The Sixth Motorclassica


Peter Bateman

The Royal Melbourne Exhibition Building is no stranger to magnificent examples of human endeavour. It hosted the World’s Fair in 1880, and was the only building in Australia large enough to house the opening of our first Parliament in 1901.

Fitting then that its halls and surroundings were filled with some of Australia’s finest cars and motorcycles at the sixth Motorclassica held on October 23-25.

It was estimated that around 25,000 attended this car fest. Families, the young, the not-so-young and serious collectors were all keen to get a photo or a selfie with their favourite marque. The Great Hall is a grand-scale arena which rightfully, showcased mechanical ingenuity and imagination. It was also the place for prospective buyers to inspect the many lots up for grabs for the Saturday evening auction.

Motorclassica 2015 showcased some important motoring milestones. It was the half century of the Fiat/Ferrari Dino, Carroll Shelby’s Mustang, and the 75th anniversary of the MV Augusta. You could have bought a 1966 Shelby GT350 for $255K at Saturday night’s auction.

Every vehicle on display was in a class of its own. It was interesting to observe the immaculately-dressed judging team pausing a little longer in front of some displays but the average enthusiast saw perfection in almost every car, whether it be an immaculate Rolls or the beautiful Ballot Torpedo Sport (preserved rather than restored). Inspiring stuff.

There were so many Bugatti 35s, it was like the start of a 1920s Grand Prix. The ‘Best of Show’ prize was awarded to Dean Causley’s 1963 Ferrari 250GT Lusso.

The visitors also had their opportunity to put in nominations for the People’s Choice Award, a gong scooped by David Belford’s 1966 Porsche 912 SWB.

The exhibits are best seen from this magnificent building’s gallery. Walk around its perimeter and you get a different perspective.

You also get to see many exhibitors who really do have something you didn’t know you could not live without.

The motoring memorabilia from How Bazaar, for instance, who have a shop in Geelong selling old petrol

David Judd, President, Fiat Car Club of Vic

FOR THE half-century of the Dino, there were crowds flocking to see the classic silhouette in the flesh. The eye-catching yellow Fiat Dino spider is owned by President of the Fiat Car Club of Victoria, David Judd. He explained a little history of the two Dinos: “Pininfarina designed both the Fiat and Ferrari Dino spiders while Bertone penned the coupe. The Fiats got to showrooms before the Ferrari.”

As well as the body, the engine is also a classic. Enzo Ferrari needed to homologate the V6 engine (which he named after his son, Dino) rather quickly and approached Gianni Agnelli of Fiat to get a car into production. Fiat was able to make and sell 500 Fiat Dino spiders to satisfy homologation and the F2 two-litre aluminium race engine was ready for the next racing season.

The Fiat car club has over 400 members in Victoria and more than 400 cars.

bowsers, signs, pond yachts and more.

You could’ve stayed there till the lights went out. Man Cave Madness had neon signs and bar stools. White Star Collections of Ascot Vale, Victoria, had a very desirable range of reproduction zeppelins, model boats and an amazing aluminium/leather office chair which could look so, so cool in a Rod. And that’s forgetting the exhibitors who had things for your cars. One day is th things for your cars. One day is not enough to absorb the quality work on show here.

Upstairs on the gallery level, when you really needed to change gear, you could relax and eat a variety of great cuisine ranging from homemade pasta to Chinese dumplings steamed fresh on site. The coffee was certainly up to Melbourne’s standard, and gave you an opportunity to check out the th no of wc h an ra fr cs o display of vintage coffee machines from Espresso Machine Classics.

When you could tear yourself away from the glamour inside there’s the Club Sandwich area outside, cleverly organised by Motorclassica, to provide various car club enthusiasts with a

Walter Magilton, Judge & founding member of the MG Car Club of Vic

PROBABLY THE most immaculately dressed Motorclassica judge, Walter Magilton takes a rest at the J type van display.

Rod Fulton, Owner of the 1951 Hartnett 4 seater

ONE OF the hardest vehicles to part with at the auction was Lot 20, a 1951 Hartnett. Rod Fulton has owned the vehicle since 1970, after it was handed down from his uncle. Rod shared his predicament: “It’s always been in the family. But at the moment I have a problem.

I can get into it but my back is so bad that I can’t get out of it.”

The car is the only one left in the world, but Rod was uncertain about its future. “It only has 17,000 miles on the clock and belongs in a museum, but they don’t have the money to maintain it.” Rod’s uncle purchased the Hartnett in ’52 from Kenneth Wright Motors in Melbourne. It is one of 125 ever sold.

The Hartnett sold on Saturday night for $95,000, prompting a thundering round of applause from the crowd.

chance to show their favourite wares. It was a treat to see contemporary Porsches, Ferraris, McLarens and Lamborghinis nestled amongst the classic Volvo club, MG club of Victoria, the vintage Bentley drivers’ club, and a display of Citroen DS ‘Goddesses’ to celebrate their 50th anniversary. The Australian classic Bolwells were parked opposite everyone’s favourite old bakers’ van, the Morris J type.

For those who wanted to park for a while there were heaps of seats in the shaded picnic area, along with beer and wine tasting. Very civilised!

The organisers, judges, exhibitors, enthusiasts and visitors make sure this is a day you won’t forget in a hurry.

Count me in for next year.

Daryl & Stephanie Coon – MG Youth on Wheels programme 17 FOR ANY motoring enthusiast, the learner driver system in Australia leaves us scratching our heads and wondering how our kids are ever going to get some real driving experience.

In 2012 the MG Car Club of Victoria started a programme to assist young drivers to put their car control skills to the test before they hit the open roads. The club has two cars for the junior program, an MG Midget and an MGB. Imagine learning how to hill start in one of those!

There are about 30 members of the youth group, Youth On Wheels. “You don’t have to own an MG, you just have to join the club”, Stephanie tells us.

After getting a CAMS non-speed or speed junior licence and paying a small amount to join in a track training session, you can get access to professional instructors who teach the fundamentals of car control.

There are about seven events every year. The club’s cars are used for non-speed events so the 12 and 13 year-olds can do motorkhanas, which are non-speed related. Once they reach 14 years, they are allowed to compete in hill climbs and speed events.

The program has grown to see families get involved and bring their own vehicles along to the track events. Daryl has enjoyed seeing whole families get involved in road safety: “it’s great to see the families enjoying the cars, and everyone learns something.” You can contact Daryl for more information: Who knows when a new champion will come through the ranks!