Drive TV: Drive the Black Spur in real time – how we did it

2 minutes, 39 seconds Read

Come for a run along the Black Spur between Healesville and Narbethong in a Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Volume up!

It was a bold idea. Shoot an entire episode of Drive TV in one day by concentrating the drive into one, highly engaging, picturesque and accessible route. Could we do it?

The section of the B360 Maroondah Highway, known as the Black Spur, is an iconic stretch of tarmac that spans about 20km and countless corners as it connects outer-urban Melbourne with the foothills of the Victorian High Country.

It’s a brilliant road. The surface is well maintained, and the twists and turns are both challenging and stunning as the Black Spur carves through bushland and Mountain Ash rainforest. The best part is, that at just 90 minutes from Melbourne, the Black Spur is easily accessible.

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For our challenge, it was perfect.

The 2024 Porsche 911 GT3 RS was, perhaps, a little too much car for what we needed to do. There are limited places to mount equipment, it’s low, it’s loud, and it has barely woken up at the posted speed limit of 80km/h… but just look at it! What a bonkers machine. If we were to create a real-time episode, we may as well have some fun!

To shoot the one-take sequence, we fitted an internal camera, plus one on the bonnet looking back through the windscreen. We added a microphone for the exhaust and porcupined as many GoPros as we could find on the outside of the car to gather additional footage.

I sticky-taped some notes about the route and car to the dashboard, added a very clear speed and swearing warning, and gave it a crack!

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We did the drive twice, just to make sure we had a sequence that worked, but it was the first take we shot that has gone to air.

Sure, we could have had a perfect run without other traffic, and I may have missed a few things from my notes, but as a world-first, real-time, one-take drive – I think we did pretty well!

You can enjoy the full episode again here, but at the top of the page is a complete run from the Maroondah Reservoir Park to the Narbethong fuel station. If you’ve never driven the Black Spur, watch the clip and add it to your list.

It truly is one of the great Australian drives, no matter how pink your Porsche is, or how much time you take.

James has been part of the digital publishing landscape in Australia since 2002 and has worked within the automotive industry since 2007. He joined CarAdvice in 2013, left in 2017 to work with BMW and then returned at the end of 2019 to spearhead the content direction of Drive.

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