With aeromodellers of the golden control line years being mainly boys and young men, some serious pranks seem almost inevitable.

The manhandling of John Pfeifer's Goggomobile Dart is described here by Ken Dowell, as he heard it the following morning, after the Police had located John's "stolen" vehicle.

Goggomobile Gone:

GrandstandFrom where John was camped on the edge of the Showgrounds oval in Echuca, it was lifted over the railing fence, pushed (wheeled) across the oval, lifted over the fence again, then bodily lifted by a team of 5 self-styled husky young men not into a hall but up into the seats of the small grandstand structure. This was not quite as difficult as it may sound, as the Dart weighed only something like a few feathers.

In the background of the picture at right the grandstand structure can be seen on the left. The bloke in the foreground is Athol Holtham with the Thunderbird he flew in aerobatics. Athol played no part in the disappearance of the Dart.

Not content with the "misappropriation" of John's car, someone produced some jars of water-based poster colour paint, resulting in many colourful handprints adorning the bodywork. Still not content, the many rubbish bins around the camping area were relieved of every beer and soft drink can and bottle and the inside of one Dart was soon filled to near capacity.

Either some time that evening (early morning hours) or at daybreak, John assumed his car had been stolen (in the real sense - no thought of a prank) and reported his loss to the Echuca Police. I am not sure whether the culprits advised them of the prankish nature, but there was certainly no further action taken, except for John to spend some hours with a bucket restoring his "pride and joy" to its former glory.

Needless to say, the primary talking point for the remainder of the Echuca Nationals was not who won what but where had John now hidden his precious Dart!

As John himself is, sadly, no longer with us, the identity of the "perpetrators" of this prank are not important, but as there may not be a Statute of Limitations within the aeromodelling fraternity, I will not identify them.

Ken Dowell


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