On Sunday I took the Shadowfax down to Kiama. The Rotary Clubs of Kiama and Gerringong combined to present one of the biggest and best car shows that I have seen. It was held on the picturesque Kiama Showground on the headland overlooking the Pacific Ocean, as good a location as I could have ever chosen. Hedged in by a stand of magnificent Norfolk Island Pines on the north side and green fields behind Main Beach on the south side, the showground is a place that is important in the town’s history as well as being an important community facility.
Funnily enough, when I worked for a year as a labourer on Kiama Council while saving money to pay my Uni fees, it never occurred to me that I was to have so many dealings with the locale again and again over the years. Back in 1968 council trucks would reverse in to the car park adjacent to the single pine tree right of centre in the above photo and dump all manner of rubbish, from domestic garbage to animal carcasses over the edge of the cliff directly into the ocean! The first time that I heard Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant” where he tells of dumping rubbish into the ocean, I thought immediately of Kiama Showground (and do so to this day!)
Such tawdry thoughts were far from anyone’s thoughts yesterday. The playing fields were crammed with exotica of all kinds, from a hand-built Ultima sports car with a 700bhp Corvette engine to a genuine 1927 Salmson racing car and cars of every variety in between. In previous years the show has been held on the oval behind Kiama Fire Station but the oval would never have accommodated the hundred or so vehicles that crowded into the Showground.
Like most activities run by the local service clubs the event was planned and executed with military precision. Nothing seemed to have been left to chance with the catering, first aid, trade tents and volunteers by the dozen all meshing together beautifully. There appeared to be no panic, no “Gee, I’m not sure what you can do about that.” stuff-ups and all around were smiling faces and happy people, from kids in prams to old stagers reminiscing about the “good old days”. My only criticism, and you’d have to expect it, was that the guy on the public address system must have been about 103 and did a wonderful job of making something exciting and fun deadly dull and uninteresting. That part of the organisation definitely gets a “Could do better” mark.
As a fan of cars as well as bikes, I was in nirvana. So many wonderful examples of classic cars in original condition, sympathetic restorations and customs as well. The local car clubs are to be commended for showcasing their wares as well as dozens of individual owners who turned up on the day. The Triumph Sports Owners Association (TOSA) was there in forced with an eye-watering collection of TR’s of all eras and Stags as well as a lovely 1948 Roadster of Bergerac fame. Well done, TOSA. The Early Model Holden Club brought some lovely examples of cars that were really grey porridge in the day but are now regarded as classics. The Ford fans also had plenty to appreciate with GT’s GT HO’s and a slew of early 60’s Falcons. Hot rods of all kinds were well represented along with a great display of late 40’s – early 50’s commercial vehicles. It really didn’t matter what sort of car you liked, there was something there to attract your interest.
Sadly, the bike part of the show was very disappointing. Two very nice Z1 Kawasakis, an unrestored early 60’s Triumph Bonneville, my bike and the rest, the usual Harleys that had no great distinction nor interest.
The day was hot and windy so it wasn’t much of a surprise that, despite the request that vehicles remain on display till 1500, cars started leaving well before 1400. Nevertheless, it was certainly worth the $5 cost of admission and I was glad I attended. Unfortunately my day didn’t end as well as the bike blew over in the driveway just after I got it off the trailer at home and the damage to the tank and the fairing on the right hand side is going to take a fair bit of fixing. To say that I am ticked off is the understatement of the week. 🙁
I wasn’t going to stay up and watch the races from Valencia but I did and I’m glad. In Moto3 the new world champion, South Africa’s Brad Binder was ruthless, recovering from a huge highside that saw him rejoin the race in 22nd place to score an emphatic victory. In doing so he just missed out on the record for winning the title by the greatest margin of points, but his 142 margin to 2nd place is a record for either of the intermediate classes.
Moto2 world champion, Johann Zarco, schooled the rest of the class, letting himself get involved in a ferocious battle with Morbidelli for the first ten laps before he got bored and buggered off into the distance to win as he pleased. I bet the Moto2 riders are glad he’s going to MotoGp!
The MotoGp race was, as almost every race where Lorenzo wins, a boring affair. He hit the front from pole and disappeared, ticking off the laps with metronomic if tedious efficiency, leaving the rest to fight over the scraps. I was pleased, however, to see him win his last race with Yamaha and remind them that their disloyalty to him in 2015 after all he had done for them will come back to bite them one day. Rossi made too many errors (something he has been doing a lot lately) and finished off the podium, unable to deal with ether Marquez (hard front tyre) and Iannone (proving a point to to Ducati that they sacked the wrong rider)
Mika Kallio retired out of 21st place on the new KTM, a very encouraging start for the Austrian marque. Tomorrow, attention switches to the end-of-season test session where the new teams will be seen for the first time.
Is it MotoGp season yet?