On Sunday 7th April, members of the Scuderia Italian Car Club made their way up to McLaren Vale to watch the Vintage and Classic cars parade down the main street at 11am.
They then went on to enjoy a Sunday lunch at Pizzateca. Some members first gathered at the Tower Hotel in Magill to then make the drive up together, whilst others planned to meet in McLaren Vale.
It was a lovely day to be out and driving, albeit a little chilly, but thankfully there was no rain in sight. Lucky for me, I was able to drive my future father-in-law Frank’s 916 Alfa Romeo Spider, which made the drive up and back more enjoyable. There’s something special about the feeling you get when driving an Alfa, which makes me miss the days of driving my 1990 Alfa Romeo 75 twin spark.
The Vintage and Classic was a promising event and there were many spectacular cars on parade for motoring enthusiasts.
Not only was it a day for cars, as many people also enjoyed the local food and wines on offer in this wine region. Last year brought in 15-20,000 people, and this year appeared to be no different.
After the event, our club members met at Pizzateca for lunch. Vito, Tony and the team always deliver, and this time was no exception. We started with some antipasti, followed by arrosticini and then of course, pizza. Coffee served from the machinetta and house made limoncello was a lovely way to end the meal, and no one could say they left hungry. It was a relaxing day of laughter and conversation over a few bottles of red, and a wonderful time to catch up and talk all things car and non-car related. Some members brought along their families which made it a nice family day out as well.
Arriving at the Mitcham Reserve on the Sunday morning, 31 March, at 8.30 am I was greeted by the sumptuous scent of eggs, bacon and hash browns. What came to mind were the lyrics of the 1968 Beatles song of Across the Universe which I modified using the theme of the breakfast BBQ.
Eggs are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup
They slither wildly as they spread across the stainless steel plate
Pools of scrambled eggs and waves of bacon are drifting through my open mind
Possessing and caressing me. Jai guru deva!
There were about 40 members and family/friends that attended the breakfast with the MC’S Ric and Dom mastering the cooking duties and both had done a marvellous job in serving up a grand breakfast banquet.
The only disappointment was not having access to hot coffee or tea due to the council not providing electrical power from the power box so the hot water urn could not be used.
Nevertheless it was a successful morning with all enjoying the breakfast and I provided music playing the piano accordion and even Vince Augumeri played a few songs on my piano accordion which was a thrill for me to hear him play some the old Italian standards.
There were some beautiful cars on display in the car park from the classical cars of yesteryear which created some interest from the general public attending the Mitcham reserve e.g. Alfa Romeo Giulietta spider, 124 BC coupe , Fiat 124 spider , Ferrari 308 GTS to the modern cars of the Abarth 124 Spiders, Abarth 500, Alfa Romeo spider and the Fiat Freemont.
It was a lovely day out and the party came to a reluctant close by midday when some of the old boys finally dispersed having a chin wag about anything and everything.
I was very honored to be involved in Anthea and Legri’s wedding.
I had the privilege to drive Anthea, her parents and the bridesmaids from their home in Allenby Gardens to the Manor at Basket Range where the ceremony was being held.
Anthea was stunning in her wedding dress, as were the brides maids.
It was a leisurely drive to the ceremony but I had my fingers crossed that it would not rain as it was an overcast day. But the rain mostly held out till after the ceremony and the photo session, only raining slightly towards the end.
The Phillip Island Classic celebrated its 30th Anniversary this March 8-10th and as usual it was a wonderful event for lovers of classic car racing. The event attracted cars from all states of Australia, the UK, USA, NZ and SA, in excess of 450 cars entered to races scheduled over the three hectic race days. Featured cars for this year’s event included Bolwell, Elfin, Group A & C Touring Cars and as such not as many of the early race cars come over for this year’s event, however there were still plenty of them to see and hear. Full access to all areas of circuit is a great feature of the event as always, you get to see all cars / drivers you wish to see, and for $50.00 you can even do hot laps between scheduled races. The weather was picture perfect, food and amenities at the track fantastic and fellow spectators always keen for a chat.
The event begins on Thursday for Scrutineering etc. and setting up in the Pits, Friday it all starts with the daily 9.00 ‘Competitors You May Start Your Engines’ announced. Practice in the morning for all race categories and from 1.00pm racing. Friday is a great day to look in and around the Pits, the crowds are not there so you get a great look at the technology. Friday night in Cowes is also a great evening as the cars take over the main streets, Bolwell, Elfin and Group A & C race cars on trade plates lining the streets, a great buzz dining out with these cars. On Saturday and Sunday the spectators arrive in force many driving classic cars, modern wonders, including many rarely seen cars.
The event is not limited to track cars, featured cars are also on display in the Pits – BMW’s, Ford Capri’s, Ferrari, McLaren’s but to name a few. On the outside of the track there are the covered display areas and allocated club / display parking areas these change each day for different clubs where hundreds of cars are on display. On top of all these areas are the general car parking areas with even more technology to look at.
Enough of this general talk, Italian cars were in abundance on the track and performing well. Some highlights for me were the 1985 Ferrari 156/85 in full flight with the 1500 Turbo wound up and spitting fire at each corner, in a six lap race he shot away from the field by a lap and a half in each race. It’s a tiny V6 when you see it close up with 1000+ horsepower to play with. From the UK a magnificent 1972 De Tomaso Pantera battled three Corvettes for two days and finally had the setup right on Sunday to blast away from the Corvettes. Another highlight was a one off 1963 Cooper T61M Monaco rear engine sports car from the UK with a great history [Roy Salvadori first drove it] powered by a 5 Litre Maserati as used in the Tipo 151’s. This car looked great, sounded as it should and was faster each day, it had stiff competition from the likes of John Bowe driving an Allard J2X.
Alfa Romeo’s were in abundance in many classes /events, with some well know Adelaide [Peter Axford for example] cars competing. A highlights for me included a number of the ex. Alec Mildren 105’s. They looked fantastic unmolested and presented as raced in their day. The Ferrari banner was also present in the form of the 1971 Dulon Dino LD10B from the UK. Dulon produced 200 race cars between 1967 and 1978, this was powered by a Ferrari Dino V6/2 litre engine a wedge shaped rear engine car.
From the car park and display areas there were some wonderful cars, these included:- Alfa Romeo 6C, Fiat V8, Alfa Romeo 2600’s, Maserati, Fiat 124’s & 128’s, Ferrari 308’s, Californian but to name a few. An unusual part-Italian from WA was the fabulous 1954 Arnolt Bristol with a beautiful Bertone body in the carpark at the first bend every day of the event.
For hard racing the mighty 1972 Elfin MS7 could not be beaten, all weekend winning by a lap each day in the ‘big banger’ sports car Q&R events. In the Historic Touring Cars over 3 Litres the four Camaro’s did put on a show. In the Groups A &C Historic Touring Cars all four Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500 cars with 900-1000+ horsepower were lethal [with the ex ‘Longhurst’ car in its own class] leaving Commodores, A9X’s and BMW’s [JPS] behind.
A great weekend if you can get a chance to go, lots to do. Saturday there is a Street Market on the foreshore in Cowes with food and music for all to enjoy.
On Sunday 3rd March 2019 the club was invited to join the Fiat Lancia Car Club and the Alfa Romeo Car Club in a combined 3 club run to Gumeracha for breakfast at the Rocking Horse Café.
The SICC Members met at the Tower Hotel at 7:45 a.m. Ten member cars left the Tower Hotel carpark at 8:10 to drive to the Burnside Library car park where they joined the other two car clubs. In total there were approximately 30 cars and 50 members representing the 3 clubs. We left the car park at about 8:30 a.m. to enjoy a drive through the Adelaide hills on yet another perfect Adelaide Sunday morning. The drive up to Gumeracha included the infamous Corkscrew Road and to in some beautiful views along the way.
The members from the 3 clubs almost completely filled the Rocking Horse Café where we enjoyed a magnificent breakfast before making our way back to the city. All clubs agreed that the day was a success and are looking at organising similar events in the future.
Wikicars – Wikicars has extensive reviews of cars with owners’ contributions providing real-life experiences and links to other car clubs
Classic Car Drivers Association – Is a website for historic and classic cars tips and information, technical specifications and photos of more than 20,000 classics, addresses for the purchase, restoration, storage or maintenance of your car
Car Club Websites
AROCA(SA) – The Alfa Romeo Owners Club South Australia