GEELONG REVIVAL SPRINTS & HILLCLIMB – 25th & 26th November

Unfortunately, the weather placed a bit of a dampener on the Geelong Revival this year with the unprecedented run of hot dry days coming to an abrupt end on Sunday morning. This created wet track conditions for both the sprint and hillclimb until everything dried out later in the afternoon.

Several incidents at both venues on Saturday also slowed proceedings whilst damaged cars were recovered and safety barriers reinstated. An Audi RS7 achieved the second fastest time of the day on Saturday, but failed to brake at the end of the quarter mile. The car hit the first row of water-filled safety barriers in the braking area at warp speed causing it to flip before collecting the second and third rows of barriers, finally coming to rest perched on top of the final barriers up against a strategically located truck. Luckily the driver was OK, but the car was a write off.

Unfortunately, things didn’t go well for David Anderson and his MGB at the hillclimb venue. His engine suffered a dropped valve on Saturday’s practice run putting him out of contention and relegating him to spectator status for the rest of the weekend. Jane Vollebregt fared much better in her MGB, she was placed second in class after the three runs on Saturday. Rain on Sunday morning meant that her position remained secure until a dry track later in the day may have shuffled the leader board – final results were not available at the time of writing.

Graeme Hollingsworth (E-type) and Steve Schmidt (Marcos) contested the quarter-mile sprints again this year. The wet track made traction off the start line a little difficult, but the main concern was hauling the cars down in the braking area with plenty of wet, slippery white lines and a man-hole cover to contend with. The first two runs were wet, the third was patchy, but by the final run all drivers had had a dry track and both Graeme and Steve clocked their fastest times. Graeme’s 14.69 sec. run placed him fifth in class, whilst Steve’s 15.71 was enough to win the small capacity Sports Car class.

It was good to see Mike Whitford and his Fiat Abarth Spider participating in the Fiat Club display, as well as several other members and friends in the crowd which was down somewhat on previous years due to the wet weather.

Production Sports Cars 1941-1972 no logbook 4001cc and over

1 Gary Ball                Shelby Daytona Replica 5690           0:13.1815

2 Stephen O’Neill          Ford Cobra Replica   5000         0:13.9022 

3 Nicholas Heath           Jensen Interceptor 1 7200       0:14.2383 

4 Harry Green              AC Cobra Replica     6300           0:14.2506 

5 Graeme Hollingsworth     Jaguar E Type  1967  4200   0:14.6950 

6 Sean Blood               Chevrolet Corvette   5700            0:15.5027 

7 Mick Hone                FIA (R) Cobra Replica 4900          0:15.5214 

8 Michael Armstrong        Chevrolet Corvette   6489       0:15.5653 

 

Production Sports Cars 1941-1972 no logbook up to 2000cc

1 Stephen Schmidt    Mini Marcos 1967     1275           0:15.7173

2 Laura Rogers       Lotus Europa  1972   1558              0:16.1852 

3 Paul Stewart       Renault 17TS 1974    1596              0:16.3116 

4 Barry McAdie       Renault Alpine A110  1300             0:16.7527

5 Norman May         Porsche 356 1960     1600             0:18.1588

6 Doug Keith         MG TC 1949           1250                  0:19.5880

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MID-WEEK RUN to NEERIM SOUTH PUB – Thursday 16th November

REPORT No.1

After picking up the Cabriolet on Wednesday from Moorabbin (after a little fettling, as the Poms would say). I decided it would be nice to use it on the Neerim South Mid-Week run. The Targa tops were even removed and stowed away so as to be ready for Thursday morning.

Thursday dawned warm, but overcast, so at 10:15am the Jag and I set off for the Stump Tearooms at Darnum. There we met up with other members for a pre-run Coffee, and then in typical Gippsland weather fashion – the drizzle set in. On went the Cabby’s targa tops as others erected the soft tops on the convertibles that were assembled awaiting the arrival of our Midweek Maestros John and Jan!

We set off after receiving our instructions from John, along the Darnum Park Road towards the Old Sale Road and Mizpah Settlement Road. These are terrific drivers’ roads with nice scenery for the passengers to admire along the way. Onto McDougal Road, turn right into Neerim East Road, then somewhere along Neerim East Road this ‘dickhead’ left the correct route and led half the convoy down the wrong track. In my defense, the mistake was realised almost immediately, and we turned everyone around. Now back on track, the lost half of the convoy headed for the right turn onto the Main Neerim Road and headed north to the Neerim North Road. Then it was down into Noojee before finally catching up with the leading half of the convoy at the Neerim South Pub where we had a great meal with great company. Thanks John and Jan for providing us with another great Mid-Week run, and on behalf of the lost convoy, sorry guys! 

Cobbles (John Cobbledick)

 

REPORT No.2

 

Thursday morning off to the Stump Tearooms at Darnum for coffee and chat before the run, ROOF DOWN on Morolla. (Not raining!!)

Suddenly RAIN, mad dash to put roof up.

John hands out the maps and details of the route, then it’s away. Twelve classics and two modern cars took part. The Morolla, 1 x ’65 and 1 x new Mustangs, MGB, Austin A95, Boxster and a 944 Porsche, XJS and XF Jaguars, JPS BMW, 2 x MX5, a Subaru and a Pajero.

We toured some of Gippsland’s beauty, the rolling hills, luscious farmland, bushland and winding roads.

Starting from Darnum then on to Shady Creek, then Neerim Sth, Neerim East, Neerim, Noojee, Nayook, Neerim again and back to the Neerim Sth Hotel for lunch.

Traveled on a patches of road at Nayook which appear to be where the Shire apprentices are taught how to repair pot holes !!!

Numbers varied upon arrival, but eventually all the others arrived and stories were told.

We all had a delicious lunch and catch up. Then went on our merry ways. (Still raining)

Good fun run was had by all. Morolla has never been this dirty, but we thoroughly enjoyed the day.

“Get your cars out of the shed and participate in these runs while you can.”

THANKS again to John and Jan for organising another run.

Cheers,

Rod Dawes

Pictures by John Fowler.

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LE TOUR DE ALPS – Cup Day long weekend

Thanks to Malcolm and Anne Irwin, and Phil and Judy Barnard for the well-documented maps and their selection of roads we traveled visiting the best locations Victoria has to offer.

The first day we met at Warburton on the Yarra and drove to Marysville for coffee at the famous bakery. It was the only building left standing after the 2009 Bushfires. The town has now been totally rebuilt. We then proceeded to Eildon for Lunch, which we ate on the dam wall, then drove on the Great Alpine Targa road to the Jamieson township. The Targa High Country Rally was on the following weekend,in Mansfield. At $6000 to enter, one probably needed to economise on food with a thermos and sangers with fees like that.

We stayed overnight in Mansfield for the big party, mostly fire engines, fieries and Scottish pipe bands. The streets were all closed off and we could not get Glen Campbell off the jumping Castle, until he was finally coaxed away with a Latte. 

Saturday, we were off to Lake Buffalo via the King Valley wineries. Enjoyed a picnic Lunch on shores of Lake Buffalo and stayed overnight in Mt Beauty. On Sunday we headed to Mitta for lunch at the pub, via Tallangatta. I think every motorbike in Melbourne was getting fuel, at the one pump in town, at least it was entertaining watching them whilst waiting two hours for food. It was a perfect day, sunny and no wind. It was so pretty there on the river with crystal clear water tumbling over the rocks. One more night at Mt Beauty then it was off to Harrietville for coffee, ice-creams etc. All the motorbikes were returning to Melbourne now. We caught up on some gold mining history in Harrietville and found it very interesting, then continued on up to Mt Hotham with 50-foot visibility from the thick fog, heavy rain and the works. The pub was chockers, so we proceeded to Dinner Plains for lunch, and our accommodation for the next two nights. We enjoyed Melbourne Cup Drinks and a sweep for an hour – that’s was long as anybody could drink for now, then dinner at the pub.  Wednesday breakfast was at Swift Creek Bakery after a nice drive down the Cassillis Road back into Omeo where we saw more motorbikes that forgot to go home Tuesday.

This was a very memorable trip of around 1700 kilometres, with no mechanical failures being reported, However, we did smell some burning rubber or oil at one stage, and because we are all too stiff to get down and look under the cars now, we have no idea of the culprit. Fuel consumption of the WRX was mostly 10.5 l/100k. Ian and Carol Mallows achieved around 8.5 in the Lotus, Merv & Karen Swingler’s Mustang was the big surprise with 10.3. The big Mustang was amazing in a fleet of Porsches, Lotus, two Subaru WRXs and a Mazda MX5, it followed them through the corners and had good fuel economy. 

That’s all until next year.

Yours in motoring, Ian Holdsworth.

Thanks to Phil Barnard for most of the shots – the last 10 are courtesy of Malcolm Irwin.

 

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BREAKFAST CLUB, Warragul CBD – Sunday 12th November

When the sun rises accompanied by raucous morning birdsong at around 6am, and the day ahead is forecast as fine and mild, it’s an invitation to rise and shine that few can ignore.  Such perfect sports car weather should not be wasted, so when your roofless reporter arrived at the Breakfast Club venue after choosing the longer more scenic route into town, it was not a surprise to see the southern section of the car park almost full, well before the nominated starting time of 8am.

It was my Fiat Spider’s turn for an outing and pure coincidence that a parking space was available next to Mike Whitford’s current model Fiat Abarth Spider. The proximity allowed for an interesting comparison between the classic and contemporary. Unfortunately, Peter King arrived a little too late in his classic Spider to make it a cosy threesome, but he parked next to Mark McKibbin’s Lancia Fulvia and opposite John Althuizen’s Ferrari 328GTS to make a second Italian enclave. There was also Des Dillon’s recently purchased and immaculate 1971 Alfa GTV making its Breakfast Club debut, a marauding black Ferrari Marenello looking for space, a very tidy Xi/9 and an Alfa 90 which arrived later in the morning making for quite a diverse range of classic Italian automobili.

Roadsters were in profusion, most going topless and making the best of the late Spring weather. There were MGs and Triumphs of course from the 40s, 50s and later, a trio of Austin Healeys, several Porsche Boxsters and Mercedes convertibles, a couple of Ford Capris, Graham Longmore’s D-type Jag, Ken Purcell’s 350Z, Ian Mallows’ Lotus Elan, Ian Maud’s Toyota MR2, Bob Murphy’s Z4 and even a beach buggy (with the roof up!). There were plenty of coupes as well. Old and new Mustangs continue to be popular as do older Mercs like Ray Youlden’s new 1976 4.5SLC. There were several Porsches, both front and rear engined, a lovely Volvo P1800, a couple of 2-door Jags (XKE and XKR), an M3 BMW, a 240Z, a gorgeous Austin A40 Farina, three Minis belonging to Graeme Longhurst, Neville Peters and Trevor Batt, as well as a trio of Isuzu Belletts (at least one of which was a 2-door) drove in nose to tail and paid us a visit.

Home-grown and imported sedans were again very popular. A 1957 Oldsmobile in red and white caught my attention later in the morning, but due to our numbers probably exceeding 90 cars, it had to park on the outer, as did an imposing black Bentley which found a spot by the side of the road. A beautifully presented Zephyr Zodiac MkII from the late 50s or early 60s made a debut appearance, joining the ranks of British sedans present which included several Jaguars and a Triumph 2.5. Mercedes, Citroen, Subaru and a VR4 Mitsubishi Gallant also bolstered the sedan contingent this month …. and in case that wasn’t enough to maintain your interest, there was John Fowler’s old Dodge tray truck as well as several motorcycles on display for those who prefer two wheels.

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NOVEMBER MONTHLY MEETING, Drouin Golf Club – Thursday 9th Nov.

Our final monthly meeting for the year was very well attended with more than 80 members and friends enjoying an evening out. It was great to see an impressive assemblage of sporting and classic cars taking advantage of the fine weather and parking on the road outside the clubrooms, with even more classics scattered amongst the 4-wheel-drives and utes in the larger car park area.

Nice to see Stephen Hoole bringing along his recently purchased 2007 Porsche Boxster S, and the McKibbin’s showing up in a very tidy Lancia Fulvia – still wearing its Tasmanian number plates!

Inside the dining room, Ray Youlden had on display his newly acquired 1976 Mercedes 450SLC which he and Alice only collected from Longwarry the previous evening. Although not exactly the model that Ray was primarily looking for, he found it hard to ignore this very tidy 3-owner car that has been fastidiously looked after. This Australian delivered 4.5 litre V8 coupe was originally purchased by a Collins Street doctor who owned it for 4 years before passing it on the second owner who held onto it for many years. The third owner, from Longwarry, documented all the maintenance and repairs during his ownership, including every time it was washed and polished! The car has now accumulated 274,000km with servicing religiously undertaken every 5000km. The seats need new squabs and there’s a couple of small imperfections in the paint, but overall, it’s an honest car that presents very well.

The SLC was designed to cruise the German autobahns at 200km/h in comfort and safety. The 4-wheel disc brakes were quite advanced for the era with 4 piston calipers and ventilated rotors at the front. Ray was pleased to find that the air conditioner still worked and although he hasn’t driven it much yet, he admits that the big steering wheel and 40-year-old controls will take a while to come to grips with. It also doesn’t steer like a modern RS Ford Focus, so it might stick to the car park at Bryant Park rather than venture onto the track!

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OCTOBER MID-WEEK RUN to BEACONSFIELD NORTH – Wednesday 18th October

After a cold and wet winter here in Gippsland, we were assembled under clear blue skies outside the Drouin Bowling Club about to depart on the second mid-week run for this Spring. What a lovely day for a club run, expecting nearly 30 degrees of warmth.
We had an eclectic mix (as always) of about a dozen cars, with Mustangs, Jaguars, Nissan 300ZX, MG, Mazda MX5, Porsche, Holden Maloo ute, MINI and BMWs.
We set off from Drouin and headed north for Drouin West and across the highway overpass to Longwarry where we picked up the old back road to Nar Nar Goon.
There was a quick stop to have a look at the Garfield Cannibal Creek Wood-Fired Bakery where they produce lovely sour dough and other varieties of bread. Another Porsche and a couple of Monaro’s joined us there, then we resumed our trip to Nar Nar Goon.
Somewhere  around Garfield the MG returned home with suspected alternator problems, another victory for ‘the Prince of Darkness’.
At Nar Nar Goon the group was separated by having to wait for a train at the crossing, but we re-assembled at Army Road in Pakenham and then continued on to Pakenham Upper, Mt Burnett, Paternoster Rd, and then back through Dewhurst and then Beaconsfield Upper to our destination on the ‘flats’ at the Cardinia Park Hotel at 12.20pm. 
We had a long table reserved for our 24 members in a separate area, and a lot of happy chatter then followed. With a lovely social lunch consisting of entrée, mains, dessert and coffee, we finally departed for home at 3pm.
Another great mid-week run for the club. Thanks to John and Jan for their continued efforts in organising these outings each month.

Words by 
Geoff Miller

Photos by John Fowler.

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