A late change to my work roster meant that I was now free for the mid-week run to the Bass Hotel. A quick phone call to John and we were in.
Wednesday dawned wet with rain forecast for most of the day, so the easy decision was made to take the most weather proof of our cars, that being the MX5. Around 10am we met at the Darnum Stump Tea Room where much convivial conversation was enjoyed over a coffee. Maps were distributed and the route explained by John before setting off at the appointed hour under convoy rules. Our convoy of approximately 19 cars again represented several countries: UK – Jaguar, Austin Healey and Mini Cooper S; European cars were – Saab turbo, Porsche 911 and 944 and BMW Z3 and Z4; Japan was represented by Datsun 1600 SSS, Mazda MX5 (3) and Subaru WRX (2). A few of our ‘softer’ members chose to drive ‘moderns’ today, leaving the classics at home – obviously due to the weather. If I have left anybody out please accept my apologies.
The chosen route took us south from Darnum & via Hallora, Poowong, Loch, Kernot and Glen Forbes on some great winding sports car roads through beautiful rolling green hills, but with constantly changing weather conditions to the George Bass Hotel in Bass, where we met another seven of our members who took the ‘easy’ route there.
Along the way, Graeme Longhurst had a rather unfortunate and unexplained incident where his Cooper S slid off the road in the wet on a bend. As I said it was unexplained, as no one was driving hard and Graeme’s tyres were not wanting for tread!! Thankfully it was only a 650kg Mini, so six or so strong men had it back on the road pretty quickly. The only damage (!) being the left front fog light bent back slightly, this was straightened easily, and voila, “She’s good as new” much to Graeme’s relief.
Our illustrious leader had us wondering for a few minutes when, some might say he took a wrong turn only to quickly do a U-turn and return to the unsignposted, correct road !!! I’ll stick up for you John – you were just regrouping to ensure we were all together, and so a few short minutes later we arrived en masse at the Bass Pub where the 45 of us enjoyed a good meal for a great price with good company. The happy chatter continued until around 2:30pm when people slowly drifted off.
A big thanks to John and Jan Fowler for their work in organising these runs which are obviously thoroughly enjoyed judging by the numbers that are regularly turning up.
Words by Allan Richards, photos by John Fowler