After a year of ownership, here is the long overdue final installment to Dirty Little Secret.
Alarm set to 5:00am, intended departure 6:00am… a quick shower I’d headed straight to the car-park, knowing that the crew needed plenty of rest. An SMS sufficed to let them know where I was – next to the “The Car formerly known as SAKE”.
Finally got some alone time with her - took some quick snaps and checked the engine bay. Afterwards, I made my way to the Xtrail to do some housekeeping by cleaning out the empty wrappers and bottles we had consumed the previous day.
Slowly, the crew emerged out of their slumber one by one. By 6:30 the Xtrail is packed again. Matt brandishing his ceremonial red driving gloves, all wearing the important Import Bible ‘RAW’ uniform. We were ready to hit the road.
Matt’s Stint: - Melbourne to Winton
Having not ridden shotgun the night before during our celebration, Matt was honoured with the first drive back to Sydney. Matt guides her out of the bunker, and this time clearing the pavement by a whisker.
After a few blips, we were on our initial quick pits stop for fuel and drinks before we can commence the extraction back to Sydney.
While going through all the speed traps Melbourne could offer, Matt and I notice that our speedo is faster compared to what is shown on the GPS. We would discover that due to the 4.3 diff and as a quirk of NA8s, the speedo is 10kph faster than reality. No wonder we were getting overtaken by Sunday drivers and big rigs.
Just outside of Melbourne we were greeted by an awesome sight, Sunrise in the distance, rolling hills on the right, a valley on the left, the city behind and clean clear winding freeway beyond us.
As I admire the perfect setting before us, Matt’s response is simply “Reg, this is Roadster Life”.
Realising this, we decided to do our first photo shoot opportunity. We found ourselves a nice straight road just off the freeway – enough to be out of the peering eyes of highway men.
After the slight detour, we strapped ourselves in and blitzed our way to Winton Raceway.
This is the first time for all of us at Winton so plenty of tourist-like happy snaps and the mandatory RAW uniform poses.
Karl’s Stint: - Winton to Holbrook
Karl took the reigns as we left Winton, but I doubt he enjoyed the drive as the EDFC decided to chuck a tantrum and decide to reset all settings to ZERO, the hardest damper setting. Because of his recent trip to Doctors and Nurses, it was not a pleasant ride, good thing though as it wasn’t far to Holbrook.
Before we reached Holbrook, we had to pass the NSW/VICTORIA border. Karl was quick to point out that we had just successfully rescued ‘My Little Pony’ from the clutches of ‘ze Germans’, or Mexicans as they are sometimes known. Geographical stereotypes aside, it marked 2 years since the car had been in NSW.
Upon reaching Holbrook, Karl guided the wounded Corsair into our next destination and made a perfect landing back to the “Best Coffee along HUME” for a brunch (more like “Only Coffee Along The Hume” - Ed). I quickly jumped out and tried to find a way to fix the EDFC. An initial inspection proved futile - the brains had already been overruled by the stomach.
After consuming my mushroom, egg, and bacon toast I quickly grabbed the phone and called Kevin (the original owner of the car).
Thankfully - Kevin answered. So, first things first, an important Happy Birthday medley was sung by all as today was also Kev’s day…. following which, silence… my Blackberry, as always, decided to hang up. Another quick redial and we have him back online. I quickly explain the situation and was advised to wiggle, and re-connect the cable or, if possible to find a way to open the motor mechanism. Playing the cable is the only option as the latter required tools that we don’t have.
I decided to give up and just enjoy the rough ride as we were already burning essential daylight.
Nath’s Stint: - Holbrook to Marulan
We quickly refuelled the two chariots and posed for yet more piccies at the famous submarine in the middle of nowhere before we left Holbrook.
Nath took the next stint. We didn’t find the harshness of the ride that bad… until, approaching a bridge at speed, we hit a bump that nearly saw the return of our breakfast. OUCH – let’s not do that again.
So we drove cautiously and I found myself fiddling with the EDFC desperately trying to make it work. Frustration got the better off me, so I gave up and just conversed with Nath during our drive up.
We slowly got ourselves in a bind. Natures was calling and there was still one and half hours to go till the next stop - oh the pain.
Arriving at BP Marulan, I hurriedly attended to nature while the others re-supplied the two chariots. Everyone advised me to admire the back and not to approach the front of the car as I would not like what nature had left there. A entomologists dream –from little moths to gigantic dragon flies.
Will’s Stint: - Marulan to Prestons
After a few minutes of conversing and stretching the chicken legs, Will had the honour of the last leg of the trip. From here, all bets were off. The light was coming down and we are off to the races. It was during this leg of the trip that Nath captured some incredible shots using the settling sun as his backdrop. Will struts “The car formerly known as SAKE” through shot after shot, like a celebrity on the red carpet.
We finally found ourselves back in the traffic of suburbia, but closer to home. However I no longer cared how long it would be till I arrived home. In Roadster Life, the journey is much more fulfilling than the destination.
Final Stretch: - Prestons to Eastern Burbs.
Ten minutes till my Parents house; I quickly rang my second home to prepare our arrival and have the high pressure hose on standby.
The Xtrail peels off heading north to my apartment where the crew can quickly prepare for my arrival…well sort of… in reality, Matt just wants his new Pew-Pew gauss cannon installed (aka NC exhaust mod)
As we approached my parents house, we were greeted by the Matriarch of the Familia with a big “Wow that is a nice car”, while the Silent Don held the high pressure hose ready to spray the bugs away.
As we quickly clean up the front, I advised the two that Will is the soon-to-be owner of the Banana (my yellow IS200) which was conveniently parked in my parent’s garage. They congratulated Will and assured to him what he already knows – the Banana is ready for her new owner.
After the splash and dash, we were ready for the road again. This time I’m finally in the cockpit ready for my first drive in the state of NSW. But, as expected, I bogged the rear on the exit of the parents driveway, just like a bogged the front at exit of the Melbourne apartment.
After a quick reminder from Will on how to get out of his area and back to the freeway, I’d dropped him off and jumped back onto the freeway with ease. I mischievously approach the freeway tunnel slowly, gearing myself for my first orgasmic Rumble In The Tunnel.
OOOhhh so sooo good but also so so juvenile – I love it!
I quickly composed myself - getting into mischief this early would be a sign of disrespect. So I gently guided her back to normality and into the bosom of my apartment’s car park. Matt’s NC and the X-Trail are taking up all the available space, so I quickly drove around and luckily found a Visitors Parking for her to temporarily rest. We emptied out the X-Trail so it could be driven back to my parent’s place.
By this time, I’m hungry and tired, but so is everyone else. So I bid my farewell to Matt while he hurriedly prepares his NC for a quick muffler transplant – so he thinks.
I finally made it back to the parent’s place to return the X-Trail and as always, I could not resist the constant twisting of my arm to eat some food before I leave. It is funny how parents know when their kids are hungry…do we look that obvious? Like the chirps of hatchlings.
So I cheekily ate the hotdog roll knowing that the crew will be hungry when they see me.
I fell back into my elements while driving the Banana back to my apartment. The sheer comfort and solid build made me wonder why I am selling her only to be reminded when I got home – I mischievously grin the moment I see the Roadster.
That night, after the NC’s muffler transplant and my first DIY fix on the EDFC (loose connection), the crew and I , with the addition of Stefan, celebrated with a feast as we welcome “The car formerly known as Sake” back to Sydney.
That night I slept like a baby. No nightmares, only dreams; of parts, DIYs, long drives, and epic stories. It is the roadster way, the roadster life.
The END…..for now.
Part one of the Dirty Little Secret can be found here
Part two of the Dirty Little Secret can be found here
Part three of the Dirty Little Secret can be found here
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