Ah, it’s good to be back, but the brief hiatus was much needed. Myself and the Mrs got Ben back home and settled in with his sister here to look out for him and then we took off up north for a little getaway.
It wasn’t Saab-free, though….
It was actually a car club event that had been organised around six weeks ago. When Ben scheduled his surgery around 10 days ago we didn’t realise that the two would coincide. Fortunately his procedure was relatively non-invasive and he’s a pretty good patient.
So the weekend started with a two hour drive north to Launceston, where we visited the National Automobile Museum. Their feature display this month is Chevrolet cars and they had quite a few outstanding examples on show. The Museum is a retired guy’s dream. It’s staffed mostly by retired volunteers, many of whom own one (or more) of the classic cars on display. There’s around 50 cars on display and they change the feature display every month. My favourite from this visit was the 1974 Alfa Romeo Montreal.
From there we headed on to Clarendon House, just south of Launceston. It’s a historic homestead built back in the days when when Tassie was mostly populated by convicts so the labour used to construct it was free. Eventually, with the arrival of skilled artisans who couldn’t get any work, the property owners were forced to pay a wage to their labourers and this shut many of the big houses down.
We toured the property and then stayed for dinner and a movie that evening. Magnificent stuff. Below are a couple of pics showing most of the cars that were there, though three or four more arrived after these photos were taken.
The feature car of the group was Mike M’s 1973 Saab 96 V4. Mike purchased the car new in the UK and then brought it out to Australia when he emigrated with his family. It sits in storage most of the time now, but gets a run every once in a while when we have events like this one. We suggested to him that it might do well to display in the museum for a while to free up some space.
We also had a near-new SportComvi there as well as a 20th Anniversary 9-3 Convertible. Amongst several other 9-3s and 9-5s and a classic 900 Convertible, it was a pretty decent spread.
Which is also an appropriate description for the dinner. Hearty beef and chicken soup, lamb shanks and finally a delicious apple and raspberry crumble.
We stayed the night at another homestead about 20 kilometers away called Woolmers Estate, which was also pretty nice. We also ran into Ben’s surgeon at Woolmers, which may sound quite amazing to you, but that sort of thing happens pretty regularly here in a small place like Tassie. Woolmers has one of the best rose gardens in the country, though I wouldn’t know as we took off in the morning without touring around. We wanted to get back home and check on how things were going. Either we were concerned about Ben, or missed our dog. I’ll let you work it out.
It was a great event and some much needed therapy. We covered around 500kms over the weekend and the Viggen was once again flawless every step of the way. I love this car!