What do a small classic car club in Dapto and the campaign arm of the US Democrats have in common?
Very little, one might think.
However, a spike in traffic on the Dapto Classic Car Club website late last year has revealed an unexpected link to US politics.
As campaigning ramped up ahead of the November 8 US Election, the suburban club suddenly found itself in the international spotlight.
Putin hasn’t asked to join yet
“I asked our webmaster to check how many visits we’d had from October. He said we’d had quite a few, but we’d had more from Russia than anywhere else,” club president Tony Kent said.
“I thought that was a bit strange, until I read that the Russians had been hacking into the American website.”
About 100 visitors to the car club site in October were Australian and “150-odd” were Russian, Mr Kent said.
“If you’re just surfing the net and looking for us, the Democrats come up first and then us,” he said.
“I think the Russians must have thought we were some part of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
The car club, founded in 2015, has about 30 members.
“[Vladimir] Putin hasn’t asked to join yet, but you never know,” he laughed.