Approaching the 10am departure time, our gathering of vehicles outside the Bendigo Bank in Warragul reflected the direction in which our Club appears to moving. Only three classic cars in the form of Mal Collin’s Mini, Dave Anderson’s Firebird and your correspondent’s Fiat 124 Coupe lined up against their modern counterparts. It was expected to be a warm day and the temptation to drive in air-conditioned comfort was perhaps understandable. Mal even dropped by his home en route and switched from Mini to Hyundai i30N.
We are blessed with some magnificent driving roads in our region and Glenn Campbell knows most of them. His route took us northwards towards Noojee via the Mizpah Settlement Rd and the back roads around Neerim Junction and Neerim North. Unfortunately, after photographing our members as they drove towards Neerim South, I decided to try and make up time by taking the shorter route to Noojee via the main road north, but apparently so did every other Sunday Driver in the area, including those who love to crawl along dragging their portable house behind them. Noojee was meant to be a morning tea destination and it looked like our group had found space to park, but with every car and bike club in the area descending upon the town I gave it a miss and headed towards Baw Baw on the tail of a trio of motorcycles who opened their throttles once clearing the town limits and slower traffic. We all took the right turn option at Icy Creek towards Hill End and enjoyed a terrific run through the heavily forested twisties and switchbacks now devoid of traffic. The second photo point was just outside Fumina South and because I was now so far ahead of our group, it provided an ideal opportunity to snack on my picnic lunch and watch the passing parade. There were several groups of motorcycles including some vintage, classic and modern bikes, all being ridden sensibly, but with vigour through the corners. Our group of around a dozen vehicles was now split up, but Kevin Riley and a motorcycle which had latched onto his Benz’s bumper, had enjoyed a clear run down from Icy Creek. Their fun soon came to an abrupt halt, however, when they caught up to a slow group of classic cars from another local club.
The rest of our group came through in dribs and drabs, but the last few were taking it very easy contending with a Police car in their midst. I had now given up waiting for Mal’s Mini to come through (not knowing that he’d swapped cars) so headed off to Willow Grove chasing down the Ford Capris of Paul Montagnat and Richard Adams. Roadworks kept our speeds down as we passed through Hill End, but we all arrived together at the Blue Rock Dam picnic area. We parked up, gathered together our picnic gear and retired to a well-grassed shady area beneath a tree not far from the water’s edge where children were enjoying the water. John Fowler couldn’t make the morning’s drive, but he joined us at Blue Rock in his MG Midget for lunch. We all enjoyed a social picnic lunch, sharing cake, coffee, salads and stories before eventually saying our farewells and making our individual ways home. Thanks to Glenn and David for their initiative and organisation in bringing the concept of this event to fruition. We’ll have to do the same again next year.