I thought I must have misjudged the time, but no! It was barely 8am and the southern car park was almost full. It was also cold – zero degrees according the Bureau’s local weather station and 100% humidity courtesy of a thick pea-souper that made the trip into Warragul quite an adventure. Your correspondent elected to drive the ’64 Cooper S to this month’s gathering and it was a bit of a shock to be suddenly cast back 53 years in regard to lights, wipers, washers and ventilation – no heating of course, so it was windows open to prevent the screen from fogging up too! This was nothing though compared to several hardy souls who didn’t even have a roof over their heads. We’ve become spoilt by contemporary vehicles with their piercing headlights, efficient wipers and climate-controlled comfort, so it’s valuable turning back the clock occasionally just to recognise how far we’ve progressed in regard to driver assistance and the associated passenger safety.
Thankfully, the weather didn’t seem to deter too many of our regulars from venturing out, we even had several participants from Melbourne, South Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley making the journey and complaining that the weather is always at its coldest and foggiest in Warragul ! By 9am there were around 70 sporting and classic cars assembled in the car park – the fog and chilliness still persisted, but at least it wasn’t raining and there wasn’t a breath of wind.
Making their debut this month was Ray Murphy’s recently acquired 2012 Jaguar XKR looking menacingly dark in black on black with black alloys and chrome highlights. A stunning vehicle with shattering performance delivered by a 380kw supercharged V8. A pre-war supercar in the form of a replica SS Jaguar also graced us with its presence, but it must have been a chilly trip in that open cockpit! There was also a mid-70’s Lotus Esprit, a nice white 1970’s Camaro and a grey/bronze classic Mustang notchback that I don’t recall seeing before, as well as another new Mustang, this time in bright yellow.
It was tremendous to see so many convertible sports cars attending, albeit with erected hoods in most cases. There were several Boxsters and MX5s, a couple of BMW and Nissan Z cars, Austin Healeys, Jaguars, MGs, Mercs, an AC Cobra and a TR6. Vinnie and Sharon Vorkapic had the roof up on their powder-blue Mustang convertible whilst Rod Dawes had his down on the low-light Morrie Minor. A hardtop and soft-top pair of Capris illustrated some subtle differences, whilst Mark McKibbin was well rugged-up in the draughty Lancia Lambda.
This month we also noticed a couple of International Scouts standing tall amongst the crowd, a lone motorbike made an appearance as did an old American pickup wearing Street-Rod plates. A couple of Aussie muscle cars in the form of Falcon GT and Monaro GTS provided some local flavour along with several classic station wagons, utes and sedans from Broadmeadows and Fishermans Bend.
Once again, another successful morning with a broad range of vehicles catering for a wide spectrum of interests. See you next month.