It is, quite possibly, one of the least likely scenes you could imagine. A dusty single track, winding its way through the Australian bush in the lower edges of the Great Dividing Range, sheep and cattle picking their way through the stunted brown grass; a large kangaroo looking over the scene. All so very archetypal Australian so far. Except, pounding along this outback road, instead of the usual stone battered and rusting Ute, are millions of dollars’ worth of classic and modern Maserati supercars driven by owners from around the world.
Welcome to the outback adventure that was the Maserati Global Gathering that took the Maserati owners and their cars on 1550 km and five-day trek across Australia from Melbourne to Sydney via some of the best driving roads in the world.
“We’ve been to many Maserati events in Europe for owners living there and we decided it was time to give something back, so we decided to invite owners to Australia,” explains John Gove, President of the Maserati Owners Club of Australia, who in doing so and with Maserati’s fulsome support, spent two years organizing the Trident marque’s first ever global event for its owners clubs.
The cars participating ranged from Andrew Cannon’s rare 1956 Maserati 150S/250S through John Gove’s own rare RHD Mistral, the 2009 Maserati Bellagio which is one of just four in the world and Mark Jansen’s stunning 1967 Ghibli through to a veritable fleet of 2018 Maseratis from across the whole range being driven by visitors who wanted to experience the event in a Maserati. The countries represented included France, Hong, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Switzerland, the USA and the UK.
The route was a wonderful blend of the best Australia can offer in terms of not just roads, but also history, food and – when not driving! – wine. These included the dramatic Great Ocean Road, made all the more so by a howling southerly gale with five metre waves pounding the coast. In Bendigo dinner was in the historic Fortuna Villa, while in Canberra dinner was in the National War Museum, under wings of the historic aircraft on display and which featured moving displays on Australia’s wartime history. The Maseratis tackled the demanding roads in the Snowy Mountains, blasting up and plunging down thousands of metres in a thrilling driving the made the most of what every Maserati – old and new – offers, a thrilling drive. The event ended at another Australian icon, the Sydney Opera House, outside which the classic cars lined up under crystal blue sky for finale of a gala event and fabulous meal in the unique Bennelong Restaurant.
But, back to that dirt road. What were the Maseratis doing there? They were driving into Woomargama Station, a historic homestead near Albury and home of Maserati owner Andrew Cannon, where a fine country breakfast was served in the shearing sheds, accompanied by a sheep shearing demonstration. As the Maseratis departed the farm made famous by being where Prince William took his first steps under the watchful eye of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, perhaps that mob of kangaroos thought ‘there’s a sight we won’t see again….’ as the hills echoed the sound of more than 70 years of Modena’s finest engines.