APRIL BREAKFAST CLUB, Warragul CBD – Sunday 12th April

Another fine autumnal morning in Warragul (if you ignored the occasional patch of light drizzle) and another impressive turnout of well-cared-for sports and classic cars.
The classic car movement is positively vibrant in Victoria, due in no small part to the massive take-up of VicRoads’ Club Permit Scheme by car enthusiasts and their respective clubs. The rolling 25-year age for ‘classic car’ status within the scheme means that more and newer models become eligible each year. The early Mazda MX5 became eligible last year and I was surprised to see a Nissan R32 (300ZX) on Club Plates at this month’s gathering – it seems like only yesterday that these cars were released onto the Australian market! It was also interesting to note that Club plates numbering in the in the 60,000 range are now being issued – add another 9,999 from the earlier CH plate issue and you can see how popular the scheme has become.
Our gathering packed out the Woolies’ car park again, with a range of makes and models as broad as you could imagine, with examples from vintage through to current models. As well as the R32, other new-comers this month included a beautiful early V8 Corvette in two-tone paint and right-hand-drive. There was also a competition-prepared Healey 3000 with alloy centre-lock wheels, and it was nice to see Keith Williams making the trip down to Warragul from Sale in his ’73 Mercedes 350 SL manual (that has to be a fairly rare find).
Japanese cars are slowly becoming more popular with classic car enthusiasts, no doubt helped along by a strong MX5 following. On display this month there were a couple of Toyota MR2s parked next to each other, a red Series 1 and the more rounded Series 2 which was released in 1989. From the same stable was a very tidy, red Celica of about the same age. There were also a couple of RX7s and a Honda S2000 rounding out the oriental collection.
This month’s Breakfast Club unfortunately clashed with one of the biggest Italian automotive gatherings of the year – Auto Italia, which is held at Como Park in Sth Yarra. That being the case, it was pleasing to see a fine selection of Italian machinery on display in Warragul. Two Fiat 124 Spiders parked together, with an Alfa Spider discretely positioned around the corner. A pristine Alfetta GTV and Mark Sanford’s Lancia Montecarlo made sure all the larger marques were well represented. There were plenty of other European marques on display, especially from Mercedes, Porsche, MG, Triumph and Jaguar. There weren’t too many home-grown classics this month, but a bright blue Falcon GT and Bob Russell’s orange RT Charger made sure their presence was noted.
All in all a very successful morning which was followed up with a short run to Ellery Motorsport Enterprises in Warragul, where we were given a tour of their premises.

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