1986 Paradise to Perth Cannonball

In 1985 Jeff Denmeade was planning another run and said he already had 15 entries.

But no event was staged until 1986.

The 1986 race attracted a few more genuine entries than the inaugural event. Seven teams competed, including one that had also ran in 1984.

The 1984-winning Trans Am returned to defend their title, but this time only Alex and Jim Davidson entered.

Denmeade himself ran again, this time with another team in a VK "Brock" Commodore.

There was an orange Holden HQ/HJ/HX/HZ? ute entered by South Australian baker Richard Waters and Jeff ?. The back of the ute was filled with a massive fuel tank.

The race ran again from Surfers Paradise to Perth.

The orange Holden ute suffered a mechanical issue on the Nullarbor crossing and was unable to continue. This happened not far from the team's home town so they returned home.

By the time the remaning teams made it to the Western Australia border, the police were on to them.

Some of the teams were stopped at the border and taken to Norseman where police pressured them to admit they were part of a race. At least three of the teams were forced off the road and out of the race after the police found trivial vehicle defects. They were eventually allowed to have their cars taken out of the state on the back of a truck.

Just trying to get to the finish, the remaining teams decided to slow their pace and hide anything like radar detectors, scanners and CB radios that might draw police attention.

The race time was slower than in 1984, possibly around 32 hours. It is not known which team arrived first.

When Denmeade made it to the hotel in Perth he was told that the police kept coming in to check if they had arrived, and were sitting across the street waiting.

Denmeade considered running another event and even placed an advertisement in Unique Cars magazine and received a lot of interest. The NSW police were one of the interested parties and invited him for an informal chat at the Police headquarters in Parramatta, Sydney.

Denmeade agreed but found himself in a room with several officers and a serious line of questioning. He answered some questions, and politely ended the meeting and left. As he walked out he accepted there would be no more events.

The route

As it is today, approximately 4,361 km. Estimated travel time at legal speeds: 46 hours.

The Teams