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MONTHLY MEETING / AGM , Drouin Golf Club – Thursday 14th March

As this was our final monthly meeting before the end of Daylight Saving, quite a few members arrived early, displaying their cars outside the clubrooms whilst enjoying pre-dinner drinks in the lingering sunshine which bathed the west-facing patio area. Quite pleasant really!

Inside the dining room, preparations were being made for a buffet meal catering for around 60 or so of our members and friends. The drip trays were in place for what we expected to be Bill Formby’s Rolls Royce, but following a last-minute cancellation, it was Locky Fowler’s recently acquired 1973 Datsun 240Z which took pride of place on the green carpet.

This month’s meeting also included our Annual General Meeting which was dispensed with astounding efficiently in just four minutes and four seconds thanks to some great teamwork between our secretary Glen Campbell and out-going president Ray Youlden. Ray is stepping down into the position of Vice Pres this year whilst Ron Brooks will take on the leadership role. Jaime Drysdale who is not continuing on Committee, was thanked for her involvement over the last 12 months and we welcomed Ed Denovan and Ian Maud onto the Committee which apart from these changes, remains much the same. After more than 20 years on Committee, which included a stint as President, several years as our Club Permit Officer and the force behind our Mid-Week Runs, John Fowler was presented with a well-deserved Life Membership of the Club. Congratulations John.With the AGM out of the way, Ray handed the reigns over to Ron who then thanked Ray for his two years at the helm before completing the meeting’s business and introducing Locky and his 240Z.  Locky explained that the purchase of this car was a rather drawn-out affair that began with a rumour about this well-known car possibly being on the market – but no details or contact numbers were forthcoming. Eventually the owner was tracked down and three months later a deal was negotiated resulting in Locky’s ownership of a second red 240Z. This car, however, is somewhat unique. Although registered on Club plates, the Z has sat virtually unused for almost two years. It was built primarily as a  club-racer and circuit car and has an impressive list of modifications and extras that include a bolt-in roll cage, digital dashboard, bigger brakes and wheels, coil-over suspension, a 260Z limited slip diff and topping it off, a fresh Les Collins 2.8 litre fuel injected engine running 13.5:1 compression on E85 fuel and producing close to 300bhp. Needless to say, the beast has impressive performance. Locky will be giving it a run at Philip Island this weekend before continuing on with the development work which will include removal of the sunroof and further mechanical massaging.

We thank Locky for making himself and the Z available at very short notice this month.

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BREAKFAST CLUB, Warragul CBD – Sunday 10th March

A very short report this month consisting of information gleaned from a chat with one or two members who were present and the photos sent to me by Graeme Hollingsworth, John Stoker and Stephen Hoole. Your regular correspondent missed this month’s gathering, electing instead to have some sideways Fiat fun on a concrete skidpan at Bayswater. Thank you to those mentioned above for helping fill the void.

The weather in Warragul was cool, but clear and it enticed a good turnout of around 70 vehicles to attend our early morning gathering. Amongst the regulars were a couple of Ferraris, an ever-growing consort of Mustangs and MX5s, and the usual dedicated assemblage of pukka sports cars representing a range of classic British and European manufacturers.

An appearance from members of the Volvo Car Club on a run up to the Gippsland Vehicle Collection at Maffra swelled our numbers for a while, as did a group of classic beach buggies seemingly out of their element without a sand dune in sight. Dennis Cope brought along his immaculate 2-door Datsun 1600 which is now registered on Club plates, and it was nice to see a rare and beautifully restored VW Combi twin-cab ute. I have always thought that one of those would make a perfect transporter for the Cooper S race car! David Anderson rode in from Allambee on his Harley, realising too late that he’d forgotten his gloves and having to put up with frozen hands, but the weather stayed fine, allowing the several other motorcycle riders and the drivers of roofless convertibles to enjoy a dry, but rather fresh drive home.

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Sunday 17th February saw the first ever meeting of Victorian Marcos owners with 6 owners and 4 cars in attendance. We lost what would have been a 5th car late the night before due to an electrical gremlin, another was running but not roadworthy, another owner too far away to make the trip and a fellow Mini Marcos owner was away celebrating his birthday, so potential is there for more cars in the future.
Sporting Register members Mike Kolody (blue Marcos V6 GT) and Steve Schmidt (green Mini Marcos GT) met up with the folk from Melbourne over a nice pub lunch at KooWeeRup.

FORMULA FORD UNVEILING – Saturday 23rd February

The Sporting Register was invited to attend and display their cars at Warragul City Ford on the occasion of local Formula Ford driver, Ben Bargwanna’s unveiling of his 2019 race car.

Ben’s post on Facebook reads, “Here it is! My 2019 Formula Ford livery.
A huge thank you to Warragul City Motors for hosting this great event. And also a massive thank you to everyone who was able to be there, it was an amazing morning!”

Photos by John Fowler

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TWILIGHT RUN – Friday 22nd Feb

The drive was short and simple – south down the Korrumburra Rd ‘till the turnoff to Poowong, along there a bit, then a right turn into the Drouin South Rd, northwards through Poowong East and back to Warragul via Lardners Track. Plenty of twisties interspersed with short straights to give the driver and machinery a workout, and scenic views for the passengers.

Listening for the approach of cars on a beautifully still, warm summer’s evening whilst standing on a corner in the middle of nowhere with a camera, it was easy to pick those who were having a bit of fun. Kevin Riley in the SL55 was the first to pass by my location, probably not realising that I was there as he focussed on road ahead, Glenn and Pam Campbell followed on through a minute or so later in the V8 M3 BMW sounding sweet. There then followed a procession of another 16 sporting and classic cars, some running singly, others hunting in packs. Mark McKibbin’s Lancia Lambda missed the photo point, but was the first to arrive at IN2FOOD back in Warragul after taking a shorter route at a more leisurely pace.

Your correspondent’s Bugeye was parked on the roadside just past the photo point, but to several locals it must have looked as if it had broken down. I was offered a push-start and even a “tow into town” by passers-by who obviously hadn’t lost their appreciation of BMC’s reliability reputation. Eventually everyone arrived at the dinner venue where 40 or so members stayed on to enjoy drinks and a meal in the restaurant’s upstairs dining room.

Thanks to Mark McKibbin for organising another enjoyable outing.

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FEBRUARY MONTHLY MEETING, Drouin Golf Club – Thursday 14th February

Our first meeting for 2019 was a well-attended affair with around 70 members and friends attending. Those who arrived early enough were able to park their sports and classic cars along the roadway outside the clubhouse as part of an impromptu twilight show-n-shine. Amongst that select little group was Mort FitzGerald’s new red Mustang coupe attending its first Sporting Register event. Doug Armour rode shotgun, but anticipates collecting his own ponycar within the next few weeks.

Inside the function room Mark McKibbin had his 1936 Austin 7 Special on display. This was the baby Austin’s second appearance on the green carpet – the first being a while ago as a work-in-progress which showed the extent of the restoration required.

The Specials were light-weight modified versions of regular Austin Sevens and Mark’s Special is based on a 1936 Ruby. It was apparently built in Drouin in the 1980s, but ended up in Darwin where Mark bought it sight-unseen for what he describes as three times its proper value. After stripping it down and finding all the major components badly in need of rebuilding, Mark embarked on a 2-year restoration culminating in the fitting of Club Permit plates in October last year.

Its first major outing was an Austin Seven Rally where lots of things fell off and noises indicating impending doom brought their participation to an end after only a couple of days into the event. There is now a growing list of things-to-do that includes:

1. Fit a proper windscreen

2. Replace pop rivets in the bonnet with cool-looking copper rivets

3. Fit new rear springs to cure a listing to the starboard side

4. Refit the mirror to achieve a view of the road behind rather than the driver’s shoulder

5. Fit a remote gearshift (currently enroute from England)

6. Fit a spare wheel cover

7. Rebuild engine with new crankshaft

8. Fix speedo issues so that it and the odometer read within cooee of the actual speed and distance

Despite the trials and tribulations, Mark finds the Austin Seven a lot of fun to drive and it goes much faster than he thought it would. It’s even comfortable cruising at 90km/h, it just takes a while getting there.

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