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

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Jaf’s Last Cruise 2013

Jafs 688The Jaf’s Cruise, traditionally held on the Saturday night between Christmas and New Year, is easily one of the biggest cruise nights in Adelaide. With over 1000 cars, this annual event has become both famous and infamous for a variety of equally excellent reasons.

Jafs 690This year the cruise clashed with Any Given Reason’s own Burger Meet 3, however at the conclusion of Burger Meet a few of us went down to the Marion shopping center to check out the finish point. We arrived at around 1030pm and there were still cars streaming into an already overflowing car park – it was quite a sight. Picture the Marion car park at the height of the pre-Christmas rush but with a lot more people milling about, and that’s an idea of how packed it was.

Jafs 687Most of the cars at Jaf’s aren’t typically what we’re into here at Any Given Reason, and to be honest the thought of sitting stationary in a big police patrolled 70km traffic jam around the suburbs from one shopping centre to another isn’t exactly my idea of a good night out with my car. I suspect a lot of AGR readers share that view.

Jafs 691That said, there’s still some really cool stuff that surfaces at Jaf’s and it’s still definitely worth checking out. I think going to Jaf’s is a bit like shopping at an op-shop. Most of the stuff isn’t worth your time, but every so often you uncover a gem.

Jafs 683So this is a small collection of a few of the more interesting cars we discovered at Jaf’s. Enjoy!

Jafs 694Jafs 693Jafs 685Jafs 689Jafs 684Jafs 696Jafs 695Jafs 692

2013 Ben Simpson Memorial Cruise

A_DSC_0230Easily over six hundred cars. But not just six hundred cars – over six hundred¬†enthusiast cars. By my estimation, that’s how many vehicles attended the Ben Simpson Memorial cruise last Saturday night.

LamboPut on by the Nissansilvia.com/ Hardtuned.net forum guys, the Ben Simpson Memorial Cruise is one of the biggest annual events run by the forum. So what exactly is it?

A_DSC_0158I’m sure you’ve all seen these R.I.P drift_pig13 stickers around. That is the forum alias used by Ben Simpson on the Nissansilvia.com forum, who sadly took his own life a few years ago. After Ben’s death, his parents actively got involved in the Japanese car scene, and used it as a vehicle to promote mental health awareness so that their son’s death need not be in vein. ‘The Olds’, as they are popularly known, have since owned a range of Japanese performance cars and have become well-known fixtures of the Hardtuned.net forum.

A_DSC_0211Each year they hold a fundraising memorial megacruise in his honor, which has quickly become one of the biggest cruises in South Australia. The sheer number, and quality, of cars in attendance was huge. Continue reading

Drifting for non drifters – the September Matsuri

So I’ll be honest – I’ve never much been a fan of drifting. I think some of the cars are cool, and I’d really, really love to give it a go, but despite its rapid gain in popularity all over the world, it’s never really been something that’s grabbed me. I’ve taken a passing interest in it on other blogs, but sports cars, rallying and road racing always piqued my interests that little bit more and I’m willing to bet that most readers of Any Given Reason probably fall into the same boat.

But there are a few readers that love their drifting, and recently they suggested that I really ought to come out to an event and have a look for myself. So with an open mind, a blank camera memory card and the accompaniment of fellow drift-noob James Wiltshire, I headed out to Mallala for the September Matsuri.

You know there’s a drift day happening when you can see the tyre smoke hanging low in the air before you even get to the track. This was taken from the road to Mallala, just outside the township.

So first off, what is Matsuri? It’s a style of event that originated in Japan (as everything drift seems to), and is basically an anything goes, run what ya brung freestyle event. There’s no judging and no rules on what you can drive – it’s just you and an open drift track. From what I’ve read on other blogs, Matsuri events in Japan are wild – they often run straight for 24 hours with no rules or anybody really running the show. Crashes, bodging up damaged cars, drinking, stunts. Everything goes.

Australian Matsuri events are nowhere near as wild. There’s still no judging and no real regulations on what you can drive, but the events are controlled for safety. The field is split into two groups based on experience, and these groups rotate with 30-45min long sessions throughout the event. The September event ran from 10am-10pm, a straight 12 hours of drift action.

There were a couple of really clean cars there, like this 180SX Type X, but on the whole the standard of car preparation was very low. For someone who’s used to the rigours of CAMS scruitineers, I struggled to believe a few of the things I saw. Continue reading

Historic Group A & C at the Australian Grand Prix

For my last post from the Australian Grand Prix, I’ll take a look at the historic Group A & C class. It’s worth noting that to participate in this class, the car has to have actual log booked race history. Even though they were racing door-to-door, all of these cars are the real deal and most of them have genuine Bathurst history. There are no replicas here.

In my opinion, these cars are straight from the glory days of Australian touring car racing – the mid to late 1980’s. In the era immediately before the introduction of the V8 Supercar category, the best way to win at Bathurst was to get the fastest car possible from Europe, hire the best gun drivers possible and go for it. It also helped that the Bathurst 1000 was a round of the World Touring Car Championship, so the best teams and drivers from Europe made their way to our humble shores each year. The cars and drivers we dream about today were actually here and racing on Aussie soil. I was born in 1988, so I’m a little bummed that I missed witnessing this era in person. It must have been amazing.

We’re actually very lucky that a lot of these historically important cars are still here. The last three rounds of the WTCC were Bathurst, Calder and Wellington (NZ), so at the end of the year it made financial sense for the teams to sell the cars here, rather than go to the expense of transporting them back to Europe for sale.

There was a huge field at the AGP, so I’ve picked out a few of the cars that I think will be of particular interest.¬† Continue reading