Wednesday, June 10, 2015


I love being on the open highway, despite police patrols and hidden speed cameras. So do many others, who enjoy the wide open spaces Australia has to offer, in their car of choice. Combining the love of cars and driving, together in the company of like-minded companions is what Driving Happy is all about.

Around the world there are millions of car enthusiasts who band together to enjoy each other’s company and share the pleasure of their cars.

(PSCAA photos: Terry Appleby)
Take the PSCAA for instance. That’s the Port Stephens Classic Automobile Association comprising 130 enthusiasts who get together and stage Rallies from their home town near Newcastle (NSW), venturing off into the wide open spaces of the State for the sole purpose of Driving Happy.

New England Highway, near Armidale, New South Wales
Last month I was driving home from a visit to an old friend in Port Macquarie, and stopped for diesel in the sleepy country hamlet of Walcha. As I exited the store, there was a gorgeous red Lancia Fulvia HF pulled up next to my Alfa Romeo 159. What a handsome pair they made.

Two Red Cars
The car was imported from England a few years ago, and has been lovingly returned to original condition.

The 1.6 litre engine produces 100bhp, and the basis for impressive rally performances by a variety of European rally drivers competing for HF Squadra Corse Lancia between 1967 and 1974.

During conversation with the Fulvia owner on that bitterly cold forecourt he couldn’t get the smile off his face.

Yes, he was Driving Happy, along with 20 other members of this small car club who were headed for a weekend in Inverell, NSW, ostensibly to visit the National Transport Museum.

Cold start to the day, Inverell NSW, elevation 600m (Photo: Terry Appleby)

Along the way there were pitstops for warming drinks, BBQ lunches and dinners, a lot of good wine consumed, and plenty of tall tales from ‘behind the wheel’, but when you think about it – what better way to celebrate a love of cars and driving?

I certainly left that tiny town with a smile on my face too, as I wound up the Alfa to an appropriate pace on a deserted back road, reveling in the sweep and undulations of a great driving road.

That’s Driving Happy!

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