The Annual GPA Swim In & Ex Military Vehicle Rally
The Annual GPA swim in held at Corowa in NSW is probably the largest Ex Military Vehicle meet in Australia with people attending from most states of Australia, and some even from overseas. The Annual Event commenced in 1980 (originally to attract people with Amphibious Vehicles) and now attracts a large variety of military vehicles along with people and families who share the same interest. Ball Park Caravan Park is situated on the banks of the majestic Murray River and this is where the action begins. The event is run by Khaki Vehicle Enthusiasts (KVE)
In 2015 the GPA swim in will be held in March!
Although not every past event has had a theme, most of the recent events have had a theme. Those themes, past, present and future are listed below.
The website of the GPA swim in at corowa is http://www.corowaswim-in.org/
For Accommodation Site Bookings at Ball Park Caravan Park phone (02) 60331426
Annually a group of ex-Military Vehicle Collectors gather at Ball Park Caravan Park at Corowa on the beautiful Murray River to display their lovingly restored military vehicles, conduct a parade, swap meet and have a 'swim-in' with amphibious vehicles. The event attracts collectors from throughout Australia and the world. There are clubs in each state. March 2008 represents the 29th year of the gathering at Corowa. The theme is Year of Tracked Vehicle. We also encourage ex-military vehicle owners with other makes and models of vehicles to attend the event where they can exchange information and parts. It will be the 30th year of this event in 2009 and we will be having Year of the Amphibian and Year of the Blitz. In 2010 it will be Year of the Jeep and in 2011 it will be Year of British and European Vehicles.
The event was initially organised by Ian Grieve [Qld] and Alan Newton [SA] and was for Amphibious Jeeps [Ford Model G.P.A. ¼ -Ton 4X4 Amphibian] but with so much interest amongst military vehicle enthusiasts it became a large-scale gathering not only with GPA's but also other historic military vehicles.
People have asked "Why was Corowa chosen as the venue of this event?" Corowa, on the Murray River, just west of Albury is a fairly central location. It has fresh water, with easy river access and is an historic town. The collectors enjoy the wrecking yards and disposal stores in Albury and Wodonga. There are a variety of shops, wineries and antique shops to make this a family orientated event. The townsfolk of Corowa have always welcomed our presence and we look forward to returning each year to enjoy their hospitality and support.
The majority of vehicles attending are of World War 2 vintage. They include many Jeeps, Blitz's, Dodge Weapon's Carriers, Studebakers, GMC trucks, White Scout Cars, Chev trucks, Ford trucks, Bren Gun Carriers, Harley Davidson Motorcycles, Amphibious Jeeps, DUKW's and many more. The event also attracts members with post-WW2 vehicles including Landrovers, Saracen Armoured Cars, Ferret Scout Cars, HUMVEE [Hummer], ACCO Internationals and many others.
In 1999 we achieved recognition by the Guinness Book of World Records for "the largest gathering of Ford GPA amphibious vehicles since the Second World War". This number being 16 including the famous Amphibious Jeep "Half-Safe" which circumnavigated the world during the 1950's and has been donated to the Guildford Grammar School in Perth. In March 2002 we achieved recognition by the Guinness Book of World Records for "the greatest gathering of privately owned Ford and Chev Blitz trucks since 1945". In 2003 the theme was to get as many WW2 Studebaker trucks together. We had 21. In 2004 the Theme was 'Year of the Dodge'. We had 34 Dodge's and a total of 120 ex-military vehicles in attendance. In 2005 our theme was WW2 Pattern Carriers. We had 21 Carriers. We had nearly 140 ex-military vehicles in 2005. The theme for 2006 was Armoured Cars and we had a variety of rare types of vehicles. In 2007 the themes were Year of the Cycle and Year of the Staff Car. The total number of vehicles was 166. We had a number of vehicles in each theme category and we were really impressed with the large number of motor cycles.
in 2005 Khaki Vehicle Enthusiasts was incorporated to act as an organising body for the event.
in 2006 the Corowa Project 30 begain trying to collect the history of the 30 years of the GPA Swim in into one publicatin and website. You can visit the website here to see what it is all about. Project website
2009 represents the 30th year of the Swim-In, and the 29th time the event has been held. The themes will be Year of the Amphibious Vehicles and year of the Blitz 2.