Thank you to John Fowler and Eric Irvine for the photos shown in the gallery below. Comments are welcome and can be made using the Comment Box at the bottom of the page.
Twenty-two people in ten cars gathered at
the Drouin Bowling Club to depart behind John, just after 9.30am for Wonthaggi.
The weather was overcast all day but dry.
Our route wound through
verdant South Gippsland farming country on reasonable sealed roads via Main
South Rd and Timms Rd to Poowong. The drive continued, at a pace that allowed
the drivers to enjoy the scenery too, until we reached Loch. The route on the
Loch-Wonthaggi Rd continued up and down and around like the previous great
We arrived at John’s place
for refreshments then an inspection of his five original classic Jaguars -three
XJ6 sedans, including a Daimler Sovereign version, a later XJ sedan and an XJ-S
After choosing from the
extensive lunch menu at the Wonthaggi Workmen’s Club, most of us drove the few
minutes to the State Coal Mine Historic site. Some either stayed in the café or
toured the surface buildings while about a dozen of us paid for a 90-minute
escorted underground inspection of a small part of the underground workings.
We were lucky to have as
our guide a Wonthaggi miner who started in 1949 as a 19 year old Italian
migrant and worked there until the mine closed in the 1970’s. He explained that
although we were only going to walk about 1km into the mine, there were nearly
5000km of tunnels in the whole mine complex ! Most of the workings are flooded now but
100,000 litre/day of brackish water is pumped out of the public area to allow
tours. At the end of our tour we were about 60 meters below ground level so the
train ride out was welcome.
A great day thanks to John’s organising and hospitality.
Words by Alan Humphreys, photos by John Cobbledick
We finally made it to on of John’s Mid Week Runs. Unfortunately one of the main jobs John had to do in organising the run didn’t go to plan. No sunshine anywhere to be seen, instead we were met at the Darnum Tea Rooms with overcast weather, rain and wind.
After refueling with coffee, scones and cream our group of 24 set off on the scenic route through Neerim East through to Cunningham’s Hotel at Yarra Junction. We even had a few brave souls in their convertible classic cars.
We chose to “rough it” in our Tiguan.
Despite the rain we all had a great day and we will be sure to do another one.
Graeme and Deborah Hollingsworth
Our run of cold, wet and dismal Breakfast
Club Sundays at last came to end with our October gathering being held in quite
passable Warragul spring sunshine (read as intermittent cloud). The balmy morning
conditions of around 6 degrees combined with a lack of wind were enough of an
incentive to attract somewhere between 80 and 90 special cars and motorcycles away
from their winter hibernation. Your correspondent arrived a little later than
usual after noticing the lack of movement after start-up in the Fiat coupe’s
Benzina gauge and dropping by a petrol station before the tank ran dry.
Nevertheless, at 8am the southern section of the car park, which holds about 30
cars, was full and the adjoining areas were filling fast.
It is estimated that somewhere between 80 and 90 vehicles attended this month’s gathering and as usual there was an eclectic mix of vintage, sports, classic, luxury, daily drivers, motorcycles and Street Rods to attract one’s attention. It was nice to see three and a half Ferraris (if you count Mike Whitford’s Ferrari-engined Fiat Dino Coupe as a half) together with a Boxster and a couple of 911 Porsches heading the pedigreed sports fraternity. Classic British convertible sports cars also made a welcome return with plenty of Triumphs, MGs, Jaguars, and the odd Healey enjoying the sun’s rays.
As usual, there were a number of debutantes this month including an early 60’s XL Ford Falcon with sun visor and rear window venation blind, Merv Swingler’s 1950’s Ford F100 tray, a fourth generation Toyota Supra from the turn of the century, a new Toyota 86 in bright blue, several customised Street Rods and Glen Campbell’s recently resurrected, first generation Honda Civic from the 1970s. After having sat unused in the family garage for over 20 years, the little Honda is perhaps not in the same league as Glenn’s M3, but it’s now running sweetly and will soon be sporting Club Permit plates. The value of classic cars can sometimes be in sentimental terms rather than monetary value and we’re happy to see them all at our monthly Breakfast Club gatherings.
With our President and Vice President away on interstate trips, it was left to Ian Maud to run the show this month and as expected, the agenda was dealt with as efficiently as ever. With an attendance of about 50 members and friends seated at tables of ten, the Golf Club caterers tried a new approach to dinner – bringing plates of food to the tables from which the guests served themselves. This seemed to work well and there didn’t seem to be any shortage of food.
The display car on the green carpet was Rod Smith’s 1951 MG TD which prior to his purchase of it about four years ago from Massaro Motors in Morwell, it had been completely restored by the previous owner, Brian Patton from Traralgon. Rod’s presentation about the car included an interesting series of slides showing the MG at various stages throughout this restoration. Repairs were made to many of the panels and the dash and fuel tank were made by hand from scratch. A new steering wheel rim was made from an epoxy mix and fitted to the original hub and spokes assembly, whilst the cast exhaust manifold was painted and then baked in the kitchen oven to achieve the correct finish. There is an extra fuel gauge under the dash, but it always shows full !
Other than the chassis, there’s nothing much of the original car left untouched. The 1250cc engine is the correct unit, but it was originally fitted to a Wolseley and the source of many other parts are unknown. The MG came with a heap of spare parts including another engine block, starter motors, generators etc.
Rod is a regular Breakfast Club participant
in the MG TD which has now covered about 3000 miles since its restoration. “It’s
a fun car to drive and cruises at about 55 mph” says Rod, whose longest journey
in the car so far, has been to Bairnsdale and back. The car is in immaculate
condition and worthy of an inspection if you missed this opportunity at the
Thank you to Rod for his interesting presentation and for making his car available for our meeting.
With over sixty members and guests attending our September meeting it was a shame that the catering fell well short of the mark, leaving little on the buffet for those unlucky enough to be on either of the last two tables. A subsequent meeting held between the Golf Club management and our President, Ron Brooks will have hopefully turned things around in time for our October meeting.
The regular meeting business was conducted efficiently by Ron and his team, however it was disturbing to hear that Ed Denovan was in intensive care at the Alfred Hospital with a fractured skull, ribs and vertebrae after falling from a ladder. It is likely to be quite a while before Ed gets back behind the wheel of his Alfa or Triumph TR6, but we wish him a speedy recovery.
This month’s display car was a magnificent 1952 Ford Customline ‘Single Spinner’ belonging to new club member Brian Autie. Right-hand-drive Customlines were all built in Canada and this ’52 model was the first version to come to Australia. Despite being built for our market, lots of small things were changed once the cars arrived Downunder.
Brian’s car is mechanically original apart from the twin
exhausts and it only needed some attention to the brakes and wipers to attain a
roadworthy certificate. It is fitted with a 239ci, 110bhp flathead V8 with a
manual gearbox. The straight and rust-free bodywork reflects the low 75,000
miles knocked up in its 67 years, but the shiny back enamel paintwork is not
Brian says the Customline is happy cruising at around 55 mph,
but is hopeful that it will handle better and be more stable in crosswinds with
a new set of radial tyres. The current whitewall crossplies look great, but
tend to steer wherever they want !
Thanks for bringing your car along Brian, it’s a lovely example of the marque.