Russ Meehan, organised this great rally as a combined Vintage Sports Car Club / Australian Lancia Register event. Being April the weather should have behaved itself but instead decided to throw us a few challenges.
The day started very early for the drive to Warrandyte with the side curtains up, the travelling rug tucked in around the legs..very cosy. On arrival most entrants were already ensconced in the cafe knocking back a coffee or three and wondering if it was such a good move bringing an open car after all. At 9:30ish the rain didn’t look like it would abate so off we went, I unwisely removed my side curtain as we unwittingly motored into a hail storm but at least we did have a roof.
After a short drive we arrived at Killara Park Estate Winery, the participants tried to separate their clothes from the water that now lived within them by huddling around the open fires, if water ingress was a competitive event the Greens won hands down. More coffee and a very nice lemon slice and we were off, some of us took the unsealed route while the others took the seemingly less challenging tarmac. As it happened the tarmac people had an extra challenge …snow! The mud pluggers just had some corrugations however I did hear the aforementioned damp Andrew Green lament the lack of snow on our stage, those Alvis drivers really do need a hare hair shirt to make them truly happy.
Finally the sun came out (as promised by Russell) and we reached the Marysville Golf Club where not too many salads were ordered. Thanks to Russ for a great rally.
As it was the month of March, I thought it appropriate to theme the run with Monte-carlo. Whilst I was hopeful to get a few Montecarlo’s to join us, it was not to be as timing was bad for everyone involved.
Lesson learnt: Keep all run’s “ no-denomination” (Tick)
Ok, Lets move on. None the less it was very pleasing to see a great line up of 7 x Beta’s, 2 x Flavia , 2 x Lambda, 1x Fulvia Zagato, and a DMC Delorean driven by Simon and Ornella Hauser as invited guests of myself. Simon is currently restoring a Beta Spyder and keen to join the club.
Whilst the deLorean is not a MonteCarlo, it does have an engine in the back, and it is a two seater and if your squint really hard, It could be mistaken for a MonteCarlo, so there you have it, I christen thee Delorean Monte Carlo (DMC !)
The arrival of each vehicle at the car park meeting point which was La Manna’s carpark in Essendon Fields was followed with warm greetings, smiles and laughter. Its more like good friends catching up rather than solely a car club event.
A few formalities to explain the day ahead and 16 cars were ready to set off for the rolling hills of Mt Macedon. The 1st leg took us thru Sunbury and the pastures of Lancefield and Riddells Creek. The road conditions were superb this morning as we enthusiastically accelerated through the hilly landscapes, narrow roads and single lane bridge crossings. The roads were occupied by the occasional cluster of a peloton or market goers at the Macedon market. Going over Mt Macedon is quite a treat as it has a micro climate that changes frequently and really challenges drivers to negotiate the twists and slippery conditions. Our morning stop was at the Top of the range café and memorial cross dedicated to the WWI diggers. Mike Alan entertained us with the story of the Kurana: The DC-3, that crash on Mt Macedon in 1948. The Pilot was an avid car and rally enthusiast, and it was suspected that he was surveying tracks on the southern side of the mountain when disaster struck.
After some great Coffee and scone’s at the café, it was time for the main event at Pitzruello Estate. The majority of the vehicles on this second leg were grouped closely together and it was an excellent photo opportunity back down the mountain joining the Calder Fwy for some spirited driving on the 110 km section and arriving on time at Pitruzzello Estate. We were allowed front parking position with the cars all viewable from the windows of the bistro. Pitruzzello is an ideal restaurant serving traditional Italian foods locally grown that is both flavoursome and plentiful. Together with the wonderful husband and wife owners of the estate, who gave us that personal touch with their service, makes this a definite place to dine.
With Pino and Mirella commetti winning Staff pick of best car for their 1978 beta coupe and young hugo Leo winning the mystery prize, to share with mum and dad Sam and Cathy Leo, the day ended as it began with a few wrap up speeches from our treasurer Russel and Jo Domany from the Qld register spruiking the club Wintersun and tour run in July. It was a real pleasure organising the day out and from the accolades received, I think everyone also had a fantastic day too.