While you’ve been “working” from home (at the beach) and whingeing about your mortgage, power bills, food prices, tollway prices, house prices, rent prices, schooners at $12, motoring authorities trying to kill tarmac rallying – and being grateful that the Hakushu Rob Roy with the 18-year-old Suntory Hakushu, Cocchi Torino vermouth and bitters is still only $330 at Sydney’s Maybe Sammy – real Australians have been in most corners of the globe and in some of the middle bits, winning all sorts of sporting events
Twenty readers, younger reader adviser JP of Perth and one friend, remember never, never, never believe that any world-class competition will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on that strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he/she/they will encounter.
Take the Australian cricket team. Our lads over there won the second big one (Ashes Test) against the soap dodgers only to have three members of the club – allegedly named Bartholomew Frinton-Smythe, Humphrey Wigburt-Porter and Quinten Breckenridge – putting on the show and verbally abusing them.
Take Jai Hindley, 27, of Perth, Western Australia (despite having only ridden a tricycle when he was aged between two and 15, JP says he taught Jai all he knows). Jai won a stage in the Tour de France. But did the snail eaters and submarine sellers think this was une bonne chose? Non. They thought it was une chose de merde.
And I think they said he was Austrian.
But in the biggest travesty since the Great Emu War … wait, you don’t know about one of Australia’s greatest ever conflicts? A battle where our brave persons were outnumbered 20,000 to one? Well, of course, the old bloke was there and for younger readers he recounts the story here: “It was September 1932 and a military force comprising Major Gwynydd Purves Wynne-Aubrey Meredith of the Royal Australian Artillery’s 7th Heavy Artillery, with soldiers, Sergeant S. McMurray, Gunner J. O’Halloran and myself, Sapper M. McMichael, armed with three Lewis guns and 10,000 rounds of ammunition, alighted at the station on Joe Joyce’s Campion farm. Despite trying ‘every trick in the book – ambushes, military formations, mounting one of the machine guns on the back of a truck – the emus performed like a well oiled army and they can face machine guns with the invulnerability of tanks. They are like Zulus whom even dumdum bullets could not stop’.
“A NSW state Labor politician asked if a medal was to be struck for those taking part? His federal counterpart answered that it should go to the emus, ‘who have won every round so far’.”
As that bible/Tanakh/Koran of all things powered by petrol engines, Road & Track, says: “Shane van Gisbergen became the first driver to step into a NASCAR Cup Series car and win on debut since Johnny Rutherford did it in 1963.
“SVG’s landmark NASCAR win at Chicago has reopened the long-closed door to a world where the greatest drivers on Earth show up in other single-seat disciplines, land in winning cars, and actually beat the best.”
Now the Humphrey Wigburt-Porters among you will try the old “well Shaney is from that most eastern of Australian states, New Zealand”. Fake news.
If you didn’t see the race then, do you and the kiddies a favour and head over to Kayo and see Chicago like you’ve never seen it before. It’s extraordinary racing on wet streets and just how cool Shaney is.
Kiddies (and parents) don’t copy this in your Corolla (and of course you’d never let mummy and daddy buy one of those evil electric cars would you?) but at various points of the race SVG has both hands off the wheel, is having a Coke (the drink) and looks about ready to roll a rollie.
Bottom line is that his strategy is perfect and he is so in control that even the members of the MCC and Croquet Club wouldn’t dare to say a word to him.
Talking of Chicago, I do have to mention the Noosa Concours d’ Elegance next Saturday. Of course, it’s in South Yarra By The Sea, where Melbourne folk of a certain vintage go because they have no beaches and think this is what la ciudad del aburrimiento would look like if it had palm trees and sand.
Reader No.12, Steve Padgett, who is chairman of Alliance Airlines, recently the subject of a proposed acquisition by Qantas, (a matter that is firmly in the hands of our friends at the ACCC who if they can fix Mazda can certainly fix any problems Stevo has) is the co-curator of the event.
Stevo tells me (of course has secretly promised that he would fly the old bloke and me to the scene of the Great Emu War in WA and organise for Dick Marles to personally present Mick with his long-awaited GEW medals if I mention the event again) that at SYBTS at 10.45am, 50 iconic automobiles will enter Hastings St by announcement.
He tells me that there’ll be a 1911 Benz (now out of warranty), the late Queen’s Rolls-Royce, one of Australia’s few Veyron Bugattis and my black Holden SSV8 ute. Anyway, it’s worth going just to say hullo to Sandy Button, chairman of the Pebble Beach Concours.
The old bloke and I have followed Sandy’s philosophy in all aspects of our lives for many years now: “Buy the best you can afford, what you love. If you buy the wrong thing don’t forget the first loss is the cheapest so if you don’t like it and it doesn’t work, sell it and move on.”
If you can’t make it to Noosa, join the Phil Alexander WART team at the Mazda MX-5 Cup at Sydney racetrack by the dump. Bad news: the Herring family is back.
Given the state of tarmac rallying, have a look at the ex-Mikko Hirvonen 2004 Subaru Impreza S10 WRC.
It comes with great blue paint, a competition-spec turbocharged 2-litre flat-four driving all four wheels via a six-speed sequential transmission with right-hand-only push/pull paddle shift.
$500k, no more to pay.