News Articles for 2017

My Story - Roads Less Travelled - By Elwyn Jordan

Fri 07 July 2017
Story and Photos by Elwyn Jordan

I’ve always enjoyed exploring back-roads that I haven’t been on before. This penchant to take “the road-less-travelled,” and not be deterred by what might be considered challenging road-conditions, probably comes from where I used to live.

I grew up at Wongawilli, west of Dapto in the foothills of the mountain, with our house one of the furthest up the hill. The roads near our house were all dirt, really not much more than tracks maintained by the residents. When it rained they would get very muddy and cars would frequently get bogged. Leaving home was okay, because it was all downhill, but coming back was more difficult because it meant driving uphill through the mud. Speed helped give the car momentum to get through the muddier sections, and being young and enthusiastic, I developed the ability to drive rally-style up these roads to our home. The trickiest bit was the last section up to our house: a straight, steep track with a left kink at the bottom. Just up from that left kink at the bottom a drainage ditch ran under the road. Getting up this steep track required speed, but negotiating the left kink at speed would cause the car to slide: so if I’d aimed at the road the car would’ve slid
off into the ditch. My technique was to steer towards a spot off to the left, keep the foot down as it went sideways, and cross the ditch in a controlled slide. Then straighten up and hope it got to the top. Mostly it did. My rally-flick at the bottom always worked, but I did occasionally consider what would happen if I
missed: dropping a wheel into the ditch would’ve ripped the suspension off, or caused the car to roll. But I was young and confident: as most car-loving blokes are in their teens and early twenties.

So the point is, if I had to do that just to get home, then driving down some dirt back-road was no threat; it was actually enjoyable. And back then, (in the late 1960s and early 1970s) there were still a lot of dirt roads around, so it wasn’t unusual to encounter some dirt once you left the major roads. Now, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t go out looking for challenging dirt back-roads to drive, but if a road I hadn’t been on before presented itself, I wasn’t averse to exploring it. These early exploits were mostly in Morris Majors, but I’ll move on to cars that relate to our club; the first being a 1968 Triumph 2000.

I remember enjoying some dirt roads around Young, where my grandparents lived. There were quite a few dirt roads around that area to enjoy. I remember once driving back to Cowra from Wyangalla Dam, using the shorter route – which was dirt in those days – rather than the longer more commonly-used tarred road. The road had been recently graded and the surface was very smooth but also very loose. It was good fun sliding it sideways through the corners, powering through on opposite-lock. Well, it was fun for a while anyway; until the fear of pranging it overcame my enthusiasm, and I slowed down. Or was it the constant, “Elwyn! Stop it!!” coming from the passenger seat that discouraged me?

In later years, the Triumph I still own saw action on some “roads-less-travelled”. The road from Canyonleigh out to Tugalong wasn’t too challenging, in fact it was reasonably smooth at the start, although could get rough and corrugated further in. But it did provide a good photo-opportunity for the Triumph travelling at speed on a dirt road. This was in the late 1970s.

Jan took the photo. I dropped her off with the camera, drove up the road, turned around and came speeding back past her. See how the dust is all billowing up behind? Well, when the car passed her ... let’s just say she wasn’t happy when she got back in the car!

On one occasion I continued on Canyonleigh Rd, heading south towards Goulburn then turning off onto a littleused dirt track that ended up at a small bridge. On the other side of the bridge was a grassy paddock, beyond which I could see a tarred road. The bridge looked pretty dodgy, but I didn’t fancy going all the way back, so I decided to go across.

The bridge was a rough timber construction, not much wider than the car, with planks running the length of it for wheel-tracks. Jan got out: she claimed it was to act as a guide, but really it was not wanting to be in the car when the bridge collapsed and it fell into the creek! But we made it.

On the other side there were just two wheel tracks through the grass; and when we emerged through that and onto the bitumen road there was a sign facing back from where we’d come saying, “No Through Road”. Not surprisingly!

A couple of years ago I followed approximately the same route – possibly even the same road – and although still dirt, and a bit rough in places, it was all proper road with a proper bridge that led out onto the highway somewhere north of Marulan.

The Triumph is not an ideal car to tackle rough tracks, as it’s fairly low with a reasonably long wheelbase; but I did tackle two other challenging roads in it. One was Mt Scanzi Rd, out of Kangaroo Valley. Continuing straight ahead leads to Tallowa Dam, but turning left (which, for a while at least, is still Mt. Scanzi Rd) led onto a back road through the bush that was rough and narrow and included a couple of creek-crossings. Eventually we came out, thankfully unscathed, on Illaroo Rd at Nowra.

Katoomba provided another challenging road. I’m not sure exactly where this was, but we headed out along a dirt road from Katoomba, across a narrow ridge and ended up at the foot of a very steep hill that was marked “4WD Only.” The surface looked reasonable, so I took the Jeremy Clarkson approach of, “How hard can it be?” and
headed up. The main challenge at that stage was the steepness of the road. A small 4-cylinder wouldn’t have made it, but a twin-carb 6-cylinder with good low-end
torque was good enough to pull the car up, although it was working hard to do it! After the hill the road flattened out but became increasingly rough, with big ruts and washaways. Okay, that was proper 4WD country, so time to turn around and go back. The big hill presented a different challenge going down: extremely steep (look
closely at the photo and you can see how steeply the road drops away), had a loose surface, and only a low rusty Armco guard-rail between the road and a huge
drop. All those years of driving up and down muddy roads to where I lived had taught me the number one rule in situations like this – don’t touch the brakes! (Or if
you do, make it very, very gentle). Lock a wheel here and gravity would take its course and you’re just a passenger as it potentially plummets over the side. We made it down safely: to the disapproving looks of people gathered at the bottom, who obviously thought I was an idiot for taking a normal road car along that 4WD track!

I didn’t get quite that adventurous again, but often took dirt back roads instead of main highways, and drove along dirt roads in the country to see where they’d lead. I remember once going from Orange to Dubbo, and instead of taking the highway, I swung the Triumph off onto a dirt road. Probably, looking at the map now, Burrendong Way. It wasn’t too bad, but got a bit rough in places. And of course the Triumph ended up covered in dust again.

Now, I must stress that this wasn’t something I went looking to do every weekend: and especially in my near-new Triumph, I didn’t go exploring dirt back-roads very often. But every now and then, when an interesting road presented itself, I’d get the wheels onto the dirt again. Perhaps surprisingly, it gained very few stone-chips.

Of course all that was many years ago now. I still have a liking for dirt roads and “taking the road less travelled”, but am less adventurous these days, and more concerned about stone-chips and other damage, so I mostly stick to the tar.

Although I still go along the occasional dirt road. The photo here was taken recently when I took our Toyota Camry along the Belmore Falls road, south-west of Robertson. That used to be very rough, and the previous time I drove it there were big ruts and washaways, but I’d heard it was better, so I went for a drive. It was
a reasonable dirt road, still with the water-crossing at the Falls. So the enjoyment of “the road less-travelled” is still there.

  • Jan took the photo, I dropped her off with the camera.
    Jan took the photo, I dropped her off with the camera.
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    Jordan 3.jpg
  • Katoomba provided another challenging road.
    Katoomba provided another challenging road.
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    Jordan 5.jpg

From The Committee

Tue 14 March 2017
Alan McMillan - For the Committee

With the realisation that the fees for 2017-18 need to be set at the Young Get Together on 1st April 2017, the committee has been working on a recommendation to take to the members at this meeting.

We see three issues that need to be addressed:
• The inevitability of offering an electronic magazine at some point.
• The realisation that many members prefer a printed magazine.
• The rising costs of a printed magazine, particularly postage.

We have therefore decided to take the following recommendation to the members at Young:
• The fees to be left at $60.00 for all members.
• All members to receive a black and white magazine with a full colour cover now folded and
posted in a DL envelope for $1.00 (currently $2.00 in a C4 envelope).
• All members to now have access to a secure online magazine to view and/or download in full

This proposal would allow members to actually experience both an online and printed magazine for a year.

We undertake to fully inform members about the access to the online magazine and to give them an ample forum to express their thoughts on the matter.

Then in 2018-19 members, now fully familiar with both magazine formats, could decide on a new fee structure, perhaps two different prices based on the magazine choice each member makes.


Gosford Classic Car Museum

Mon 13 March 2017
Robert Bensley

This new privately owned car museum opened in mid-2016 located in the old Bunnings Warehouse site at West Gosford. It houses around 450 vehicles undercover plus a surprisingly large ‘for sale’ section of cars said to be surplus to museum requirements.

I understand the museum was established by former car dealer Tony Denny and it is claimed to be the largest car museum in the southern hemisphere. As its name implies, the exhibits are mostly from the classic era with a few vintage. There are also some motorcycles, trucks, military vehicles and one fire engine.

Ferrari lovers will be in heaven as there are claimed to be 35 on display. I didn’t count them but I don’t doubt the figure. The more affordable marques are also well covered and there is even a special section for cars made in the former Iron Curtain countries.

There are no Standards on display but Triumph sports cars are well represented with a 2000 Roadster, Stag and TRs 2, 3A, 4, 6 and 8.

With the exception of a few listed as in 'as found' condition, the exhibits are in excellent condition in original colours and condition as I remember them from new. Below are a few more unusual ones which caught my eye:

• Wolseley 24/80 originally purchased new by Dame Patty Menzies
• Air cooled V8 rear engined Tatra
• Falcon GTHO Phase 3 in original ‘barn find’ condition with purchase papers showing it was bought by an RAAF serviceman in WA for $5900. (Why didn’t I buy one back then!)
• Pink Cadillac convertible large enough to have its own postcode
• E-type Jaguar last owned by a 90 year old man and once owned by Bob Jane

The for sale section had enough cars to start your own museum if you feel a need to lighten your wallet. They also look in very good condition and among them was one Triumph, a white GT6 Mk2 for $24,000 plus on road costs. If a P76 is more to your liking, a blue Targa Florio limited edition model can be had for a cool $35,000.

The museum is located at 13 Stockyard Place West Gosford (just off Mann St) and at the time of writing is open Wednesdays to Sundays 9am to 5pm. Entry is $20 with a discount for pension card holders. There is no discount for Seniors Card holders.

It is well worth a visit.

  • Museum2 c.jpg
    Museum2 c.jpg
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    Museum1 c.jpg
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    Museum3 gt6 c.jpg
  • Gosford Classic Car Museum - Museum2 c.jpg
  • Gosford Classic Car Museum - Museum1 c.jpg
  • Gosford Classic Car Museum - Museum3 gt6 c.jpg

News About Modified Vehicle Scheme And 60 Day Log Book Scheme

Wed 11 January 2017
From the Historic Plates Registrar

As of Monday 19th December the new Classic Vehicle Scheme, for the club registration of modified vehicles, comes into operation. For Clubs to use the new scheme they must be a member of one of the seven associations affiliated with the ACMC. As our club is not a member of any of these associations we will not be able to make use of this new scheme. No doubt this will be discussed at a future committee meeting.

The existing Historic Conditional Scheme, which we are now using, will not change in any way. With this scheme vehicles must be as close to original condition as possible, with no alterations except for safety features such as seat belts and turn indicators or period accessories and options. It is expected that when the present Log Book Trial period finishes next October the scheme will become permanent.

As of Monday 19th December the fine for not using the Log Book correctly will be $400 and the loss of 4 points.

If you are using your club registered vehicle for private use you must fill in the log book before you begin to use it on any given day. Private use is anything other than a club event. For all club events you must notify the Club Registrar that you intend to use the vehicle so its use can be entered in the Club Day Book. Police are beginning to check club registered vehicles for correct log book and club use.

While the existing Historic Conditional Scheme is not changing, and therefore the facility to do a maintenance run without notifying anyone still applies, it is recommended that you fill in the log book as if something happens the Police or Coroner might not be of the same opinion.

John Snape Historic Plates Registrar