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Australian Lancia Register Castlemaine 23

16 - 18 October 2015

Below is my badly written report of the rally. The Photo Collection might be a better place to visit first.

Up with the birds to get an early start. The Aprilia packed with too much stuff, as usual. A boot full of spares, tools , oils and rags. A bag of clothes, cameras, laptop, phone, the Fobello Trophy to be returned, maps and other stuff. I don't think I'll ever learn to pack light.

160km to collect Andrew in Blackburn and to meet up with Ben and new wife Niki. Andrew's Lambda was undergoing an epic engine rebuild which despite the heroic efforts of Simmo, PR & MM didn't quite get finished. In the end it was too much end float on the cam and some damage to the camshaft bearings that could not be repaired in time.

So with Ben driving Stainless Stephen I have to suffer Andrew for a couple of extra days, or was it the other way round?

A coffee stop at Calder Park, the Bondins and Cayleys had the same idea, then on to Castlemaine.

Lunch again this year at Buda Historic Home & Garden and time to catch up with those we haven't seen for two years.

In the afternoon we had visit to Grant Cowie's amazing Up The Creek Workshop, wow! Have a look at the photos in the photo collection and see what was there.

Settled in to my room at the Campbell Street Lodge, getting a little tired and not as good as I remembered, but excellent free Wi-Fi.

The evening reception was again held at the wonderful Castlemaine Art Galley and Historic Centre.

Saturday morning we all meet at the Western Reserve in Castlemaine. Big turnout of Lancias including 4 Aprilias plus the very odd Aprilia special of Warren Pitstock.

A very slow and dusty 65 km drive to morning tea at Robert Bienvenu's converted church at Trentham East with everyone following the leader through the interesting back roads of the area. All around Castlemaine is very, very dry but closer to Trentham green paddocks and full dams were to be seen. The Aprilia was three up with me, Andrew & Anne as back seat navigator and was having a few issues with some vibration at speeds over 80 km/h and steering pulling to the left a little, more of this later!

Lunch was at Bringalbit Country Retreat just out of Kyneton. I spotted about 65 Lancias in the car park.

Later in the historic 1860s shearing shed we all gathered for our special guest Geoff Goldberg to give as a talk about his book "Lancia and De Virgilio at the Centre". Not just about details that are in the book but his 5 years of research and relationships with members of the Lancia family. It truly is a masterpiece of detail and story telling, if you don't have a copy get one now.

The drive back to Castlemaine was 'interesting'! Andrew went with Ben in Stainless which meant I had the glamour duo of Anne the Super Navigator and new bride Niki, I think this is the route we took??

Finally I finished off the evening with dinner at Naam Pia restaurant in Castlemaine with 7 others. Again I missed the main ALR dinner but I find it too difficult.

Sunday morning breakfast at Saffs, bacon & eggs and good coffee, most of the place filled with Lancia people.

Today was a bit slow with another gathering at the Western Reserve and an optional trip to the motor museum just up the road in Harcourt.

The Lamborghini, Ferrari & Alfa Romeo Clubs had been invited to display their car alongside our Lancias at the reserve for the day. Interesting class of people, quite different to the Lancia mob, especially the Lamborghini lot! Can I say they are nothing but a bunch of wankers? The Ferrari people were OK.

The rest of the day was spent chatting and a small repair job on Stainless Stephen, removing one of the modern shock absorbers from the rear as it's fabricated mount had fractured and broken off at the top. Missing one shocker didn't seem to make much difference.

Broke my diet rule and had an ice cream for lunch, but is was very summery and warm.

We finished the rally with dinner at the Railway Hotel.

Again check the photo collection for more things to see.

Next the Mountain to Surf Tour.