Car enthusiasts hit the road for 2022 Variety Creative Car Cruise

Variety Creative Car Cruise: Murray Wharton will complete his 10th cruise this year in his Ford ZB Fairlane 1968. Picture: Pip Waller
Variety Creative Car Cruise: Murray Wharton will complete his 10th cruise this year in his Ford ZB Fairlane 1968. Picture: Pip Waller

CAR enthusiasts from all over the South West will hit the road this month in an effort to help make a positive difference to children's lives.

As organised by Variety Children's Charity of WA, the Variety Creative Car Cruise will see participants leave York on Thursday, March 24 to drive to Katanning, Albany and Manjimup in their classic, sports, muscle and American cars or modified vehicles.

Drivers this year will stop at Woodanilling and Katanning Primary Schools to present grants aimed at helping children in need.

Among participants will be Gelorup resident Murray Wharton who has raised over $300,000 for Variety since initially taking part in the four-day run about 10 years ago.

"I got involved because a mate of mine picked me up in his yellow coupe and I thought 'okay, I'll give it a crack'," Mr Wharton said.

Picture: supplied

Picture: supplied

"The next year I bought my Ford ZB Fairlane and then spent the next 10 years pumping money into it.

"I grew up in Darkan and was always a bit of a rev head. I had a Fairlane in my early 20's so it was a no brainer to get one of them.

"Fran was in poor condition when I first got her - but now she's had a new paint job, been lowered, has a brand new motor and had all the interior done. Fran's definitely a bit of a love of mine."

In addition to his love of cars, Mr Wharton said he also wanted to raise money for Variety to support families who had sick children.

He shared his experience with his late wife, Jo-Ann, who sadly passed away from lymphoma a few years ago.

Picture: supplied

Picture: supplied

"It was really devastating and it's taken me a little while to crawl back out from under my rock," Mr Wharton said.

"I have three kids all in their 20's so it was hard for all of us as Jo-Ann deteriorated.

"The way I look at it is all the money that we raise goes into some sort of research - so I hope it helps people.

"It definitely knocks you around a little bit and no one should have to go through it - but Jo-Ann will never be forgotten."

Mr Wharton thanked his sponsors Dale Alcock, The Rose Hotel, Koombana Physiotherapy and others for their support.

He also thanked his partner, Karin Cook, who is a dietician at the Bunbury Regional Hospital and South West Allied Therapies, who suggested he should this year raise money to buy a wheelchair scale.

The Variety Creative Car Cruise will conclude at Old Coast Road Brewery at Myalup on Sunday, March 27.

Variety Creative Car Cruisers raised $160,000 for Western Australian children in 2021.

To support Mr Wharton and Fran the Fairlane, visit https://fundraise.varietywa.org.au/fundraisers/fran68.