Spurning the offer of a group table in a room at the back, we instead hijacked all the tables with street frontage. With all the curvy Japanese imports on display, the "room at the back" simply wasn't going to cut it! The staff at Fast Eddy's did their best to dodge the flying furniture as we built one giant table - one with arguably the best view in town.
Before we knew it, we had a great turnout on our hands, with a number of new members introducing themselves.
Fred Moi arrived in a white FTO heavily decorated with RALLIART signage - not to mention the aggressive bodykit. It apparently lit up like a Christmas tree at night as well...
Fay's FTO had recently been imported... complete with Tein suspension and other goodies. Unfortunately, it was holed up in her garage awaiting compliance plates! Instead, she and other half Graeme were out and about in his Calibra... a show car of no small repute.
Jules and Rebecca turned up ready for the cruise in a '96 GPX, and Rachel accompanied Matthew Roberts. Additionally, Rowan and Yvonne made it to the breakfast, but sadly were not able to join in the rest of the cruise. There's always a next time, though!
Rowan and Yvonne departed for their previous engagement, and the rest of the party prepared to form the convoy to our next destination. At a couple of minutes to nine, our departure was perfectly timed... right before the street parking stopped being free!
The convoy snaked its way through Fremantle, managing to somehow stay together down South Street. Before too long, we were bound for the bottom end of the Kwinana Freeway.
This was a great route to cross inland to the Darling Range, with country speed limit, great visibility and some nice sweeping curves past the rural back blocks. The sun was shining, the windows were down... The cobwebs were definitely blown away!
Before too long, 8 FTOs and a bright red Calibra passed through Jarradale, on the way to Serpentine Dam. Several years before, our very first "mini-meet" of 3 FTOs had made the trek to the Serpentine Tea Rooms, and we aimed to make a triumphant return.
The views from the dam were impressive, and there were many photo opportunities. Still, after about 20 minutes in full West Aussie sun, we decided to move to the carpark on the far side of the dam. The rush was on for the shady spot at the far end!
Serpentine Dam was the final cruise stop for Mark A, who needed to head back into Perth for a prior engagement.
Nevertheless, we reckoned that getting 9 vehicles out and about was a good turnout for the FTO Drivers Club. Graeme, however, noted that the last Rollaboyz cruise he'd done had ended up with a convoy of 103!
With 103 cars, you'd need to find a much larger dam...
On departing, we followed Kingsbury Rd back down the scarp to the highway. From there, it was a case of settling into a relaxed pace for the drive through North Dandalup and Pinjarra.
The road from Pinjarra to Dwellingup starts on the coastal plains, before ascending into the hills. We had a perfect, clear run on the flats, but as soon as we reached the foothills became stuck behind an ancient truck loaded with concrete blocks, barely able to manage 50km/h.
One by one, we blasted around him when the straights (and full visibility) permitted.
We had just about reached town when out of nowhere came Captain Chaos in his 4x4, on a suicide dash to nowhere at Mach 3. As well as scaring oncoming drivers witless, he also managed to fire stones the size of golf balls at the convoy with inhuman accuracy. Practically everybody reported a direct hit on either windscreen, spoiler or wing mirror. Good one, mate.
We'd reserved a table on the balcony, and had the group of vehicles in full view as we grabbed some drinks. Late Spring was turning out to be quite hot, but that's just life in this part of the world. Cold beer in hand, crickets chirping, flies buzzing... another perfect day in Oz!
The food itself was excellent. Despite a decent array of choices, the vast majority went for the pizza. We all got our liquid intake back up to par (especially those not driving back!), and everyone enjoyed having a good chinwag.
The Lunch Party
(left to right) Rachel, Matthew, Graeme, Fay, Leigh, Rich, Fred, Rebecca, Jules, Luke.
Eventually, it was time to depart. Leigh did the honours and collected the funds from everyone (and was apparently able to quit his job and retire early thanks to our dodgy maths).
We headed back over the road to our ad hoc car park, wondering if we would fit behind the wheel after the lunch we'd just demolished. To work off the excess weight, we walked around the vehicles and talked shop some more.
Leigh's vast drift wing was quite a talking point that day. It also provided shade for three other FTOs parked behind it.
Graeme's Calibra was "between entertainment systems", unfortunately, but plans were afoot to drop a vast array of subs into the rear. Come the next car show, it will no doubt be bursting judges' heads and winning some more coveted awards.
We peeled off at our respective exits, heading home after a great day on the road.
In the days following the cruise, I had several people comment to me that they were impressed by the manner in which everyone conducted themselves, both on and off the road. Thanks to everybody who made the day a success!
Thanks also to everyone who sent in the great photographs.
(c) 2002, All Rights Reserved