EMR to Toowoomba for the David Hack Classic

Story and photos by Vyvyan Black.

On Sunday 8 May, Col McKay, in his very nice ’68 Elan, led a bunch of us on a merry tour around the back of Brisbane’s outer west and on to the Esk / Toowoomba stretch, where we parked all in a row at Toowoomba Airport as part of the David Hack Classic.

But first, we began this epic drive with the opening leg, a quick run up to the Mt Glorious Café for breakfast. I highly recommend the chilli and eggs.

This run is a common one, especially for the Seven and Caterham drivers, and it starts with arriving expectantly outside Maccas, The Gap, admiring the cars and eager to see who’s there and who might turn up.

No Cats or Sevens this time though, but we did enjoy the company of Barry & Jess Matthews (white Exige), Phil & Gail Hart (silver Elise), Tony Smith (white Evora), Giles and Janet Cooper (silver Europa S), Phil Brook (all the way from Sydney in a black Evora), George and Anita Row (white Nissan Silvia) and myself (navy & silver Plus 2).

So off we went for a sensible but spirited run up the curvy mountain road dutifully avoiding its ever persistent lycra warriors, all the while alert to the possible presence of speed camera demons. I’ve done this run a few times now and I’m starting to remember where the turns are that you should really take notice of, and for the first time I felt very comfortable with my new tyres gripping much better than previously. Ah, yes it’s all about the tyres – thanks Dick!

So, as I said, breakfast was nice and the coffee very welcome. A little bit of a chat and we were off down the other side of the mountain. What a lovely run that was! Sweeping high speed downhill slalom driving has got be one of my favourite things. Look up ahead and there’s Col – roof off – so comfortable in his little Elan at the head of the group.

This was followed by some lovely wooded sections and farm vistas with the hum of the (in my instance) twin cam singing out, accompanied by my loud in-cabin serenading to myself… well, nobody along with me to complain! Lush green grasses zipped by outside the passenger window while the beautiful blue sky and pristine air seemed to be there purely for our enjoyment.

Eventually we entered Toowoomba’s outskirts and had to cope with the sudden mundanity of traffic lights and Sunday plod-alongers. We slipped up a number of suburban roads… surely the airport isn’t near here I thought, but it was. Nestled among the suburban gardens and chainwire fences. We soon passed through the flag wavers and parked in a neat row right in the middle of everything. Here we met up with Tim Moore and Derek Deane (Europa S).

We were outside a massive hanger with a gold Cadillac convertible at its centre. There were paddocks hosting rows of old, really old and newish cars – the usual and the unusual: an extremely long wheelbase Batmobile, MGs, Lancias, a tired looking Renault Dauphine, a coterie of hot rods, Model T’s, tricked up E-Types and rare vintage motorcycles. There were Buicks and Toranas, an absolutely original only-driven-by-an-old-lady-on-Sundays ’62 Toyota Corolla in church white, an EH Wagon in that beautiful ‘60s moss green with whitewalls and a white roof. Big Healeys and American muscle.

There were even triple choc muffins at the have-to-go price of $1 each and burgers I just couldn’t see myself tackling. Never exactly gourmet at these dos!

A great day out and a most enjoyable drive. Thanks Col for organising it and thanks for all who turned out.