Thursday, 10 November 2011

My Cefiro #31: Classic Targa Adelaide

 In the middle of September, one of my favourite motorsport events was on; the Classic Targa Adelaide. Under new ownership after some management issues, the name had changed. But the event was still the same concept; lots of expensive cars going fast on some of the best roads the Adelaide Hills have to offer. 

Have a look at their website for more information:

It had been a very long time since I'd been able to attend any form of motorsport event, due to obvious health reasons. On Wednesday the 14th there was a prologue event taking place in the small country town of Tanunda, located north-east of Adelaide in the Barossa Valley. 

I was feeling relatively ok in the couple of days leading up to Wednesday, so I tentatively made plans to go if I felt up to it. The prologue started mid-morning, which was a bit early for me, as it was the best idea to stay on my liquid feed for as long as possible to give me some energy for the day's activities. 

Come Wednesday morning I was feeling able to go, and keen to see some cool cars, so at around 11:30 I grabbed my camera bag and headed out. Initially I was a bit hesitant about taking the Cefiro, not sure if it would be too obnoxious and uncomfortable for a longer drive on a highway. But since I was attending a motorsport event, I figured it would be more appropriate than a boring Commodore anyway.

On my way to the Port Expressway, this cool Toyota JZX100 Chaser caught my eye as I drove past, largely due to the nice rims, tough stance and custom plates; 'Nom Nom'. 

I'd seen the car's rear from a distance a few weeks before, as you can see below, the boot lid is particularly distinctive.

The Chaser's owner was actually getting out of the car when I pulled up across the street, so I said hello and chatted for a bit about his car. Due to my photo spamming of multiple automotive forums and my distinctive car, he actually knew who I was, and his forum name was familiar from and SAU.

After taking a few more pictures, it was back onto the road again.

It felt good getting the car up to 100, and then 110km/h once I'd made it out to the recently completed Northern Expressway. I thought the Ceffy was going to be a bit noisy and uncomfortable when I first set out. I needn't have worried. Although not as quiet as a standard Commodore, the exhaust sound was quite minimal considering how loud the car is.

I'd appreciated the side support of the Bride bucket seat in the hills, and as it turned out, it was good for highway driving as well. Since the roads were all quite good, the stiff suspension wasn't really an issue, and with the extra lumbar support of the seat, I actually found it more comfortable to drive than my parents' VY Commodore. With the flat and shapeless driver's seat, my back would tend to start aching fairly quickly from holding myself in place.

Turning off towards Tanunda, I stopped in a gravel area for a few photos. The green pastures and puffy clouds were quite a nice background, with trucks and cars passing by.

I continued up the road for a little while, and then pulled over again to photograph the scene on the side of the road; brilliant yellow fields of Canola stretching out towards the horizon.

The cool clouds made for a dramatic scene when I did a black and white conversion to this photo.

Crossing back over the road, I could hear a loping V8 in the distance, which turned out to be a Holden HK GTS Monaro. The pastel yellow paintwork looked pale in comparison to the eye-watering canola shade.

A few trucks thundered past as I waited to get back onto the bitumen.

Coming into Tanunda, I spotted the first of many competitors' cars; a nice green Holden LC Torana.

After going through some side streets due to the closed main street, I found a car park, grabbed my cameras and started walking into the town centre.

Nearby was this clean Mustang, complete with a soft toy version of the car's namesake on the rear parcel shelf.

This E36 BMW M3 had a far from subtle spoiler attached to the bootlid.

As I walked the couple of hundred metres towards the main street, competitor cars rumbled by to line up along the sides of the road. By the time I arrived the racing part was over, but I still got to hear all the awesome cars idling. 

Visible in this short lineup (front to back) are a Mazda FC RX7, Porsche 944 and a Ford Escort.

A hot 964 Porsche 911. Now I'll do my best with correctly identifying the cars in these, but I can't be an expert in everything with such a wide variety of cars, so don't take the captions as gospel.

Rounding the corner onto the main street of Tanunda, I almost had to sit down as the scene came into view...millions of dollars of Porsches lined up side by side, for what must have been nearly 100 metres.

An angry sounding rotary engine from behind turned my head; the noise was coming from this early model Mazda RX7.

These tough 911s were close behind.

Turning back to the Porsches, I took some more photos of the mouth-watering lineup.

This 997 GT3 RS was one of my favourites.

The Boxster Spyder is a fairly new addition to the Porsche range.

Cool cars continued filing past, including this Nissan R32 Skyline GTS-4...

...and it's tougher brother; the 'Godzilla' R32 Skyline GT-R.

A very lumpy V8 caught my attention, emanating from this HRT Holden VL Walkinshaw, originally competing in the Australian Touring Car championship a couple of decades ago.

I'm not sure if it was the genuine article or just a replica; but if so, they did a very good job.

Another R32 Skyline GT-R burbled past as I kept walking.

I then joined a small crowd of people around what was probably one of the most expensive cars there; a Porsche Carrera GT. I'd never had the opportunity to see one in the metal, and spent some time staring and drinking in all the little details.

This matte black Jaguar XK-R was very cool too.

There were more Porsches scattered around.

There was also a late model Mustang, the driver serving as Chaplain for the event.

I took some more photos of the Japanese Motorsport sponsored R32.

It was parked right next to the Supaloc 911.

Nissan Gazelles aren't exactly popular in motorsport circles, so this example must be one of few.

The bright red Just Jap R32 GT-R looked good in the bright sunshine.

As did this Holden Monaro.

It was hard to miss the green striped R32 GTS-4.

The Supaloc Lamborghini Gallardo certainly received its fair share of attention, especially when it was started up.

Getting a bit tired after walking around for a little while with two heavy cameras, I decided to head back to the car, snapping a few more photos on the way back.

Not that I'm even close to being able to work yet, but it was a little bit depressing some of the other professional car photographers in action. 

I feel like it was something that was taken away from me by my health, just as my career was really starting to take off with constant shoots and articles for mags such as Truckin' Life, Extreme Performance, Street Fords, Zoom, High Performance Imports, Power Torque, Street Commodores, Hot 4s, Australian Street Rodding, Caravan & Motorhome, mixed in with some people and architectural photography, and licencing some images for advertising use by Mack Trucks, amongst some print and image CD sales.

Hopefully I can get back to at least doing a little bit, I really hate having to be stuck at home 20 hours a day while my feed machine is pumping the liquid nutrition into me. That said, I'm in the middle of editing my photos down to put together an official portfolio site. Which I'm hoping will help lead to further licencing opportunities for some more passive income, that doesn't require me to physically do things that I'm not up to.

Anyway, I got back to the car with my arms and legs aching a bit, and sat down for a while to do some water, as it was a warm and sunny day,

After sitting down resting for a while, I headed out again, pulling onto the road behind a cool old Bentley convertible. I'm not sure of the model or year, but I would guess it was made in the 1930s or 1940s.

I took a few more photos in a nearby park.

Since it was such a nice day, I went for a long drive through the Barossa and back through the Adelaide Hills. After hearing all the awesome cars in Tanunda, I was curious as to what my car sounded like from the outside. Apart from idling in a workshop or carpark, I'd never had the opportunity to hear it.

So after stopping on the side of a 110km/h signed road, I set up my D90 on a tripod, and proceeded to take off down the road. 

It was worthwhile finding a 110 zone, as it allows you to stretch the car's legs a bit without doing anything illegal.

I think it sounds really good, but I'm obviously a little biased. I took a few more pics, then continued heading back south towards some of my more familiar haunts.

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