This year I stayed at the Campbell Street Lodge which was very good. A good size room and safe off street parking, although breakfast wasn’t served until 8.30am, a little strange. Saturday morning we all meet at the Western Oval. As you can see from the photos below there was an outstanding collection of around 80 Lancias, including five Aprilias. Lunch was to be at Bress Winery, the tour route was a fairly simple drive around the countryside, well until the car in front got lost and no one else was bothering to pay any attention to the directions! In the end Neil Pering took control and got us there. The route I think we were supposed to follow was this: . Trailing behind Andrew Torti sitting boldly up on the Tri Kappa was an experience, the car thundered along and could even stop, read more about it here: It was a very warm day so there were quite a few sunburnt faces and assorted limbs at days end. The only semi casualty was Stainless Stephen with an ignition problem and more worrying water in the oil but Ben got her back to Castlemaine in one piece.
I had decided to opt out of the main Saturday night dinner, I find it almost impossible to hear in those sort of spaces and along with my psychological issues it’s easier to stay away. Of course this meant I missed the presentations and receiving the Fobello Trophy for the “best” Aprilia. Instead Phil, Laurette and I had an excellent meal at Naam Pla Thai Kitchen in Barker Street, another place I would highly recommend.
Sunday morning 9am again at the Western Oval. Ben loaded his stuff into my Aprilia, the back seat was now full, some more photos of the collective Lancias and an even warmer day, this time around the 30ºC mark. The work on insulating the car really paid off in keeping most of the engine heat out of the cabin and with the windows wound down it was a relatively comfortable day, although a Queenslander in a light green Aprilia was heard to complain it was too hot!
We skipped the optional tour route to the Big Hill Winery lunch destination , as we would be travelling another 230 km on to Yarrawonga afterwards. Lunch was very good, they could handle the 200 odd crowd much better than the previous day, and I believe everyone got there trouble free?? Here after lunch the group split up with those booked on the Alpine Tour continuing on and others that live in the real world having to go back to home, families and jobs! Again a wonderfully well organised rally, a big thank you to all those involved in creating a great event. A report on the Alpine Tour is here -
So far we had covered only 460km but the Aprilia had run very well. The only issues; it used half a litre of engine oil, normally it uses virtually none, at the time I put it down to not checking the level carefully before I left. A couple of driveshaft nuts came loose and the speedo mysteriously started reading 5% under after it got hot, i.e. when the dial showed 90 I was actually doing 95, but the odometer was spot on, something to be very wary of in this speed camera crazed nation. On the positive side the carburettor behaved flawlessly. Starting from cold was easy, a small amount of choke and it would start almost instantly, after thirty seconds push the choke in and she would idle perfectly. Starting from hot was instant, such a relief after years of frustration. And all with the original mechanical fuel pump. You can read my tale of incompetence here: . The re-padded front seats were as comfortable as 1st series non Lusso seats can be and the clutch bearing behaved itself...
Below some photos of the Lancias and Lancisti at Castlemaine.
Australian Lancia Register Castlemaine 22.
18 - 20 October 2013
After two frantic weekends of repairs and fixes, I’ll post some details of what went on here later, the Aprilia was ready to head off on her 2nd ALR Castlemaine Rally.
Rusty had been dropped off at Tall Trees Kennels the night before so early on Friday morning we were ready to go. This time after Castlemaine I was doing the Alpine Tour along with UK Aprilia owner and Lancia tragic Ben Courage. Packing for 9 nights was always going to be a challenge in an Aprilia. Finding enough space to fit clothes, cameras, maps and other stuff for two, not mention a boot full of too many tools and spares, a B20 or Flaminia Coupé is looking good! From home to Castlemaine is 300 kms of mostly freeway driving, sitting on a comfortable 90 - 95 km/h it was easily done in 4 hours. We meet Andrew Cox in his Lambda and Ben driving Stainless Stephen, Andrew’s Aprilia, at the Calder service centre for a quick coffee before reaching Castlemaine.
The Friday lunch this year was at Buda historic house which turned out to be excellent for the fifty odd early rally attendees. The evening reception and dinner was held again at the Castlemaine Art Gallery I would highly recommend a visit if you are ever in the area, they have a great collection from local and more well known Australian artists.