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Beeac Luncheon & Car Exhibit

What a surprise package this day turned out to be.  We had 38 members travel approx 1hr south to the small township of Beeac, with the goal of having lunch at The Farmers Arms Hotel, and the promise of viewing some older cars from the hotel owner’s personal collection.

Dorothy & Ean McDowell purchased this hotel 11 years ago and have built the business from serving 30 meals / week, to now consistently over 700, with 5 international chefs on their books.

Under Dorothy’s direction, lunches were ordered from a reduced selection menu, with all meals delivered within the hour from first order.  All meals looked delicious, with not a single, negative remark on them. (And it didn’t look like there were many scraps for the dog either, which is a pretty good sign!!)

On to the cars, where we were introduced to Ean McDowell, who gave us quite a detailed background on the cars that he had on display.  Ian has approximately 75 cars in his collection, and whilst he is a very passionate Lancia collector, there are many others just as impressive.  After suffering a stroke 4 years ago, he relies on his 2 full time employees to complete the work on his “special projects” in Castlemaine.  The Singer, pictured below with the polished bonnet, was just a chassis when he purchased it, so it is quite impressive when you realise that they have made every other part in his workshop.

There was quite a story behind each vehicle, origins etc., but for me it was the Bugatti, (pictured with reg 5-278), that I was most impressed with.  Look at the width of those tyres and imagine driving this vehicle at well over 200 kph.

Then there was another surprise for us – A private viewing of their family home, Rosebank Homestead, a bluestone building built in 1868.  The homes interior had been fully renovated prior to their purchase, with the bluestone outbuildings still in place.  Another talk from Ean, this time on the history of this residence, had everyone’s attention. There was also a Rolls Royce in one of the outbuildings, picked up from a garage sale in Colac of all places.

Back to the Lolly / Ice Cream shop, and or the pub, for some afternoon refreshments, before returning home.  A wonderful day indeed, with 2 very special hosts.


  1. Thanks Geoff and Robyn for organizing this excellent day out to Beeac – a great lunch with lots of extras. What a surprise package is Ean with his stories, cars and bluestone home. David and Kerry

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