RUN to the GIPPSLAND VEHICLE COLLECTION, Maffra – 17/3/19

Yours truly arrived early at the rendezvous location, after a somewhat sleepless night wondering how many would show up for the run.

It was good to see a two-tone Austin Healey arrive, also way ahead of the departure time. A good discussion about the restoration of this car was entered in to along with an explanation of how the seat belts needed to be removed in order to get the soft top up and down… so consequently, the top stays down most of the time.

Eventually there was a steady arrival of vehicles and several groups of people in socialising mode. A total of seven of the vehicles were driver only (sans passenger), which I think is higher than average. The final mix of vehicles was very eclectic, slightly tipped in the favour of the Mustang breed.

A grand total of 18 vehicles started the run at slightly after 9:30 am. But, for a very brief moment, there were 19 vehicles as we passed a familiar (and unexpected to me) sight of Steve’s Fiat Spider parked on the side of the road with Steve close by with camera in hand… frantically snapping photos as the procession passed him by.

Now it’s extremely fortunate that Steve was there, as otherwise, there may have been no photos taken at all. Approximately 40 minutes from Maffra, I sped up and took a more direct route to get to the Shed a little earlier to check with the staff and let them know that the rest would be arriving very soon.

On arrival, we proceeded to inspect the collection of mainly American cars dating back to the 1920s. The display vehicles were immaculate and to my surprise, had mostly Victorian registration on them. All these gems live semi-locally… and the owners are generous enough to leave them on display here for months at a time so that other people can benefit from being able to look at them. Because it was a treat to be able to look at them.

The highlight for me, was the collection of Studebakers. It took me back to my childhood, when I used to go for drives with my uncle in his Studebaker Hawk. I also enjoyed the collection of motor bikes that were on display and the huge collection of models cars that must have numbered in their thousands. You could easily spend a couple of hours just inspecting these models and they all came from one man’s collection that were donated to the Shed. The collection of jacks was left of centre, but none-the-less an interesting addition.

After inspecting the collections, I was eager to cook up my steaks and have lunch. I hadn’t had breakfast that morning and was feeling rather hungry. Some people cooked up sausages, some brought sandwiches and picnic lunches.

I claimed a section of Di and Mike’s picnic blanket and relaxed for a while… before heading back to Traralgon. The BBQ area was huge and exceptionally well maintained… as was the entire complex that is the Gippsland Vehicle Collection. It’s a credit to the volunteers who run the place… as well as the generous owners of the vehicles that go on display. It’s been a while since I have visited the Shed, but I’ll be going back again!

Words and GVC photos by Jaime Drysdale

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