Thursday, 9th November 2017: Mid Week Social Drive

There were a varied number of cars as we picked up Elaine at the Carriage Cafe in Seville and we met Derek at Toolangi Tavern, so we ended up with a total of 13 cars – our biggest number for the year. Brad and Michelle also joined us for morning tea. The weather was absolutely perfect. We had sunshine with a top of 21 degrees. I could not think of anything that would have been better than going on a drive in a Sprite on that day.

Carriage Cafe provided good coffee and muffins as usual. The setting along the Warburton trail is a picture and the walk there from the car park provided time to stretch the legs. It was hard to get everyone moving again but we had to complete our drive.
We finished our drive up Myers Creek Road despite a couple of roadwork areas. The ferns and mountain ash bordered the road perfectly. Lunch was at the Toolangi Tavern where they seated us on the balcony to admire the views. Chicken Parmas were the dish of choice but the burger was a good alternative despite the calories.

Sunday 5 November: Neil Johnson’s Garden, lunch and Rhododendron Gardens

It was a cool start at Kalorama for our garden day out. 27 members, most of whom had driven their Sprites, walked across the road to Neil’s garden of almost an acre. We roamed around, admiring the multitude of plants which he has growing, many in flower. We listened to him speaking about his family who were pioneers in the area. The views were spectacular too. We had our morning tea there and then Neil treated us to a Merlot that was made by his next door neighbour. Some green thumbs even dug up some plants to take home. We are indebted to Neil Johnson for making his house and garden available to club members and we thank him very much for his hospitality.

Lunch was at Destiny Point Cafe at Five Ways where the cars were parked. Although the cafe is not large and it was very busy, the staff went out of their way to make sure we were happy. We enjoyed our lunch and more chatter before driving to the Rhododendron Gardens at Olinda.

Parking was at a premium as we are sure all of Melbourne had decided to look at the rhododendrons. Once inside though, it was relaxing walking around the gardens as 100 acres spread out the crowds from outside. The blooms were amazing with a lot of huge trees fully in flower. We strolled around for some time admiring all the varied colours. It was a very relaxing and different day for our club members.

Saturday 30 September and Sunday 1 October 2017: Euroa Show and Shine

We had a leisurely drive up to Nagambie, stopping at Fowles Winery for a very pleasant lunch and then continued on to Shepparton as there were no Tigers fans in our midst! We had a look round the Motor Museum which is well worth a visit and includes the history of the Furphy water carts.

We made our way back to Nagambie, found our allocated rooms at the Centretown Motel and later went out to the nearby Thai restaurant for dinner. We all agreed it had been a very interesting and leisurely day.

It was an early start on the Sunday (8 a.m.) and we were joined by other club members from Avenel for the trip across to Euroa. It was VERY cold and misty in parts. Whilst on the road to Longwood several kangaroos were seen hopping along the side of the road with the drivers! There was approximately 10 km of gravel road in this section but there was not much grumbling. We arrived in Euroa in good time, picking up the Innocenti near the check in point. It was still early morning but the queues were forming. We had a good site by the bridge and spent the day wandering around the huge variety of cars and bikes, catching up with old friends and making new ones.

Some members were staying overnight in Euroa, but three cars set off for Melbourne at 3 p.m. and despite heavy traffic made good time via Merton, Yarck and Yea. The traffic jams were in full swing in Yarra Glen!

Thanks to Jack de Bruijne for organising the drive – it was most enjoyable.

23rd-24th September, 2017: Wings and Wheels at Maryborough

It was hot and windy on 23rd and following the Show and Shine, the competition at the airfield was VERY dusty! On Sunday, 24th the temperature had plummetted and the wind was still blowing. Competition started in the morning and wrapped up in the early afternoon. Congratulations to Bob Lomas for 1st in Class and 1st outright and to Warren Reid who was 2nd in class. Many thanks to Jim Dewar (and Chris) for hospitality both on and off the field. Hopefully there will be a bigger field of competitors next year.

Thursday, 10 August 2017: Mid Week Social Drive

We had a lovely sunny day for this drive. It felt like spring. We had six cars and ten people so it made our catering easy. Our destination for morning tea was Pettys Orchard, only 5 kilometres up the road from our start. We could not take that route as it was a drive after all, despite the crowd’s urging. So we drove through Warrandyte to Hurstbridge and back through Diamond Creek and Eltham past the millionaires row in Templestowe. Broad and Black Gully roads provided entertainment. Pettys had a great selection of cakes and there were no complaints about the coffee either. Then we drove on to Yarra Glen Hotel via Healesville. We enjoyed a good meal there, most having Seniors Parmas. When we got out of the Pub, the sun had been switched off, but at that point we didn’t care as we had had such a delightful morning. Good roads in well behaved Sprites.

Sunday, 30th July 2017: Social Drive and Economy Run

We started at East Doncaster with 11 cars although it was a tight squeeze at the Shell Servo. We were worried when one of the staff came across, but all he wanted was a business card as he had just finished restoring a 1939 Hillman and he wanted to join a club so that he could come on runs. I hope he can keep up ! In normal fashion, most cars ended up in one big group, but that means navigation is avoided. We had a simple course going through Warrandyte up to Kinglake on the windy road from St Andrews, then across to Toolangi, down Chum Creek Road and back up to Myers Creek Road and finishing along the Old Glenburn Road into Kinglake. Plenty of winding roads with 72.5 miles in total, which was enough to split the economy results. We did miss the morning tea cafe and coffee, although Faye and Jeff did partake at the Kinglake Bakery and enjoyed a muffin, while the rest of us kept going. We finished off with a good lunch at the Kinglake Hotel, which no one complained about. The economy results are on the Competition page.

Thursday, 8th June 2017: Mid Week Social Drive

Our drive started with 8 cars and 13 people on a dry and cold morning from Beasleys once again. Our destination was Mt Donna Buang as the snow there last Wednesday was awesome. Heading out through Warrandyte, Wonga Park and Coldstream the temperature seemed to be getting colder. The important coffee stop was at The Flying Apron Patisserie. Excellent coffee and cakes and those sausage rolls with lamb and roasted almonds looked terrific. Tony, the owner shouted us to lovely almond and apple strudel. He had made us welcome in his warm back room. This place is a find – location 2874 Warburton Highway, Wesburn when you are passing. Then up to Mt Donna Buang, but no snow and we didn’t see one lyrebird either. So down the hill again with a diversion along Riverside Avenue to see the river and the tall Mountain Ash. Our lunch stop was at Cunninghams Irish Pub in Yarra Junction where we had our own dining room and more importantly that warm open fire that they had lit for us. The seniors meals were good value too. It is hard being retired !

Friday, 21st July 2017: Dinner at Oggi’s

We had a good crowd at Cafe Oggi with 24 club members attending, despite the winter weather. We were split onto two tables but everyone enjoyed the good meals and company. The service was good and it was a bonus to be able to BYO. We were worried about not being able to split the bills, but there was no hassles in the end.

Sunday, 4th June 2017: Social Drive and Lunch

Our drive started with 8 cars and 16 people on a dry but foggy winter morning from Beasleys in Warrandyte. We left very close to our 9.30 start time but Keith and Tracy from Geelong had got lost in the fog along the way and didn’t arrive at Beasleys until just before 10 am. Fortunately, Elaine was also running late and offered to escort Keith and Tracy to Gembrook. Thanks Elaine. Our first stop for coffee and cake was at The Carriage Cafe in Seville. We had to walk 300 metres to get there as it was on the Warburton Rail Trail. This caused some grumbles from the crowd but it was worth the walk – the muffins were pretty good too.
We then took some good Sprite roads to Gembrook and had an excellent lunch at The Ranges Hotel. Keith and Tracy and John and Jan were waiting for us for lunch. Unfortunately Nathan missed out on lunch as Maxwell was dead to the world and Dad could not bring himself to wake him. After lunch, we said our goodbyes and looked at Puffing Billy, craft shops and the town before heading off home independently.

Sunday, 28th May 2017: Social Drive to Winton

There were four cars prepared to go up to Winton, as the weather was so cold and wet. Anyway, we safely got under way with only a brief petrol stop. We arrived at Winton in time for nearly all of the racing. Neil and Ryan had taken the marquee up on the Friday and with our cars, there was a total of 8 Sprites on display. Our space was a little tight so our non-Sprites were relegated to the Classic Car Display and Dennis’s Healey was in the company of other Big Healeys. The day was dry until about 3 pm when the heavy and cold showers arrived. The racing was willing with several incidents along the way. A TR6 was lucky not to get more damage as the driver lost control coming onto the main straight. The car was still probably a write off. These incidents caused a long delay in proceedings, and David King was waiting ages for his parade lap. The Austin 7 club had an excellent display of cars down behind the new pits and the pits area provided a lot of interest from the record crowd. Thank you to Neil for taking up the marquee and flags, and erecting and dismantling same with Ryan’s help.

Thursday, 11th May 2017: Mid Week Social Drive

Our drive started with 13 cars and 22 people on a dry but foggy autumn morning from Beasleys once again. We were able to appreciate the autumn colours as we drove through Warrandyte, Kangaroo Ground, Wattle Glen, Hurstbridge and St Andrews up the narrow windy road to Kinglake. We were glad when the slow grey nomad Holden Calais turned off at St Andrews, but he must have put his replacement slow family Holden Nova ahead to slow us up the windy bits. Maybe we will get a clear run next time. Our first stop for coffee and cake was at The Flying Tarts. This was a very appropriate name for our convoy. Once again, it was hard to get everyone moving. Dennis was still eating a huge croissant for his breakfast. The cakes were recommended. We continued along some fast sweeping roads through Glenburn and Castella before finishing for lunch at the famous Toolangi Tavern. On weekends you cannot get into this place. We had our setting on the back verandah where we could admire the views and appreciate more autumn colour. Bailey was happy with this as he could keep an eye on Gerry. Another good drive, good morning tea and a good lunch. Although it is great to see numbers increasing, if we get more starters in future, we will have to split into groups like John Fowler’s runs to give us ample time for morning tea and lunch and be able to get back to suburbia before the afternoon traffic.

Sunday, 30th April 2017: The Florence Thomson Tour

The AHSDC was well represented on Sunday at the RACV’s inaugural Florence Thompson Tour which recognised women in motoring. Four members drove – Shelly Berns, Donna Clarke (accompanied by sister-in-law Ira), Kaz Postill (accompanied by Elaine Roberts) and Emma Riddington. The tour started at Coombe Estate in Coldstream and travelled through Yarra Glen, St Andrews and Kinglake, finishing at the RACV Country Club in Healesville. A couple of cars managed a little detour to a winery along the way and another visited the Tarra Warra Art Gallery!

Thursday, 6th April 2017: Mid Week Social Drive to Gembrook

A glorious day indeed for our second run. We had eight cars and 13 lucky participants starting at Beasleys. The MG T register was also starting there for their run to Strathewen and the St Andrews pub, so it was a little crowded. We headed off through Warrandyte to Wonga Park. Oops, Jack thought that Gold Memorial Road had been sealed, but we ended up in the dust. Then across to Coldstream and along some of Jeff’s roads to Seville. Oops, another dirt road – not far though, but it was worth it as we found our morning tea stop – The Carriage Cafe at Seville. We had to walk about 300 metres as it is located along the Warburton Rail Trail. Great coffee and cakes, good service and a classic setting with us sitting at the train station, next to our second class carriage. We even had a resident magpie warbling to himself in his reflection from the carriage window. No complaints except for those wasps.
We then headed to Gembrook along some great winding roads through farm and forest country. A few too many turns maybe, as we missed one along the way, which the observant navigators did notice. 66 miles of good Sprite roads with very little traffic. Our lunch was at the recently reopened Ranges Hotel. It still looks the same from the outside, and they have retained the pressed steel ceiling in the same condition, but the rest of the inside has had an extensive makeover. A good venue and the food hit the spot. The chicken parmas looked pretty large too. The last of us didn’t leave till nearly 3 pm.

Words and pics by Jack de Bruijne

17-19th March 2017: Phillip Island Classic

We had a great three days down at the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit for the Phillip Island Classic.  The weather was the best ever, with the sun shining, but not too hot on each day and sea breezes present too.  We had our usual spot with 8 cars on display Saturday and 7 cars on Sunday.  Many thanks to Simon Browning for bringing the marquee and banners down and taking them back for us.  Between us we did manage to get them up and down again – a good feat considering our abilities.  Out of over 500 entrants there were 27 cars from overseas including a Lister Jaguar Monzanopolis, an ERA R5B and an ERA R10B, several Cooper T51 and a T53, an Aston Martin DBR4 ex Lex Davison, a Lago Talbot driven by Vern Schuppan and many more.  There was an Austin A30 Sebring from Germany – changing a gear box in one of them has the same problems as a Sprite as we saw. Another interesting car was a Sebring Sprite replica which had an unusual cross flow head.

When packing up on Sunday, we had not seen Bob Lomas for some time – he was going to watch some racing at Honda corner.  We got the marquee down, Simon picked it up and we were ready to go, but no Bob.  We were not going to leave Glenys on her own though.  So we waited and waited.  Eventually Bob sauntered up, with not a word (unusual for him ) so we left the two lovebirds to sort it out.

On the Sunday night, some of us went to the Rusty Waters Brewery for dinner and a pint of Koala Lager (not bad actually, although we wondered about the Koala association). We walked there and back despite Graham’s protests.  A fitting end to an event packed weekend.

Pic by Terri Corbin

Sunday, 12th March 2017: Social Drive and Lunch at Marysville

Sunday, 12th March 2017: Sunday Social Drive and Lunch in Marysville

Nine cars and 15 occupants set off from Beasley’s Nursery and, despite the threat of rain, we all enjoyed the two hour drive of approximately 80 miles, along some of the best roads in the area, finishing for lunch at the Duck Inn Pub at Marysville. The Nursery cafe just out of Healesville unfortunately was closed, so having had a comfort stop and managing to get Andrew’s recalcitrant Mk. 1 going, we decided to proceed through the Black Spur to have a coffee stop at the hotel at the end of the twisty, windy roads. There was some rain but it soon dissipated after we set off for Marysville.

The lunch was very convivial and afterwards some went to the Marysville Market, or walked around the town, others continued to the Trout Farm, got drenched (not with the trout) and headed home. Unfortunately, the clutch in John and Jacqui Connor’s car decided to give way so we kept them shielded from the constant traffic until John finally gave up near Chirnside Park. They called the RACV and were home safely shortly afterwards.

Pics by Jack de Bruijne and John Connor

Thursday, 19th March: Mid Week Social Drive

After a slight mix up of venue and a certain MGA (not a Sprite of course ) deciding it did not need to run on all four cylinders, seven cars enjoyed the drive out of Warrandyte in brilliant sunshine. We headed to Kangaroo Ground and across to Yarra Glen and along the Old Healesville Road into Healesville. Here we had a stop at the Carousel Ice Cream Parlour after parking all of our cars in the shade. Ice creams were the go, although Mike and Sue Dore enjoyed iced coffees – made from three scoops of coffee ice cream – they were still not finished at the end of the drive. From there we zoomed up Chum Creek Road to Toolangi and across to Kinglake, down another windy road ( although this has now been downgraded to 60 kmh all the way ) to St Andrews for the final run into Panton Hill. At the pub, we were met by four other club members making a total of 15 for lunch. Not a bad effort for our inaugural Mid Week run. The Dores were from Mornington and the Ropers were from Avenel – certainly a far flung crowd. We are looking forward to the next run. It seems that a distance of about 60 miles with a stop in between is about the right formula. It helps, of course, if you have that glorious weather that we had on that day.

Sunday, 19th February 2017: RACV Classic Showcase at Flemington.

This was a big year as it was the MG and Mercedes Benz annual concours for the Flemington Racecourse display. Unfortunately the weather was not the best (for the time of year).

Sunday, 5th February 2017: RACV Great Australian Rally

On Sunday 5 February, six cars and 12 enthusiastic participants ( Terri and Greg, Nancy and Tony, Michelle and Brad, Valerie and David, Lorraine and Gary, Kay and Jack ) gathered at the Stud Park Shopping Centre for our free sausage and coffee. Five Sprites and one MG B ( no Bugeyes ) headed off from Rowville on the shorter Rally route We had an impromptu stop on the way because a battery terminal came adrift on Jack’s Mk 3A. When we got to Mornington racecourse we were ushered to our lovely parking spot – lush green grass and a handy shade tree. We were able to form a circle of chairs in the shade and enjoy conversation in between going off for walks to look at all the cars. There were some striking vehicles on show. The early Lancia Lambda exhibited by David Couper was a standout. Brad was keen on looking at the X1/9 too. We were joined during the day by Kaz and Rod, Steve and Pam and Mike Dore. We enjoyed our picnic lunch and we were able to get away before the crowds headed home.

Sunday, 8th January 2017: AHSDC Social Drive to Blairgowrie

Forgot to submit my article for February Goblins’ Gazette (remembered to attach the photos though) so it is here instead!

Our first event for the year and one of the hottest nights on record, with temperatures hovering around 26° and then a forecast of 31° for the day itself. Nevertheless, 15 people in 8 cars set off for the Peninsula – Greg & Terri Corbin in the Audi, Tony and Nancy Young in the blue Mk. 2, John Croft in his newly acquired BRG Mk 1, Mandy P-J in her blue Mk. 1, Graham and Sue Dows in their blue MGA, our leaders Jack and Kay de Bruijne in their recently returned Dk. Blue Mk. 3A, three Reids in their sedan with L-Plate driver Jessica (heavens, it only seems like five minutes ago she was a little bundle of joy at one of our children’s Christmas picnics!) and Rod and I in the red Mk. 2A.

First stop was at Bittern Market for a quick look around and coffee. (Greg and Terri had already peeled off as they had received an SOS call from Greg’s mother halfway down the freeway. Luckily, all was well.) Many of the stalls usually there were missing, but there were lots with DVDs, which Mandy purchased for Simon who was down with ‘flu and not at all well. While we were walking around the wind suddenly changed direction and there was some respite from the heat. When we got back to the carpark, several bonnets were up – Jack’s problem was easily fixed but John Croft’s took a little longer (and even longer later).

We drove on skirting Hastings and down through Flinders, passing some very nice machinery (couple of Healeys, Porsche, red Midget) coming the other way and their occupants even waved at us! At the Bear Left towards Cape Schanck, I could see that John had stopped. After discussions over the phone with Nancy, I headed off and caught up with the others. The traffic was very heavy around Melbourne Road and over onto the Nepean but we made it to Hughes Road Carpark, with Jeff and Faye ready to direct parking. Gary and Lorraine Boyd and Peter Westcott and Diva were already there. Looking around at the recent “redevelopment”, the rustic nature of this lovely little spot has gone and there are fancy steps and vertical boards down towards the beach; there is a shower and two low benches for brushing off that pesky sand; new tables and benches; little shade and the porta-loo is still in operation.

The others eventually arrived after taking the radiator out of John’s Mk. 1, we all had lunch, the wind whipped up and much to Jeff’s disappointment, we all reneged on going for a sail. Not to be outdone, he skimmed the waters alone in his wetsuit! Most people left earlier than usual to try and beat the traffic home. We retraced our steps for most of the journey and actually had a good run. Thanks once again to Jeff and Faye for keeping the seats and making the option of sailing available.

Kaz P and Rod P