Aston Martin Owners Club - South Australia

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Report of AMOC run & lunch Sunday July 26th

At 10am on a cool winter’s morning, some 30 AMOC members and guests assembled in the carpark of the Crafers Primary school in the Adelaide Hills. A variety of Aston Martins that spanned 60 years of Aston Martin production were present including two new DB11s and two not-so-new DB4s. Three other members (including Area Rep Terry Jones) drove ‘improper cars’ due in two cases, to mechanical problems with their ‘proper cars’ but there were no complaints from the friendly group.

Drive sheets had been emailed to allow members to print their own – a safer COVID 19 practice than handing them out on the day. Terry reminded members to maintain physical distancing and noted that in South Australia we had been very fortunate to have very few cases of the coronavirus while our colleagues in neighbouring Victoria had not fared so well. For many days now, many hundreds of new cases had been reported and several deaths, especially in nursing homes had been reported. It is a stark reminder to all that any slip in ‘safe operating procedures’ can allow the virus to gain a foothold and spread.

Our drive started in Crafers, then headed south on some lovely Adelaide Hills roads that afforded views of the hills and valleys that extended down to the sea. We drove through Ironbank to Clarendon where we ‘picked up’ local members Andrew & Brenda Paterson then we drove on to Meadows. We then turned north on Battunga Road that, being flatter and straighter, should have allowed a more spirited drive than the twisty, undulating roads that we had traversed thus far but there was some traffic that slowed us somewhat. Worse was to come when our route was blocked by a police vehicle and we were required to take a detour. Fortunately Adelaide Hills resident, Phil Moore was in the lead and his knowledge of the local roads was sufficient to get the convoy back on track just before Mylor. A final turn onto the narrow, twisty Aldgate Valley Road led us to our luncheon destination, the Aldgate Pump pub. We had done this run in March, just when the COVID pandemic was starting. Our anticipated numbers were dramatically reduced as a consequence but the Aldgate Pump were very understanding and Terry thought the run should be enjoyed by more members and the pub should have more of our custom. We had a room to ourselves and conversation flowed freely, the a la carte menu was good and the local wines and beer were enjoyed also. Terry thanked all for attending and advised that the next run would be in 4 weeks time. He also proposed a vote of thanks to Phil for returning the convoy of lovely Aston Martins to the planned route after the road was blocked – we learned later that there had been a fatal accident on the road that required a road closure.

Assistant Area Rep, Terry Holt joined us later (after attending the Bentley Driver’s Club run) and he asked members sign a get-well card for AMOC member Conrad Fletcher who had had surgery in recent days. We were happy to hear he was progressing well.

We had a set time slot (because of COVID restrictions) from 12.30 to 2pm but that was adequate for our needs and as the clouds started to descend, we naturally disbanded to head for home after a lovely run. Many noted that we were very fortunate to reside in South Australia where we have virtually zero COVID cases, where we have close proximity to the lovely Hills with its great drives and where we produced some of the best wines and beers available. And Terry suggested we drove some of the best cars and had some of the most congenial AMOC members to share our common interests.

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Report of ‘virtual run’ held on April 26th

In these ‘physically distancing’ times, ‘proper’ runs have not been possible and therefore Area Rep Terry Jones decided we should try a ‘virtual’ run, following a run sheet much as we would for ‘proper’ runs but seated at a computer rather than in our lovely cars.

Terry emailed the run sheets to members the day before and suggested members start the run at 10am using Google maps street view. To make the run more interesting, members were invited to find as many connections as they could find with the route directions and Aston Martin.

The first connection was fairly obvious as we started in Vantage Way, Crafers in the Adelaide hills (a name applied to several Aston models since 1950). At the end of this road was SPA track (Aston Martin won at Spa, Belgium in 1948 and the winning 2L car was auctioned by Bonhams in 2015 and sold for USD781,000!). We proceeded to Salmon Ave (Joseph Salmons was the carriage maker that ‘morphed’ into Tickfords in Newport Pagnell. Tickfords was purchased by David Brown in 1955 and Aston Martin production moved to the Tickford facility) then LIONEL Drive (Lionel Martin was a co-founder of Aston Martin), BROWN St (David Brown was the owner of Aston Martin from 1947 to 1972), MARTIN Rd (see earlier point.

We also travelled via ROBERT St (ROBERT Bamford was the other co-founder of Aston Martin) and DAVID St (see earlier point) then WILLIAM St (In 1966, William Towns started working at Aston Martin designing seats. He became the designer of the DBS/AMV8, Bulldog and Lagonda cars before leaving in 1977). We drove through the town of STIRLING (STIRLING Moss was the lead driver for the very successful Aston Martin team that won Le Mans and the World Sports Car Championship in 1959) and down CRICKLEWOOD St (a ‘distant’ connection here in that WO Bentley’s early factory was at Cricklewood and he designed a 2.6L OHC engine when employed by Lagonda that was the reason David Brown bought the company – the engine was used in the early DB series cars).

A little later we drove down ETON Rd Aldgate (Lionel Martin was educated at Eton) and MILAN Tce (Zagato was founded and located in Milan – there has been a very longstanding connection between the Italian coachbuilding company and Aston Martin).

Terry was very impressed by the industry of some of our members who were making jam or ploughing fields while their partners were doing the run. He was also impressed with the connections members made that he did not and while this made judging more difficult, Terry managed it.

Terry did the run with the computer set up on his AMV8 with a glass of red to lubricate the driver (something not allowed on ‘proper’ runs!).

The winner of the competition was Sally Clarke who did the drive on her computer located in her study that is adorned with numerous motoring memorabilia and she advised Terry that she intends to put her prize (a numbered bottle of Stirling Moss 722 Chardonnay named after the 1955 Mille Miglia that Sir Stirling won) in one of her ‘trophy’ cabinets.

Both Sally and Terry noted that the ‘virtual’ run took about as long to do as the ‘proper’ run might have taken and while it was much more economical, it wasn’t as much fun.

With good fortune, we shan’t need another ‘virtual’ run as the State opens up more and we shall be able to get back to our usual way of operating.

Terry Jones

Sally doing run in her study.
Sally doing run in her study.
Terry doing virtual run aside his AMV8.
Terry doing virtual run aside his AMV8.
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Aston, Bentley, Lagonda & Armstrong Siddeley event

In November 2018, a combined event between four of the car marques that WO Bentley was associated with during the course of his highly successful career took place.

Starting at Prince Alfred College, we passed the home of WO’s grandfather and finished with lunch at the Yalumba Winery in the iconic Barossa Valley.

The connections between Adelaide and WO Bentley (and thereby our car marques) was highlighted throughout the day.

 

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Joint Aston Martin Club and Bentley Club

Eleven cars met at Mylor oval. They were stunning! They included two E Type Jaguars, an early Porsche, and a variety of Bentleys from vintage to brand spanking new. Chat with Conrad at Solitaire Motors for a close look.

Jan forced me to follow a white 1960s Jag which she was immediately attracted to. The drive was at a leisurely pace to Meadows, Kuitpo Forest, Victor Harbour road and then connecting with the Southern Expressway to our fina destination at the Reade Park Croquet Club, Colonel Light Gardens.

This Club put out the “Welcome Mat” big time. Personal greetings and a refreshing large Pimms awaited us. We were invited to be seated and a very well spoken and interesting gentleman of the club talked about the history of the club. The area was planned by Charles Reade as part of a garden-styled suburb. Charles Reade was the first Government Town Planner of South Australia.

Then it was exercise time” Who would have thought that croquet rivas any sport in tactics, let alone technique. We were split into groups with instructors and attempted to knock the balls through very narrow hoops. After a sit down picnic tea, many of continued to finish our games. It was fun.

Many thanks from Jan and Chris Barron.

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