Sunday, February 6, 2011

Jugiong 2011 - Michael Livingstone Run

Packed carpark at the Jugiong local pool/public park

Michael Livingstone passed away several years ago, but his contribution to the Classic Car movement is recognised annually by the Cootamundra Antique Car Club with the annual 'Michael Livingstone Run' to Jugiong.  

Michael was a key figure in the Leyland P76 movement (and the Model A movement, and the Cootamundra Car movement...) and was the founder and President of the Country NSW P76 Club. He and Gwen also organised the 2006 Nationals in Cootamundra - which ran like clockwork. His Aspen Green Targa Florio P76 was a repeat concourse winner at the Nationals he attended with it, and Gwens 6 cylinder P76 (recently sold) was also very well turned out. 

It is a small event which I enjoy attending as it gives me the opportunity to catch up with Gwen Livingstone, and also to look at the different cars that the Cootamundra Antiques drive. This year there was a large contingent from the Illawarra Vintage Car club. Normally there are a few P76's in attendance at this event, but I figure the nasty weather may have played a part in numbers being down this year. It rained almost all the way from Canberra ( a 90 minute drive). Oddly, none of the Country P76 Club members attended. So I was the sole Leyland P76 at this years event.

I was looking forward to the long drive (240 km round trip) as this would be the first decent drive in the P76 since I had my exhaust system repaired and replaced late last year. My car had been making excessive noise and an odd rattle I couldn’t trace. I only figured it out when I opened my bonnet in the dark one night, and noticed that the passenger side exhaust manifold had come adrift from the head. The intermittent shooting flames sort of gave it away. I had a poke around and it appeared a bolt had sheared at some point. This also explained why the car was a little ‘exhaust fumey’ for some time.

I have always found Belconnen Exhaust Centre to be very professional and reasonable to deal with, so I had them repair the manifold and replace the rusted out exhaust. As this car was in a shed for nearly 20 years, I am reasonably confident that this was the first exhaust change for this car! The change in ‘note’ is very obvious, the car is much quieter. I miss the raspiness of the previous exhaust, but not the excessive noise or fumes. The drive was trouble free and reminded me once again why of all my cars, I enjoy driving the 4 speed V8 Super P76 most of all. Its road handling is superb, it is comfortable to drive and the ergonomics are fantastic (apart from the location of the wiper switch). The V8 also has plenty of power and makes overtaking easy and safe. 

Before I departed I spent a futile hour looking for my camera, I couldn't find it, and I also couldn't find my 'car show' cap, which is a 2008 P76 Nationals Cap, festooned with Leyland badges and pins. I suspect the two items are colocated... So I present todays photo essay courtesy of my camera phone.
 Model A Ford Woody owned by Gwen Livingstone
Model A Ford sedan
 Peugeot 404
 Nice HQ Statesman
 EK Holden
 FC Holden Wagon
 HZ Holden Kingswood
 EH Holden 
 Very 70's colour scheme on the Torana
 4 door Studebaker Lark
  Isuzu Bellet
 4 door XB GT
 Late 60's Fairlane
 Uniquely Australian Chrysler Royal. Half Chrysler, half de Soto. 
 CM Chrysler 

Triumph Renown (made from 1949-54)
 Triumph Stag
 1937 Austin 10
 Morris Oxford (1948-54)
 Morris Minor
 Austin A30
 Mercedes Benz
 BMW 323 M
 Karmann Ghia based on VW type 3 mechanicals
 Last of the MG's
 Jaguar Mk II
 Jaguar Mk II
 Vauxhall Cresta or Victor from the mid 60's
 I so badly want a Humber Super Snipe.
 1953 Bedford Fire truck
 Hillman Super Minx Estate
 Hillman Gazelle
 I dont know why there is a pig on the parcel shelf, looking at the traffic behind it, but Im sure there's a reason. Nice macrame rug.
 Walking stick with indicators and mirror. His thumb is on the indicator switch!
First outing for the Bitter Apricot 4 Speed Super P76 since I fitted the new plates.  

It was a very pleasant gathering, and after wandering around looking at cars and chatting to the owners and spouses, I went and had lunch at the 'Long Track Pantry' a charming cafe in Jugiong, across the road from the swimming pool/local park. Today it was booked out, and I guess that doesn't happen every weekend - then again, i'm not sure how often a hundred old cars turn up in Jugiong for the day either. 

While I was lunching it struck me that about 80% of the cars on the run, were British! There's a whole PhD in why the Australian car market went from primarily British to primarily Japanese, but I dont know if in 40 years time we will see the same affection for Camrys that we do for Hillman Super Minx Estates.

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