The 2019 Bay to Birdwood Classic was run on Sunday 29th September. While it was decided that the Club was not doing anything as a Club, I decided to enter the X1/9 as I had done two years earlier, as I was hoping to enjoy an incident free run.
Two years ago, I started to experience over-heating problems (as everyone warned me I would) as soon as we hit West Terrace, and it got worse from there with all the stop and start traffic through the city. I made it to Birdwood, but with a lot of stopping to wait for the car to cool off and many stress-free moments. I have done a lot on the car to fix the overheating problems, so I was keen see if it all worked and to enjoy the run this time.
I registered the car early (I was No. 56) and was pleased to see that the route had been changed this year so that it would not go through the city, but rather along Greenhill Road before turning left at Fullarton Road to make its way to Northeast Road.
The morning was cool and partly cloudy, with no rain forecast and an estimated maximum of around 20 degrees – perfect! I brought a friend with me (Lennie), as Anna had decided it was too stressful last time. We arrived at Barratt Reserve in West Beach at 7:00 a.m., and the grounds were already about half full. We did the usual admiring of the incredible assortment of cars for a couple of hours. Vehicles began departing at 8:30, and we finally got away at about 9:30 a.m. We heard later that there were cars leaving West Beach as late as 12:30 so we did well to get off that early.
The drive was very good through Greenhill Road and the Eastern suburbs, with only traffic light stops and some minor builds ups along the way. We even saw Dom and Maria waving to us on the median strip on Anzac Highway. The first real traffic jam we hit was on Northeast Road just before the alternate start point at Civic Park Modbury. I’m not sure if that jam was caused by the cars entering onto Northeast Road from the start point, or local traffic, but it was a significant hold up. The next jam was a few kilometres before Gumeracha, however it seemed to free up between Gumeracha and Birdwood.
We arrived at the finish at about 12:30. I am happy to say that the car performed perfectly, with no overheating whatsoever, and therefore no stress for the driver. The weather was pleasant, and there were lots of spectators lining the roads, and the drive was very enjoyable, if somewhat slower than I would have liked.
We enjoyed a lunch from one of the vans set up near the Motor Museum, and then went into the museum mainly to drool over the Bugatti Veyron. We then enjoyed some olive music that was being played on the forecourt of the Museum, before slowly making our way back to the car while checking out many of the other entrants. We left Birdwood at about 3:30 p.m. and had another pleasant drive home. I can confirm that this time, I did enjoy the experience.