There are some things you just do without question; acts that are almost mandatory given another related occurrence. You never change oil without also changing the filter, and you never get behind the wheel without first belting up. In what’s becoming somewhat of a similar ritual, you never make a visit to Sydney without also stopping in at Classic Throttle Shop.
In the 21st century we are connected to the world in an unprecedented way – I’ll bet at least some of you are even reading this from the bathroom. The impact of technology is changing the world forever and can be felt everywhere in our society; even frontiers seemingly unrelated are being forced to adapt or die. For example, the internet is replacing newspapers as a primary method of news delivery which leaves the door open for magazines to deliver a material experience, and online shopping is apparently devastating the retail industry. Adapt or die, right?
Any smart business person will tell you that a threat is often opportunity in disguise, and what we’re learning is that technology can’t deliver an experience. Industry leader Deus ex Machina is brilliant at delivering an experience, and new players like Zen Garage are fast catching up. I’m sure the Peel Microcar sitting on the shelf in this image is a hint at where I’m going with this, which is why Classic Throttle Shop has quickly become an essential Sydney destination. I wonder how many people with the necessary means stop by for a relaxing Saturday morning coffee only to spot a lithe Porsche 911 in the corner, stew over it for the weekend and then return during the week to make a purchase.
Case in point – this track inspired but oh-so-clean E30 M3. It made me weak at the knees on first sight, and had I the means it would be eating away at me right now. And the fact that it was converted to right-hand drive at brand new in the UK by the dealer just sweetens it further. Continue reading →
Adelaide’s Victoria Park once again reverberated to the sound of multiple Formula One cars at the recent Adelaide Motorsport Festival Victoria Park Sprint, held on a shortened version of the famous street circuit in the parklands fringing the CBD in mid April.
With Adelaidians still a little bitter over the brutal theft of our popular Grand Prix by the Victorian Government in 1995, the Adelaide Motorsport Festival provided an opportunity to relive those glory days and dream of the remote possibility that the top tier of motorsport may return to our streets one day.
But more on the Formula One cars later, because solely focusing on them would be selling the Adelaide Motorsport Festival short. Whilst our favorite open wheelers stole the limelight, there was a strong support program of classes jam packed with all manner of interesting and exotic machinery.
The Victoria Park Sprint formed the second day of the two-day festival and consisted of a timed sprint around the section of permanent circuit in Victoria Park. After negotiating the famous Senna Chicane, competitors turned hard right for a sprint up Wakefield Street before another hard right hairpin sent them back onto the permanent track and into Victoria Park once more. Whilst the cars were not out-and-out racing, very spirited driving was permitted and indeed encouraged. Continue reading →
Any Given Reason has just returned from pre-event scruitineering at City Holden for this weekend’s Adelaide Motorsport Festival, and if the small snapshot of cars present at that time is anything to go by we’re in for quite the treat.
This coming Saturday I will step out from behind the camera and put the helmet on, competing in the Windy Point Hillcimb in our Alfa Romeo Sprint. Friend of Any Given Reason Luke Jaksa will take the lens on Saturday, capturing the spirit of this first-time hillclimb for AGR. My father will be behind the wheel of the Alfa for Sunday’s Victoria Park Sprint, while I will be relegated to the sidelines behind the camera once again. But there will be Formula One cars roaring around the Victoria Park circuit as well as hundreds of other fine machines, so it’s hardly a tough job.
Spectating is going to be pretty tricky up at Windy Point on Saturday, and my advice is to get there early to get a good spot at the lookout. You could try your luck trekking through the bushland but I understand they will be very hot on keeping people away for safety reasons, so be prepared to be turned back if this is your plan.
James Rodda and Dave Langfield have won Rally Wattle Range, the first round of the South Australian Rally Championship held recently on April 26-27 in the South East region of South Australia. In a tough event where simply finishing was an achievement in itself, Rodda came through to claim his maiden victory by over two minutes and took maximum championship points over the diverse set of stages.
The pairing of Michael and David Krichauff drove a consistent yet fast event to claim a solid second place outright in their class P5 Subaru.
The final place on the podium went to the Galant VR4 of Mt Gambier locals Paul Heenan and Andrew Kreisl. It was expected that local knowledge would certainly play into the hands of the Galant’s of locals Heenan and Brown, and this was certainly the case.
In a fantastic effort considering it was their first ever rally in a new car, Jamie Pohlner and Ben Judd claimed fourth place in the ex Sam Brand GC8 Subaru. This must have been a special result for the crew, because other than two khanacross events earlier in the year, this was their first serious event.
The top five was rounded out by Barry and Helen Lowe in the thundering VB Commodore. This is fast becoming a very popular car on the national historic rally circuit, and Barry has stepped it up to a whole new level for 2013. The old Holden V8 (itself a wild motor) is out, replaced by a Nascar spec Chev V8. I was told that this engine arrived from the US producing over 800hp, and that Barry has tuned it down to a more reliable 550 for gravel work. It has that spine tingling high pitched wail that is only produced by very seriously tuned race engines, and throws massive rooster tails of dust and rocks wherever it goes. Continue reading →
As the alarm went off at about 6am on Sunday morning, I awoke to a really odd sound. A constant, almost comforting patter. What was it? Ah yes, rain. And lots of of it. In my early morning stupor I came to the conclusion that I should just go back to sleep, and it probably will stop by the time I need to get up. 7am and the alarm buzzed again, and for some damned reason it was still raining. At least I wouldn’t need to wash the car I concluded, and promptly fell back asleep. Wintery mornings do not welcome the early bird.
Rewind a couple of weeks. After receiving some feedback from the first Burger Meet held on a Friday evening at Fancy Burger in Blackwood, I decided to try something a little different for the second Burger Meet. The main suggestions were that the location was less than inspiring, and that people wanted to go for a bit of a drive as well. So with sunny late summer hills mornings in mind the decision was made to hold the second Burger Meet on a Sunday morning in Mylor, with the burgers served up from the picturesque Harvest Cafe.
Gourmet breakfast burgers? Check. Picture-perfect surroundings? Check. Twisty driving roads to arrive at the venue? Check. Constant rain and freezing cold temperatures? Check. Damn. With this in mind I didn’t really expect a huge turnout, and I couldn’t really blame people for not coming. It takes a strong passion for cars to get out of a nice warm bed on such an awful Sunday morning.
But then one by one, people started arriving in all sorts of interesting cars. Continue reading →
Have you ever found yourself out driving on a sunny afternoon, and purely by chance discover an incredible little section of road you never knew about? You drive it for the first time with a grin on your face, and maybe even double back for another go at it. And then you start to think…. ‘wouldn’t it be cool if we could close this little section of road off for a hillclimb competition?’
That’s precisely how this previously unknown little country track, 10km out of Victor Harbor on the Yankililla road, became the fastest hillclimb course in the state. Now in its fourth year, the two day Mt Alma Mile event has quickly gained a reputation as a showcase for the state’s high performance tuners, as well as an accessible challenge for grassroots amateurs looking to test themselves against both the hill and other competitor’s cars.
You would very rarely ever find yourself at Mt Alma on the other 363 days of the year because it’s a road that kind of links nowhere to nowhere, and the fact that it turns to dirt at its summit even further reduces the likelihood of using it.
This is a huge shame, and every year I attend Mt Alma the sheer beauty of the countryside slaps me in the face, as if almost in laughter that this stunning countryside is just over an hour from the city yet I only ever come here once a year. Motorsport aside, you could just come here for a lazy Sunday picnic and have a great day out.
This has to be one of the most scenic pit paddocks in South Australian motorsport. Continue reading →
On the eve of the Adelaide Hills Tarmac Rally we found ourselves not madly preparing cars for the following day’s racing, but taking photos of them in a rather brilliant location.
Pilatus are a Swiss manufacturer of aeroplanes – you might never have heard of their most popular executive plane, the PC-12, but you’ve almost definitely seen their product in action – Pilatus supply the RAAF Roulette’s and the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Pilatus’ Australian arm, based at Adelaide Airport, have recently began to increase their involvement in motorsports by sponsoring the Mt Alma Mile Hillclimb and a couple of rally cars.
With everyone in town for the Adelaide Hills Tarmac Rally anyway, the guys thought it would be a good idea to park a couple of rally cars in front of a couple of planes in the Pilatus hanger at Adelaide Airport and film a short promotional video about what motorsport means to Pilatus. With the lighting set up anyway by the film crew and a healthy disregard for the sleep I really should have been getting, I decided to stick around and shoot a few frames. Because really, when is this likely to happen again? Continue reading →
Classic rallying in Australia is becoming more and more popular, especially with the addition of a national classic championship that now forms part of the ARC. Rally fans, both old and young, are channelling their heroes and building up the cars of their dreams like never before.
Why the sudden explosion of popularity? Well, to be brutally honest – modern rally cars are a little boring, a little sanitised. Even lower spec cars are so competent these days that they aren’t as much fun to drive as they used to be, and certainly aren’t as spectacular to watch. Going fast is all a little too easy. And when it does go wrong, you’re travelling that much faster and you’re that much more committed that it really hurts.
Classic rallying really boils it back down to the basics. No computers, no major sponsors, no sheep stations on the line. Just the sound of highly tuned old school engines chucking big slides in the forest. At the end of the day, that’s what we come for, right? Continue reading →
These Escorts are just sitting in some farmers rickety shed out near Echunga in the hills. There’s four Mk1’s and a Mk2 and they all look to be complete, although it’s clear that none of them have moved in recent history. It’s impossible to discover a find like this and not picture the latent possibility these cars have – a stock resto RS2000 or Mexico? A period rally car with bubble flares and a BDA running through big Webers? A tough streeter with a modern turbocharged Cosworth installed? Or a modern style rally car like they’re building in the UK a the moment with a Honda F20C and sequential 6 speed? Or with unlimited dollars, one of each?