Mid 911 Run to T'Gallant Winery
Sunday 4th March 2018
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Mid 911 Run to Yarra Valley
Sunday 29th October 2017
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Mid 911 Run to Hogans Hotel in Wallan
Sunday August 13th 2017-08-13
Story by Gail Chittleborough Photos by Neville Sampson
I looked across to the carpark and saw 21 Porsches and 1 Ferrari, all beautifully clean, polished and fuelled, along with 39 members and guests, all ready for the “run”. Old and new members listened as Ken Anson provided a briefing about the route. Ken welcomed new members participating in their first run: Simon Best, driving a 911SC (1980 Light blue) and Barry and Ursula Pritchett driving a 911 3.2 Carrera (Silver), and guests John Sharley and Bruno Scambiaterra. Armed with our comprehensive itinerary notes we left Roxburgh Park shopping centre carpark on a beautiful sunny winters’ day.
Zig zagging across the Hume freeway, we enjoyed a relaxing 89 km drive through the newly developing outer suburbs north of Melbourne and north to Kilmore. The drive included some sweeping curves, narrow bridges, a concealed switchback, roadworks and some rolling straights. We had a leisurely morning tea break in Kilmore, with time for chatting in the sunshine, with the cars in view in the car park.
The second leg of the run was 99.8km and again we zig zagged across the Hume highway. We travelled north from Kilmore to Strath Creek, and on through Broadford-Flowerdale, Whittlesea, ending at Wallan. We travelled across rolling plains of farmlands, and natural bushland with gumtrees shading the road. There was little traffic on the first half of this leg as we drove down the escarpment into Flowerdale, and while the traffic increased in the second half the run, it was a very scenic drive through East Kinglake and down into Whittlesea.
The best part of the trip for me was observing the line of Porsches along the road - looking ahead there were 7 Porsches snaking their way along the road and behind in the side mirror I could see another 7 Porsches. Quite a sight! As we arrived at the Hogan hotel carpark in Wallan, Ken and Harriet were waiting for us – with car spaces secured for all.
Conversation flowed as lunch was served efficiently by the staff at the hotel. Neville Sampson, the photographer on the day, grabbed the smiles and machinery throughout the day. Ken conducted the raffle with lucky winners: Jeanette Sampson, Harriet Anson, Allan Hines, Bruno Scambiaterra, Norman Smith and Jane Hallam.
While most of the cars were mid 911, there were some Caymans and Boxsters. The friendliness of participants is a common feature of these runs. The passionate car owners always have something to share about their cars and today was no different. Conversational titbits included hearing about a “great” recent experience at the Porsche Sport driving school at Mt Cotton in Queensland, and a memorable and impressive factory tour and museum visit to the Porsche facility in Stuttgart, Germany. The engine of one 964 was proudly displayed complete with original oil stickers etc in response to a conversation. I also heard about the restoration of a 964, the anguish over stone chips and deliberation over tyre brands.
The route that Harriet devised was superb and the weather magic – great organisation! Many thanks Harriet and Ken for a great day.
MID 911 RUN to Phillip Island
Sunday 28th May 2017
Story by Aggie Ryan Photos by Aggie Ryan & Yannick Anderson
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Despite the cold, rainy start for the Winter Mid 911 Run to Phillip Island on the fourth Sunday of May, the atmosphere inside the starting point of the BP Outbound, at Officer was quite warm and jovial, and akin to a post Anzac Day march, minus the hip flask additives.
To explain this further, as you know, starting an ageing car on a cold winter’s morning, and have it idle for a reasonable time to warm up, before easing it into gear without too many joint squeaks or twitches, then drive it with windows part way down to prevent fogging up the windscreen, and arrive at the first point of call without any warning lights appearing on the dash … well, THAT is a great start to the day. And hence why we were happy to be sipping coffee at a highway service centre, surrounded by other frozen, like minded Mid 911 enthusiasts, ready to face the rest of the day, and knowing as well, that the heaters and demisters had finally started to kick in.
I should point out that there were a couple of newbie Porsches along for the drive as well that day. Our procession out of the service station looked like a striking rainbow of colours as we headed along the (M1) autobahn towards our first destination at Loch Village. And, as if on cue, the grey clouds parted and the sun shone in patches along our journey on the highway, and through the picturesque hills and valleys of the South Gippsland area.
Our maps and road notes were very comprehensive, and that included a pre-drive briefing from Graeme Anderson, warning us about a stretch of twisty road that was hazardous when wet, and to definitely consider Plan B, if that was the case. Fortunately it was not, and the terrain definitely tested out the ride and handling on the Mid 911s, and perhaps blew out some of the dust and cobwebs from under the engine lids, just a little.
The Baw Baw ranges were shrouded in the distance, and place names like Drouin, Nar Nar Goon, Cannibal Creek, Jindivick, Korumburra and Poowong passed us by, as were it seems a growing number of organic farms specialising in strawberries, cheese, eggs, olives and wines, some with farm gate produce for sale, enticing us to perhaps revisit on another occasion.
The rain had stopped, as we zipped through groves of pines with needles floating by, making it reminiscent of an early 80’s car ad, and probably more so when we passed a bunch of Aston Martins, at that particular moment.
Cows and sheep were wrapped in their rugs and ugg boots, hay bales dotted lush green paddocks, and chimneys on country cottages were puffing out trails of smoke to signal a lazy morning for its occupants, who were possibly luxuriating by their fire, with a Sunday paper and hot chocolate in hand.
Fortunately for us, our next stop at the Rustic Cacao Chocolate Factory in lovely little Loch, had delightful hosts, Alan and Diana, providing warm mugs of authentic hot chocolate, and maybe a cake or three for morning tea. Conversations began in earnest about the drive, the cars, the weather, Porsche track days, snippets of personal adjuncts, car repairs, that delicious (spiced) hot chocolate, the tasty products lining the café shelves, and more auto talk, of course.
Forthwith, after taking over the village amenities, we journeyed on our way through more magnificent countryside towards the final stop, with vistas of lush hills, and distant wind turbines along the coast, making it especially distracting for the map readers, actually, probably just me, trying to follow the route directions. I think only once, did our group veer off course. That said, we all managed to pass the allocated towns of Kongwak, Almurta and Dalyston before merging onto the highway passing through Kilcunda, where the sky turned overcast again, and drops of rain began.
Phillip Island was in our sights, as we finally crossed the bridge at San Remo towards our lunch spot at The Cape Kitchen, situated right by the ocean at Newhaven.
Conditions were blustery, and the water a heaving mass of dark grey energy. Along the coast Cape Woolamai and Pyramid Rock were obscured by winds from the Bass Strait pelting the rain hard against the large window panes. We sat impervious to this as the drama unfolded outside.
Wait staff busied themselves taking drink orders from our group of thirty, who were keen to sample the menu offered for our lunch. The platters of salmon, chicken, salad and chips filled the tables and sated our appetites, we thought, until the platters of desserts arrived.
Conversation and laughter filled our corner of the restaurant, until it seemed that time had crept up on us and it became apparent that the journey home was going to take longer, the more we continued to chat. The raffle draws for the two bottles of wine capped off what was a wonderful day with promises by most to catch up again at another run in the near future.
The heavens were still pouring when everyone made a dash for their cars. So with heaters on, we left with quite a chill in the air, in fact, quite similar to how we started the day really.
Mid 911 Run to Heathcote Winery
Sunday 26th February 2017
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Superb weather, fantastic company, good food, excellently organized mid 911 run what more can I say.
9.30am on Sunday 26th Feb saw 36 eager individuals congregate at the Golden Arches in Mill Park to take part in the first mid 911 run for 2017. After coffee and a quick briefing by Ken we were off following the run notes on our way to Wallan for morning tea. The weather, blue skies and sunshine but not too hot was welcomed by those of us with the older 911's with no aircon and meant we could all arrive without looking like we had had a shower on the way or pouring ourselves out of our seats. The route was interesting with the normal uneven rail crossings and single lane bridges to navigate around and had the added challenge of someone swapping a roundabout for traffic lights overnight - or was that just a hiccup in the notes that sent half a dozen Porsches doing u-turns and deviations to continue on the run?! Our stop at The Wine Hub in Wallan was excellent with coffee and fantastic cake offerings, lemon tarts and mars chocolate cake being just a couple of the best. A place I must keep in mind if passing that way again.
We left the Wine Club carefully navigating our way over the exit gutter that must have been designed to give mechanics extra business, to start part 2 of our run. Country roads with lovely views and of course another couple of bumpy rail crossings lead us to an interesting junction where the right of way was somewhat confusing. Having been pre-warned of this on the well written run notes we took great caution in navigating this turn. Having passed through Wandong and Pyalong we arrived at our lunch destination of Heathcote Winery. This Winery was in the Main Street of Heathcote and was very rustic with exposed brick walls and a tranquil courtyard garden. Wine tastings were on offer, then we all sat down to a beautiful 2 course meal served with salad, just right for the temperature of the day. One new member Rohan Mayer attended the run, and the 2 bottles of wine donated by the Winery and the two supplied by the Club were won by Shelley Stepowski, Peter Day, Peter Cromie and Ken Ellaway. After this enjoyable lunch most departed to head back home around 3pm. A perfect relaxing day with fantastic weather, a hard way to spend a Sunday!
Mid 911 Run to Soumah Winery
Sunday 7th August 2016
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Mid 911 Run to the Yarra Valley
Story by Mark Dempsey Photos by Neville Sampson
It was some months ago now on a previous club run when Ken Anson mentioned he needed someone to organize a Mid 911 register run planned for August. Since I happened to own a mid 911, perhaps he suggested it was time to take on organizing my first run. How hard could it be? So I readily agreed.
Fortunately, once reality set in and the panic started, I was also lucky enough to find myself partnered with Club Social Director, Alex Harmati, a much more experienced hand, so perhaps we could pull this off!
The weather forecast for Sunday 7th August looked good, the run had sold out and forty eager members and guests arrived at the designated meeting place, a Café in Templestowe. Time for a morning coffee, a quick briefing and we set off at 10.00am sharp to head for the Yarra Valley. A great range of cars took part including a large number of mid 911s.
The route cleared the city quickly, however on such a nice winters day we were not the only people with the idea to head to the Yarra Valley, so we encountered some traffic as we headed out through Melbourne’s north and on to Yarra Glen. After that, once through Coldstream, we moved to some quieter secondary roads where drivers could relax and enjoy the scenery.
This run was always designed to be an extended drive and it was almost 100km and close to an hour and a half later when we arrived at the morning tea location in Gembrook. The town of Gembrook is lovely and one end of the famous Puffing Billy railway line, however forty Porsche Club members arriving in quick succession put the planned stop of Spencer’s Store under a lot of pressure, luckily several other nearby Cafes were able to help out.
Just before midday the group once again hit the road, this time there was a lot less traffic for much of the route along some of the best roads in the Yarra Valley, with some very enjoyable and spirited driving over the next hour or so before arriving at Soumah Winery near Healesville.
The setting at Soumah is beautiful with lovely views across the Yarra Valley, while lunch was delayed a little longer than we might have hoped at least there was an informative and enjoyable tasting of Soumah’s wonderful range of wines to fill in the time.
We drank some great wine and enjoyed a wonderful lunch, a few bottles of Soumah’s best were given away as prizes and all of this in great company.
Looking back the experience of planning and organizing my first run was pretty satisfying. It also gives a great appreciation of the amount of work many in the club put in to make the standard of events we are used to so high. As I have already said I was very lucky to be able to share the workload and receive some guidance from Alex Harmati. Also thanks to everyone that attended, I can’t imagine spending the day with a nicer group of people.
Mid 911 Autumn Run to Gippsland Click Here for Image Gallery
Noisy cars, Noisy Lunch
A perfect autumn day welcomed forty participants in twenty-three cars, of which twenty were air cooled, for the mid 911 register Gippsland drive. Starting at the Croydon Hotel we set off on a previous known tour beginning on the Maroondah Highway, followed by winding along the Warburton Highway through Powelltown and on to Noojee for a coffee at the ‘Red Parrot’ cafe. From Noojee we headed through the woodlands and farmlands to Drouin East for lunch. For most of us the drive after Noojee was enjoyable and uneventful, with nice tight corners and narrow roads which were shouldered by large unforgiving gums. The combined noise of so many air-cooled Porsches would have sounded great amid the trees. The roads soon left the tree cluttered avenues and the country opened up to rich green dairy country where the views were as good as the drive. Long sweeping corners on a surface meant for great driving with the only unseen hazard being the occasional dip in the road.
For some, the drive from Noojee was not so interesting, such a Gary and Paul in their 911 SC who managed to get a flat tire not one minute outside of Noojee. This also meant that “I don’t have a navigator” Jane in her 993 RS, who was relying on following Gary, was now was at risk of being lost in the hills. Somewhere else along the journey toward lunch Bernie, in his 1974 911s, witnessed a motorcyclist crash. Bernie of course stopped to help the rider to get back on the road, he and two other passers-by managed to get the bike back onto its wheels, brushed off the rider and then he continued on his way toward lunch.
Regardless of the events along the way the group managed to arrive at our lunch destination in one piece. The Panassus Steak House is situated on top of a hill above Drouin East and has the most magnificent views looking over a green Gippsland valley. No doubt that this location would be popular with weddings and photographers alike. We settled in for a two course lunch and as like many mid 911 runs, lunch was a noisy affair, as noisy as the air cooled 911’s lined up outside. At times it was difficult to hear the person next to you let alone others at the table. Even so, great food, great company and arriving at a great location in great cars were an ideal way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Mid 911 Run to Tooboroc Click Here for Image Gallery
Mid 911 Weekend Walhalla Run
17th – 18th October 2015
Story by John Kirby Photos by Pauline Kirby & Garry Saber
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What could be more innocent than a sober weekend run and an overnight stay in a historic gold mining town, to wit, Walhalla. The first intimation of drama came when an anonymous kitchen cabinet maker from Geelong completely lost his keys – yes folks but remarkably they were re-found in a strange spot. In the car!
Assembly at the Officer service station revealed that another couple had immobilizer problems and almost missed the starting grid, as did another couple for unrevealed reasons. Basically 25% of takers had an “oops” moment. Iron man, leader and organizer Graeme Anderson remained cool as!
The weather was great as a dozen mid 911s and sundry Porsches hurtled smoothly through some beautiful countryside to Korumburra for morning tea. It was here that an interesting event occurred. A certain anonymous gentleman (automatic door specialist driving a gorgeously coloured crimson and brand new GTS) lifted (?) two mugs of coffee from the counter to return to our table, but soon found that they belonged to an unrelated party! One school of thought from the Porsche mob said he may have been moonlighting as a waiter but the rest were of the opinion that he was scouting for a tip. Anyway Management intervened and calm was restored to the café.
Anyway the weather remained great, as it did for the whole weekend as we travelled onto the fascinating ex gold town of Walhalla. Did you know that over 8 billion dollars of gold passed through the gold vault? The door alone weighed 800kg.
A stop at the Thompson River had us boarding a train for a short ride to Walhalla and return. This yielded some very rich historical photos and information.
The evening meal where we stayed at the Star Hotel was good and so was a significant amount of red wine that just kept appearing. The table became deafening raucous as a pleasant evening wore on until we were asked to remove to the lounge. Three lucky members won liquid door prizes that I heard were consumed that night. What a surprise!
The hotel rooms were given names instead of numbers which was interesting as the upper floor rooms featured names such as “Fear Not”. Lade Brassy. Rising Sun (and it didn’t face east), Grey Horse, Happy Go Lucky, Kitty Darling, Wealth of Nations and Homeward Bound, make what you like of that lot , but it’s a neat little place to stay as are many of the beautifully refurbished historical houses.
Full credit to Graeme “the unflappable” Anderson for organizing this small jewel of a trip, new friends were made, the cars were nicely prepared, went well and everything was good.