Mount Alma Mile Hillclimb 2014

MtAlma2014 1276Kevin Mackrell has thundered his way to another consecutive 4WD outright victory in the Mount Alma Mile hillclimb, held recently at Inman Valley on the scenic Fleurieu Peninsula. Behind the wheel of his all-conquering V8 powered Datsun 260Z, Mackrell held a firm grip on the two-day event, overcoming a five second penalty to take the win.

MtAlma2014 1277The 2WD category was won by Clinton Faustmann in the REVS/Faustune prepared FD RX7, who wrangled the flame spitting rotor up the hill slightly quicker than Jason Unkovich, who claimed third outright 2WD in the same car.

MtAlma2014 1320The big battle all weekend was between Mackrell and the Supaloc Racing Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera of Kevin Weeks, now sporting a fresh twin turbo setup. Weeks was still a fraction off Mackrell’s times, but the noise of the forced induction Italian V10 outclassed the 260Z in every way. It was spine tingling and worth coming just to listen to it alone. Continue reading

A visit to Sportscar Workshops – Richmond, Virginia

SCW_Richmond 1266What exactly is a sports car? The definition varies widely and stretches ever further these days, and can possibly have a number of meanings. Is it a car built specifically for sporting endeavors? One adapted for sporting endeavors? Or should the definition be expanded to include any car used for sporting endeavors?

SCW_Richmond 1267The definition doesn’t really matter; what does is the passion of the people that own and work on them. Some may argue that a BMW E30 isn’t a true sports car by definition, but who cares. The term sports car and what it conjures in the mind is more tied up in romanticism, enthusiasm and a certain degree of escapism than anything else, and it is those three things you’ll find in spades at Sportscar Workshops in Richmond, Virginia. That, combined with solid experience and a huge assortment of just about every type of sports car you can think of from all corners of the globe.

SCW_Richmond 1288Our story actually starts with a 1986 Alfa Romeo GTV6 in New York City. Continue reading

Bathurst 12hr 2014

B12hrSat_Sun 1115It’s easy to become complacent but our very own Mount Panorama circuit, just two hour’s drive from Sydney, is firmly up there in the small handful of the world’s truly great circuits. The only problem is that if you’re not a dedicated V8 Supercar fan, there isn’t really a lot of other top-class racing that happens there to attract your attention. Outside of the main game it’s mostly a calendar of club racing and corporate drive days.

B12hrSat_Sun 1100That was, however, until the arrival of the Liqui-Molly Bathurst 12hr and its rapidly growing momentum. Finally The Mountain is now graced with a sports car event exploiting the most of its undulating, twisting, climbing and dropping 6.2km of smooth, freshly laid tarmac. An event/circuit combo that attracted 13 top level international teams, building a bumper field of 44 cars.

a_B12hrSat 1204There have been endurance races for production cars at Bathurst before (notably the 12hr events of the early 90’s and a pair of excellent 24hr races in the early 00’s), but those races never really managed to gain the traction the current 12hr has. That’s probably because of a few factors, the primary of which being that we now have a solid international GT3 class which enables these cars to be raced all over the world under the same rules. That’s a big deal for manufacturers, because the likes of Nismo Japan can build an R35 GTR for Le Mans and also get race mileage (ie promotional value & return on investment) from it in other smaller events. Continue reading

The 2013 Goodwood Revival

B_GRev 187Living the dream. An often over and sometimes ironically used phrase that seems to have lost its significance of late, and somewhat of an unreachable goal. I mean, very rarely does anyone actually get to live a dream. But I’ve just come back from the Goodwood Revival Meeting and as far as I can see, that entire event is a dream, and to attend it is to spend three short days living that dream down to its minutest detail.

B_GRev 009Sitting back now looking at these pictures on my dimly lit computer screen in suburban Adelaide, I have that kind of groggy, vague memory of this dream I’ve just awoken from. Was I really there, did that actually happen? It was set in the lush, green English countryside and everyone was dressed so nicely in tweed and frocks and they were all so friendly. There was champagne flowing and everyone was dancing to live swing music; the best classic cars driven by the most famous drivers were racing door handle to door handle; there was an airshow and a dogfight and there were priceless Ferrari’s dotted around the place. And then for some reason we were with Hillary and Tenzing at the summit of Mt Everest? At least, I think that’s what happened. Take me back!

A_GRevBMW 324Any Given Reason has been truly privileged to attend both Goodwood events in 2013; two events with completely different characters, despite being held only a stones throw from each other just outside Chichester in the South of England. If the Festival of Speed is the world’s biggest automotive garden party, then the Goodwood Revival is surely the worlds biggest automotive dress up party. Continue reading

The Goodwood Festival of Speed

DSC_0176Sometimes in life we are blessed by experiencing something truly incredible. Be it driving a particularly fast or rare car, making no mistakes on the perfect rally stage, finally hearing a favorite song live or witnessing the sun rise over a remote mountain range, these are the rare moments that are remembered vividly, never forgotten and used as comparison for everything that comes after.

DSC_0422These moments are bittersweet, because whilst experiencing them is something of a privilege, it is tinged with the knowledge that this is probably going to be the pinnacle.

DSC_0727Sitting back now and writing this post about the Goodwood Festival of Speed, I’m coming to terms with the fact that there’s probably not a lot out there that can compare to the magic of Goodwood. The sheer quantity and quality of cars, the peaceful forest surroundings, the relaxed and open atmosphere and the diversity is something impossible to replicate. Continue reading

A visit to Classic Throttle Shop

DSC_0178Any Given Reason was recently in Sydney on a flying weekend trip for decidedly non automotive purposes. However, with Sydney being the hotspot of Australian automotive culture it is, there were two iconic premises on the must visit list – Deus ex Machina and Classic Throttle Shop. I’ve already posted about Deus here, however I decided to save the best for last.

DSC_0112Classic Throttle Shop is quite simply the first and last word in premium classic cars from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Spanning over two levels, CTS is the largest classic car showroom in Australasia. But it’s not just the size that sets CTS apart – it’s the sheer quality of their stock. Quite simply, every car for sale, be it original or restored, is a concourse winner. There’s no shaggy dog stories attached to any of these cars, they are the best of their respective types.

DSC_0148The other thing that sets CTS apart is the location. The showroom is actually in the Sydney Harbour Bridge structure in North Sydney.

DSC_0171This is the view from just a hundred meters up the road from the showroom. The location means CTS is easy to get to from the city – just catch a train from Circular Quay to the Milsons Point station, and walk a few minutes north.

DSC_0114One of the more impressive cars for sale was this Ferrari 212 Barchetta from 1951. Continue reading

2013 All British Day

DSC_0196Monty Python, old fashioned pubs and The Beatles are just some of the gifts offered to the world by Britain. However with the good comes the bad, and Britain is also responsible for Bovril, The Spice Girls and some frankly terrible comedies on the ABC. And so it was with the All British Day; a show completely unique for featuring some of my all-time favorite cars, and some of my least, all in one place.

DSC_0015It’s well worth pointing out, though, that the desirable cars at All British Day are more than enough reason to come.

DSC_0279And come they did. Traditionally held on the Uraidla oval, the All British Day has become so big that it has outgrown that venue. For 2013 the show moved to its new home on the Echunga oval, just a further 20 minutes down some of the nicest hills roads in the state.

DSC_0005Whilst I still think the old venue at Uraidla is a more scenic location, Echunga provides a nice Aussie gumtree backdrop for the show, and plenty of space for all who come. I can’t remember the last time I had to line up to get into a classic car show in Adelaide!

DSC_0009The only problem with the All British Day is that there is just so much to see that it is not really possible to properly take it all in. Taking this into consideration, for my coverage this year I’ve decided to take a more detailed look at the cars that really stood out to me – an Any Given Reason ‘best of show’, if you will. Continue reading