Bathurst via Goulburn and Oberon

The Mercedes Club have been running regular ‘pop up’ drives mid week.  These are informal drives at a couple of days notice.   I’ve been able to get to a few over the last couple of months.    Today was a really big one.   We started early at our meeting point in Pheasants Nest, just south of Sydney.    The plan was to drive down to Goulburn and take the back roads up to Oberon.    I’ve done this drive a few times recently and am never tired of it.

While it was a Mercedes Club event, I took my Jaguar E-Type.   I would have driven my 560SEC, but I am still waiting on new brake hoses for it.   When I last drove the car, the pedal was quite soft and the hoses look quite old.   The E-Type is a great car for these fast B-Roads.     I don’t normally drive the E-Type during the day during summer as it gets quite hot, but I could not pass up this drive.

In a nod to the route, most of the other cars were high performance cars.   In fact, the E-Type may have been the slowest vehicle there.    There was an AMG GT, a C63 AMG, CLA45 AMG, CLA45S AMG, E400 Cabriolet and a C250.   Bit of a theme to those cars.

Bathurst via Goulburn and Oberon

The starting point was the service station at Pheasants Nest, south of Sydney.   From there, we proceeded in convoy down to Goulburn.   At Goulburn, we turned off the M31 and proceeded up towards Oberon.   The first part of the drive was a bit dull, as we were stuck behind a slow Mitsubishi crossover.   These top heavy vehicles struggle on these sorts of roads and it had to slow down quite a lot for each corner.   The second part of the drive was much better and we were able to open up the taps of the cars a little.

When we got to Oberon, it was only 11:30AM.    It was suggested that instead of returning, we continue on to Bathurst and do a lap of Mt Panorama.   One of the people on the drive knew the roads around this area quite well and found us an excellent set of roads to take us through to Bathurst.   This part of the drive was probably the highlight of the day.   Instead of going directly to Bathurst, we first drove back towards Oberon until Black Springs.   We then turned onto the road for Bathurst.     I’ve been on Google maps trying to work out the road we used so I an visit again, and I think it might be Dog Rocks Road.    Looking at the map, I am assuming we must have gone through Rockly and towards Bathurst.

Mt Panorama

Once in Bathurst, we then did a (slow) lap around Mt Panorama.  The circuit is just a regular road when there are not races.   It has a low speed limit and and is heavily policed.  I’ve previously taken my 560SEC around the circuit.  Once we finished our lap, we drove back via Lithgow for a fuel stop and then up via Bells Line of Road to Bilpin.

The only part of the drive that wasn’t particularly enjoyable was the drive through Sydney from Richmond.   By afternoon it was a really hot day.   Normally I enjoy the wood steering steering wheel in my E-Type, but it was so hot I found it hard to grip with my sweaty hands.   Despite the reputation of English cars, and E-Types in particular for overheating, the car never went over 90 degrees.    The only thing that did overheat was my iPhone, which shut itself off due to the heat.    I guess British cars are more reliable than Apple products.

Pop Up Drive

All in all, it was a really good day and great to take the E-Type out for a long drive on such good roads.   I’ll be back in Bathurst with the E-Type in April for the 60 years of the E-Type celebration.  I would recommend Bathurst via Goulburn and Oberon as a drive to anyone.   In the end, we covered more than 700km.   Some classics are not driven this much in an entire year!

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