Targa Tasmania 2014: Historic Rallye
Fancy Tassie roads at a less frenetic pace? Uncle Phil takes us through his Tassie Tour...
Targa Tasmania 2014: Unique Cars Historic Rallye
This is our fifth Unique Cars Historic Rallye which runs in conjunction with the main Targa circus. We call it the ‘wine and dine tour’, because it’s an event where the hubby can pull the old car out and the wife gets to come too and enjoy the atmosphere. You can drive as fast or slow as you like; no stop watch, no calculators.
This year I took my great friend from America, Ron Crawford, who said it was genuinely one of the best events he’s been to. And he’s done them all. He couldn’t believe the freedom to go as fast as you liked across the four stages, while enjoying such a spectacular place. Our entourage included 27 cars and a great bunch of people.
Fortunately, it’s not a car-breaker, either. You’re cruising through the towns, driving through Tassie’s gorgeous and wild locations. We did some wine tasting during the days, stayed at the Hobart casino and the Grand Chancellor in Launceston. Tour leader Geoff and fiancée Michelle need praise for their efforts organising the whole shebang and they get in on it too, driving their 1965 Mustang convertible. I gave the whole show a high-nine out of ten. The food is exceptional and accommodation sublime. It’s a great package with everything taken care of, but you do need to get in early…
This year we had a good variety of cars, from Austin Healeys, MGBs, a Dino, Mustangs and Aussie gear. After alighting from the Spirit of Tasmania we all met on the isle-side of Bass Strait for the run to Launceston. From there we headed down to Symmons Plains Raceway to spend the first day there. It’s an important stop on the Tour because Tasmania has a rich history of motorsport and cars in general. It also helps get you eased into it all.
From Symmons Plains, we then headed for the first of the ‘go-fast’ stages on day two. There’s no pressure and it is great value for money: if you go in the competitive Targa Tasmania you drive only a fraction more but it costs more, and you’re always going flat-chat with not much time to relax. Don’t get me wrong though, Targa is all about going hard, but the UC Historic Rallye takes you on the scenic route without a roll cage, where you can wear normal clothes and smell the fresh air... and not each other’s pits.
My favourite ‘stage’ is ‘Elephant Pass’ because it does need commitment, while still going at your own pace; I can go through there pretty quickly while still being comfortable. Most of the guys who’ve been through there have done it a number of times, and it’s just a road that’s fast and tests you without going overboard. Actually, it reminds me what it is that makes car people love driving: it gets the blood pumping.
If you want to do something that gets you out and about, where you can take the car and your dearly beloved and enjoy the company of other people, while eating and drinking along the way, get on the Unique Cars Historic Rallye. Tas Vacations are the ones to speak to, and they arrange everything. All you have to do is fill up and drive. For more information or to make your bookings for 2015, call Brianna Crichton, Events Coordinator at Tas Vacations on (03) 6234 4666.
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