lawyers". A film company was mentioned as not having been paid by the organisers.
A member or possible members of the film crew were apparently stopped and jailed for drug related offences during the race. This courred somewhere before Renmark, South Australia, and they were able to continue filming once released.
I've been told that they were fearless. One driver said that the crew was filming them from out of the back of their station wagon at 200 km/h (possible a rented Holden VK Commodore).
From the video footage the camera crew were booked at least twice. Luke Tomic was booked in Victoria, and Garry ? was booked for 132 km/h in Western Australia, around 3 hours out of Perth.
Also in the video footage, they said that they couldn't keep up with the competitors and that their rental car had broken down, so they chartered a small plane to get them to Western Australia. They appeared to have a bit of a breakdown at one point, saying they had not slept for three days and were not going to hurry to the finish in Perth. This may explain why we don't have footage of the teams finishing the race.
The race organiser's headquarters was allegedly burgled about a week before the race, and all records destroyed. In a story about the Cannonball Cup and the Paradise to Perth Cannonball in Wheels magazine, February 1985, they wrote that David Adamson's office was broken into before the race and the phone number of all competitors were stolen.
In a press release David Adamson confirms that there was a break-in and competitor records were stolen along with some blank cheques. He said that due to the theft of the blank cheques he had to stop some payments and reissue new cheques, and the media attention to the non-payments was the cause of further financial problems as backers pulled out.
Stanley Payne, owner of the Punjel Estate that was used as the starting point for the race, said he was asked on the Thursday prior to the race start if his property could be used. He also said, "It's put Diggers Rest on the map."
But Diggers Rest was "put on the map" by being the location for the first controlled powered flight of an aeroplane undertaken in Australia (not actually the first according to Wikipedia).
The trophy reads "Australian Cannonball Cup" but the medals given to drivers read "Australian Cannonball Run".
I managed to track down someone involved in public relations for the race. They were hoping to never hear about the race ever again so weren't so happy to hear from me and didn't want to be involved. They shall remain anonymous here.
Australian Cannonball Pty Ltd (ACN 006 302 290) was the company who ran the race. The company was registered on 12 July, 1984 and deregistered on 7 November, 1989. The directors were David Adamson (AKA David Montagnat), a company director, and Roger Hart, an Advertising Manager. Lawyer, Wayne Jonas was mentioned as a spokesperson, solicitor and legal adviser for the company.
Other officials included Gary Batten (second checkpoint), Roger Hart (Race Director and second checkpoint), Carolyne Mitchell (David's assistant), Andrew ? (checkpoint) and Henry Asciak (timing computer).
Keep reading for what the people who saw the race said...