John Blanden’s Climb to the Eagle 2013

DSC_0103All good things must come to an end, so the maxim goes, however hand-in-hand with the negative is the positive that regeneration occasionally spawns new traditions. I’m not going to stand here and say that we’d rather have the Climb to the Eagle over a return of Formula One to Adelaide, that would be crazy, but in it’s absence this is a mighty fine way to spend a sunny Friday.

DSC_0031The tradition began back in 1985 when a freshly retired John Blanden suggested to the Australian Grand Prix corp that there should be a classic car component to the first Adelaide Grand Prix. They were extremely receptive of the idea but not to making it a reality, and informed Blanden that if his dream was to come to fruition, he must organise it himself.

DSC_0037With the help of the Sporting Car Club of SA, Blanden turned his idea into one of the highlights of the event and the crown in his classic car roster was the Climb to the Eagle. Held on the Friday morning of race weekend, a traditionally quiet time at any Grand Prix, a large contingent of high quality cars would depart from the start line and navigate their way through peak hour traffic with a police escort before a short blast up the twisty old freeway to a morning tea at the Eagle on the Hill Hotel, just 10km away but with sprawling views of the metropolitan area. Continue reading

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The Easter Historics at Mallala

DSC_0021Easter. A time of year with different significance for different people. Dedicated churchgoers will find themselves at the altar, while most of us spend the break with family or away on holiday. But for hardened motorheads, Easter brings an entirely different tradition – the Easter historic race meeting at Mallala.

DSC_0107DSC_0367Run by the Sporting Car Club of SA, the Easter historic race meeting is the highlight of what’s known as historic ‘speed week’ – several days of dinners, shows, the race meeting and a historic hillclimb at Collingrove on Easter Monday. The race meeting is considered to be one of the last true picnic style historic meetings left. Its very relaxed, very low key and the emphasis is really on camaraderie and enjoying some fine old cars.

DSC_0333So with this in mind, at about 5am on Easter Sunday I put the top down and hit the deserted hills roads, with some Donald Byrd playing to get me in a ‘classic’ frame of mind. Despite some early morning showers, it was shaping up to be a good day.

DSC_0418The day wasn’t purely one of spectating, as I was helping out as pit crew for Brenton Griguol who was racing his 1968 Lola T124 Formula 5000. I use the term ‘helping out’ and ‘pit crew’ very loosely, as I’m sure I probably just got in the way more than anything. But thankfully, and like he did at the recent Clipsal 500, Brenton was happy to have me along for the greater good of Any Given Reason readers!  Continue reading

The Sporting Car Club’s 101 Years of Motoring Display

The Sporting Car Club of SA is one of the oldest motoring clubs in the world, and with over 1600 members it’s the largest in Australia. But what makes the Sporting Car Club great is its depth, and with dedicated sections of members devoted to all manners of motoring ranging from vintage, through classic, racing and modern, the Sporting Car Club has most of the motoring bases covered.

So the idea behind the 101 Years of Motoring display was to get the whole club together and put on a show like no other. And the venue? Probably the best you could pick for a show of this size – the Torrens Parade Ground in the heart of the Adelaide CBD.

And I guess the weather probably enhanced the experience somewhat. It was an absolutely stunning 23deg day, and the bright sunshine reminded us that summer is only just around the corner.

There’s actually a lot of really rare metal hiding in the sheds of Adelaide, and even though you hardly ever see these cars, chances are the owners are members of the Sporting Car Club. That’s how they get things like one of the few RHD BMW M1’s in the world at their shows.

Check the uber rare BMW Motorsport cam cover, and those extractors! This M1 was delivered new to an owner in Sydney, who ordered it from the factory in RHD. M1’s were only ever made LHD, and there was some confusion when it arrived in Sydney as a LHD car. I can only imagine what sort of argument ensued, as the car was then sent back to BMW in Germany where it was converted to RHD by the factory, before being sent back for delivery in Sydney.  Continue reading

2012 State Hillclimb Championships at Collingrove

October is just about the best time of year to visit the Collingrove Hillclimb, 7km from Angaston. The rolling hills are still green from winter, but the cold wet days are gone and in their place are the warm, sunny days of spring.

It was no hard task to leave the projects of the shed behind in the suburbs, and head out to watch a couple of hours racing at this historic, postcard perfect venue. The state championships were on, and were held over a two day weekend.

The thing I love most about hillclimb’s are the sheer variety of cars competing. One moment it’s a Lotus Exige…

… the next, a Gemini.

And then an old F3 car, just for something different.  Continue reading