Driving From Australia’s Coasts To Its Cliffs In A Pack Of Porsches Is Our Idea Of Vacation
Photography by Jayson Fong
There’s no denying that Australia has it luckier than most. With perfect weather almost all year long, stunning beaches, and all manner of landscape, many would say it’s in the perfect part of the world—say what you will about scorpions and spiders. But let’s also say that you’re a classic Porsche enthusiast on a visit and you’re keen to go on a tour of sorts. The trouble is, you’re not convinced that a standard rental car or tour bus will give you the proper motoring fix to go along with the views, for a Nissan hatchback doesn’t quite stack up to even your everyday sunset. To see some other, much better options for such a trip, I recently headed back to Australia for a short stay, and I spent a day of it with Cliff to Coast Sports Cars, who deliver the right kind of destination-based driving.
Established recently in 2014, Cliff to Coast Sports Cars is conveniently located on the southern tip of Sydney and on the doorstep to some of the city’s best driving roads in the Royal National Park. Inspired by the driving nirvana he had experienced for years at the wheel of his own 1977 3.0 Carrera, Gavin Little looked to create a company focused on sharing great roads and great Porsches with other like-minded enthusiasts.
Now four years on and with a fleet of classic air-cooled P-cars—from an outlaw 912 running a 2.7-liter engine in the rear, to a 928 GTS, a 993, and a track prepared 911 SC (plus one VW Beetle!)—the dream continues as Cliff to Coast hosts driving tours along Sydney’s iconic coastal routes, as well as track days for those who want an opportunity to put all the power down.
Even before I’ve jumped into a car, the day is off to a good start; meeting at Stanwell Tops just over an hour from Sydney’s city center (say that ten times fast) with uninterrupted views of the coast, the scene before us looks like it’s leapt out from a postcard. Add in the selection of Porsches that sit in front of us and it looks too good to be true.
Following a quick briefing to get us up to speed with the character of each car and our intended route, we turn the keys and the engines behind us crackle to life. We head downhill first and within minutes, find ourselves on what must be one of the world’s most impressive sections of roadway: the Sea Cliff Bridge. Featured in everyone’s favorite Shell advertisement and more recently racing video game Forza Horizon 3, driving on the real thing is utterly spectacular, especially as the cliffs echo the sound of flat-sixes.
As we continue along the route, stopping for lunch along the way and taking the opportunity to swap between cars, the scenes continue to inspire. Our Porsches in convoy, we take in the roads affectionately known to Sydney-siders as “Royal Nasho.” Lined by cliffs and gumtrees, it’s driving heaven as we climb up the winding escarpment. By this stage I’ve found myself in the 1977 3.0 Carrera that inspired Gavin to begin the business, and it’s not hard to see why it had such an impact on him. With the roof off and speckled light breaking through the canopy, there’s a massive smile on my face as the valley is filled with the music of Stuttgart’s best getting some deserved exercise.
By the time we return to Stanwell Tops in the afternoon and we unsaddle ourselves from the sport seats, I’m not the only one who looks like they don’t want to leave. Having grown an attachment to each of the Porsches we’ve been at the wheel of, departing for the day feels like seeing off a good friend. Appropriately romantic, the sun sets on the horizon and the classic 911 shapes silhouette against it and although it is goodbye for now, it’s more than likely that I’ll be back again for the next tour.