RECENT PAST EVENTS
Torque Tube Run to Macedon Wine Room
Sunday 27th August 2017
Story & Photos by Ange Monteleone, Tony Monteleone & Ivan Romanic
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The 27th of August was supposed to be almost the finish of winter, but in true Melbourne weather unpredictability, it turned on the full works for us.
We started the morning off at Essendon Fields with a fresh coffee and condiments breakfast from LaManna’s and looking out the window, the sun was shining brightly. I allowed this to lead me into a false hope, because no sooner had we started our journey northward, that the sky had changed from bright to muted grey. Clouds on the horizon indicated trouble ahead.
The weather pelting commenced firstly with high winds and then unpreparedness with hail followed by sleet and more rain. The wet weather driver training really paid dividends this day, as we aimed up through Oaklands Road towards Sunbury. Mother Nature wasn’t finished with us yet as we weaved in a procession over the Mt Macedon range. An obvious coldness descended and a change was afoot as the mercury level descended to 5° and it started to snow.
Snow, whilst cold and bitter when exposed to its elements has a more softness and cleansing experience when you observe it from a well heated comfortable sports car equipped with Michelin Pilot Sports as you negotiate the bends travelling through a winter wonderland. We are blessed that part of the design testing that goes into every Porsche is done within the Arctic Circle. The true DNA and mechanical insightfulness of Porsche engineering really showed through with our vehicles this day.
The good news story is that we all made it without any incident to our first designated stop being the lovely town of Trentham. Everyone was stoked at the diverse weather driving conditions just experienced and the conversation of its intricacies continued inside the very popular Red Beard Bakery, a town favourite.
John Gedye posed with a giant garden gnome outside the bakery and it was almost like looking at a self-sculpture….wow very strange. Co-Captain Ivan Romanic also had a doppelganger experience with an Orangutan sculpture, whilst Tony Monteleone was caught trying to kiss a sheep in the back of a ute. We really couldn’t blame him though as he is moving to New Zealand at the end of the year.
With coffee done and lots of fresh baked sourdough to take home, we sprung out of Trentham for a dosage of back road exhilaration. With the front markers being the Gedye’s Boxster/Cayman GTS commanding and acting as beacon for the road ahead, we were all playing catch-up with our Torque Tube cars. My favourite moment was when Richard Greenman in his GTS spearheaded passed me like the Concorde with afterburners at take-off. Wow that was quite an experience as my 944 S2 swayed at the turbulence created.
It would not be a Torque Tube event without a mishap as Ken Mariott and Willie Gulbransen coasted passed the bus shelter marker that was supposed to be the turn right point into Woodend with five back markers following. His excuse later at lunch, is that bus shelters are always silver in colour where he comes from, not green, so he missed it. Ummm plausible, he is, after all, from New Zealand.
Lunch was at the fabulous Macedon Wine Room, which has one of the best vistas of the Macedon Ranges. The panorama coupled with a few delectable vinos beside the snug fireplace and a scrumptious entrée and mains made for an outstanding afternoon. The Cone Bay Barramundi was delightfully tasty and accompanied with the salsa verde and potato puree was a meal both simplistic and inspiring.
There were a few newcomers recognised after lunch, namely Mark Sedon and Filomena Molinaro in their 996. We almost convinced them that as newbies and as a general rule to solidify their initiation to PCV they were obliged to buy a round of drinks for our table. This was short lived as Filomena caught me winking in the direction of Co-captain Ivan during the speeches.
Dessert was served and everyone sang and crooned Happy Birthday to my beautiful wife Mandy as a delicious profiterole cake with candles was being presented to her. The day ended needlessly too short as it always does when you are having fun with great friends and company. See you all again at the next Torque Tube social run. Until next time, au revoir.
TORQUE TUBE RUN TO KILLARA ESTATE
Sunday 21st May 2017
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Story by Vickie Morris Photos by Angelo Monteleone
The Mountain Lion Twins (a translation of their surname) certainly provided an eventful excursion for the lucky 50 odd PCV members attending the Torque Tube Run to Killara Estate Winery.
It would be a different day out for me right from the start. I would be navigating for my partner Grant in his ……gulp…..red Mazda 6. This was a decision I had made as the weather forecast appeared to be reliable, promising a glorious 19 degree Melbourne autumn day. Wine tasting was on the agenda. I hadn’t indulged in a Sunday afternoon Shiraz for quite some time. I may be self-righteous but I don’t drink at all when I take Dietfried (my 964) out on a date, so you see my dilemma readers…..drive and not experience the wonderful produce of Seville East vines or volunteer fellow club member as my chauffeur albeit in an import. It was a tough decision leaving Dietfried behind but I bit the bullet and took up residence in the Mazzy’s passenger seat.
Beginning at Porsche Centre Doncaster at 9.30am Frank and Gloria were punctual in their bright yellow 2015 Cayman GTS. Pole position in front of the dealership was taken by the double trouble Twins in their model matching 944 S2s. Jonathan Ford parked his new acquisition a 2003 996 Targa behind the Mazda. Dealer Manager Raymond and his delightful daughter Mikhalia were on hand to greet us with delectable morning tea consisting of choc chip croissants, sweet slices and fresh fruit filled pastries accompanied by barista style coffees. Attendees wandering in perused the latest dealer temptations whilst enjoying a café latte. As a surprise, Raymond offered the members to lay eyes on an absolute gem of the Porsche lineage….some lucky person’s 911 R - repeat “911 R”. Simply mesmerising. I have vinyl records at home that look like 5 cent pieces compared to this monster’s discs brakes.
With run notes distributed, and captain briefing done, Raymond surprised us with one last generous gift presenting everyone with a Porsche Cap. I could have gone home then and still have been totally satisfied. This club is the gift that keeps on giving.
Beware new members as parking position is a pivotal part to getting out in the pack, otherwise you might get stuck at the back like us taking up last position behind Ivan and Domenico’s lovely 928 S4.
Even though the first 4 kms heading east seemed relatively straightforward my navigation instinct was tested early on. I am sure I counted 4 roundabouts and then a right turn on to Stintons Rd, contradictory to the 3 roundabouts and then a right turn as stated in the run notes. Never mind, I let the fact that in front of me were at least 10 Porsches turning at the 5th. Grant was over his wrestle with Ivan to achieve 2nd to last position and relegated himself to last again. There is something special about being last – you get the privilege of the blissful view of the inspiring club convoy motor along the bitumen. Too much distraction for Bernard and Rita in their 1974 white 2.7 911s. They missed the right turn at 17.4 km leading Ivan astray too. Not my first picnic, I instructed Grant not to follow and navigated him to a glorious 3rd to last position.
We celebrated in re-joining the peloton bar until an irritating silver Toyota obstructed my view. The roller coaster Edward Rd enabled me to catch glimpses of the conga line ahead. Finally, we were behind John Iacovangelo’s 944 S2 1990 Guards Red Turbo. Celebration would be cut drastically short as the next part of the run would prove to be a survival of the smartest (GPS).Confusion reigned at 37.4km. The untested run notes sent the Torque Tube run into bewilderment. A false right turn on to the mysterious Don Rd C506 proved to derail drivers and puzzle navigators.
What better place to pull over and assess your options than on a crest with double lines? A thought shared by the collective intelligence. Perplexed Porsches parked on the side of the road included 2 Red 944s possibly one being Nigel Watson, Darren and Tammie’s white Boxster Spyder, Meng and Yen’s Dark Blue 2011 Cayman, Jonas and Tzena 1989 Silver 964 and Paul and Jane’s Black 944 S2 CAB. Option one - continue straight ahead in hope Don Rd will appear or some other sign from the Higher Porsche Power. Option two -do a U turn at this marvellous position and go back in search of the aforementioned. The decision split the group, every team for themselves and Porsches began peeling off in a sight that was akin to fireworks falling in the sky.
A tempting chocolaterie was strategically placed to try sway to me from my route, but decided to stay behind John’s Red 944. This was brief due to a Red 911 overtaking us and we arrived in the empty Killara carpark as Car #2 at 11.33am. I was quietly baffled. How did this occur? Sheer navigation brilliance Vickie!
I revelled in my valour for some moments before the hounding pack arrived… including Alex and Luke in their 2000 Meridien Silver 996, Jenny and David Lorbek in a Blue 996 Carrera 4S and the Register Captains, ushering everyone to the grassy area in front of the winery restaurant for a spot of Porsche parade for the other restaurant patrons. The variety of models was glorious. Everything from the statement making 1994 Black 968 CS Ray and Sandi drove, to Jade’s radiant Blue Macan with her sisters Bree, Skye and Finn in. Peter and Shelley’s super cool Black 944 S2 Coupe and Tony and Elisa’s sublime Black 1984 911 Targa stood off with the Gedye’s Red Boxster GTS and Blue Cayman GTS double trouble. Domenic and Jan’s Silver 996 also shone here. In front of another viewing platform to the left of the restaurant Tim and Nicole’s 944 S2 and Doukas’ 996 synced up side by side in sleek silver joined by Steven and Connie’s 1986 Midnight Blue stealth 928.
Out of our cars we swapped run observations. David flawed at how he arrived before the Macan after numerous position swaps. Tim amazed he stayed under the speed limit. Tony watching a serious family jostle as John skilfully overtook 3 cars to ensure his daughter would be relegated to “Also Ran”.
Eager to try Killara’s offerings PCV members were ushered to the gazebo by our host and Sommelier Leo. Assisted by his son, he presented a casual but informative wine tasting experience highlighting the Prosecco, describing the best way to open the bottle and debunking some old wives’ tales. Pinot Grigio followed – the sentimental label depicting his Mum, Brother and family Lancia. Rounding out the 3, the Rascals Shiraz – a best seller. I would be so bold as to state the group was quite in their element, enjoying the tipple and soaking up the atmosphere but lunch awaited so we descended upon the dining area.
Expertly presented Antipasto i.e. roast pumpkin, cheese stuffed cherry tomatoes, black and green olives, artichokes, salami and warm rustic bread adorned the two long tables dedicated to PCV. Some members made a stop at the bar enroute to their seat for some wonderful wine indulgence. I thoroughly enjoyed the Reserve Shiraz – bold and peppery.
The Monteleone Brothers, always with a trick up their sleeves, issued guests with unique raffle tickets that pictorially represented the Porsche legacy for the surprise later. Delicious varieties of the Italian staple were devoured. It didn’t stop there. As the prosciutto was being shaved in front of the kitchen, Kevin’s efficient staff swiftly delivered trays of enticing lasagne, sentiment supported by Frank and Gloria. Participants were starting to feel the challenge of the menu but how could one resist? The time for the raffle surprise arrived and manager/owner Leo was asked to do the honours. He shared his youthful story about the Blue 928 S4 that got away exclaiming Steve and Connie’s 928 S his favourite vehicle. To our surprise (read with sarcasm) Steve won 1st prize. “What The” The winning tickets were all in the single digits too eg 2, 3, 4??? Bucking the trend Jade came away with a bottle for ticket #29.
As John told of his amusement watching Co-Captain Tony argue with navigator Kane and Sheryl described being elated that despite our differing journeys we all arrived at Killara, a little pastry treat was served to complete our degustation. May I commend the chef for accommodating the dietary requirements including a sensational meringue with fresh strawberries. Divine.
With a few wines for the non-drivers under belt including me, PCV members began to head home bringing the sensational event to a close. Many quipped how thoroughly beautiful the countryside was and what great company was enjoyed. PCV should congratulate themselves for another brilliant event. Can’t wait for the next one…..with Dietfried.
TORQUE TUBE REGISTER
Run to Morning Sun Vineyard
Sunday 26th February 2017
Story by Tony Monteleone & Ivan Romanic Photos by Angelo Monteleone
The 2017 calendar started on the 26th February this year for the Torque Tube gang. After finally recovering from the PCV Christmas festivities, it was time to round up the gang again for another big party bash. There was lots to celebrate, lots to catch up on, and lots of driving too do as well. We started breakfast with a great round up of cars and people at a great little café called Bar-Sur-Lup in Balwyn which was suggested by our flamboyant member Carlo Cimino. The French café proved to be a hit. On the menu was a selection of delectable Belgian waffles, pastries, baguettes as well as sweet and savoury crepes.
The extraordinary variety of hot chocolate proved to be a major hit. The day was shaping up too be a ripper – sun shining, light breeze and the slight smell of exhaust fuel in the air as all the Porsches rolled into the car park. We had in total 34 people and 20 cars with an array of 944s, 928s, Boxsters and Caymans, plus a very special Macan GTS finished in an ocean blue. Our friend Jonas also rolled in to show us his latest acquisition and stamp his mark in the Torque Tube with very nice Silver 944 S that he is making into a retro look track car for the occasional entree class. Our ever dedicated supporters, Nigel and Rosemary Watson had a spot of bad luck when their lovely 944S2 Turbo had a fuel pump failure on the morning, but undeterred showed up in a Modern 911 and newbies, Aaron and Shonnet Barnes joined us for their first ever PCV event in their 996.
The briefing was conducted by none other than our Captain, Mr Monteleone "Il Comandante" as we call him, whom addressed the members with an oratory skill comparable to Winston Churchill, and assisted by Mr Ivan Romanic, who having just returned from a trip to the Kennedy space station, did his best impersonation of head NASA flight engineer prior to launch sequence to our group (check out the pictures).
Angelo provided insight into the do’s and don’ts of what to do on a Porsche Club endorsed event and reiterated the obligatory "PCV does not sanction speeds over 100km/h". Smirks appeared on the faces of some members, notably Carlo, John and Jake, and Tony, which given their reputation for fast cars, fast money and even faster women was of no surprise.
Our morning coffees were interrupted by an incident in the car park where a lady trying to park her Merc GLE SUV backed into another car. Luckily it was none of our cars – Jade, who’s Macan GTS was parked nearby promptly marched over to check that her car was ok and got told that it was our fault that she crashed as all the Porsches were taking up the car parking spaces. Some people just shouldn’t drive SUVs is all I want to say about that one!!
De-brief over, all 20 Porsche engines ignited into one ceremonious rumble. The growls of engines reverberated against the glass facades of the shopfronts with the noise stirring dogs into a nervous yap and causing the casual hipsters enjoying a café latte to soil their Peter Alexander underwear. But we didn’t care, we were the Torque Tube Boys, today was our day and we would claim it as our own. Nothing would separate us from the smell of fuel, rubber and leather as once it gets into your blood, it infects you with its attraction.
Out of the carpark, il comandante, Angelo led the pack in front of an assortment of Porsches. We had 944s, 928s, 911s, Caymans & a Macan which represents quite a variety from the Porsche stable. Without fear of any reprisals and with complete abandon, the Black 944 driven by il comandante, lead the team out of the carpark on command from mission control. The Russians certainly won the space race, but Angelo must have given those astronauts a class in fortitude, for many have balls and only a few have heart. Angelo has got both, and in big measures. Pedal to the metal, Carlo and Tony were not far behind, following in close proximity were Doukas "Mr Commercial" and others jostling for positions.
Our venue this day was a place we discovered by accident called "Morning Sun vineyard" in Red Hill. It’s a magnificent Tuscan style villa and vineyard run by 2 of the loveliest folk you will ever meet, Carolyn and John. We found this gem while holidaying up in Rosebud this year, having stumbled across this place after a boozy wine tour looking for food. To our surprise they had the best pizzas ever….of course one thing leads to another and hence we found our venue for the next run!
The drive up was stock standard as there really isn’t any easy way to get to Mornington but once off the Dromana exit, then the fun stated. Our first stop was the top of Arthurs seat to check out the re-opened Eagle Chairlift and get a quick break. We even met and chatted with the Eagle CEO, Han Brugman who is a big fan of the Stuttgart cars and promised priority parking and seating next time for any PCV event. The only holdup was Tony’s 944S2 overheating – ouch! but nevertheless, some great pictures on the summit and good coffee.
However the drive out of the Summit was like a scene from a Hollywood car movie – all the Porsches jammed together launching out of the carpark 1 by 1 – The Eagle patrons really had a birds eye view from their elevated positions in the gondolas of the crackling exhaust roars as we took off.
The rest of the drive took us on a big loop of Red Hill and some nice roads albeit the usual Sunday traffic slowing us down except for the 1 courteous fellow in his Toyota who graciously pulled left to let 6 Porsches nudging his backside roar though – What a nice fellow indeed. There was the usual couple of near misses but all going well – so far so – except when we get to the last fork in the road that said – Morning Sun Wineries left – but our map directions said "At the fork in the road – stay right "so guess what happen – Yep 8 Porsches trying to make a U turn on grave and narrow roads – Oops: Looking at one of you -Angelo and Ivan – check your notes please.
Well finally, most of us arrived at the right place (except for Ivan who drove in the wrong driveway and had to reverse out) and were greeted by Air Marshal Monteleone visually signalling between ground personnel and pilots where to best park the many Porsches. Left hand signals, Right hand signal, reverse signal, hanger bay 6 please. Finally, we got all 20 Porsches parked.
As it was a great day out, our hosts decided to put us outside on the benches under the beautiful hanging vines. We could have literally been in the rolling hills of Tuscany such was the beautiful ambience. One of the reasons we picked this place for our torque tube event was that the food is amazing and their wines are superb.
Our hosts are also the wine makers and both are real characters. John started out by telling us how wine makers have very active imaginations when it comes to describing wines – blended this, light on your palette that, hint of blah blah – ALL CRAP he told us!! 95% of the taste starts with the grapes and ends with the barrel – the rest is just so they can write pretty labels for wine snobs to read out loud. And here I was thinking I was very sophisticated when it came too wines. The lesson here is stop reading the label and just start drinking the wine LOL!
Then he offered us a competition to guess what was his previous work life was, before he became a wine maker with the winner taking a bottle as a prize. No one guessed it, but we did have some good suggestions like artist, nude model, marijuana smoker, TV presenter – but as much as I want to tell you all the answer, I think in this instance, I will let the readers find out for themselves when they go and visit Morning Sun.
Did I say the food was amazing…..Well, we Started with the warm estate grown marinated olives, and crisp, golden polenta fries a la Nonna Claudia, infused with fresh rosemary from Mario’s garden, served with a blue cheese dipping sauce and a seasonal Antipasto platter – just for starters. Then came the wood fired Pizzas - San Daniele, Gamberi, Sopressa, and Mario’s Veneto – wow they were superb, plus Rucolo salads to top it all off.
A little black bird (AKA – the crow) told us it was our Boxster GTS man of the day, John Gedye’s birthday – so we organised 1 special pizza with some birthday candles just for him. Everyone joined in on a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday to John – Well done Mate!!
Speaking of the Crow – after Angelo singled out all the crow supporters on the table, with our fake crow garden ornament, it seems the crow gods must have heard the ruckus as a real crow descended on our little gathering and decided to scare the bejesus out of us. Seems he got upset about how Angelo man-handled his fake friend!
No torque tube event would be complete without a competition for the best car on the day and to ensure there was no bias, we asked our Morning Sun host Carolyn to be the judge with the prize being a bottle of Pinot. After some deliberation and a cry of foul after a certain owner of a black 944S2 convertible tried to sway the judge’s decision, the very special blue Macan GTS took out the honours. Our owner Jake, who kindly allowed his sister Jade to drive his Macan this day in fact, was very pleased to accept the prize of behalf of both of them.
All the staff at Morning Sun really did an outstanding job and as the day moved on, we were joined by the head chef for a glass of wine as he wanted to check what we thought of all the food – what a nice guy and real old fashioned service – just amazing.
As the day drew to a close, our Comandante, Angelo found he had a stowaway sitting in the driver’s seat. The Morning Sun’s Cavoodle pooch had discovered that the sheepskin seat covers in Angelo’s Porsche were much more comfortable than his rug in the afternoon sun. Lucky the poor sleepy pooch didn’t get sat on as it looked like a big ball of wool on the front seat, very cute.
Looking around at the grape vines and fields, with the sun shining and Porsches in the distance, sitting on a long outside table covered in vine bush, we almost could have been in Italy or the south of France, or even the German countryside. It was just a great day. Thanks to all our friends that made the time to come and join us on our first Torque tube event for the year, Thanks for out hosts, Carolyn and John and to the team at Morning Sun Vineyard and we look forward to our next event – coming soon!