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On Sunday morning 17thMay 2105, a group of more than a couple of dozen Italian grand tourers pulled away from the kerbs in Melbourne’s Lygon Street headed for Woodend about an hour away so that the Maserati Owners Club of Australia could check on the restoration of a Maserati Mexico.

Andy in Woodend was restoring the Mexico for Ian Crisp and the club was keen to monitor progress. Then it was on to lunch at the Cosmopolitan Hotel at Trentham.

But first it was Cafe Nero at Tiamo to fire up for the event.

The flag used to start the event was a cloth place mat from a dinner the club held in December which had been signed by Australian champion Reg Hunt (who had a cold and could not attend) who had raced an open wheeled Maserati 250F to victory in the Australian Grand Prix in the 1950s. Chris de Fraga officiated as Raid starter.

OAT or outside air temperature was 7 deg C: who could blame him? The club claimed four world championships for Maserati and 192 wins by 1959.

More important was the enthusiasm of the gathering for Italian Auto Icons, a group of enthusiasts who it seemed admitted any European grand touring car.

It is the seventh annual Raid we have held from Tiamo restaurant in Carlton and each was held in fine weather,’’ according to organizer David Zeunert as he sampled the outdoor heating of the restaurant in Melbourne’s 7 deg. C of late Autumn fine weather.

The noise the start produced was not massive or offensive – just a variety of different harmonious tones like a huge Russian Military Choir as Carl’s midnight blue Lamborghini V12 Countacb snuffled into life before settling to a well mannered rumble to lead the parade.

David Zeunert’s red Maserti Ghibli was next with John Gove’s Maserati Mistral Spyder following.

Gove explained “We have another Mistral  in England for when we are there and I am keen to build a body for the Alvis chassis I have at home in Melbourne.’’ He also has a Morgan Plus 8 for getting about in Melbourne.

A left hand drive Alfa Romeo Giuletta coupe slid past as members of the group swapped stories and inspected cars they once owned that were there in new owners’ hands.

The howl of a V8 Ferrari 458 interrupted the low rumble of V12 engines that included a Ferrari 330 2+2 that was British sourced with nail polish marks on the MPH speedometer to render local speed limits quickly understandable.

There was also a Ferrari 308 GT4, a sleek navy Porsche 928 GTS 4, an immaculate silver Porsche 356 C, a twin turbo V6 Maserati Ghibli QuattroPorte from the 1990s.

A higher pitched snarl came from a new Fiat 500 Abarth that was hopeless outgunned in engine size by the those around it – but not in noise

A couple of the boomerang tail light Maseratis led a Jaguar XK120C and an Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT and in something like five minutes Lygon st was silent.

By the time the Convoy arrived at Woodend , car numbers had increased to 30 then around 11.30am they headed off to Trentham’s historic Cosmopolitian hotel for lunch.

Below are some photos taken in front of Tiamos’before the Raid Convoy headed off to Trentham via Woodend.

The end


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