Another visit to Classic Throttle Shop

CTS_June_14 (63)There are some things you just do without question; acts that are almost mandatory given another related occurrence. You never change oil without also changing the filter, and you never get behind the wheel without first belting up. In what’s becoming somewhat of a similar ritual, you never make a visit to Sydney without also stopping in at Classic Throttle Shop.

CTS_June_14 (2) In the 21st century we are connected to the world in an unprecedented way – I’ll bet at least some of you are even reading this from the bathroom. The impact of technology is changing the world forever and can be felt everywhere in our society; even frontiers seemingly unrelated are being forced to adapt or die. For example, the internet is replacing newspapers as a primary method of news delivery which leaves the door open for magazines to deliver a material experience, and online shopping is apparently devastating the retail industry. Adapt or die, right?

CTS_June_14 (6)Any smart business person will tell you that a threat is often opportunity in disguise, and what we’re learning is that technology can’t deliver an experience. Industry leader Deus ex Machina is brilliant at delivering an experience, and new players like Zen Garage are fast catching up. I’m sure the Peel Microcar sitting on the shelf in this image is a hint at where I’m going with this, which is why Classic Throttle Shop has quickly become an essential Sydney destination. I wonder how many people with the necessary means stop by for a relaxing Saturday morning coffee only to spot a lithe Porsche 911 in the corner, stew over it for the weekend and then return during the week to make a purchase.

CTS_June_14 (72)Case in point – this track inspired but oh-so-clean E30 M3. It made me weak at the knees on first sight, and had I the means it would be eating away at me right now. And the fact that it was converted to right-hand drive at brand new in the UK by the dealer just sweetens it further. Continue reading

Adelaide Motorsport Festival Media Launch

AMF_Media_Day 905The upcoming Adelaide Motorsport Festival was launched to the media last week with a display of several important racing cars on the Victoria Park circuit, including two Formula One cars that raced in the Adelaide Grand Prix in the eighties.

AMF_Media_Day 909The inaugural event, to be held on the weekend of 12-13 April, has been described as a virtual ‘museum-in-motion’ and celebrates South Australia’s rich motorsport heritage. The event commences on Saturday with the (still to be confirmed) Windy Point Hillclimb, although Sunday’s Victoria Park Sprint will be the headline component and the one that draws the crowds. A section of Wakefield Road will be used to link up a complete circuit with the permanent section of the Clipsal 500/Grand Prix circuit in Victoria Park, creating the perfect setting for the competition vehicles to stretch their legs in the heart of the CBD fringe.

AMF_Media_Day 893Ten Formula One vehicles have so far been confirmed for the event, including the first ever Lotus F1 car from 1957, a 1974 March, the Beatrice Lola Hart driven by Alan Jones in 1985, his 1980 World Championship winning Williams and the car’s shown here. It will be a rare opportunity to not just see these cars, but to hear and experience them being properly worked as their designers intended. Continue reading

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

The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride Manhattan

DSC_0857The problem with charity fundraisers is that they are, for the most part, painfully boring. I like to donate when I can, but God knows you can only buy so many dollar Cadbury fundraiser chocolates and there’s a limit to how many gala ball auctions you can sit through before performing your own dental surgery with the dinner cutlery seems a more interesting option.

DSC_0999This is where The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride comes in. On the 29th of September, 5000 men around the world donned baller suits and awoke over 110 cities from their Sunday morning slumber by riding a range of classic, retro, cafe racer, bobber, flat tail and custom bikes to raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer research.

DSC_0848Any Given Reason happened to be in New York City on the 29th, so after receiving a tip off I ventured down to the corner of street’s Greenwich and Desbrosses in the Tribeca district of Manhattan to check it out. Continue reading

Car hunting on the Isle of Man

IMG_4655It’s all about motorbikes on the Isle of Man during TT week, from sunrise to sunset. But at other times of the year motorsport of the four wheeled variety is also very popular, and the Isle of Man has a higher than average percentage of interesting cars given its small size. Whilst most of them stay hidden away during the two weeks of the TT, I did manage to spot a few interesting rides during my visit.

DSC_0434So why is there so much interesting metal on this small slice of land in the Irish sea?

The island seems to be a giant playground designed for the sports car. There’s over 500km of twisting roads, and outside of the big race weekends they are almost always deserted. Couple that with a very lenient and understanding police force and no speed limits outside of the towns, and you have a supercar dreamland. It’s probably the only place in the world where you can exercise these cars as their makers intended.

DSC_0270The Isle of Man also benefits from some very lenient tax laws making it a haven of a different kind also.  There’s plenty of money about on the island, so the proportion of people able to own something special is much higher. You move to the island to save on your tax bill, and the side benefit is miles of driving roads right at your doorstep. Sounds like a win-win situation to me.

DSC_0331Another thing I noticed was the complete lack of poseurs. Cities like Singapore and Dubai are filled with supercars, but there’s nowhere to drive them properly. This is contrasted by the Isle of Man, where there’s no point trying to pose in a supercar outside of race week because there’s simply no one to pose to. Pure driving is the only reason you’d own one here, and that’s the way it should be. Continue reading

A visit to The House of Simple Pleasures – Deus ex Machina

DSC_0367Pretty much everyone who’s into cool stuff is aware of Deus Ex Machina, the guys who started off building ridiculously fresh motorcycles and have since branched out into clothing, fixie bicycles, surfboards, skateboards and pretty much anything that takes their fancy. Whilst Deus haven’t branched out into sports cars (yet) and despite Any Given Reason not being a motorcycle (or bicycle… or surfing etc) blog, I think this is definitely going to be of interest to our readers.

DSC_0326“Deus ex Machina (god from the machine) roared into Australia’s cultural consciousness in 2006, with some neatly customised motorcycles and a quaint notion that doing something is more fun that just owning something. The Deus philosophy recalls an era before the various pursuits were marketed into fundamentalist factions. All are welcomed under the Deus roof, where there’s simply respect for the honesty and enjoyment of the machine. Deus ex Machina says simply there’s no ‘right way’ to do individualism, its all the same juice”.

Deus’ own words, and I couldn’t agree more. Without knowing it, that’s really the philosophy that guides anyone who’s into old cars and building things, and I think why a lot people feel a natural attraction to the Deus brand.

DSC_0378The House of Simple Pleasures is pretty easy to get to. Located in inner suburban Camperdown in Sydney, it’s a quick 10 minute bus ride from the CBD Central Station, and situated right on the Great Western Highway. The huge motorcycle on the wall gives the game away. 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