VSCC 2012 Alpine Trial
Vintage Sports Car Club of Victoria, 20 - 22 April 2012
Day one took us from Healesville to Milawa for lunch then on to Lake Hume for the first night. After receiving our first instructions from Russell Meehan, in a gentle drizzle we headed off over the Black Spur. Unfortunately we bypassed Marysville and in doing so missed the first question but we did make Milawa on time.
An enjoyable lunch at the Milawa Cheese Factory saw us on our way in the arvo. The run took us on some excellent back roads, through historic Beechworth and on to the foreign climes of NSW. For some strange reason we spent some unplanned time cruising the outer suburbs of Wodonga before checking in to the Lake Hume Resort. A few wines before dinner, which wasn’t up to scratch, a night with the snoring Cox and the day was over.
Saturday 21 April
Day two took us around the edge of Lake Hume and along the Victorian side of the Murray River to morning tea at the Tintaldra pub. The weather was brilliant, the road was spectacular. With no time to absorb the scenery we made the control on time. Next was the challenge of the Elliott Way up to Cabramurra. With much 2nd gear and heavy braking the little Aprilia handled all thrown at her with only a little strain. We had developed a carby pickup issue from low revs that was annoying and stuck with us for the rest of the trip.
After a light lunch at Cabramurra, the highest town in Australia 1488m, the afternoons run was relatively easy along the Snowy Mountains Hwy to Tumut. We made the control on time, although whoever was supposed to be manning it didn’t! We finished off the afternoon with some wine, cheese and bickies with the New South Wales VSCC mob under the elm trees. A much better dinner at the Tumut Bowling Club and a second night with the snoring Cox and we’d made it to the end of day two.
Sunday 22 April
A grey cloudy morning saw as meet at the old Tumut Railroad Station for the start of the third and final day. With the rain starting to fall a little heavier we tootled off back down to Tintaldra via Batlow and Jingellic. The wiper motor stopped early on, which despite Rainex on the windscreen, made driving and vision a little interesting until the sun decided to shine. The Aprilia zoomed along on more superb roads. We all sat down for the best Sunday roast at Tintaldra. Alf & Miaja Wilson are the perfect hosts for a bunch of old, old cars nuts.
The return to Tumut was a little more challenging. Our instructions told us we had to make the return journey 15 mins quicker than the mornings, and go a more difficult route. The driver and navigators mental abilities were tested in calculating average times and the shortest distances, plus trying find the answers to a couple of questions. Andrew did a brilliant job in spotting one answer but we both stuffed up on the route and subsequently the second question. However we did make the end control in Tumut only 4 minutes late.
Another cheese, bickie & wine session under the elms, dinner at the local RSL and the trial was over.
Monday 23 April
We drove back to the big smoke, dropped Andrew at home, then the Aprilia & I headed to Venus Bay. A long 700km day made a little awkward with no wipers and the carby pickup issue.
Andrew talked me into entering the trial, he volunteered to act as navigator and I would drive Vincenzo’s Daughter, my 1937 1st series Aprilia. After a few pre trial repairs, replacing the clutch bearing and fitting new brushes to the starter motor, we were ready to go.
Thursday 19 April
With Rusty safely off with Julia at Tall Trees Kennels I drove up from Venus Bay to Blackburn in the afternoon to prepare for our Friday morning start. There were two divisions for the trial, you could take the touring division or enter the competition division. We, of course, were in the competition division.
Friday 20 April
Early Friday morning a collection of interesting cars gathered outside the Beechworth Bakery in Healesville. We topped up with coffee ready to leave for the first section, our departure time was 9.08am. A quick but heavy shower of rain sent the open car owners scurrying to find some hoods but the Aprilia was snug and dryish, someone had left the drivers window down!
Equal 1st in our class and equal 2nd overall was an excellent result for us. Although to be entirely fair the cars that did the “part course only” didn’t start at Healesville but joined along the route.
Of the cars that unfortunately DNF’d. The Jacobson Lagonda broke it’s gearbox and the Geermans Lagonda did a head gasket, both on the first section of the first day within a few kilometres of each other. John Shellard’s Bugatti broke its gearbox at Tintaldra, see the photos below. I believe all the cars in the Touring division made it without any serious problems.
The little Aprilia attracted her fair amount of attention, especially from the wives of the husbands with open cars, more so when it was raining!! I now have a long list of things to do, have to get her a little more comfortable, quieter and more work on eliminating the drive train vibrations will keep me occupied in the workshop for months.
And finally a big big thank you to Russell Meehan for organising a fantastic event.
I broke my little Canon G12 camera at Milawa and had to rely on the big old Minolta digital. The opportunities to take photos were fairly limited anyway and most days we were a little weary at the end, but the following are the best of what I took.