Sunday, 1st December was our club’s annual Christmas barbeque at Thornton Park was paired with a calm, sunny and temperate summer’s day…for precisely 30 seconds!
With my Spider safely (and cleanly) tucked away in the garage, I set off to meet Dom and others to help setup and get the barbeque going for breakfast. I arrived to see Thomas holding his umbrella next to Dom in a futile attempt to fight 40km/h winds to avoid the sideways rain drenching them both over the barbeque. Great! I’ll fire up the other one with the Moka pot to get some coffee going! Ninety very wet and windy minutes later we enjoyed our first coffee and promptly decided to relocate our base to a less swampy area.
Soon it was midday and many fellow Scuderisti began arriving with salads and desserts – we very quickly filled one half of the main pavilion with food, smiles and laughs, delicious rocky road and the Tarantella courtesy of DJ Zollo. The barbeque area, which I like to call the ‘engine room’, was awash with Scuderisti helping Dom and I cook delicious Italian Pork sausages, chicken sausages, scotch fillets and chicken burger patties.
Despite having to cook with one hand and hold down the marque with the other, the cooking team did a stellar job feeding the troops with plenty leftovers. The best part is we all enjoyed each other’s company and take home a nice Italian Panettone for the festive season.
I got to use my Valiants again as wedding cars – this time I had the privilege of driving Jess to the church for her wedding to Raffaele.
It was raining on and off on the day of the wedding which was annoying as I spent a week detailing both cars ready for the event.
As I turned up at Jess’s home to pick her up it was still raining, but they were taking photos so it did not matter. Once they came out to get into the cars it actually stopped raining and held out till we got to the church.
The ceremony was very enjoyable, especially seeing Raf wearing a cravat which made me think he looked a little like Mike Preston from MasterChef. Jess looked amazing in her wedding dress.
Except she had to squeeze herself with the dress into Raf’s Alfa GTV for the drive to the reception center in the city. There was a slight detour with all the wedding cars, groomsmen and bridesmaids going through the McDonalds drive through on Tapley’s Hill Rd. They ordered nuggets and drinks while the photographer took photos of the cars going through!
I dropped the bridesmaids of at the reception centre and made my way to the top floor of the Topham Carpark for photos of the groomsmen next to the cars.
From there I made my way home as I had an engagement party to attend.
Dove siamo andati? Where did we go? This is a new exposé which chronicles our adventures as a club over the last couple months, ranging from regular (and impromptu) breakfast runs, club meetings and other visits. In short – if we’ve travelled somewhere to eat as a club – you’ll see it here!
Our journey this issue starts with the October breakfast run to Strathalbyn with Tedde (Glenn) and Pam & Ken representing “Squadra 500” amongst a sea of 124 arachnids. Our run was capped off with a fantastic breakfast where the popular dish was the deliciously satisfying breakfast roll.
Next stop takes us to The Haus in Harndorf for November’s breakfast run. This time, courtesy of a trifecta of Spider marques (Alfa, Fiat and Abarth) departing from our usual starting point, meeting with fellow members at our destination.
In November we had our club lunch at the end of a lovely windy drive towards Kanmantoo. Thomas’ Lancia suffered an unfortunate power loss up the hill on the freeway heading out of the city. We look forward to seeing Tom’s Lancia back in action for another hill-climb!
Our journey ends at Willshire Motor Trimmers in Richmond for a workshop tour and pizza. Daryl Bowler – owner and managing director – gave us an extensive tour of Willshire’s facilities and valuable insight on the solutions offer. In addition to seating, upholstery, soft tops and interiors, Willshire provides solutions for work van/truck interiors and mobility solutions, providing wheelchair access, drive assists, restraints, ramps and lifts which provide independence to the disabled and mobility markets.
Motorclassica is the annual Australian International Concours d’Elegance & Classic Motor Show held at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne over the October 11th to 13th weekend. Since 2010 the event has welcomed over 20,000 visitors each year to enjoy a display of over 500 vehicles, fine food and wine, cinema, educational displays and more than 100 trade exhibitors.
Club stalwarts, Maria and Dom Lepro, make the annual pilgrimage across the A8 (Dukes and Western Highways) to attend this amazing event. Since I was scheduled to be ‘back home’ that weekend we decided to make an event of it – Friday afternoon I picked the kids up from school, Ariana from work and met up with Dom and Maria for my first Motorclassica.
Boy did I pick a good year to start this new pilgrimage! Each year celebrates one or more marques to commemorate a common milestone. This year paid tributes to Bentley, Alvis, Citroen, Mini, Japanese Sports Cars and – of course – Abarth.
“The Iron Ladies” celebrated 100 years of Bentley – specifically those built by Walter Owen Bentley over twelve-year period before the brand merged. These ‘WO Bentleys’ were driven to victory at Le Mans 24 hours in 1928 by Woolf Barnato and Bernard Rubin – who was born in Carlton, not too far from the Exhibition Buildings.
“Joyeux Anniversaire Mon Ami” celebrated 100 years of Citroën. Founded by French industrialist Andre-Gustave Citroën in 1919, this iconic brand became the first European mass-produced car producing at a rate of 100 cars/day within its first year.
“The Giant Slayers” celebrated the 60th anniversary of Mini. The Morris Mini-Minor debuted on August 29th 1959. The economical two door cars were targeted towards a family of four and became an instant hit through their innovative packaging and entertaining go-kart like driving dynamics (sound familiar?). In 1961, John Cooper spearheaded the release of 1000 units featuring an enlarged engine, taking displacement right up to a full 1.0 litre pumping out 55hp. Undoubtedly this was a car inspired by other, similar such vehicles such as the iconic FIAT 500, launched as ‘The Cinquecento’ back in July 1957.
“A Sting in the Tail” was Motorclassica’s celebration of Abarth’s 70th anniversary. Starting as an apprentice in a motorcycle factory, Carlo Abarth (Karl at the time) had a penchant for motor racing until an accident in 1939 ended his racing career. Post-war Abarth saw him settle in Merano and eventually became the Italian distributor of cars produced by his German friend – Ferdinand Porsche.
The Porsche-designed Cistalia 360 drove that company to bankruptcy in 1949. Carlo promptly bought up the assets to launch Abarth and Co. in Bologna as a modification and tuning business for many Italian vehicles. The iconic logo originated from the colours of the Merano Coat of Arms combined with his astrological birth sign. The rest is history which we Scuderisti love to celebrate.
Our time at Motorclassica was capped off with lovely, authentic Italian pizza at A25 at the top end of Hardware Lane. All in all, a lovely weekend I look forward to next year!
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.
So another month has passed, another club run completed and what a club run it was!! The last couple of months have been cold and dreary, with only the most diehard of members braving the harsh weather to come out for the Sunday runs. This Sunday however, the sun came out to make up for lost time, encouraging many members to bring out their pride and joys.
As you can imagine with the weather being so exquisite, there were plenty of members who we met at Woodside Providore, and also many members meeting at The Tower to make the most of the gorgeous weather in their prized cars. Indeed, this particular run was one of our best yet, not purely due to the numbers, but also thanks to the magical drive from The Tower to Woodside Providore.
The cohort of cars powered up Lobethal Road with enthusiasm, whipping and weaving along with aplomb and fury, their sonorous noises booming against the cliff edges and through the valley. It was truly magical stuff, especially with the pace being exciting but not overly fast, with each car nicely spaced to ensure everyone had fun safely.
As always, Woodside Providore delivered the goods on the food side, with everyone more than happy with the quality and service, especially since almost 30 members arrived when the original booking was for 15!!
All in all, a wonderful day spent with friends new and old, looking forward to the next one in September.
The club held its pasta night at the Campania Club on Friday 26 July 2019 and it was a lovely evening enjoyed by approximately 40 members including family/friends. There were other patrons in attendance so I would estimate 250 filled the grand Benevento hall were the function was held.
There were a table of patrons celebrating an 80th birthday party and we were indirectly entertained by a female singer singing ( rather loudly) classical Napolitana songs eg O Sole Mio, Rose Rosse, Paese and O’Surdato Innammurato ( one of my favorites!)
Pasta night is a bit of a misnomer as there were other food options on offer and no one would had gone home hungry. There were the usual pasta dishes but also pizza and grilled chicken and for desert gelato and coffee.
Curiously not many members chose pasta for their main meal and many opted for pizza and the grilled chicken dish came in as a distant second choice.
The highlight of the night was to see Ken Graves tackle a large glass of affogato which took him a while to work through but he managed to finish it. I not sure if he had any sleep that night as the strong coffee content would had kept him awake through the early hours of the morning !
There was also great banter amongst our members with lots of stories told by our resident raconteurs which is most of our members as they love talking their cars, overseas trips or scouting the internet for the next car project.
The night went so quickly and we finally departed taking 3 or 4 attempts saying goodnight to each other in the traditional Italian way of wishing each other buona notte.
Our Sunday run to Stirling started out a little overcast, but turned out to be very foggy while driving through the Adelaide Hills. But still it was an enjoyable drive the long way around to get to the Stirling Hotel for breakfast.
There were approximately 28 of us and we all had a good time and an enjoyable breakfast.
It is a good destination that we should go to another time for breakfast or lunch.