By Gary Wrenn. Pics by Gloria Wade.
On the morning of the coast run the weather in Samford, my starting point, was damp with drizzling rain, so I made the decision to drive the TVR and leave the Seven behind. A decision I regretted by the time I arrived at Beerwah. The Sunshine Coast lived up to its name, the weather turned out to be perfect for club driving, especially if you were driving a Lotus.
Any concerns that I may have had about being a relatively new member on my first big Day Run with the club disappeared the moment I drove into the car park at Beerwah. At first, I was surprised that so many people knew my name, until I realised that I was wearing my Lotus Club badge. To see the number and quality of Lotuses that took part in the run was quite amazing. In total 27 cars and 45 people participated on the day, the range of Lotus models out to enjoy the sunshine included Elise’s, an Exige, Elans, Evora and a Seven thanks to Lockie Beecham who braved the weather to bring his Caterham.
After a lovely breakfast supplied by the friendly staff at the Vianta Café and a well-presented briefing by Clive and Gloria we were all set to go. The first leg was from Beerwah to Kenilworth but not by the ‘normal’ route. We went West out through Peachester up to Maleny and on to Kenilworth using highway 22. Although I have driven on this stretch of road in the past I have never experienced the feeling of seeing Lotuses in front and behind me for the whole 1 hour plus drive.
Kenilworth was a good choice for Morning Tea, great little coffee shops like Nanna McGinn’s where we enjoyed our morning break. More importantly it has ample parking even for an additional 27 Lotus’s on a busy Sunday. A special thanks to Clive and John Barram for paying the bill of those members who ‘did a runner’. I know a little about this kind gesture as I was one of the guilty ones.
The second leg from Kenilworth to the Glass House Mountains Village took one hour and fifteen to one hour and thirty minutes depending on what route you chose, or should I say if you chose the wrong route and found yourself lost. This section of the run has amazing views of the mountains and some of the best drives of the run, especial the single lane section on the way up to Mapleton. Another part of the drive worth a mention was the dusty section before Kenilworth, Giles Copper, the Peking to Paris veteran would have been reminded of the Gobi Desert roads if he had been with us on the day.
As with Kenilworth, the Glass House Mountains Tavern was a great spot for lunch and to end a really enjoyable morning, plenty of parking and good food. The Campfire Restaurant and the Outback Bar well worth a visit if you find yourself in the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast.
Being new to the club and partaking in my first Club Day, one obvious thing that stood out was how everyone was not just enjoying the driving and the magnificent scenery but how everyone was enjoying the camaraderie. I am sure other members would have noticed the friendliness of some of the locals as we passed through the smaller towns. On one section of this drive, before Maleny, even the local police were so friendly that they stopped one Elise just for a chat and to admire the paint work. I was going to stop to say hello myself but the driver of the blue Elise appeared to be in a deep conversation and exchanging contact numbers at the time so I gave it a miss. Just another example of camaraderie, well done Peter.
One word to sum up my first club day drive: brilliant, I enjoyed every minute. Thank you to all the members who made me feel so welcome. From all who took part on the day a big thank you to Clive and Gloria for putting in all the hours of driving it took to organise such an interesting day.