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Torque Tube Doing It “Italian Style” Torque Tube Register Run to Farm Vigano

Sunday 27th May 2018

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Story & Photos by Angelo Monteleone

A Melbourne autumn is the best time with the winter ahead, and it was a wonderfully sunny crisp Sunday for the Torque Tube lunch run with 18 Porsches gathered at River View Café for a coffee and de-brief of the run ahead.  

We happened to get a tag along at breakfast in a Black 997CAB whom surprisingly has a few Porsches but wasn’t a member of Porsche Club Vic, so in my Torque Tube welcoming style , I invited him to join our run and hopefully sway him to become a member.

The first part led us through the twisty road of Christmas Hill, following into the back of the Yarra Valley through Chum Creek. Driving deep into the very curvy mountain pass of Tolangi sure gets the blood pumping especially when the rear steps out on a few slippery corners. Seeing your rear marker at 90 degrees isn’t for the faint hearted I can tell you for sure.  Unfortunately a few back markers got stuck behind a horse float and I’m pretty sure I could hear the swearing echoing through the valley!

Having made it safely through, the morning pit stop was at the lovely township of Yea, where the locals were a bit star struck when 18 Porsches rolled in for a regrouping.  There were all sorts of happy campers checking out our German machinery. Breakfast was at The Provender Country Bakehouse, famous for their meat pies having won an award or two over the years.

Leaving Yea, I soon found myself alone in front so decide to pull over and wait for the others to pass and have a bit of fun. As they all passed, I started from the back and finally managed to get behind John Gedye’s Boxster GTS with that sweet crackle sound that could be heard from over the hills. Unfortunately for Anna Cook and Michelle in a silver Boxster, they somehow started following our stray 997CAB whom was just an invited guest for the run and not for lunch. As he headed back to Yarrambat so did they, until he finally pulled over to inform them that they were heading in the wrong direction.  Oops .

Farm Vigano was established through the once iconic restaurateur Mario Vigano of Mario’s restaurant in Exhibition Street with his wife Teresa.  The service and food was fantastic with shared local farm produce and pizzas, and mains of lamb and porchetta roll. It was all finished off in Italian style with fresh ricotta cannoli topped with crushed pistachios. Yumm!

Farm Vigano was kind enough to donate 3 x $50 vouchers with whom we gave out and raffled off. Mario Malavisi won the 1st voucher for doing a great job volunteering to create the run notes for the day. In addition, our very attentive waiter Christian with the big gun arms helped pick the other winning tickets.  2nd prize with a big whine from the audience was co-captain Ivan Romanic and 3rd prize was Jonas Naarden.

Thanks again to all the attendees for making the day a real Porsche family day out. I could hear lots of catch up conversations and of course spirited debates about all thing Porsche of course.

Torque Tube run to the Farmers arms hotel BEEAC 2018

Story by Angelo Monteleone and Ivan Romanic

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Our first run of the year was to the lovely small township of ​BEEAC which Mr Ean McDowell has single handedly put on the car club map with his own private car museum at the rear of his pub.   More on Ean later.

Whilst admiring the amount of Torque Tube cars present, I was shocked to see my friend Brettt varga roll up in a stunningly original 928S that looked straight out of risky business. He told us the story of how he called his mechanic at 8am on a Sunday to get the nod on buying the car immediately after seeing it on carsales. Yes that’s exactly what I do every morning too, “wake up, check carsales for Porsches, decide which to buy immediately, go back to bed”

After a team briefing at which I strenuously assured everyone that the run notes were correct this time I promise, but also with the caveat of a mandatory U-Turn with every run we were off. There were 26 Cars in tow with yours truly leading the pack.  I must of Jinxed myself as at the 1st freeway exit I turned Right instead of Left. After about 5 km, I realised my error and quickly did a U-Turn, red faced after passing the five or so cars following.  This mistake had its advantage’s as well as now I was challenged with catching up with everyone else that didn’t make my mistake and getting back to the front.

The run took us thru Yendon-Egerton, Mt Buningong and ROKEWOOD township towards Colac. With every township, I kept catching the backmarkers working the steering wheel and accelerator feverishly to catch and pass with every opportunity. I felt like Nikki Lauda trying to catch  James hunt in the 1976 Brands-hatch GP.  I was almost at the front with 20km to go, and then I tucked into the back of Jonas Naarden with his RatRace 944S. No matter how hard I tried he just wouldn’t let me pass.  It was lots of fun I must say and the victory to him on our arrival into BEEAC. 

The story of the Farmers Arms hotel is an interesting one indeed. Mr Ean McDowell came to BEEAC looking for a cheap warehouse to store and work on his many cars. After viewing the storage shed, he retired into the BEEAC hotel/pub for a meal and a beer and met the owner. A few more beers later, he walked out buying the storage shed and the hotel in one swoop.  He quickly involved his family and set about creating a beautiful museum at the rear with the intention of using it as his showpiece for the hotel.

Ean took us for a tour of the rear Museum and described his many restored cars from his 1937 Riley that was his 1st purchase at age 17, to his Bugatti type 34 replica , and an ASA 1000GT (Autocostruzioni Società per Azioni)  that was developed by Ferrari, and featured a 1,032 cc  four-cylinder engine designed by Ferrari Engineers but never carried the Ferrari badge. 

He enthralled us with his many stories of how he came to own such amazing cars, including his 3 day flying trip to France upon hearing about this special Ferrari ASA from “The French  Postman”. Upon arriving in Paris, he was driven around to look at cars by these 2 guys who barely spoke English and Ean didn’t speak French – but somehow they managed to find an amazing car, make a deal and ship the car back to Australia.

There was also his 1959 Stanguellini single-seater race car in which he competed in a few track and hill climb events before retiring from Motorsport. His daily drive is a 911 3.2lt Carrera which he told us has just clocked over 320,000km without a single thing wrong.  That’s impressive.

His latest project is a FIAT Barchetta 1100 which he found on-line at ALFABB forum. After buying sight unseen from Italy, it was an absolute mess when received and he finished up by telling the audience that has just finished paying for 500 man hours of work just to get the all aluminium  body perfect ready to paint in red livery.  

Lunch at the BEEAC hotel was amazing for a country pub, and definitely worth a trip again to enjoy its great service, hospitality and good selection of food. I was amazed as the 45 minute turnaround for 42 meals which we ordered a-la-cart when we walked in. As is usual with a country pub, a good selection of beers were available. Myself and Ivan delivered a great speech and welcomed some 1st timers to the Torque tube run.

As we waved goodby to Ian’s bright yellow Ford GT40( replica) and his  Porsche 911 3.2L Carrera sitting outside the BEEAC pub like you would normally find in front of any country pub-NOT, we left in a convoy of 6 x cars for a last squirt home .

It was a real pleasure organising the day out and from the accolades received, I think everyone had a fantastic day. Myself and Co-Captain , Ivan Romanic would like to personal thank all the attendee’s for making it a memorable one for the Torque Tube register.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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