Fantasy weekend drive results

26 August 2011 

We asked our good facebook fans what would be their favourite car from our sheds to take away for the weekend of driving and we got a very large response of different answers! Here are the top 5 results in order of the cars picked the most often, and my thoughts on the cars you have picked!




1. Peter Brock's 1979 A9X - Well what can i say, an amazing car, it ticks all the boxes, looks, pedigree, originality and providence. But for a weekend away drive.. ahhh not my pick, after 100km of driving you would be soon sick of the race tryes that dart around on every non perfect road surface you encounter (that's 95% of the roads in Qld), noise is glorious, but would tend to run thin for even the biggest V8 fan after 300km of sparsely muffled driving...Then finally fuel.. getting 100 octane is a bit hard at  most servo's and you would need refuelling after the first few hours! But, if it was just going to the track, the perfect choice and well worthy of being at the top of our list.   



2. Allan Moffat's Trans Am Mustang - Another car picked with the heart not the head! It is sitting right in front of me as I type, and the biggest issue is apparent as i stare at her.. Ground Clearance!!! It's road hugging stance if perfect for a race track, but on the road it would make you wince every time you went anywhere near a man hole cover on the road (thankfully there are not too many of these on race tracks), noise would be deafening, and before you could say the words "running on empty", you would be! Small tank for sprint races means her range would only get you to the next town, but what a drive that would be!! A truly glorious car that could only be driven on normal roads in the biggest fantastical fantasy. But like the Brock A9X, take her to the race track and that all changes.



3. Dick Johnson's Greens Tuf.  Now we are talking something a little bit more usable on the road, if you didn't want passengers. Long range tank, reasonable handling for the roads with all it's suspension travel and it even has power steering to make things that bit easy in the shopping centre car parks. Boot-space is invaded with the huge tank and dry brake system, so while your parking her, do not think you will have much room to fit anything inside! Engine roar is magnificently loud, but you could handle it a bit easier over the distance than say the Moffstang above! Hope you never have a tyre issue, especially on a rear as the tyres are no longer being made...could be a looooong wait on the side of the road to find another one! Still, what a beautiful old beast, that is almost tantalisingly usable for the weekend away.


4. We have a three way tie: Ron Thorp's Cobra, Tru Blu and the Moffat #9 Phase 3....



The Thorp Cobra is my ultimate pick of the whole collection, so to those of you who chose it, well done! It is a wonderful mix for a car, in which Ron Thorp utilised to great effect the years he raced and ran it. It can be used on the road (could be a bit noisy, but having driven it in a 500km long round trip and the smile on my face only got bigger with each km run, I will say it is about perfect for noise). Big fuel tank allows for an extended range, great amount of power and perfect to steer. About the only minus would be if it rains, the roof is hopeless and i do not think it has been raised since it first came to Australia in 1965. The hardtop it has is good, but really isolates you from the pure driving experience of being out in the open, exposed to the elements, taking in the great roads and clean country air Australia has to offer!  



Tru Blu- read my comments for  Greens Tuf and minus the power steering! Totally magnificent car, one of my favourite race cars in the collection, but to use for a weekend away.. the romance you have with her would be lost pretty soon! Again, take her to the track an just do laps, like John French did in her a few weeks ago, if you saw the smile on Frenchy's face when he hopped out, you know the joy this old girl would give you.


Moffat #9 Phase 3-  To me, it is one of the purest racing Muscle Cars we have in the collection, right there with the Beechey Monaro. Loud, angry and difficult for those lacking the talent of Moffat to drive fast, but for these reasons it is a rewarding animal- on the track. On the road it is a total nightmare, I know this as many years ago we used to drive it to local events!!  It gets trailered everywhere for good reasons including the cranky engine, heavy brakes, noise, steering and those race tyres! She 100% belongs at a track, so if you stay there for the weekend, you will be happy.


5. Two of the worlds greatest sports cars have a tie here, one we have owned and driven on the road for close to twelve years and the other that was found and brought into the country by my brother Chris for one of his best customers. I present to you the 1965 Ford GT40 and the mighty M8E Can Am McLaren.



1965 Ford GT40- One of the greatest sports cars ever made full stop. When we bought this old girl we really thought we would be driving it quite a bit on the road, but within about 3 months of ownership we realised how foolish our romantics notions had been! Firstly, she is an out and out race car, the clutch and engine combination mean you feel you are doing evil things to her at slow speeds around town, in fact any speed under 100kph is shocking and you know your doing a severe disservice to her by running it at anything slower, This point alone gets it off the great road car weekend list for me. No visibility, shocking heat and ventilation just compound the annoyances. But for all that, once you get to your destination, to have her sitting there cooling down, you could just sit next to her for the next day and night, looking at that beautiful shape. It really does not get any better, and is the main reason this car sits 5 metres away from my desk here at Bowden's Own HQ, so I can take the occasional perve and lose myself in it's lines. 



1971 M8E Can Am McLaren- Seriously people, what are you thinking!! This would have to be the most unusable weekend away car ever.. Firstly, that big block Chevy demands only the highest grade fuel, so running her for a weekend would mean a fuel shortage at all Qld airports, grounding entire fleets of planes, creating all sorts of transport nightmares. There is nil ground clearance, worse than the Moffstang. Visibility, even being bright yellow, you run the risk of a soccer mum's 4wd's running right over the top of you. No windscreen, so being exposed to the elements adds a whole new meaning, especially if you encounter a locust plague, or a kangaroo!  It's glorious bellowing voice is something that would be heard half way around Australia and with room to fit one person and a small travel bag, all practicality is gone out the window. a dream fantasy, for all the reasons given against it, it would have to be just an amazing car to take for that weekend away, something you and every person who saw (and heard) M8E run past them bellowing flames, would certianly never forget!!   


Always good fun to fantasise about the cars and using them outside their usable constraints, so maybe one day with a bit of thought and being sure all practicalities are thrown out the window, those dreams can in fact become a reality! I am off to find the keys to that McLaren right now...  


Keep dreaming away!

Dan Bowden