Porsche, rally weapons and odd Italian cars – A chilled Sunday on the road.

Sunday_27 (23)There’s a lot to be said for organised events and races but sometimes it’s fun to just cruise around on a lazy Sunday and see what you find. With my own Fiat X1/9 project finally hitting the roads after seven long years in the shed, I used the vague excuse of the media briefing and scruitineering for the upcoming Scouts Rally SA Australian Rally Championship round (happening this weekend) as a way point and took the X1/9 for a drive.

Sunday_27 (7)It’s not uncommon to see a few Porsche’s in the hills on a pleasant Sunday but after about the sixth in a row I figured something must be up, so I followed them just down the road to Longview Vineyard in Macclesfield.

Sunday_27 (4)When it comes to Porsche it’s usually that trademark classic style that steals my heart, and even though this left hand drive 912 was definitely a looker there was something else that stopped me dead on this occasion…

Sunday_27 (1)… this stunning 964 Carrera 4 sitting on a set of OZ Allegerita‘s. Continue reading

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AGR Readers’ Rides – The Virtual Burger Meet

DSC_0052The theory that the people who read Any Given Reason typically drive the kinds of cars that we’re all interested in is the thinking that initially lead to the first Any Given Reason Burger Meet. Unfortunately it’s not possible to hold Burger Meet’s all the time, so why not a virtual Burger Meet?* A few weeks ago the word was put out, and since then I’ve received a huge variety of readers’ rides to post. So here we go!

If you missed out this time, email me a shot of your ride for next time – andrew@anygivenreason.com

*Actual burgers not available at the Virtual Burger Meet

Brady_AldousBrady – 2006 Mazda MX-5 NC. I’m turning 40 next month and my beautiful wife allowed me to purchase a 2006 NC MX-5. She and I love it and the lifestyle it has given us. My plans for it are to eventually do some track work, some hillclimbs and maybe a tarmac rally (regularity) in the future.

Hamish_ScottHamish – Subaru WRX Hatch. To the average person it’s a stock looking car.

Steve_SchmidtSteve – Fiat 124 Spider. The Fiat 124 Spider, decluttered of its USA legislated bumpers and sidelights the purity of this Pininfarina design is allowed to shine through. Continue reading

Ben Simpson Memorial Cruise 2014

BSMC 957Well over 600 enthusiast cars gathered recently on a hot Saturday night in early February for the Ben Simpson Memorial Cruise; an interclub, everything welcome, drive through Adelaide and the hills to raise awareness and funds for a variety of mental health issues.

BSMC 947Initially organised by the late Ben’s parents as a small memorial event for their son who tragically took his own life, the BSMC has quickly become one of the biggest events on the Adelaide calendar. Whilst it’s the cars we come for, the cruise has a sub-plot and serves to not only raise funds but to spread knowledge of mental health issues within the automotive community; a group of people that would sooner give away their cars than discuss their mental health.

BSMC 1018But it is the cars that we come for, and most certainly the cars are what takes centre stage. The cruise met at the Tea Tree Plaza carpark, and managed to completely fill a fair proportion of it. Think how busy the carpark is at the height of the pre Christmas rush, and that’s a fair indication of how full the BSMC was.

BSMC 1016However rather than traffic jams of family trucksters and people negotiating tiny gaps with overflowing trolleys, there were lines of immaculately modified cars and people with cameras far outnumbered people with shopping bags. Continue reading

Bringing a Japanese tribute to a Finnish legend home in a cruel Aussie summer

Melb6TME 730You know those slow summer Thursday afternoons, the ones that just drag on. It’s too hot, your mind is somewhere else and you’re looking for something, anything, to spice the day up. And then, like a gift from the God’s, it comes. A phone call from friend David. “I’ve just bought an Evo 6.5 Tommi Makinen Edition in Melbourne”, he says. “Wanna fly over and drive it back with me?” ‘Sure! When, next week?” “No, how about tomorrow?”.

Melb6TME 704After calling in a few favors at work to enable an early escape, we’re suddenly making a very bumpy and turbulent early afternoon descent into Melbourne. Right in the middle of the biggest and baddest heatwave we’ve had for a long time, the rising heat is making mincemeat of our plane, and has me seriously hoping that the air conditioning works in this Evo. David’s bought the car sight unseen, and has no idea.

Melb6TME 705We have very limited time for our trip; we’re hoping to be over and back within 12 hours, so we scramble through the airport and into the first taxi we find. Sensing our rush, the driver proceeds to speed at rapid pace down the highway, displaying some fine performance driving techniques in the process. I grab the camera out to get a few shots of his hand placement on the wheel, and he deduces that because I’m taking photos of the highway we must be tourists. He then proceeds to give us a guided tour of our route, pointing out highlights such as various residential blocks, a closed hospital and a soccer field. Continue reading

Any Given Reason Burger Meet 3

BurgerMeet3 627The concept of Burger Meet is simple – a car park meet to get as many readers of Any Given Reason and their cars in the same place as possible. The emphasis is on diversity and informality, and the vague idea of standing around a car park eating burgers is about as far as the planning goes.

BurgerMeet3 525On the evening of Saturday 28th December, the readers of Any Given Reason descended on the Hagen Arms Hotel at Echunga in the Adelaide Hills to watch the sun set with burgers, beers, and of course, cars. And what a spectacular array of cars it was – but more on that later.

BurgerMeet3 518The thing that makes organising Burger Meet such an exciting, rewarding and completely terrifying experience is that I have absolutely no idea who actually reads and follows this blog. I get traffic statistics but they’re just abstract numbers and graphs, so when I put the word out that Burger Meet 3 was happening I had exactly zero idea who and how many people would actually come. I guessed about 80 cars and thought it would be pretty cool if we could fill the car park, but when streams of cars started pouring in and it wasn’t even the 6pm start-time yet, I started to get a little nervous/overjoyed. Continue reading

Rally Rides for a Reason

DSC_0563Co-driving in a proper gravel rally car is a whole lot of fun but it’s not always the easiest seat in the house to get. There’s plenty of rides to be had if you’re good enough but you’ve gotta work your way up from the bottom over many seasons, and a lot of the hire cars out there tend to be fairly well used up.

DSC_0104As a result a lot of rally fans and the friends and family of competitors don’t actually know what it feels like to be strapped in and sliding through a gravel corner sideways at speed. James Rodda of Rallypower Motorsport and Lewis & Sarah Parin of Cupcake Crumbz/ Velocity Racing are well aware of this so decided to organise a rides day to raise money for two charities that sit close to their hearts.

DSC_0349The formula was simple. They chose a venue (Lanac Park, close to Mount Compass in the state’s South) where the cars could get some speed up and be flung around without risk of hitting anything too solid. They convinced a couple of other drivers to come down and give rides too, and asked a bunch of officials to volunteer their time to run the day. They found some generous sponsors to cover the costs of putting the day on, and they organised and marketed the event themselves. Continue reading

Rallye Wattle Range – SARC Round 1

Gary Brown and Mike Dale have stormed to a close victory in the inaugural Rallye Wattle Range, the first round of the South Australian Rally Championship held on Sunday in the Wattle Range area of the South East.

The new pairing of James Rodda and Claire Ryan battled through gearbox problems over the last few stages of the event to finish first in class P5 and Second outright, 44 seconds behind Brown/Dale.

2010/2011 State Champions Russell Marker and Karien Heimsohn put in a strong and consistent performance to claim the final podium position, finishing 49 seconds behind the Subaru of Rodda/Ryan.

Brothers Trent and Aaron Long finished 4th outright, a fantastic result for their first ever rally! One can only wonder what these guys will do with a little more experience under their belts.

Barry and Helen Lowe drove the wheels off the thundering VB Commodore to win class P4 and finish a credible 6th outright. The big V8 sounded fantastic on the special stage, and could consistently be counted on to throw up the biggest, wildest rooster tails of dust and rocks everywhere it went.

Dan Day and Simon Orme were running second outright for most of the morning and were involved in a close battle for first… Continue reading