Well, the New Year has brought a new beginning in my VW ownership life! I
have just purchased a ’98 Mark 3 Golf – the first water-cooled VW I’ve ever
owned. The long-serving air-cooled Beetles will be retained of course, but with
my new job I needed something that is more economical, has an air
conditioner with the bonus of keeping mileage down on the Beetle engines.
Maris is very pleased as he has been trying to convince me to buy a Golf since
1995! Speaking of Maris, he has bought himself a new year’s present too. Yes,
he has traded in the 2008 Golf along with the Polo and is now the proud owner
of a blue “Blue Motion” Golf.
A social event that is coming up may be the first club outings for these 2 Golfs
– our night at the Globe Derby Park on January 19th. Perfect opportunity for a
casual night out with other members, not far from town. Details are in this
magazine, so I hope to see you out there.
The Day of the Volkswagen is coming up fast on March 17th. Everything is
coming together for the day, all we need is good weather and your help by
either acting as an official or entering the show. There is a lot of work that
goes into this event, and I’m pleased to say that our efforts are usually
rewarded with a good turn-up, both with entrants and spectators. This year I
have a decision to make – which car to bring…..
Easter is only 3 months away, and that means Bug-In time. As you are
probably aware, it is being held in the Blue Mountains of NSW this year and
promises to be an enjoyable few days with social outings planned for the week
after as well, for those who want to make a holiday of it. Hopefully there are
more details in this magazine, but if not, feel free to contact me and I’ll fill you
in on anything you need to know. My plan is to take the Golf to its first Bug-In
– looking forward to the drive across the country!
As I’m sure this month’s edition of Wagen News will be a bit thin (as it
normally is at this time of the year), I will take this opportunity to remind you
that any articles about anything (remotely) about Volkswagens, are welcomed
by our Editor, as they are welcomed by the members who enjoy reading them!
Catch up with you soon,
The past month has reminded me of my motorsport days of years past. I can remember having something on nearly every weekend – a motorkhana, mud sprint (now khanacross) a rally competing as a driver or navigator, or officiating as a control keeper for a rally. Due to my son Garry’s enthusiasm for motorsport in recent years, he has drawn me back in by offering me a drive in his Subaru WRX. The first event was a motorkhana at Monarto held the week before a gymkhana at Tailem Bend. The theory was that I could adjust to his car before competing in the gymkhana. As we all know – theory is great, but sometimes things don’t work out in practice! Garry has fitted a hydraulic handbrake to his car recently and was looking forward to testing it at the motorkhana. Unfortunately it wouldn’t lock up the
rear brakes like it was supposed to so we struggled in an event where a handbrake is critical. When I say struggle Garry and I came 1st & 3rd, but the day was certainly not as enjoyable as I would like. “Don’t worry, I’ll have the handbrake sorted by next week!” said Garry. You guessed it – more problems. He spent a fair bit of Saturday trying to fix it but only succeeded in ending up with a car with no brakes at all….. Late Saturday he informed me that all was not lost as he had arranged to borrow a mate’s Mitsubishi Evo! As luck would have it I was socialising at the Southam’s house at the time so I said to Becky, “Maaaaate!” Becky has just replaced her Golf with a Nissan Silvia Turbo and was entered in the gymkhana anyway. Interesting day ahead, I thought.
Sunday dawned and after trying out the driver’s seat for size, I waited for my first run. The course was a good mixture of tight pegs to manouevre between and open stretches to “give it a squirt”. Garry looked like he’d owned the car for years and was very smooth. The Southam Beetle was flying the VW flag, with Phil giving the crowd something to cheer about when he approached a handbrake turn too fast and spun past it. Phil, Henny and Becky had mixed success with their runs – some quick runs ruined by a WD each. As luck would have it the first thing you had to do on the first run was a 360 degree donut around a barrel. This will test the handbrake out, I thought! The Nissan had heaps of grunt and after a run or two, I felt at home in it with the handbrake being a highlight.
It was a real mixture of vehicles entered, from a Mini Moke through to a Porsche 911. The quickest and most common types of car were 4WDs – Subaru or Mitsubishi. Along with the range of cars was the varied background of the drivers. Some came from drifting or other bitumen forms of motorsport, while others were from motorkhanas or khanacross. Unfortunately, the weather came in wet late in the day which put a dampener on things (pun intended). The results came out a couple of days later and it looked like there were a few teething problems with the scoring. In the provisional results, I came 36th out of approx 60 drivers, however I have since proved that there was an error of a minute on my first run, which will bring me up to around 17th. Garry snuck into the top 10 – clever dick! Overall a good day, and I would like to thank Becky for letting me drive/flog her car.
The following Sunday I got to drive the mighty Beetle in Round 1 of the State Khanacross Championship at Lanac Park. This was a day/night event where 8 runs were managed for the field of 39 cars. After a slow start, I picked the pace up a bit, but gave a few of my regular competitors too much of a head start. Graham van der Hoek and Phil Southam were driving well in their Beetles, with the Clements Lancer causing concern again. It was good to see Lyndon Wilson down there in the buggy and being very competitive. After 6 daylight runs, only one car had expired and gone home, but did the evening have a few surprises in store! Firstly, Graham’s Beetle developed a nasty engine knock, so he borrowed a Hyundai for a run, then this expired so he had to borrow a Datsun 120Y for his last run. Henny came back from her first night run coughing and spluttering – not the car – her! There was a large amount of smoke entering the car caused by a light wire shorting out. It looked terminal – with no lights at all. Phil used my car for this run, but luckily Adam Spurrier solved the issue so they could use the car for their last run. Looking at the results, I was pleased to see air-cooled VWs feature so well in the placings. They came 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 13th, with Lyndon leading the way. Adam in his Commodore also represented the club well by coming 8th. On the way home, I thought about what a great car the Beetle is – I didn’t run rally tyres, drove it to the event, came 4th – then drove home! Round 2 of this series is to be run by our club on November 10th at Tailem Bend, so I’m looking forward to that.
The State Motorkhana Championship is on tomorrow and Garry assures me he has sorted the hydraulic handbrake out, so I MAY have to give it a try!!
Well the previous look fancy but it didn’t see much update.
Hopefully with the website running WordPress we’d be able to have more people helping update the content more frequently.
You may have already noticed the facebook “like” button.
It would be nice to have one of those event page linked with facebook as well.
also the usual magazine contributor should contact email@example.com
to get an account to be able to post article. The member will have to wait until things settled down.. hopefully member will be able to comment on the article written by contributor. Commenting will most likely be limited to member, as the open comment system will attract spam.