I hope you enjoy viewing this gallery of photos sent in by club members taken as we await a relaxation of Covid restrictions.

Many thanks to all who contributed. A winner of the “End of Lockdown” date competition will be announced whenever we find out what that date will be.

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MONTHLY DINNER MEETING – Drouin Golf Club, Thursday 19th August

The window of relative freedom for regional Victorians between consecutive lockdown periods just happened to coincide with our scheduled August monthly meeting at the Drouin Golf Club on the 19th. Taking advantage of this, we managed to almost max-out the restricted 50-guest limit at the venue and all those present enjoyed the opportunity to catch up with friends over drinks and a lovely roast dinner.

General business consisted mainly of previous events that were unable to run, and future events that are clouded in uncertainty. News since the meeting has confirmed that the Philip Island 6-Hour Relay has now been cancelled again this year after being unable to proceed on its previous two scheduled dates. Hopes are that it and many other high-profile events will be back in 2022. The current State-wide lockdown is due to end on September 2nd, but things are not looking good for restrictions to ease sufficiently for our Breakfast Club and the Maffra Museum/Swap Meet on the 12th to go ahead.

Local Ford enthusiast Keith Trotter had been invited to bring along to our meeting his limited-edition Ford Cobra coupe, but repairs to the exhaust system were unable to be completed in time. Keith was however, able to substitute the Cobra for his BF Falcon GT which was a model produced between 2005 and 2007. The GT was fitted with Ford’s 5.4 litre, quad-cam V8 which produced 290kW and 520Nm of torque. Keith, who worked as a photojournalist with Street Car as well as several other magazines and established the Latrobe Valley Street Machiners Club in 1983, gave us a rundown of the special vehicles he had owned in the past, such as an XY Falcon GT and a V8-engined XU-1 Torana, as well as many of those he had photographed and reported on in his career.

Our next monthly meeting is scheduled for Thursday 16th September – hopes are that the lockdown will be over by then.

2 Responses

John Cobbledick: “Would have liked to hear a little about the BF Falcon GT, even if it was just a substitute for the Cobra Coupe”.

Reply from Editor: “John, I can tell you that it was an automatic … and that he bought it because the blue and white colour scheme matched the white and blue colours of his Cobra … and that the numbers on the rego plate were the same as the Limited Edition build number of his Cobra”.

Jeff Goss: “As an old school friend of Keith’s it was wonderful to catch up again and we had a chance to reminisce about our early days in Moe. I remember the gearbox explosion in the XY and I was a guest at the wedding with the two XY GT’s in the photo. The Monza green XY GT is still owned by one of my work colleagues who purchased it in 1973. Keith is a Ford man through and through and always liked nothing more than driving them HARD”.

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Thank you to all those who contributed to our latest Covid lockdown activity.

3 Responses:

Rick Dathan: “All good photos.  Some I was especially impressed with – whether for humour, composition or content.  This was a great idea, Steve.”

Sue Waghorn: “Great photos…and good to see we are not the only ones with pets who love our cars as much as we do!! Great idea Steve. Looks like you will have to come up with a few more given we are grounded again. Thanks.”

Jeff Goss: “What fantastic photos of our furry friends with our rolling obsessions. I remember Ron Brooks mate Harry the Labrador and the regular visits he made to our home in the cobra and various other wheeled conveyances that Ron had over the years. I recall Harry being less than impressed when he had to stay behind at our house when Ron allowed me to scare myself witless driving the Cobra, at least Ron was in Harry‘s seat.”

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Amid daily reports of impending doom, incessant icy winds and grey skies there was one fine, sunny day forecast for Thursday 19th August – that day was tagged as our “DRIVE DAY”. The usual suspects hadn’t exercised their machinery for quite a while and with the regions now able to travel freely, the opportunity was grabbed with both hands.

Three Mercs, a couple of Bimmers, a Porka and a Stinger were cleaned and fuelled for a 270 kilometre romp from Warragul down through South Gippsland to the coast for lunch and then back across the Strzeleckis to home on some of the lesser used roads that make spirited driving so enjoyable. Hampered only occasionally by road-work speed restrictions where there were no roadworks, the odd tractor or farm vehicle, and the inevitable Camry driver, we all enjoyed a fairly traffic-free run that allowed us to enjoy the the sinuous bitumen and the beautiful scenery that this part of the world has to offer.

All the cars performed brilliantly, Ray Youlden lost the keys to his C63 AMG somewhere in the car, but was able to continue driving, as it can be started so long as the key is in proximity to the vehicle – it also meant that anyone was able to jump in and drive off with it! Glenn Campbell’s M3 began the day with an “anti-lock brake” warning that fixed itself after some enthusiastic driving, but then returned to haunt him on the way home. It was the perfect day for open sports cars, the three roadster pilots took advantage off this with their roofs stowed away, enabling enjoyment of that warm sunshine which seems to have been missing for quite some time. It was also terrific to have Des Dillon join us in his new Porsche 911 Carrera S – what a lovely car, and he was not afraid to get it dirty!

Unfortunately large club runs are still out of the question whilst the Covid regulations restrict numbers at outdoor gatherings, but there’s nothing to stop small groups meeting and organising outings between themselves – it certainly lifts the spirits.  If you enjoy driving, take the opportunity when you can – you never know when we’ll be  in lockdown again.

1 Response:

Jack Armour: “That orange Stinger… nice!!”

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The good news today is that regional Victoria will be going back to its pre Lockdown 6.0 status as from midnight tonight. Schools, retail and hospitality are open again and we can also go for a drive just for the sake of it.

Thanks to all those who submitted photos of their lockdown activities over the past few days, I hope you enjoy looking through them.


Response from Peter Willmott,

Terrific article with the photos of Club members activities during Lockdown #6.

Response from Ian Maud,

Great to see some of our members still delving into interesting projects: daytime TV is enough to drive you out to the shed anyway! A big thanks to Steve for putting this together, and for his e-mail conversations that keep the embers of our club glowing until we can get out and do things properly.

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JULY MONTHLY DINNER MEETING, Drouin Golf Club – Thursday 15th July

Held on the eve of Victoria’s fifth Covid lockdown we were fortunate to be able to hold this meeting at all. The previous levels of restrictions have prevented us from hosting our last two monthly Breakfast Club gatherings in Warragul, and the latest lockdown has now forced the cancellation of our visit to the Trafalgar Holden Museum this weekend. Of course, there were plenty of other more important events that our members are involved in, that have also had to be cancelled, but gallingly, the AFL, immune from the restrictions on mere mortals, ploughs on regardless.

Our meeting was well attended with the venue’s Covid capacity of 50 guests being reached before bookings closed on Tuesday. Unfortunately, our booked and confirmed guests with their new BMW Highway Patrol vehicle pulled the plug around midday, citing Covid restrictions as their excuse. A replacement was hurriedly arranged, meaning that those present had to endure your editor raving on about Historic Racing with particular emphasis on his 1964 Group Nb Cooper S which was adorning the green carpet in the dining room. (the Morris Cooper S was used by the NSW Highway Patrol in the 1960s, so although stretching things a bit, we were keeping with the promoted theme of the night.)

As usual, general business was dispensed with efficiently by Maudy, aided of course by that fact that several past and future events have been cancelled due to the epidemic. The Club sends its best wishes for a speedy recovery to Bruce Bluett who made sure his Mustang’s Club Permit renewal was brought in for signing despite him suffering a heart attack on Wednesday. John Fowler also made a plea for somebody to take on the organisation of our next Mid-Week Run (sometime/anytime in September) due to a problem he is having with his shoulder. Please let John or the committee know if you can help out, because it will not go ahead if no-one volunteers  (contact John Fowler on 0400 278 375).

At this stage, the 6-Hour Relay at Philip Island on Sunday August 1st is still going ahead. We have a team entered and they would love some support or even assistance with timing and pit-boarding on the day – entry to the venue is free, and please contact David Richards on 0418 577 600 if you can assist.

The proposed visit to the Warbird Museum at Tyabb in August is also uncertain due to Covid restrictions. Watch your emails for updates on coming events.

Response by Peter Willmott:

Steve’s Mini is is definitely a current day representation of the once famous NSW highway Minis. The car is in excellent condition and I found Steve’s talk most informative and well received. Great night as usual. Cheers Peter Willmott

Response by Rick Dathan:

Thanks Steve.  To my mind, your Mini is more interesting than a current BMW patrol car anyway.

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