Even though Halfway Hangs was insanely wet, the 3,000km trip north was well worth it.
After getting the 6 speed into the S15 just in time, I had a couple days left until the first part of the trip. Tuesday morning I gave it a wash all over and cleaned up inside. I also had to get a new AUX cable so I had some music, the one that originally came in the car had died a few weeks earlier.
I wanted to cover up my front bar and guards a bit so they didn’t end up getting destroyed, so I grabbed some painters tape and wrapped the whole front end. It was either do this, or look for a new front bar after the thousands of kilometres worth of stones hitting everything.
Took about an hour to cover everything, then I packed my bags, loaded the car with a few tools, a spare pair of wheels in case something happened and somehow got my bmx in the back as well. Everything was good to go and ready for the early stint in the morning, so I made some dinner and hit bed.
4am wednesday morning, the epic road trip had started. I wanted to beat traffic so it was either leave at 4am or leave at 11am.
I told myself I was going to listen to some really old school Blink 182, so almost the whole trip I had Enema of the State playing.
I had a motel booked for the night in Goulburn, 780km from my place.
I stopped off at a service centre somewhere before Benalla (where Winton is) for a toilet break and a quick feed.
Also, I didn’t run the lip for most of the drive up for a few reasons. First being I didn’t want to destroy it before getting to the event (happened anyway) and secondly it would have been harder to get into and out of driveways for the entire trip. So expect to see a few photos with the lip on and the lip off. I did decide to put it on for some parts, but that turned out to be a bad decision!
Stopped again for bathroom break/poser photo.
About 11am I was a couple hours out of Goulburn, it decided to rain. Didn’t last too long, was a little sketchy going over bumps on the highway though.
I made it to Goulburn just after lunch and I was wrecked. I parked up just outside my room, had a quick sleep then went to grab some dinner.
Completely forgot to take any photos so I’ll skip the night in Goulburn (was boring anyway).
I planned another 4am wake up again, ready for the drive to Valla.
I headed to grab fuel before going towards Sydney.
Actually that’s one thing I have to mention, my car is AWESOME on fuel! I drove from my place in Melbourne to Goulburn (which is almost 800km) on less than one tank! I still had about 5 litres left until it was empty!
Would have to be one of the best fuel economy ratio’s I’ve seen on an S15.
One thing I wasn’t looking forward to was the drive through Sydney.
I won’t say I like Sydney because I really don’t, but it wasn’t too bad this time around. I just stayed on the motorways and headed towards Newcastle so I didn’t have to actually go through the city.
I’m glad I don’t live there anymore, it’s not as great as everyone says. If you are from overseas and think Sydney is the greatest place on the planet, take away the whole west side/central part of it and maybe it’s half decent. Sorry to all my Sydney friends, I still love you, I just don’t like the place. Maybe I just had bad luck, but I enjoy Melbourne so much more than Sydney.
About 6 hours out of Sydney and I was at Valla! Almost 1,500km from home and the car had survived the trip.
The only problems I had were cosmetic. The lip copped a beating and ended up losing a couple of the mounting points and cracking in the centre after trying to get up on the grass. My rear wheels also took a bit of punishment after constant scraping on the guards. Whenever I would hit a decent bump on the freeway, the springs would compress a bit and the wheel would start to tuck up and only just touch the guard. So I might have to look into getting them touched up. My exhaust also gained a few holes from bumps/constant scraping for almost 2km just past Newcastle.
Other than that, I made it up mostly in one piece!
Thursday and Friday were pretty crazy. Friday everyone unloaded their car and parked up for a bit of a show, pretty amazing how many awesome cars there were.
Both days were killed by rain which made for a mud filled caravan park. I almost got stuck in a trail of mud on friday night but survived somehow. Saturday was drifting day so whoever wanted to drive either unloaded and drove to the track or towed the cars there. There were a couple guys that didn’t even bother unloading because it was too wet.
I drove out with Ash and Tom, we ended up bunching up with about 8 other dudes at a servo on the way. The drive into the track was the WORST road I’ve ever been on. I may have said this in the past, but holy shit this road was bad. I think the maximum speed I got up to was about 13km/h? It was about 20 minutes of hell, bumps, holes, puddles, rocks, mud and those shitty cattle grid things. Everybody survived the trip through the shit hole of a road but I am definitely not looking forward to driving through that garbage ever again.
Anyway, I watched a few dudes drive for a bit, mainly just spinning wheels and gaining no speed because of how wet it was. A couple cars were hilarious to watch. Tim had massive power and small wheels so it was like watching an uphill burnout the whole time. Made for some pretty funny moments.
I went for a ride with Tommy towards the end of the day. Rad driver and really simple car. Somehow his car is always 100% clean each time I see it. No buckled guards, lip still one colour and no scratches anywhere. When I compare my cars cleanliness to this one I realise how dirty/shit my car is cosmetically.
I watched a few other friends drive with new setups, some with massive power that weren’t able to move anywhere and others that were driving the car for the first time in ages.
The day ended about 4pm, everybody alive, most cars still in one piece and from what I heard, no tyres were used. Never thought I would ever be at a massive event where no tyres were used.
After everyone was good to go, I headed back down that ridiculous road trying not to die. It may look average in the picture, but jesus it was a nightmare.
No I am not over exaggerating. It was hell.
Made it back to Valla unscathed, parked the car and figured out what everyone was doing for dinner.
So many cool cars in one photo.
We headed to the pub just up the road and had some parma (not parmy you Queensland kids).
Saturday night ended up being a big party and a really late night. There were a heap of drinks, a lot of stupid stuff and a heap of rain. I think I got to bed around 3am, then back up at 9am to pack up.
Sunday morning I packed my stuff, said goodbye to all the mangs and got on the freeway, ready for another 1,600km home.
Quick stop for some food and drinks, then it was some solid driving for about 4 hours.
I stopped at a place that had a giant yellow rock over a cafe thing, no idea if it was meant to be a small Uluru or if they just wanted a cafe under a yellow rock. Either way, I grabbed food and looked at my car.
Threw the Go Pro on the driver door to see how bad the wheels were scraping.
They look a little scratched, but they are still round. For now I’ll just deal with them looking a little average and keep driving the car.
I made it to Newcastle and was contemplating wether or not I should stay the night somewhere.
It was getting late and I wasn’t going to make it to Goulburn until about 8pm, so I thought I’d try and drive the whole way home in one hit. Obviously I had to stop a few times to have a sleep, but I saved $100 on a motel for the night.
There were also plenty of bathroom breaks.
I stopped at the massive service centre at Yass and ate dinner about 9pm Sunday night. Also had a bit of a sleep, but it wasn’t that great.
One word of advice, don’t try and use an S15 to sleep in, it can’t be done. Sure it’s better than a gutter or a tree, but it’s not even close to a bed.
I went back to driving until about 4am then slept for 2 hours at a truck stop somewhere between Albury and Melbourne. I don’t remember where but it was pretty isolated. Even though it was daylight, it was scary waking up with a truck driver looking at you.
I survived luckily.
A few more hours of driving and the trip was done!
My S15 survived a journey that covered over 3,000km and it had no mechanical problems. Yes there were cosmetic casualties, but that is easily fixable!
Having 6 gears was awesome and having some sweet music was even better.
Halfway 2015 was a mad event and I’m glad I drove up. Next year I’ll take the S13 up so I can actually drive with all the other dudes.
After the trip I now want to do some things to the car to change it up a bit. I was thinking maybe smaller wheels so I don’t have to run as much camber, or maybe change the aero a bit. Not sure yet, all I want to do at the moment is finish the S13. I might think about doing a bit of work on it after that.
For now it will sit with the semi retired sunkist toy in the shed until I drive it again!