ARTICLE 1 by Glenn Campbell
Over 30 members as well as a couple of visitors set out from the usual Warragul car park, heading towards the Yarra Valley via Neerim, Powelltown and Yarra Junction.
First stop, morning tea and some wine tasting at Killara Estate, organised by John Fowler. This is a beautiful winery/café “Racers and Rascals” overlooking the Yarra Valley and the blue hills beyond. This was originally part of David Symes (the founder of “The Age”) 10,000 acre estate in the 1890’s. As the name of the café suggests, it is also famous for being the first place that the Vintage Sports Car Club of Victoria who conducted its first race meeting in 1946 on the Killara Park property.
Next stop was via the some great, but very busy roads, of Yarra Glen and Christmas Hills to the Samson Hill Restaurant & Winery in Kangaroo Ground for a another wine tasting and lunch.
After a suitable long lunch, we retired to Dave Anderson’s mate Danny’s place just down the road (how many got lost?) to see his extensive and world class collection of Espresso Machines. The earliest machine dated from 1904 , with many fabulous chromed units from the 50’s, 60’s and later. Danny and Dave even teamed up to make all and sundry a proper coffee or two.
For those still left, we were treated to a visit of Dave’s mate Ian’s place, on the way home, to see his collection of hot rods and a most amazing rotary cammed/valved (it is hard to explain) V8 engine. Even our resident rotary engine expert (Ian Holdsworth) was impressed.
A very different but impressive day was had by all.
ARTICLE 2 by John Fowler
On Sunday 18th May, 17 Classic cars and owners gathered in the sunshine for a chat in the Warragul Woolworths’ car-park before the tour. A couple of new cars joined us – the black Benz of Matt and the white Valiant of Mitch, but we had a dominance of MGs and Porsches in the group this time. After a short Drivers Briefing and distribution of tour notes we set off at 9.35am towards Neerim Junction through the picturesque rolling green countryside. We do really live in a fantastic farming region – with attractive views as well.
At the Junction we turned off towards Powelltown, and soon we were sweeping through the tall timbers on great flowing roads before the more challenging twisting section over the top of the mountain range.
Soon we were at Powelltown and onto the more open flatter road through the farming countryside to Yarra Junction and the Warburton Highway.
Here we turned left towards Woori Yallock and wound our way up and over the various hills as the countryside changed yet again, but the traffic increased also. At the top of a hill at Seville East we turned right into Sunnyside road, and then immediately right into the Killara Winery and Restaurant where the Chapman’s MG joined us, and the line up of 18 cars in the car park looked great.
I had rung ahead and increased our booking as we had 35 of us to sit down for Morning Tea, while some took the opportunity to partake of some wine-tasting first. We had 2 long tables set up with tasty cake and slice platters, and the coffees came around very promptly. The restaurant is set up at the top of a hill so the panoramic views from the large full depth windows, were very impressive. We looked down over the valley and the vineyards, with their leaves just changing yellow against the green pasture between, and it was very attractive. There was a large stepped deck outside, and it was obvious that many weddings have been held here as well. Nick the Manager then gave us an entertaining short talk on the long history of the vineyard, and its association with the Vintage Sports Car Club and its first race meeting in 1946 on the property, with the resulting naming of a wine range ‘Racers and Rascals’.
We left there and travelled along the lovely winding road to Gruyere, and on to Coldstream. Here we turned right onto the Maroondah Highway, but the traffic was intense, so it took some time for all of us to get across. On through Yarra Glen we went, where we turned left and wound our way through Christmas Hills and the rocky scrubby countryside, and on to Kangaroo Ground and the Samson Hill Winery and Restaurant – where we arrived at 12.30. Once again our array of cars in the car-park attracted alot of attention from the many other visitors.
We had a small room to ourselves with lovely views across to the City, and quite a few tried the wine-tasting first. Unfortunately we had to wait an hour and a half for our meals to arrive which ate into the time we had available for the rest of the day, but this provided the opportunity for long talks to the members around us. The entrees were bread and dips, and the meals were very tasty gourmet style ones when they arrived.
Afterwards, we set off promptly to Daniels – a friend of David’s – who had an incredible Expresso Coffee Machine collection that was just around the corner. He also had a couple of GT Falcons and a Mustang in the wonderful brick shed complete with a mezzanine floor apartment. Daniel gave us a run-down of the history of coffee making and showed us how the machines developed and changed over time which was quite fascinating. It was a very impressive collection and beautiful display, and when he finished his talk, he then made a few coffees for some of us.
We had to leave after this stop in order to get home to feed the livestock, but many others went back to Woori Yallock and Ian Walker’s engine building workshop, where they viewed his amazing rotary valve V8 engine and other marvellous stuff.
We travelled over some wonderful winding roads, and through some lovely varied countryside on this tour, so many thanks to Dave for organising this great day.
Words by John Fowler, pictures by Paula Anderson
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