Retrogarage Track Day Mallala

DSC_0057Fierce competition is good, and from motorkhana to Australian GT it’s often the tick of the stopwatch and the heat of the moment that provides that last bit of drive and incentive to shave every last tenth. Strong competition breeds the best and whilst there’s a definite joy in competing to your limit, it’s often far from relaxing.

DSC_0612That’s where a bloke named Roger Dutton – barbeque extraordinaire and mechanic for Adelaide based Formula 3 and Carrera Cup outfit Team BRM – comes in. Roger is involved in motorsport at a far higher level than most, but also knows the value in relaxing and enjoying it from time to time, and has pretty much built his own personal Mk1 Escort around this ethos. Through his sideline business Retrogarage, Roger has started organising track days at Mallala where the focus is very much on enjoyment.

DSC_0030Any Given Reason was invited to join the fun by longtime reader Tom Gilbert, so with instructions to meet up with the gang at the BP on Portrush at 630 on a Wednesday morning, I threaded my way through the dawn of peak hour traffic, knowing something far more interesting than a desk would be waiting for me at the other end. These suspicions were confirmed when an immaculate 356B and a throaty 964 Carrera 2 pulled onto the forecourt as if on cue.  Continue reading

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The second Any Given Reason Burger Meet

DSC_0291As 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.

DSC_0075Rewind 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.

DSC_0370Gourmet 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.

DSC_0025But then one by one, people started arriving in all sorts of interesting cars. Continue reading

McLaren Vale Vintage & Classic Day

A superb autumn day, hundreds of classic cars and one of the worlds premiere wine regions are the three main ingredients that have contributed to quickly making the McLaren Vale Vintage and Classic Day one of the highlights of the South Australian classic car calendar.

The thing that sets this event apart is it’s core concept and the way it embraces the region. All cars met at Serafino wines for an informal show before parading through the main street of McLaren Vale at 11am. From there, the various car clubs head to an assigned winery in the area to hold a small show, so the end result is eight or ten small shows within a ten minute drive.

You get a living, breathing, moving car show. And it’s a fantastic day out. Each type of car is displayed in a different environment and in a different context. And some of the best cars you see are the ones you spot while driving around between the different wineries. The whole region was alive with classic cars – sitting having lunch at about 2pm in McLaren Vale, there was a constant stream of lumpy muscle cars, old Porsche’s and Corvette’s, Jaguar’s, Mercedes, Rolls Royce and MG’s just cruising past.

The event was no doubt helped no end by the weather. The morning started off as one of those stunningly crisp and balmy autumn mornings, the mornings that are just so beautiful and made even more so by the knowledge that winter isn’t far away. This probably helped to get a lot of the cars out of their garages for the day, and whilst the dark clouds soon rolled in the rain kept away.  Continue reading