ELOWYN GARDENS RUN, Yarra Glen – Sunday 15th Oct.

Your correspondent only had time to photograph the morning stages of this run, from Pakenham, through Upper Beaconsfield and on to Emerald, before returning back to Warragul.

Hopefully one or more participants will furnish a report on the day’s activities with some additional photos.

They can be sent to: editor@sportingregister.org.au

Thanks to Trish and Ron Brooks for the additional photos taken at Alowyn Gardens (Photos 28 – 39) and also John Fowler (Photos 40 – 47).

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OCTOBER MONTHLY MEETING, Drouin Golf Club – Thursday 12th Oct.

A good crowd of almost 60 members and friends took advantage of the lengthening daylight hours and more amenable Spring weather to enjoy a meal and catch up with the latest car club news at our meeting this month. The meeting business was handled deftly between courses by Ray and others with positions of responsibility on Committee, leaving plenty of time for Clint Wilson to tell us a bit about his recently purchased ’02 BMW E46 M3 which was on display in the dining room.

Clint and Viv already have a couple of Bimmers including the silver Z3 that regularly attends our Breakfast Club gatherings, but ever since Clint was given a drive in our President’s earlier model M3, the yearning for his own M3 has intensified. Like most European performance and prestige cars, the market price plummets dramatically once it’s left the showroom, with depreciation making a $150,000 car quite affordable, 10 or 15 years down the track – the secret is to buy in at the bottom of the curve before the price starts to rise again as the car attains classic status and becomes more sought after.

Clint had been watching prices for about 5 years and thought he’d found his bargain M3, three or four months ago with an advertisement on CarSales.com, but before he could inspect the car, it was sold sight-unseen to another buyer keen to pick up a bargain.

After looking at several other M3s Clint eventually settled on this Phoenix Yellow car which was located in Sydney. The colour is an iconic colour that was only available on the M3 and changes from a greeny-gold to a yellow depending on the light conditions. It was a two-owner car in beautiful condition, but it didn’t present that well, being lowered with adjustable coil-over suspension, fitted with an after-market exhaust and 20” wheels. The car’s first owner was a vehicle detailer and the second, an IT consultant with his own collection of exotica. The M3 was therefore always well looked after and didn’t run up high mileage.

The owner agreed to swap the wheels for a set of replica CSL 19” versions with Clint’s choice of tyres and so a deal was struck. It wasn’t long into the drive home from Sydney, however, that Clint and Viv realised that the standard exhaust had to be refitted. Earplugs were required to block out the terrible droning sound that was especially evident in the 2000 – 2500 rpm cruising zone. So once back on home turf, the correct exhaust was fitted, the brake rotors refitted so that they rotated in the correct direction and the suspension raised and softened to make it more practical and compliant.

Clint would have preferred a manual version of this car which runs a 3.2 litre, straight-six developing 340 bhp, but he is beginning to appreciate the sequential clutchless gearbox fitted to his M3. It’s certainly no slouch, with 0 – 100 km/h coming up in slightly over 5 seconds. The car was immaculately presented at our Club Meeting, making it difficult to believe that it was in fact 15 years old. Clint is looking forward to enjoying the M3 on the road, so don’t be surprised if you are overtaken by blur of Phoenix Gold.

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BREAKFAST CLUB, Warragul CBD – Sunday 8th October

Classic car displays may not immediately evoke thoughts of ducks on a pond, but the analogy does have some accuracy to it. The serenity of seeing dozens of beautifully presented classic cars parked together in a harmonious display of colour and design belies the effort and frustration often taking place just below the surface.

Unlike their contemporary counterparts, older cars often require more regular maintenance and have a tendency to breakdown occasionally. This is the stuff from which certain marques have derived their automotive personas, and also where legends such as ‘Lucas the Prince of Darkness’ were born. Your correspondent has been giving the spanners a workout over the last couple of weeks in an effort to keep a couple of his classics on the road, and our Breakfast Club regulars seem to be, or will be doing likewise. On display this month was Gus Luke’s red MGA which after an extended absence, is back on the road with a new lease of life after receiving an engine transplant. Steve Braha’s Triumph Stag is apparently in need of a little Stromberg fettling, and Mort FitzGerald’s MGB overdrive actuator worked once after fitting, and then not again! Graeme Hollingsworth’s brutal-looking and awesome-sounding E-Type Jag, can now drive further than just around the block, now that the water pump has been replaced and it seems that Barry Dunstan’s Fiat may have developed some valve clearance issues. Unfortunately, Shane and Linda Slatter’s E-Type Jag never quite made it to the Breakfast Club this month after locking its brakes on, within a stone’s throw of the venue, and then failing to start after the brakes were freed up. Thankfully they hitched rides up to Woolies with other members and enjoyed the morning’s camaraderie.

This month’s Warragul forecast of a fine morning with afternoon showers, along with thunderstorm activity in the evening, was accurate as far as the afternoon and evening bits were concerned, but unfortunately off the mark before that. Threatening clouds and a cold wind put a bit of a dampener on the morning’s activities with convertible soft tops hurriedly erected when the rain started falling. Never-the-less, somewhere in excess of 80 vehicles made for an impressive display, which was bolstered by the visit of a Porsche Club contingent who stopped by on their run from Melbourne which took them out through Yarra Junction, Powelltown and the Neerims.

Bill Formby arranged for a couple of 1912 Cadillacs and their owners to stay at his place in Drouin overnight Saturday so that they could join us Sunday morning, and what an impact they had on those present. Both cars belong to the Formby clan and have an extensive history in both the USA and Australia.

The rain eased off at around 10am and people began departing soon thereafter. This was of course Bathurst Sunday, there was a race telecast to watch all afternoon –  and the rear-vision mirror had fallen off the Marcos again, so this little duck had some paddling to do.

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Garage Visit at The McKibbins – Sunday 24th September

Although rain was falling just about everywhere, the sun was shining at Rokeby, the wind was another matter so the roller door remained shut.  This did confuse the early arrivals wondering if they had the right Sunday.  The aforesaid wind had also blown away the flag that was at the front gate so there was an added navigational challenge.
All the above did not deter about forty members attending, we even had at least one hardy soul with the roof off, but as I said it was sunny Rokeby.  Because we now have some English cars in the shed we had scones instead of croissants as the feed of choice with Sue banished to the kitchen for most of the event.  As promised the Austin Seven had its first start if you don’t count it spontaneously starting the day before, only a small amount of oil was spilt and very little smoke was lost from the Lucas electrics.
Thanks to everyone who attended, particularly those who brought edible and quaffable offerings.  The shed has not been as clean as….. the last time we had a shed opening.


More photos to follow (perhaps)


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No more Sporting Register competition cars written off this month, thank goodness; but still plenty of things happening on the track.

After re-shelling his historic Group Sb MGB in record time, David Anderson with Roger and Lorna Chapman sailed over to Tassie to contest the Baskerville Historic Meeting. Roger and David ran their MGBs in the Group Sb events whilst Lorna used her MGB (the same one that she allows Roger to use in the races) in the Marque Sports Car Regularity events. Despite sustaining some panel damage and a broken front hub and disc rotor, David picked up second in his races with Roger not far behind in third place. Lorna’s best result in the Regularity was 5th in a field of 18.

On the same weekend several Sporting Register members attended the Sprints at Phillip Island and/or the ‘Triple Treat Hillclimb’ at Bryant Park where three different track layouts were used at the one meeting. Jane Vollebregt ran her MGB at the Island along with a very large field of MGs finishing in a creditable 10th place. Ian Maud ran his super-charged Toyota MR2 in the ‘Modern 2500 – 3500cc” class, placing 6th and recording a personal best lap time.

Ian fronted up at Bryant park the following morning and put the MR2 through its paces on the hillclimb track, taking home a class win for his efforts. Steve Schmidt did likewise in the Historic Grp Nb Cooper S, despite surviving a massive lose at the end of the straight on the reverse direction layout.

It was nice to see several Sporting Register members either spectating or helping out with official duties at the hillclimb track. Lloyd Shaw mentioned that he’ll be hanging up Scrutineer’s stick at the end of this year after goodness knows how many years looking out for the safety of our competitors on the track. Lloyd’s voluntary contribution to motorsport has been huge and his many friends wish him a happy, well-deserved retirement.

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MID-WEEK RUN, Darnum to Darnum – Wednesday 13th September

Although the weather was not quite what we had hoped, it was a large, cheerful and enthusiastic group who met at the Darnum Stump Tearooms for the first Mid-Week Run of the season.  The briefing was held inside due to the rain, but once on the road, it was mostly fine. An assorted collection of 15 cars with 24 people included an MGB, BMW, Boxster, Monaro, Mazda, Porsche 944 (2 of) then left for the hour’s drive around the back roads south of Darnum. Our intrepid leader set a cracking pace, and the drivers rose to the challenge! Although John strictly invoked convoy rules, a couple of our number managed to get lost along the way. 

The route followed a number of the secondary roads in the Baw Baw Shire through magnificent farming land, from East-West Rd, via Gainsborough and Bona Vista, to East-West Rd again, past the new development along Stockdale Road, past Lardner Park, and out past Hallora along South Rd. Then it was up and along the spectacular winding Torwood-Topiram Rd as it followed the ridge with its marvellous views, and on to Tetoora Rd. Then it was back along the Korumburra Rd to Ellinbank and the Cloverlea turn-off along Hazeldean Rd – almost to Yarragon, then left back along Parkers Rd then right up to the Darnum Pub. Gippsland scenery is truly awesome.

We were joined at the Pub by another 8 members, so more chat and catching up before our hosts provided a wide variety of good tasty food with the options of ‘seniors’ or standard meals, and looked after us very well. Once lunch was finished, everyone stayed on to socialise further and all agreed it was a most enjoyable occasion in pleasant surroundings.

Thanks must go to John and Jan for their planning and great organisation.

Di and Greg Ireland

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