On a damp and grey Labour Day long weekend Sunday, expectations of another large turnout to our monthly breakfast gathering were somewhat diminished. Several of our regulars were at either the Phillip Island Historic race meeting or participating in the RACV Fly the Flag Tour of western Victoria, then there was the Motorfest at Lardner Park as well as the usual selection of activities that seem to fall on a long weekend. But, we were not to be disappointed with over 60 sporting and classic cars gathering at our usual rendezvous.
The Purvis Eureka is an interesting vehicle and most of us are familiar with Tim Leadbetter’s white example which regularly attends our gatherings. This month, Tim’s car was joined by a red Mazda rotary powered model as well as a gold Eureka which looked to have a Subaru engine fitted like the one in Tim’s car. There can’t be too many Eurekas still around, and to have three of them together was pretty special. A very tidy black AC Cobra replica, recently purchased from Queensland and your correspondent’s Mini Marcos brought the total number of fibreglass kit cars at our gathering to five – that must be a record of some sort !
If fibreglass kit cars are at one end of the automotive spectrum, Steve Defabrizio’s Tesla Model S, bristling with modern technology, is way down at the other. Electric powered, all-wheel drive, supercar performance and a quantum shift in automotive design. I believe that we’ll have a chance to hear from Steve and a have a closer look at the Tesla at a forthcoming monthly meeting.
The Italians have always been in the vanguard of automotive design with Lancia being especially innovative. The Lancia Lambda, such as Mark Mckibbin’s 1925 model, pioneered the use of a load-bearing unitary body, independent front suspension, shock absorbers and 4-wheel brakes. Later Lancias such as the Fulvia V4 coupe and mid-engined Montecarlo, both also at our gathering this month, were perhaps not quite as pioneering, but still pushing the envelope. A Ferrari 308 GT4, an Alfa GTV and Eric Irvine’s Fiat 124 Spider added some more spice to the Italian contingent.
Several cars made their debut appearance at this month’s gathering. It was hard to ignore the bright yellow Dodge Viper which hides an 8-litre V10 engine beneath its massive bonnet. John Missen brought along his blue, supercharged Mercedes coupe and Locky Fowler dropped by with a client’s 1920’s flathead Ford V8 coupe that had recently completed the Road to Mandalay Rally. There were a couple of Mustangs that I don’t recall seeing before, a red Mercedes Coupe wearing NSW plates and a lovely 1940’s Humber Super Snipe.
Unfortunately, the heavy mist developed into a persistent drizzle forcing the owners of convertible cars to erect their hoods or fit tonneau covers. Ed Denovan has recently fitted the back half of a Surrey top to his TR6, but has yet to adapt the centre section to fit his car. Luckily he carries a 6 x 4 tarp for situations such as these.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to a clash of events, your correspondent will be unable to report on, or take photos at next month’s Breakfast Club gathering on April 10th. The opportunity is therefore available for a new commentator to bring a fresh interpretation of what happens at these events to you. Please consider helping out.