Any Given Reason Burger Meet VI

Any Given Reason reports on so many other events that I guess it’s only fair that the tables should turn and AGR should host an event once in a while. Enter Burger Meet, an annual gathering for interesting cars and their owners in a relaxed atmosphere, where enthusiasts can just relax and check out some machines with a burger and drink in hand. There’s no planned drive or registration or entry fee, in fact all of that stuff is hastily avoided. It’s about getting the widest selection of automotive intrigue assembled with as little organisation as is necessary.

It’s about a shared love of cars and the belief that whilst everyone has their preferences, a true enthusiast can appreciate anything automotive that’s a little out of the ordinary. And with the sixth Burger Meet having just taken place at Penny’s Hill Wines on Boxing Day 2016, the concept seems to be holding tight.

Burger Meet has traditionally moved to a different venue each year, but after the 2015 event I was left pondering just why we’d bother shifting from Penny’s Hill. A sympathetic petrol-head owner welcomes Burger Meet with open arms, the venue is perfect and it just happens to be located right in the middle of one of Australia’s most picturesque wine regions in McLaren Vale. So for 2016 we returned to Penny’s Hill, with the aim of tweaking a few little details to hopefully improve the experience.

First up was the Burger Production. Burgers are in the name and henceforth are an integral part of the meet, and chef Tom Boden stepped in and revolutionised things. Tom has just started his own fine-dining restaurant at Penny’s Hill called The Kitchen Door, and managed a small team who knocked out with military precision what are likely the best burgers in Burger Meet history. As a nice little side note, all of the major components of the burger were sourced locally in the McLaren Vale region, and you could taste the difference.

Tom used his connections to ply the event with local south coast Swell beer. It was purely a lucky coincidence that it happens to be one of my favorites, I swear. These joined locally produced wines from Penny’s Hill and The Black Chook on the drinks menu.

Traffic management has never been something we’ve had to properly consider, but last year there was a bit of a queue to get in and as an old car owner myself I was very conscious of the angst that a stationary idling old or modified car can bring. We were determined that it wouldn’t be an issue this year, so we actually came up with a traffic management plan (look how grown-up we are) and it all seemed to flow pretty well.

The traditional Burger Meet roundel sticker was back, distributed to each car on the way in…

… and for the second time we made a poster which was on sale at the meet. We worked with graphic artist Matthew Hoss (@10.and.2 on Instagram) across in Denver, Colorado who created the cool side profile drawings of six local Adelaide cars, Luke Jaksa and myself adapted the Lancer Evolution VI logo into a Burger Meet logo and then put it all together into the poster. For the second time running, Tom Gilbert at Adelaide Hills Toyota came on board and with his support made the poster production a reality.

And for the first time we dabbled with a limited run of Burger Meet merch – shirts and stickers.

But at the end of the day none of this really matters. That first Burger Meet in the carpark of the Blackwood Coles was about an appreciation of cars, and six Burger Meet’s later it’s no different. It’s a real bring-what-you’ve-got affair and every year I am nothing short of astouded by what rolls, scrapes, hops and jolts through the gates. 2016 was no different, and it’s a heartwarming indication of just how much cool stuff is hiding in the sheds of Adelaide.

Left to right: A Cadillac, a Humber, an IPRA built Evo circuit weapon, a drift-spec Chaser and an Evo 10 used for tarmac rally.

An R32 GTR and a transverse V6 powered Renault 30 TX in showroom condition?

It almost makes this Cayman GT4/ Beetle/ WRX/ Porsche 930 combo seem normal.

Stuart Bowes came along in his freshly built Mercedes 450SLC rally car, built to gravel specification with long distance events in mind.

It’s had a run at the Legend of the Lakes hillclimb at Mount Gambier and the Twilight Tarmac Rallysprint at AIR, but as you can probably tell from it’s cleanliness it is yet to run on gravel. It will likely make it’s gravel debut in 2017.

And after that? Well, this sticker may provide some sort of hint.

It was nicely juxtaposed by this concourse 450SL parked just across the way, providing an interesting point of comparison.

Gordon Meek from Adrian Brien came along in one of the first new-generation Abarth 124 Spider’s to hit Adelaide…

… which was joined by a super fiesty new Abarth 695 Bisposto also from Adrian Brien.

The trio of Abarth’s was rounded out by Mike Lowe’s Abarth 500 Assetto Corse, which is a legitimate LHD Abarth factory built rally car. The Assetto Corse is usually kept in New Zealand, but Mike has temporarily imported it to Australia for the recent Classic Adelaide and for Targa Tasmania in 2017. Oh, and for Burger Meet of course.

Mike’s wasn’t the only car fresh from Classic Adelaide – Michael Busby drove up to Burger Meet in his Classic Adelaide outright winning FC RX7, with his fiance Ashley riding as co-driver.

Guy Standen kindly lent me his Alfa 2600 Sprint that we used in Classic Adelaide to bring to Burger Meet, and Tim Pryzibilla brought his IROC spec 911.

And this here is proof that Karl was not the last person to remove his Classic Adelaide stickers. Having seen him commuting to work in the city on more than one occasion over the past couple of weeks with his Classic stickers still on (“I missed the bus again”), I never truly believed that they would be removed before the New Year. But here we are.

“Draw me like one of your French Girls”

Penny’s Hill owner Tony Parkinson arranged a few from his own collection inside the barn usually used for wedding functions. His genuine Healey 100S sat alongside an Audi R8, a new generation Ford Mustang…

… and the Healey 3000MkII Sebring.

There was a really strong turnout of air-cooled Volkswagens, particularly some super cool Kombi’s.

Easily the award for furthest distance traveled goes to Cam, who drove down from Darwin to come to Burger Meet. Well, not quite. Cam is on a month-long road trip in his Kombi, and has so far driven from Darwin across to Cairns and then down the East Coast. I think it’s pretty cool that he stopped by Burger Meet on his trip.

Chris Harvey even brought his boat along. This is a first, we’ve never had watercraft at Burger Meet before. Maybe he took the weather forecast a little too seriously?

The first forecast a few days out slated the temperature at over 40deg, and I’m sure that caused a lot of people to change their plans. And for good reason too, I’d never endure a 40deg drive in my Fiat again.

The BOM then revised their forecast away from 40deg, but instead predicted heavy rain for most of the day. I was almost convinced that we were going to be rained out, but there was a slight glimmer of hope when I checked the radar at lunchtime and could see that the rain enveloping most of South Australia was somehow skirting around McLaren Vale. I left a drenched Adelaide and hoped for the best.

When I arrived Penny’s Hill was bone dry and it stayed that way. It was cloudy and overcast but very warm, which made for humid and sweaty conditions but at least there was no rain.

Well, it started spitting for about five minutes but stopped soon after. It was just enough rain for the convertible owners to go and put their roofs up and for me to get a little concerned that our luck might have run out.

The forecast rain never eventuated. I was a little bummed that we wouldn’t get a spectacular sunset like we did last year, but the overcast conditions created some beautiful diffuse light that changed every few minutes which nicely aided those taking photos. Given the amount of rain we had the following day, I still can’t quite believe that we somehow managed to dodge not just the 40deg day but also the predicted storms. The God’s must be petrol-heads.

And in what can only be described as a divine act, after most people had left the clouds parted and I got my golden sunset.

At this exact moment it was raining quite heavily down in Adelaide, and a few of us had about ten minutes to run around and snap the remaining cars before the dark clouds obscured the sun. When I woke up that morning to pouring rain, I never quite imagined the day would end with golden rays. I don’t think we could have been any luckier.

Speaking of being lucky, my girlfriend Chantelle and Luke’s father Viano kindly volunteered their time to man our little merch tent. And not to mention all of the work that Luke Jaksa has put in to make this event a reality, a lot of things would not have happened it if weren’t for his tireless efforts. Thanks, team!

But for now, it’s on to planning Burger Meet 7 in 2017. See you there!

A limited number of Burger Meet shirts, stickers and posters are still available – email for details. Also flick me an email to the same address with any comments or suggestions for next year.

Words and photos by Andrew Coles.

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  1. Neil Gibson December 28, 2016 Reply

    Well done to your good self Andrew and also of course your excellent support team - best event of the year IMHO. Not being in to the whole 'cruise' scene the diversity and social aspect of this get together is what makes it what it is, great. Only 12 months until the next one ................... :)

  2. smee December 28, 2016 Reply

    Another nice turn out.
    Shame we couldn't get down. Still ironing out some bugs in the new car.

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