Aston Martin Owners Club - South Australia

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July 2021 run and lunch at Tenafeate Winery

Report of AMOC South Australia Run July 11th to Tenafeate Winery

The weather had been lovely in the days before our planned July run but the forecast was for rain starting on the day of the run and persisting all week. This was more important than for many runs as our lunch destination, Tenafeate Winery had mostly dirt/gravel car parking next to their vines.

 

Members and coffee providers at the iconic Penfolds Winery

Our starting point was the iconic Penfolds Winery in Magill where coffee was served to arriving members and we had undercover parking that was not needed as the weather was dry. Indeed, apart from a few drops toward the end of lunch, the weather was kind to us.

Eighteen members in 10 cars ranging in age from a lovely DB4 owned by members Tony and Angela (that had not been seen before) to Tom’s near new DBS Superlegerra assembled and they were a very impressive sight indeed.

 

Three Vantage V8s with lovely DB4 at the iconic Penfold’s winery
More fantastic cars at Penfolds Winery

 

 

 

 

 

This run took us up Montacute Road and then down the very twisty and aptly name Corkscrew Road, through Kersbrook and onto the One Tree Hill that got its name from a large gum tree that grew there in the 1850s. A short distance along the Gawler Road and we arrived at Tenafeate Winery. We had reserved parking and occupied two tables that had great views of the picturesque Adelaide Hills.

Area Rep, Terry Jones thanked member Frank who organised the run and lunch, and members showed their appreciation with a round of applause.

Some of the group with the Adelaide Hills in the background

The set menu included cheeses, breads, dukka and olives followed by pizzas galore. The wines were varied and good – Terry had the intensely coloured Durif and it went very well with the pizzas.

We left a little before 2pm – the limit set by COVID restrictions – and all present had eaten their fill. Several also bought some of Tenafeate’s wines to take home.

Our next run is planned for August 8th and Terry will provide details via email shortly.

Report of meeting June 2021 at La Tombola

On a cool but dry winter’s evening, 27 members of our Area met at La Tombola Restaurant on Unley Rd to enjoy each other’s company, food and wine, and to  hear of ‘developments’.

We were very lucky to have in attendance our youngest member, James, with parents Mathew and Liz.  James is but a few months old (see pic) and he was VERY well behaved. James attracted a lot of attention from’ older’ members and many took the opportunity to say ‘hello’ up close – we all hope that he continues his ‘membership’ for decades to come.

Maatthew, Liz and our youngest member, James – all well behaved as is expected of AMOC members

After a welcoming drink we ordered our food and then Area Rep, Terry Jones, welcomed everyone, noting the very good turn-out for a mid week winter meet.  Terry reflected that we had been very fortunate in South Australia to have been almost unaffected by the COVID pandemic when most of the other Areas of our International Club had not fared as well and this was very evident from the AM News reports from around the world. He also noted that we were so fortunate to also have, on or doorstep, the lovely Adelaide Hills to drive through and many restaurants & wineries who made us so welcome.

He did however note that we were not immune to loss and that in the last 6months, we had lost two of our longest serving and most loved members in the form of Pam Dyson-Harvey and Phil Moore. We had said our collective farewells to Pam at an earlier meeting but this was the first time we had been together as a group since Phil had passed and Terry asked Chris Harris to say a few words about Phil’s life. Chris told us of their friendship and of Phil’s modesty despite being the Australian Sporting Car Champion back in the 70s. Everyone who met Phil noted on his ‘trademark’ smile, good humour, love of cars, food, wine and family. We drank a toast to Phil’s life and the impact he had left.

Terry then advised of upcoming events including the Stately Affair and advised that rooms were running out quickly (19 of the allotted 25 already taken) and he encouraged members thinking of attending to not delay in booking at the Lyndoch Hill Hotel. He also called for anyone interested in organising a run to ‘put their hands up’ as there were a few slots left in the year that he had yet to organise.

Finally Terry briefly advised members on the outcomes of the Resolution signed by all members present at the same meeting 12 months earlier and the AGM votes that we had lodged approximately 3 months earlier. Terry advised that our Australian Representative, Bill Griffiths had been reinstated as a member of the Committee of Management (CoM) to which there was much applause and that Peter Saglietti had been voted on the CoM also. He advised this was good news as Peter had been charged with reviewing of the Articles of Association that contained the offensive clause that allowed the CoM to expel any member from the Club at any time without giving the member an opportunity to defend themselves. Terry also advised the former Chairman had been voted out and that the new Chairman was Anthony Oade and this was also positive. Terry did note however there were some areas of concern including that 2 CoM members who had been voted off the CoM had been co-opted back onto it by Anthony and that the CoM had effectively increased in size to some 24 members, many/most of whom were not elected.

Members enjoying the good food, wine and conversation at La Tombola

Recognising that most members weren’t overly interested in the ‘politics’ of the Club and not wanting to spoil their evening further, Terry ended the discussion at that point but advised he was happy to answer any questions members might have on a 1 to 1 basis later.

 

More members enjoying the evening

The food and wine we received next was excellent and the conversation flowed freely. Through the large glass windows of the Restaurant we noticed the forecast heavy rain had arrived and that the view was now decidedly wintery. We departed for home at approximately 9pm

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Report of run to Saltram Winery May 2021

After a week of perfect mid 20s weather, our planned run & lunch on Sunday May 2nd was undertaken in somewhat cooler (20degree) temperatures though we were fortunate to have a lot of sunshine. Twenty one members in 11 cars ranging from Phil’s 1960 DB4 to Tom’s new Superleggera assembled at Hazelwood Park in the Eastern suburbs of Adelaide at 10.30am.

SA and NSW members assembled at Hazelwood Park

Area Rep Terry Jones welcomed all and advised our numbers were lower than expected because he had received apologies from 6 members in the previous 2 days, one couple suffering reactions from the COVID vaccine they received just 2 days earlier! Terry then particularly welcomed six visiting members (Michael & Jane, Paul & Lisa, Greg and Chee Mei) from the NSW branch of the AMOC. The local SA members were very impressed that our NSW colleagues had driven over from Sydney (a distance of approximately 1000 miles) in their Aston Martins (the oldest being a DB5) stopping along the way in Broken Hill.

Phils DB4 and Michael’s DB5 at Hazelwood Park, both raring to go

Terry handed out run sheets and advised our visitors that we were just a few hundred meters from the Hills that afforded good views (in the rear view mirror) of the City of Adelaide and suburbs right down to the beach. He also advised the initial part of the run would be on twisty, narrow, hilly roads but later, as we approached the Barossa Valley, the roads would become straighter and faster though the scenery was still lovely.

We set off at 11am, travelling via Greenhill Rd through Summertown and Uraidla then onto Lobethal and Cudlee Creek, an area badly burned by bushfires just 18 months ago – and where the fire damage is still evident. We progressed through Mount Pleasant finally ending in Angaston approximately 100km and 90min later.

Members gathered at Saltram winery enjoying a lovely lunch and glass of wine in an old wine barrel cellar

We had reserved car parking at Saltram winery from where we ambled to the old barrel cellar that was reserved for our lunch that comprised a very generous serving of platters of local Barossa fare and pizzas. Saltram has some lovely wines and we sampled a few including a tawny port to complete our meal. There was much conversation and Terry was congratulated on the run and lunch venue and we left, very full, some 3h later. Many members took advantage of the 30% price reduction we were offered on cellar door sales – Terry bought a few bottles of Mamre Brook Cabernet Sauvignon and he observed many others were buying the Tawny port – either a good choice!

Terry reflected after the event that we are very lucky to live in a country where COVID has not drastically altered our lives and this is very evident when reading the AM News that has few reports of events from other Areas of late.  We are also lucky to have such good food and wine from a world-leading wine region (the Barossa Valley) on our doorstep.

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April 2021 run and lunch at Woodstock

At approximately 10am on a cool and overcast day, some 12 cars with 18 members and guests assembled at the carpark outside the Burnside Shopping centre. One guest, Tom, drove his recently acquired Superlegerra DBS V12 that was outstanding in its Hyper Red livery – both will be very welcome on future runs (assuming Tom wants to join our Club). Another guest, Mark was somewhat surprised as he was not aware he was joining us on the run until the very last minute. Mark’s son Liam had contacted Area Rep Terry Jones more than 12months earlier about the possibility of driving in an Aston Martin on the occasion of his father’s 60th birthday but those plans were shelved due to the emerging COVID 19 pandemic. A year down the track, Terry contacted Liam and arranged for both of them to join us for our monthly run & lunch that was a secret until the moment Mark saw the assembled group. As it happened, it turned out well because Mark’s birthday was the April 11th, the date of the run. Because Aston Martins rarely seat more than 2 in comfort, Mark first drove with Terry Jones in his 1974 AMV8 and then with former Area Rep, Chris in his V8 Vantage for the return leg and son Liam did the reverse.

Members standing in front of their cars at the starting point on an overcast morning

The route called for us to exit the carpark and drive up Portrush Road to the start of the Freeway but roadworks on the Freeway caused considerable comgestion and delay on Portrush Road and the lower part of the Freeway that we either had to endure or take the alternative route up Greenhill Rd. Most decided to take the planned route and we endured very slow progress for the first 15minutes or so but once we got past the Heysen tunnels, progress was much better. We exited at Stirling and travelled down Milan Tce to Mylor then through Echunga to Flaxeley and on to Meadows. From there we took Brookman Rd, Range Road and Wickham Hill Road that took us over the ranges to the floor of the valley and onto to Woodstock Winery. Wickham Hill Rd is a lovely way to descend from the hills due to its many sharp turns that are reminiscent of the Alpine roads (in miniature) where the closing scenes of Italian Job were filmed. Terry suggested singing ‘The Self Preservation Society’ on this part of the drive in memory of the classic Mini movie that also featured a DB4 Aston Martin.

 

Four lovely Aston Martins parked on the lawns at Woodstock
More lovely members cars on display at Woodstock winery

Arriving at Woodstock (one of our official sponsors), we again parked on the lovely grassed area under the old gum trees and chatted amongst ourselves, some taking photographs, most enjoying a complimentary glass of bubbles (or Moscato for those who preferred this tipple). There had been brief spells of sunshine during the drive but overall it was quite overcast though we were fortunate not having any rain.

 

 

We moved inside to enjoy a feast of platters with all manner of meats, cheeses and pickles and Woodstock also catered for the vegetarians among us (thanks guys). A few more wines were consumed including a very nice Montepulciano that Terry thought vastly better than the Italian version of this wine he had tried a few years earlier. One of the major foods we were treated to was a German pizza style food called Flammkuchen that was served with a variety of toppings including dessert topping – all seemed to enjoy the food and several members advised Terry they thought the meeting was a great success.

Members old and new enjoying the food, wine and conversation at Woodstock

At Woodstock we were also met by members Richard Dyson Harvey, Jennifer Garton and Amanda & Darryl who moved to Darwin a few years back but who were back in Adelaide for a brief spell – it was very good to catch up with them again. Accompanying Richard were two Victorian members, Richard and Bronwyn who were made very welcome. We were also lucky to have two new members join us, David and Sandra in their recently acquired V12 Vantage S – another beautiful car in our lineup (see photos). Our group of now 30 odd filled 3 large tables in the restaurant that is just recovering from more than 12 months of depressed trading because of the pandemic and it was great to see a return to more normal operation. The staff were excellent and the Flammkuchens kept coming until we could eat no more. We gradually departed to wend our way home after a lovely long lunch.

Members and Guests (including birthday boy Mark) enjoying the platters, wine and conversation

 

Jennifer, Amanda, Richard and more members with Flammkuchens galore

 

 

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March 2021 run & dinner

The weather in the days before (and after) the planned March event had been perfect with maxima in the mid 20s, cool evenings with a few rainy days earlier that reduced the need to water the gardens.

This was the first time the AMOC SA had held a mid week evening run and so Area Rep, Terry Jones watched with baited breath as the acceptances rolled in. In the end 19 members attended the run in 10 cars and a further 2 members joined us for dinner at the Loca Vore restaurant in Stirling.

The drive was deliberately kept a little shorter than others (some 50km) due to the earlier dusk now we are approaching the end of daylight saving.  The roads contained a mix of twists and turns with some straighter roads that allowed us to stretch our cars a little and enjoy the lovely Adelaide Hills.

 

Area Rep Terry Jones spanning two fantastic 1970s AMV’s owned by himself and Assistant Rep, Terry Holt at the starting place, Tregarthen Reserve car park The sundrenched vines make a great backdrop

We started at Tregarthen Reserve, just outside Summertown where Trevor Shepherd (long standing BDC member) came in his DB7 to say hello to comrades he has known/met over many months/years. The drive took us through Uraidla, Carey Gully and Balhanna where we turned left onto the Onkaparinga Valley Rd travelling through Oakbank. We then circled back through Nairne and Littlehampton, skirting Hahndorf before crossing under the motorway, through Aldgate and then to our final stop in Stirling. We had one minor ‘mishap’ on Junction Rd where one member carried straight on instead of stopping, turning right, crossing the railway line then turning left in order to stay on Junction Rd but no harm was done except to the navigator’s ego!

 

AMOC members chatting at the Loca Vore car park after a perfect drive in the afternon sunshine. Cars range in age from 1974 to moderns

We had the balcony area of the Loca Vore to ourselves and conversation flowed freely as always. A few members took the opportunity to complete Ballot Papers for the upcoming AGM elections to the Committee of Management and these were photographed and emailed directly from the restaurant – the wonders of modern communications! Chris Barron advised of progress with the Stately Affair developments and called for members to advise him of their intentions to attend. He advised that, while this was still 6 months off, bookings needed to be made asap.

Area Rep Terry Jones enjoying the wine and conversation with members. The food and wine were excellent as was the service.

Our meals were served and most enjoyed a glass or two of local wines. Terry greatly enjoyed the vegetarian burger with a glass of Hills Sauvignon Blanc and it appeared that all were enjoying their meals too.

Our next run & lunch will be held on Sunday April 11th when we will revert to our normal morning start with lunch finish.

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Report of February 2021 run & dinner at Stanley Bridge Hotel, Verdun

On a very pleasant evening after a warm 33degree day, some 24 members and guests assembled at the Crafers Primary School carpark for the first event of the South Australian Area of the AMOC for 2021.

Area Rep Terry Jones handed out run sheets and advised the run for the evening was almost identical to the run last February but that this year we would be able to see some new growth that is replacing some of the burnt trees that resulted from the Cudlee Creek fires of early 2020.

 

Cars and members awaiting route instructions at Crafers Primary School car park

Terry lead the group of Astons onto Piccadilly Rd heading south across the motorway toward Mylor. Most members followed the route directions through the lovely Adelaide Hills but a few decided to follow Terry instead. This turned out not to be a good idea as Terry became distracted by a phone call from AMOC UK and he missed the left turn onto River Rd. Not much time was lost fortunately and Terry and others rejoined the group almost at the rear but places were recovered later, when turning right into Tanhamera Rd (because of a mistake in the route directions that advised turning left instead of right – oops). Fortunately no-one was unduly confused and the group gathered a few miles later at the Stanley Bridge Tavern in Verdun after the 75km drive with the setting sun glistening on the Hills. We had reserved car parks (‘guarded’ by a brightly dressed local) that allowed good photo opportunities and, after a little discussion of the route, we walked into our private function room for a complimentary glass of Adelaide Hills bubbles.

After the meals had been ordered, Terry addressed the thirty members present (including two visiting from Victoria) and he thanked them for attending and hoped they had enjoyed the run. He also proposed a toast to ‘absent friends’ with Pamela Dyson Harvey, long standing and much loved AMOC member who recently passed away, in the forefront of all member’s minds. Terry then read the email from Richard Furse, AMOC UK, and members were very happy with the message it contained concerning the reinstatement of Bill Griffiths as Australian Rep.

Cars lined up with Gary Rushton’s DB7 to the fore

Members settled down to the 2 course meal and lovely Adelaide wines that met with the approval of most and the conversation flowed freely. Terry asked Chris Barron to advise the group on the Stately Affair that was in the early stages of planning.  Chris outlined the proposed event that was primarily for Victorian and South Australian AMOC members (though a few NSW members often attended) and he asked us to give serious thought to attending the event in the first week in October.

Cars neatly parked in reserved carpark at the Stanley Bridge Hotel, Verdun with Terry Holt’s Vantage to the fore

The meeting came to a close at around 10pm and members wended their way home via the nearby motorway.

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Report of Christmas event and AGM 2020

On Saturday December 12th, a good turn-out of some 40 members and friends attended the South Australian AMOC run and lunch with the AGM thrown in as a ‘bonus’.

Richard Dyson Harvey organised the whole event including the morning coffee & cakes at Woodstock Winery in McLaren Flat, a run and finally lunch at the Three Brothers pub in nearby Macclesfield – THANK YOU RICHARD.

Thirteen isnt unlucky if you are counting Aston Martins – these parked on the lawns at Woodstock Winery

 

What a great line-up in the shade of the old gum trees

The day was a warm one (34 degrees) but the shade from the large gum trees at Woodstock provided a welcome relief from the direct sun. The coffee and cake was very tasty and the staff made us all very welcome. Our cars were parked on the lovely grassed area to the side of the restaurant and they made a great sight (see photos).

 

Chris’s traditional Christmas shirt is an eye-grabber – is this the cause of the mirth on this table?
Keith sporting a new haircut, with Helen, Rhonda & Stuart enjoying the event

 

Cintra, John, Martin & Angie, Kent & Pat look like they are enjoying themselves too
Smiles all around from Annette and Harley, Chris and Min and look at the old wooden upright supporting the roof. It would have seen a lot of people enjoying themselves since it was erected circa 1841
More smiles from Matthew’s table.  Why are they focussed on the digital devices?
Phil & Chris, James & Karina, Gary and Richard also appear to be enjoying themselves and why not – we are so fortunate to be able to get out in our cars and to enjoy good food, wine and company in 2020

 

Area Rep Terry Jones called the meeting to order at 11.30am and he started by providing a ‘year in review’ in which he outlined the eight events we had been able to hold ‘in person’ and the one ‘virtual’ event. Given the pandemic situation that affected so many AMOC areas interstate and overseas, we had much to be thankful for this year. The main event that had to be cancelled was just a month earlier (November) when the whole State was locked down just 3 days before the event date and unfortunately this was a combined one with the local Bentley Driver’s Club and so both clubs missed out. Terry was very sorry about this as he had put in a lot of work organising it but he advised the work wouldn’t be wasted as this was one event he would definitely resurrect in 2021.

The most important function of the AGM was the next item on our agenda – that being the election of the Area Rep for 2021. Terry had already advised members that he was nominating again and that other members who who were also considering nominating were to advise the Returning Officer of their intent. The previous Area Rep, Chris Barron agreed to act in that capacity and he advised no-one had nominated to that time and none responded to his call from those members present and so Chris asked members to vote via a show of hands if they were happy to endorse Terry Jones for the next 12 months. There was an overwhelming vote in favour and no votes against and so Terry was confirmed as Area Rep for the next 12 months.

Terry thanked everyone for their support and promised a full calendar for 2021, subject to restrictions that might be imposed courtesy of COVID.

We were able to try a few of Woodstock’s lovely wines before members departed on the run and finally lunch. Terry Jones was unable to attend the lunch but Assistant Area Rep, Terry Holt took photos and reported that it was a very convivial meeting with lots of good food and company. THANK YOU TERRY H.

 

A final word from your newly elected Area Rep – MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR to all our members

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Report of AMOC run to Saltram winery, October 18th 2020

Astons at Hazelwood Park prior to setting off
More Astons at Hazelwood Park awaiting setoff
Astons parked at Saltram Winery
Astons parked at Saltram Winery

It was a cool and overcast morning when 19 AMOC members and guests assembled at Hazelwood Park in preparation for our October run and lunch.

Area Rep Terry Jones apologised for not organising a run in September that was in part due to the late August meeting, the very popular Bay to Birdwood classic car event and recent public holiday, Terry explained the 18th of October was not an ideal choice of dates either as it clashed with the Bathurst 1000 car race and several members were absent due to social commitments associated with this race – the last one that the Holden car company was competing in.

Terry thanked Chris Barron for organising the run and he handed out run sheets as Chris advised members of things to be wary of, chief among these were the cyclists who frequented almost all roads leading to the Hills on Sunday mornings. We headed off and made our way to Magill Rd and then onto the twisty and narrow Norton Summit Rd that was slow going thanks to the many cyclists and limited forward views that made overtaking difficult. At the top of the road we crossed onto Lobethal Rd that was a true ‘long and winding road’ before the route opened up to more undulating and faster roads through the Barossa Valley to our luncheon destination, Saltram Winery just outside Angaston. The town of Angaston was named after one of the colony’s founders, George Fife Angas, who was instrumental in bringing many German settlers to the early colony of South Australia in the 1840s.

The winery had reserved separate parking for our 9 cars and we chatted about the run before entering the old restaurant building and to our separate dining area located in one of the old cellars that had some interesting historic wine making objects including large barrels and a large filter. We were seated at a large table that allowed adequate physical distancing and we tasted a few wines before selecting the one we wanted to have with our lunch that was very tasty, very filling and very reasonable. We were treated to a port after lunch and a few members took the opportunity to obtain a 40% discount on our wines by virtue of joining the ‘No 1 club’ – this required purchasing wines to the value of $400 but this was not difficult as it was shared by a few members and hence our excellent wines were made all the more memorable by the special prices.

Terry again thanked Chris Barron for organising the run and he also advised members that Richard and Pam had hoped to be present but Pam was too unwell and he wished her well on behalf of all present. Terry also advised the next meeting was planned for November 22nd and would be a special meeting with the Bentley Drivers Club when we would be challenging them to a game of German Kegel Bowls at the nearby Tanunda Kegel Club. Terry advised the final meeting of the year would be held on December 12th (a Saturday) and that we would be eating at the Three Brothers Arms hotel in Macclesfield. He thanked Richard who had organised the venue. Terry was asked if there would be a run and he replied in the affirmative and that he would devise one in due course.

Feeling quite full and content with lunch, wine and complimentary ports, we departed at approximately 3pm and headed for home in brighter conditions as the sun finally decided to make an appearance.

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Run and lunch at Bremerton winery, August 2020

Terry H, Chis Barron, Laura Rushton, Frank & Sue Grosser, Bec and prospective member Ben
Phil & Chris Moore, Chris Harris, Martin & Ange Farkas, Richard & Pam Dyson-Harvey, Cintra & John Amos
Megan Jones, Jenni Garton, Tom & Marnie Raggatt, Andrew & Brenda Paterson
Part of the group assembled in front of the cars with vines in the background
Astons with DB7 to the fore, parked in the carpark
cars at Bremerton
More cars with DB11 to the fore, parked at Bremerton carpark

The weather gods were not completely ‘on side’ as 18 members and guests of the AMOC SA branch assembled at the Mylor Oval in the Adelaide Hills at 10.30am on Sunday 23rd August. There had been a lot of rain in the previous days that had made the track around the oval muddy and certainly not suited to ground-hugging Aston Martins. This was not what Area Rep Terry Jones had in mind when he asked members to gather at the rear of the oval for photographs to adorn our web page and so this idea was abandoned. Cars ranging from a new DB11 owned by prospective member Ben to Terry H’s 1977 prototype Vantage were present and we set off on the 75km run at 11am.
The run took us south through Echunga, Strathalbyn and on to Milang on the shore of Lake Alexandrina. From there we turned east and then north passing through some very old vineyard country with the gnarled vines a testament to the many fine wines produced in the area over many decades.
We drove through Langhorne Creek and after few kilometers, we arrived at Bremerton Winery, the setting for our lunch. We had some brief showers on the drive but they had cleared by the time we arrived and the sun was shining though the wind was ‘bracing’. After a few photographs of the cars with the vines in the background, we went inside to the old stone building warmed by a log fire.
Seven additional members joined us there and we were spread over 3 tables to comply with the very sensible COVID restrictions.
A complimentary glass of wine was offered and Terry (and many others) chose the Tamblyn red blend that showed lovely fruit and tannin on the palate and a deep red colour in the glass – it has been one of Terry’s favourites for years. There was an abundance of food with starters, pizzas and a cheese board with coffees to finish, all at a very reasonable price. Many attendees were complimentary about the venue, food, wine and value for money.
Terry addressed the group, noting it was the tenth anniversary this month of his joining the Club and that he had chosen the drive and venue deliberately because it was the same drive and venue of that first run. Terry also observed that first impressions are always important and his first impressions of the Club (and particularly the members) was very positive. He hoped that the new and prospective member present would have similar positive impressions of the Club and its members as he still retained.
After much conversation, the meeting concluded around 3.30pm and we all returned home along more of the flat roads running through more vine country with the sun shining stronger as the afternoon progressed.
The next run will be in late September – details will be forwarded shortly.

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AMOC & BDC special 70th anniversary celebration

Aston Martins and Bentleys in front of Waterhouse Building, Prince Alfred College
The Mall’s pigs ignoring the Aston Martin AMV8
AMOC Area Rep Terry thanking Lord Mayor Martin Haese for his support
Astons in Rundle Mall
Some of the cars lined up at PAC
Framed photograph of WO Bentley and his grandfather, TG Waterhouse presented to PAC
An early Aston Martin DB2/4 and two early Bentleys at the head of the cavalcade

Purpose: To celebrate the historical similarities between WO Bentley, Lagonda & Aston Martin, their connections with each other and with the City of Adelaide.

On Sunday morning, October 29th, 30 cars and approximately 60 members of the BDC and/or AMOC gathered in Rundle Mall, the premier shopping precinct in the City of Adelaide, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the purchase, by David Brown, of both Aston Martin and Lagonda motor car companies.

David responded to a very modest advertisement for a ‘high-class motor business’ in The Times in late 1946 – that business turned out to be Aston Martin. While impressed with the car that Aston Martin were developing, he was less impressed by the engine. Consequently, when the opportunity arose a few months later, David bought Lagonda because he they had developed a modern, 6 cylinder, overhead cam engine. This engine was designed by WO Bentley and it was used in the early DB Aston Martins. In so doing, David created the 1st WO Bentley powered Aston Martin and forged a direct link between these three iconic British marques.

This was the first time there had been a mass gathering of cars in Rundle Mall (a pedestrian shopping mall) and hence there were challenges getting the cars into a semi- circle around a raised platform due to the many fixed obstacles. When all the cars were lined up, the organiser, Terry Jones (a member of both AMOC and BDC), welcomed the attendees to the Mall and outlined why the event was taking place on this day (70 years and 7 months since David Brown bought Aston Martin). He then welcomed the Lord Mayor of the City of Adelaide, the Right Honourable, Mr Martin Haese to the ‘stage’. Martin, also a motoring enthusiast, arrived in his V8 powered Jensen Interceptor that impressed the crowd. Martin explained to the attendees why the meeting was being held in Rundle Mall.

The reason was that 177 years (and approximately 177 days) earlier, a 29yr old Yorkshireman named Thomas Greaves Waterhouse boarded the 475 ton ship Lysander in London and after a 100 day voyage, he landed in Adelaide.   At that time, the port of Adelaide was not fully established and it had yet to acquire its first wharf for unloading passengers and goods.   Passengers were therefore rowed ashore, often up the Port Creek to the Port Creek Settlement (now Port Adelaide) and when the rowing boats could go no further, passengers (with their luggage) would have to traverse a few hundred yards of mangrove swamp and then a sandhill before reaching the road to Adelaide! The port was also known as ‘Port Misery’ as a consequence of this inconvenience, abundant mosquitos and dust.   Thomas was apparently not deterred and he started a very successful grocery business, with his brother, on the corner of Rundle Street and King William Street. At the time the building, known as Waterhouse Chambers, was the largest commercial building in the CBD and it was immediately outside this building that the Lord Mayor addressed the gathering. The Mayor advised us that Thomas was a shrewd businessman who made a fortune investing in the highly successful copper mine at Burra in the mid-north of the state of South Australia. He was a founding member of the Bank of Adelaide and he also profited by buying many Adelaide CBD properties at depressed prices when the Victorian gold rush lured swathes of Adelaideians to seek their fortunes in the neighbouring state. When they returned a few years later and property prices recovered, Thomas enlarged his fortune considerably.

The Lord Mayor further advised that Thomas married Eliza Faulding, (who also hailed from Yorkshire) at Trinity Church, Adelaide in 1853. Eliza was the sister of another Adelaide identity, FH Faulding who started a very successful chemist & druggist business that survived through to very recently. Thomas and Eliza had 5 children and the eldest, Emily, was likely born in Waterhouse Chambers in 1853.   The family returned to England in 1868, apparently because Thomas did not like the extreme heat of the Adelaide summer.   Emily later married London businessman, Alfred Bentley and together they had nine children, the youngest being Walter Owen Bentley. When Thomas died in 1878, he left £60,000 in trust – Emily was to live off the interest and her children were to inherit the money. It was this money that provided WO with his education and later the opportunity to buy the UK marketing licence for the French car, DFP (Doriet, Flandrin, Parent) in 1912. Hence, the Mayor observed that the family fortune, made in South Australia, funded WO’s early development and his start in the manufacturing of motor cars.

At the end of his address, Terry Jones thanked the Lord Mayor and presented him with a copy of Classic and Sports Car™ from his own collection that carried a story comparing the Aston Martin AMV8 (that Terry owns) with the Jensen Interceptor (that Martin owns).   The Lord Mayor thanked Terry and then instructed drivers to ‘start their engines’. The noise/music from the 30 cars (many V8s) was most impressive in the built-up Mall. The cars then made their way in convoy to Prince Alfred College for morning tea (that tragically didn’t arrive).

The reason for choosing Prince Alfred College as the second venue was that Thomas Waterhouse was a significant philanthropist and he gave generously to many causes, including a £4000 donation that allowed the building of the College (the 1st Wesleyan College in Adelaide) that was named after Prince Alfred who opened the building in 1867. When we arrived at PAC, the headmaster Mr Brad Fenner, informed attendees of this link between TG Waterhouse and the College and invited us to examine the painting of their benefactor that has hung in the headmaster’s office since the 1870s.

The cars were parked in a large semi-circle on the lawns with the Waterhouse Wing in the background that presented a perfect picture opportunity. To mark the visit, Terry Jones and Terry Holt (also a member of both the AMOC and BDC) presented the College with a framed picture that incorporated photographs of both TG Waterhouse and his grandson, WO Bentley along with the BDC and AMOC logos.

From PAC, the cars proceeded on a drive through the Adelaide Hills (set by Terry Holt) arriving at the final venue, Mount Lofty House around noon. This was yet another ‘significant’ building in the story because Arthur Waterhouse (Thomas’ eldest son) bought the stately home as a summer retreat. After welcome drinks and canapes, a lovely lunch was served and the ‘two Terrys’ addressed the crowd with a fuller expose of the historic links and similar aspirations of WO Bentley, Lagonda and Aston Martin. This included a photograph of the Waterhouse Chambers building from 1866 that also showed a 3hp vehicle (a heavily laden wagon pulled by 3 horses!) as well as Holden’s saddlery premises – the fore-runner of the GM Holden car company that has only just ceased manufacturing in South Australia.   Terry Jones advised that WO had been very successful at the Aston Hill Climb in June 1912 (2 years before Lionel Martin) and that if WO had had the same idea as Lionel (to capitalise on the success he had at the Aston Hill climb by adopting the name Aston as the first name of the car), we could have been driving ‘Aston Bentley’s’ and perhaps ‘Bamford-Martins’!

Terry went on to outline the history of Lionel Martin, Robert Bamford and WO and noted WOs contribution to the 1st World War effort when he was among the first to use aluminium alloy pistons to improve performance and reliability of early aeroplane engines. The BR1 (and later BR2) engines powered many Sopwith Camels and Snipes. Similarities between the marques that were noted included the successes of the three marques at LeMans and financial difficulties before and during the Great Depression that resulted in both WO and Lionel Martin losing ownership of their companies. WO left Bentley Motors (now owned by Rolls Royce) in 1935, to join Lagonda and this was remembered by the presence of two beautiful cars of the period – a 1935 Derby Bentley and a 1934 Lagonda in the group of ‘display cars’.

Terry Holt educated attendees about the very complex WO designed engine that attracted David Brown’s interest in 1947 and how it was used and developed in the early DB series cars.

Having established these links and shared heritage between Bentley and Aston Martin, Terry proposed that it would be a good idea to have a regular joint BDC & AMOC meeting in the ‘far-flung outpost’ of South Australia. The general consensus appeared to be that this meeting had been a success and it would be a good idea to meet regularly. Many members gave their assent to this idea to Terry Jones in person after the event.

The weather for the day was ideal but there was a dire forecast for high winds and rain in the early afternoon. Fortunately the weather front did not arrive until much later in the day when attendees had reached their homes and the cars securely stored in their garages.

The event was made possible because of the generous support and involvement of several individuals & companies and Terry Jones thanked them for their contributions. These included the Lord Mayor of Adelaide, Mr Martin Haese, The Rundle Mall Authority, Prince Alfred College and Solitaire Motors, Adelaide agents for both Bentley and Aston Martin. Solitaire’s contribution included having a new Bentley Bentayga and Aston Martin DB9 in the group of display cars for members of the clubs and public to admire and generous financial support for the lovely lunch.

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