Civilised, definitely civilised
By Clive Wade, photos by Gloria Wade.
8:00am for 8:30am start on a sunny Sunday morning in dear old civilised South East Queensland. Middle of winter, blue sky, roof off… and NO HOTTIE.
Not like the last Lotus Day Run which Gloria and I attended, an LCV EMR no less. Here I was, taking in the lovely blue sky of Melbourne before our departure in the Murray’s front garden when I was presented a hottie by the Australian Expert on Hotties, no other than Jeanne Murray.
Now Jeanne knows all about the necessity of hotties in Lotus Elites, and in miserable Melbourne I can understand her need, and subsequent utterances, in regard to her norm of chilly weather combined with a lack of heater. And Peter naturally presuming all windows should be removed for the real experience of motoring in a 1957 Lotus Elite. But here in SE Qld there is NO NEED for such apparel, not in our perfect winter weather. And so we arrived at the start location of Eatons Hill, hottieless and roofless, snugly warm, the heater wafting warm air over our toes and knees to help cope with the outside temperature of 15 degrees… quite civilised really.*
Digressed a little didn’t I? Well we did have a civilised start at a civilised location at a civilised time. And only 10 minutes (or so) late our entourage of 9 cars pottered off towards morning coffee at the Pitstop Café, Mt Mee. This entailed a quick tour of an outer Brisbane suburb and on to country roads of less restricted speeds. Yes, we were off and enthusiastically following our new member Justin when the phone rang. “Did we miss a turn?” asked Norma Upham. “Yes”, answered Gloria, it would appear the boys at the wheels were having far too much fun on this winding road to notice the planned turn off to Clear Mountain and, after all, coffee did beckon. Actually, it felt like an LCV Gold Fields Tour – all members so easily lost, like lemmings to the slaughter.
We were soon on the Samford to Dayboro Rd when the first sign of trouble appeared, though it didn’t live up to the famed Lotus acronym, it wasn’t serious. Johann’s newly acquired supercharged Elise decided it had plenty of power using just 3 cylinders rather than the usual 4, the ECU disagreed, and Johann parked the argument at the side of the road. Being good Samaritans, and having a sense of presidential responsibility, Gloria and I parked up to offer my enormously minimal technical help… alt/control/delete came to mind. Johann was ahead of me, but was looking rather disappointed with the result. No worries said I, let it sulk for another minute or so and try again! Success! We were soon on the road.
Now of course, starting on a nice open road in first gear is the perfect opportunity to show off to the loving spouse the joys of having a vigorous Honda in the boot… some blokes are just plain dumb, you’ll never guess where the next conversation went, and after nearly 42 years of accumulating knowledge in wedded bliss I realized all my actions were totally defenceless. Apparently 0-100 in 4 seconds just isn’t impressive.
We soon caught up with the Lotus entourage who had slowed for our benefit, pottered through Dayboro and then whizzed up to coffee, and for some, bacon and eggs at Pitstop. An enjoyable Lotus road up the hill only hindered by speed limits. We enjoyed it as the speed limit is mostly unattainable anyway with all the hairpin bends, so a good time was had by all, and the coffee fully enjoyed.
Next stage plan was over Mt Mee, down one of the best hill descents known to man, quick right turn onto the d’Agular Highway for a few kilometres, turn right into a nice winding back road to the top of Mt Mee, left at Dayboro and onto Old Petrie Town for lunch.
Ahhhh ha, ha… the best laid plans of mice and men… whoever would have thought we might find an impeccably driven Mercedes S Class would come into view 100 metres into the famed descent? And going our way no less! None of us! But just as sure as eggs are eggs, the said Merc appeared just as we passed the last place we could safely stop without hindering traffic. And so we all took in the delightful scenery of the d’Agular Range, as we safely stormed down the mountain at a cracking 30kmh. Though it must be said, none of us had realised there is a view on that part of the road. After that, we had a delightful drive around the remainder of said route, fully enjoying the last of the Lotus roads through to Dayboro and Old Petrie Town.
Old Petrie Town is always worth a stop for the mechanically minded. The girls can disappear into the markets whilst the lads disappear into working steam engine displays and the like. And we did. Directly after lunch at the quaint “The Emporium” Café we divided into the historically successful division of entertainment and did what each gender does best… shopped or workshopped.
A great day out and a big thanks to new member Justin! Membership only 6 weeks old and he has his hand up to organise a really successful day. Great to see such enthusiastic new blood.
*Footnote: For anyone confused, read the magazine July Issue “Invitation EMR Article”, page 28. Also, Victorians call any Day Run starting in the morning an EMR, where as in Qld EMR means EARLY Morning Run.