|Dates||19 – 21 October, 2007|
|Guest of Honour||Dott. Alberto Pianta|
The Australian Lancia Register’s long running Castlemaine Rallies continue to attract Australian and International Lancisti for driving, socialising and relaxing. What better place than the Central Goldfields in Victoria. With this year’s rally celebrating one hundred years of Lancia production, Castlemaine 19 was an excellent opportunity for people to reflect on the history, innovation and passion of a rare an innovative Italian marque. This year was my first year as an entrant and I managed to find out what was going on and where I needed to be without too much trouble.
Being hard at work until late into Friday evening, I missed the commencement of the official Castlemaine Programme on Friday 19 October 2007. From all accounts, a beautiful warm spring day provided perfect conditions for a leisurely warm up to the rally, with a relaxing lunch at Talerddig in Castlemaine.
While I was still busy exercising the gears coming up from Melbourne, those Lancisti who had registered for the Friday night reception were enjoying a new Castlemaine venue for the Register – the Theatre Royal. With a fully operational cinema screen, fantastic 8mm film footage (remastered to the digital age) showed many beautiful Lancia cars, racing, spectacular crashes and old Castlemaine rallies to keep everyone entertained. I was deeply disappointed to miss out on some of these historic scenes. At the theatre, there was ample opportunity for Lancisti friends to reacquaint themselves and update each other on the progress of their cars. Food and drink flowed freely, at least for all the early starters.
It wasn’t until the Saturday morning before I met our wonderful guest of honour, Alberto Pianta. His friendly and polite manner and his pleasant and modest demeanour did not inhibit his great passion for all things Lancia. With excellent English, Alberto was able to keep everyone enthralled throughout the weekend with Italian stories of his experiences. Our Saturday morning line up, outside the Castle Motel was a good opportunity to meet Alberto and see the Lancia machines venturing out into the perfect spring sunshine.
Many entrants admired Peter Renou’s mobile office and registration stand, otherwise known as his gorgeous green Astura, and received the newly designed and illustrated Rally 19 Poster and rally pack. Warm thanks goes to Lisa Ann Austin for the detailed “art deco” artwork and her generously given time!
With rally packs, maps and directions now in most participants hands, people were eager to drive their cars to morning tea and the Colliers Chocolates at the Sutton Grange Town Hall. Four different chocolates could be deliciously sampled. This was followed by a very pleasant navigation exercise and some excellent roads which brought the rally contingent through to the Kyneton Golf Club for a well catered for lunch.
A magic highlight of the rally came next. Alberto Pianta described his experiences with Lancia, mainly at the Chivasso Plant near Torino. Whether it was his passionate Italian accent, or his profound interest in his subject, Alberto’s presentation was a pleasure to hear and see. Footage of Lancia production was projected onto the wall of the golf club and really gave additional perspective to Alberto’s great stories and technical knowledge. I learned a great deal about paint and rust! It was terrific to listen from a person with first hand experience in the manufacture of Lancia cars.
After a highly memorable presentation, Alberto presented the Australian Lancia Register with a uniquely special gift – a gift that will be long treasured and remembered passionately– a magnificent Lancia Beta Symbol. Robert Bienvenu, our President, was speechless. I was amazed that such a lovely gift had been bestowed on us. Thank you Alberto!
Saturday Night Dinner at the Town Hall is a major component of the weekend and by the time I arrived, many tables of people were enjoying each other’s company. Fully frocked and suited and with grease and oil removed, the Lancisti proved a tidy bunch. All we needed was a good band to kick on into the wee small hours.
An early Sunday start with assembly on the Western Oval allowed intrigued outsiders a glimpse at the Lancia fraternity. Just around the corner to Camp Reserve brought us to the Sheep Dog Trials. The dogs at the trials were having a job of it with the sheep turning every which way. Perhaps onlookers of the Lancia convoy would be forgiven in thinking we were all sheep like trying to exit the showgrounds and find the scent of the trail for the afternoon drive. Many of us took a wrong turning and followed each other in circles. Narrow roads and interesting “Romulus My Father” country was interesting for driver and passenger alike, leading us finally to Heatherton Park, Smeaton. Lunch in the cricket pavilion, or BYO picnics were enjoyed by all, with awards and ceremony towards the end of the afternoon.
A special “thank you” goes to the ALR Committee for organising another Castlemaine successful event. The driving was highly enjoyable – great back roads without the prying eyes of authority allowed Lancias to be enjoyed for their great road holding ability. 94 official entries and some beautiful cars made participation that much more worthwhile. “Sophia” and I really enjoyed the outing.
|Pre-Lambda Trophy||John Shellard, 1919 Kappa Tourer|
|Don Wright Shield||Ray Long, 7th Series Spyder||Best Recent Lambda Restoration|
|“A” Series Award||Neville Anderson, Augusta Cabriolet||Artena, Augusta, Astura, Appia, Ardea|
|Fobello Trophy||Paul Vellacott, Series 1 Berlina||Best Aprilia|
|Clive Beattie Award||Lyall Price, B24 Convertible||Best Aurelia|
|Flaminia Trophy||Michael Wapler, GTL 3C 2.8 Touring Coupe 2+2|
|David Murphy Memorial Trophy||Bernadette Nagle, Flavia 2000||Best Flavia / 2000|
|Fulvia Trophy||Joseph Milani, 1.6 HF Coupe|
|Beta Trophy||James McCully, 1978 MonteCarlo||Includes Gamma and Post Beta models|
|Gamma / Delta / Theta Trophy||Jocelyn Vettoretti, Thema Turbo|
|Gerald Batt Trophy||Neville Anderson, 1935 Augusta Cabriolet||Long Distance Award, Aurelia or earlier – 1330 Miles from Dulong, North Queensland|
|Norman Stewart Shield||John Hickford, Lambda||Best personal effort by a member|
|Committee Award||Neil and Elsa Pering||In recognition of their frequent attendances from the USA|
|Angela Verschoor Award||Kim Brownbill||Travelling the shortest distance on a new tyre|