Ashton’s President’s Prattle for June 2024

Ashton's Alvis Speed 20

Hello from the delights of summer in the UK (in Flanders and Swan’s song, Farmers fear unkindly May, frost by night and hail by day.)

While it appears to have been a rather sudden introduction to winter in Australia, the planning for events ahead continues unabated. Most significant from a pre-planning perspective is the next biennial celebrations, which are slated for 7-10 March next year, based around “border country” between Victoria and NSW. Full details are still being ironed out, but accomodation is likely to be centred in Albury. So put it in the calendar now!

Nearer to then, we are starting the get organised for the All British Day on 15 September, this year being held for the first time at Hawkesbury Showground, giving you a good opportunity to drive the car more than 15 minutes out of town! Evan will be organising tickets shortly, so watch out for his email.

Ahead of that is the bumper weekend of Saturday 24th August, the CLA CSCA sprint at Sydney Motorsport Park, and the Shannons Classic on Sunday 25th. Once again, the club has bought an allocation of tickets for the Shannons Classic, so drop Evan a line and he’ll sort you out if you are one of the lucky first 13 to apply. Sadly I won’t be joining you as I will be participating in the Great Cape Rally, starting from Cairns on 21st, and by that weekend we should be close to the Top End.

Regarding our CSCA sprint on the 24th, please could I ask any volunteers to marshall to get in touch with the Motorsport team on as we will need a good show of support to make the day the raging success it always has been.

So that’s what we have to look forward to in the coming months (and of course there will be our AGM and Christmas parties across the states in December).

As far as feedback from the front goes, this month’s highlight has been attending the Club Lotus track day at Castle Coombe. This is a very friendly affair (think a cross between the old All British Day, and a Lotus Only track day at Wakefield) – loads of variety of cars, lots of sub-groupings (Lotus Cortinas, Excels, Eclats and Elites from the ’70s, M100s, and of course more recent cars – but also an excellent showing of the HLRs members. So some food for thought – would it be of interest to try to do something similar, perhaps for our Christmas party? Or if not then, perhaps earlier or later (depending a bit on track availability of course)? Let me have your thoughts.

The other highlight has been my mode of transport. Nick, my co-driver in the Perth to Sydney and soon to be in the Great Cape Rally, keeps this beautiful (not concours) Alvis Speed 20 in the UK and asked me to give her a shakedown ahead of his visit later this month. So I obliged. Well, you would wouldn’t you?

What an absolute hoot. A completely different experience in motoring. You can’t be in a hurry to do anything (including getting going in the morning – she takes 20 minutes to warm up enough to get into first gear) but once moving, she is a smile a mile, and almost everyone you drive past in towns and villages (because motorways are a bit dull at 60mph!) smiles and waves. Small kids and old men in particular seem delighted by her enormous headlights and swooping mudguards. And in my opinion, the Charlesworth body on Monica (as I christened her, as I asked Nick if she had a moniker, to which he responded “not yet”) is by far the most striking. I’m only sorry not to have a pair of spats and a violin case. I did buy a fedora when we visited the Royal Cornwall Show last week, however.

I have told Nick that he’d better look after my car while he has her 🙂

Ashton's Alvis Speed 20

Upcoming this month is the Classic Team Lotus Garden Party on 15th, and the Club Elite luncheon on Thursday the 20th (which I am hoping to take my friend Richard’s Elite to to keep in line with tradition.) I’ve aslo been asked to bore Club Lotus Avon with the story Giles and I wrote about P2P, and which appears to have done the rounds – the internet is a remarkable thing, for all its faults!

So I will update you next month on that, and additionally we are hoping next month will see the publication of the first of the new format Chunky’s Chatters, so please do send us any articles, letters of feedback/abuse/help, adverts for sale or wanted etc etc.

By then I will be back in Sydney, and doubtless the sun will come out in the UK as I leave! Until then, stay safe, upright and mainly on the blackstuff.

Pip pip,

Ashton's Alvis Speed 20

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.