Celebrating ‘Independence Day’ one day early certainly paid off weather-wise, given Monday, July 4, turned out to be Adelaide’s wettest July day in 75 years! Working on the principle of ‘if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it’, everyone met in fine weather at the Sporting Car Club on Sunday, July 3, ready to head up the South Eastern Freeway to our destination, Amberlight Café at Lobethal.
I am confident that no-one elected to take the turn-off to Eagle On The Hill in order to avoid the Heysen Tunnels. It is probably a wise decision on Regency’s part not to have noise-measuring equipment set up inside the 500 metre-long tunnels. It never fails to delight drivers and passengers alike when they hear just how good a herd of Mustangs sounds, travelling in convoy through those tunnels. The decision was made to exit at Mt Barker this year and to then travel through Hahndorf. What should have been a nice stretch of 80km/h road was turned into something way beyond frustrating when a couple travelling in a Honda Civic decided that an average speed of 45km/h was more appropriate for their driving style.
You could be forgiven for wondering what the Civic driver was thinking each time he looked in his rear view mirror and saw a long line of classic cars stretched out behind him? It was quite some time before he seemed to think “Maybe I’ll pull over and let them pass.” The Sunday shoppers in Hahndorf certainly enjoyed the convoy of 14 Mustangs travelling slowly along the main street. Apart from the Honda, there were no more (significant) hold-ups. There was a slight delay at our second mustering point which only served to highlight why it is that, on every Club Run, the crucial role of ‘Tail End Charlie’ is allocated to a member whose role is to travel at the end of the convoy.
Two minor problems were encountered and fixed on the road. Considering the age of most of our cars we have great reliability but this function is important and defines a Club Run because it allows us to assist, if needed. It is also important we wait for Tail End Charlie to re-join the group, just in case they are the one with an issue. If you are asked to assist by being Tail End Charlie, please be kind and agree to help out. The good news is you do not need to be a mechanic, only to have a (charged) mobile phone so that you can call ahead to the organiser in need. The best part of scoring the role is that, for the rest of the participants, just knowing you’re there gives us all a sense of security. There we were, thinking we’d seen the last of the challenges along the route on the day – WRONG!
It turned out there was an upgrade of the Woodside/Lobethal intersection which, although long overdue, meant that there was GRAVEL on a Mustang Run! I confess that, on realising I was going to have to see everyone in Lobethal, it did cross my mind briefly to make a break for it by continuing on to Birdwood and disappearing but a couple of cars were too close and I knew I couldn’t make a clean getaway. Deciding to follow the detour and face the music, I arrived in Lobethal and apologised profusely.
It was fantastic to welcome three new members who joined us for this Run. Three more members met us in Lobethal and our group filled Amberlight Café. The bikers sitting outside joked with members about the impressive sight (and sound) our cars made as they arrived.
Again this year, Jo and her staff looked after us and our sincere thanks go to them for the excellent service we received. Thanks also go to Brian and Roger Delaine who were spot-on with fault finding one of the problems. Their ability to identify a problem and provide a fix (while still drinking coffee) had to be seen to be believed.
Well done, guys! The route home also offered a conundrum – should we go back though THAT intersection or drive down George Road in the twilight? Remembering the feedback from one of Trevor’s (in)famous runs, I decided we would tackle the Woodside/Lobethal intersection on the return trip. You can imagine how relieved I was, at the end of the day, to find there was no gravel on the southbound side.
I look forward to celebrating with everyone on July 2, 2017.