Report by Simon "The Prez" Shaw


    President’s Report:
The First ECCA Meet and AGM: Adelaide 2006

I’ve written it before and I’ll write it again: the first ECCA meet and AGM held in Adelaide over the September/October long weekend was the best three days I’ve had in years. The weather, the organization, the members, the reeks, everything just came together perfectly for that one short space and time. And when things come together that well you just know that the thought, planning and co-ordination that’s gone into the event has been exemplary.
I was pumped just walking out of the airport on the Friday arvo! I had been trying to explain a Eureka to the gorgeous blonde I was sitting next to in the plane. I walked out of the terminal about a minute after Phil Brow rocked up in his reek. Thirty or so people just stopped and stared as I got in, the blonde smiling her approval, coming out of the terminal doors. Gee’s, this is going to be a good weekend!
I wasn’t too thrilled when Phil almost put us under the side of a four wheel drive going through a roundabout on the way to the motel, but full points must be awarded for his sheer reaction speed. Not to mention his non-plussed attitude!

The motel was awesome. Well laid out and comfortable, with the much required bar facilities. And what a view! As the sun faded we arced up the barby in the park across the road and downed a beer or two while we waited and watched for the reeks to come in.
Mary and Dragan trailered their reek while Paul’s ever faithful Dweeby kept convoy. They pulled in just in ti
me for a feed. Stuart had driven his own fine example all the way from Bendigo and had organized to stay with friends, after checking in at the motel with us. Met new member Shaun for the first time as well as James ( Sting 7 ) and partner Rita who endeared herself to all of us by taking James’s brand new, just delivered ECCA jacket off him (I think before he’d even tried it on) and wearing it herself in the cool conditions. Meeting Richard (Cyco), my room-mate, was a crack up too. This club just draws the best people. The stage was set.
A full breaky at the motel restaurant the following morning and the reeks assembled, ready to rock. Phil had route maps, destinations and convoy orders to pass out during the informal drivers briefing and passengers were allocated vehicles. Strewth, the Army’s not this well organized!
Check out that photo, to the right. It was one of those classic days with a perfect temperature and not a cloud in the sky. I had lucked out: Phil had me a passenger in Shaun’s rotary reek. For those of you that don’t know me, I just love rotaries. So it doesn’t get much better than rotaries in reeks. Cruising through the outer city streets and up to the base of the mountains was sheer joy. My first time in a rotary reek in years and mate, I was loving it.
We pulled over outside of town at the base of the hills to wait for James’ two reeks and took the inevitable photo opportunity.
James, Rita and friend Jarrod arrived shortly and I guess we all got a bit carried away checking out ”Bluey”, James’s second reek. He’d put in a guts effort to get it there but unfortunately it was still suffering overheating problems. Gee’s it looked the part though!
Then we were away and generally behaving ourselves in convoy on this glorious stretch of highway into the mountains when somebody put their foot down and everyone else went with him! Reeks everywhere, zooming in and out of the bewildered traffic. Unreal fun.

Going flat out through that new tunnel section had me woo-hooing like a freak, as Shaun had the rotor howling in third gear at more than 7000 rpm (the tacho only went to 7. He’s getting a bigger one, apparently!), echoing off the tunnel walls. This is definitely the ****, kids!
First stop was the lookout at Mt Lofty, to begin the classic tourist part of the drive. The last time I was in Adelaide was in ’86, so I had forgotten the breath-taking view from the lookout and the sheer beauty of the surrounding areas.
Then it was off to Gumeracha to check out this oversized rocking horse. I had to ring Phil up while I was writing this because I couldn’t remember what we were supposed to be looking at. Like most of us, I spent the whole time in the car park of the venue talking about reeks and checking them out.
The roads we were traveling on and the scenery we were seeing was excellent. You know. The classic green hilly country that forces everybody to slow down and really suck up the atmosphere. Thoroughly picturesque.

Next was our lunch stop at Birdwood with the opportunity to check out the National Motor Museum. The last production Ford GTHO’s, Holden A9X’s, Sandman panelvans, Australian Mini’s/Sigma’s etc etc: once again, eye-opening and totally worthwhile. Another choice barby in the adjacent park and a couple more coldies and I’m completely in the fun zone. You’ve got to remember, I’m being chauffeured everywhere in a rotary reek. And what’s better than that, kids?

Bloody nothing is better than that!

The afternoon drive was another eye-opener, back down through the cliffs/canyons of a more north-eastern approach to the city. Tyres squealing, engines reverberating off the cliff walls. This was the more challenging content of the day’s trip. Shaun was on and off the accelerator, brake and gears and generally enjoying himself. I was sucking up the smell of petrol, rubber and the sounds of a hard-worked rotor. Any one we lost behind us was back there in a minute or two, right up our clacker. They were obviously enjoying themselves too.
We took the long way back to the motel, through the city. Not too populated, but we still stopped traffic everywhere we went. James and Jarrod peeled off to take their reeks home and Stuart did the same a couple of K’s later and returned in a brand x for the dinner.

Did you see the ECCA site opening photo? It was taken of Shaun and I cruising back to the motel about this time. I was taking this photo (to the right) of Paul and Richard in Dweeby. This is for those of you who wanted to see the return shot I took, while hanging out of Shaun’s reek.
Once back at the motel, it was time to reflect on the days’ activities over some further calming ales. Then we were invited upstairs for the formal/informal dinner.
Phil and wife Andrea had put a lot of thought and effort into setting the place up. It was unbelievable. On the wall behind us big screen projected video footage and stills of the days activities looped through while rare reek advertisements from the '70's hung from the walls and we sat our drinks on custom made commemorative ECCA coasters. Good food, wine and company. Did we have a blinder? You bet your elephant ears, we did!
After the dinner had wound down some of us wandered up the road to the local night spot to continue the evening celebrations. I’d like to be able to say things got rowdy at this stage, but I was on the verge of not being able to remember things, so I called it.
The following morning Andrea suggested we raise the rebel flag (Eureka) over the hotel in place of the hotel chain's flag for the duration of the first ECCA AGM. What a good idea! I think we might’ve inadvertently started a tradition there…
Richard thought he’d take a couple of pics looking up at us from down in the park. Hilariously, there was a well-dressed drunk, complete with wine bottle, obviously wasted and left over from the previous night, following Cyco around and offering him a drink. We nearly fell over ourselves laughing!
Discussion at the meeting centred on multiple topics but nothing worth mentioning here. Focus was also re-directed back onto our club's primary goal: find and maintain more reeks. It’s not just a club member responsibility: everyone out there reading this, if you know of a reek hiding somewhere that we should know about, talk to the owner. If not, tell one of us so we can talk to him. We’ll identify it and get a plaque on it.
After the meeting and the ritual flag lowering, we wasted our time at the food and wine exhibition, realizing that we wouldn’t be eating or drinking anything for a realistic price. So we went to a local pie house for a feed halfway up Jetty Road. The amount of car traffic/cruising going on inspired all of us to mount up and bring the reeks through there, on the way to the markets. Another good idea. Plenty of ogling from the assembled public etc.etc. Gee’s I live for that stuff!
The drive out to the markets was another good route to be in a reek. A nice leisurely pace and plenty of magnificent scenery to absorb. At the markets, good ol’ Phil made a bigger legend of himself running out of fuel just outside the car park, on the way to get some. Everyone made sure they “paid out” on him for that!
The afternoon was a far more casual trip out to James’ place for multiple coldies, pizzas and a night full of laughs. A couple of us had already left by then, including myself, the rest began their return journeys the following morning. From all accounts, a rip-roaring night of laughs was enjoyed by all who remained, capping off a memorable weekend in the best possible way. As I said above, I'd had the best weekend I've had in years.
We'll have double the reeks next year. The venue this time was probably a bit far for our Queensland members. However, the numbers we saw at Adelaide were roughly the same as we had at Bathurst last year, so the overall turn out was still far worthy.
Ron, the organizer of the first meets before ECCA, had begun a tradition of choosing the location for the next meet during the current one. Following that tradition we chose to return to our roots for the 2007 meet and visit where it all began: the Eureka Stockade at Ballarat. That puts it within range of our Queensland members and nearly everybody else. Paul and Mary have generously put up their hands to do the organizing. Should be a blinder. But I expect that the first ECCA meet will always be remembered as the best. As far as I’m concerned, nothing will ever change that.

On behalf of all who attended, thanks heaps, Phil and Andrea.



Note: The Prez presented the "Peoples Choice Award" to "BLUEY" at the AGM,
Congratulations James



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