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Keep Calm and Carry On, Hayai Kuruma, City Meets Country and more
This month sees our curatorial team finalizing their selections for our special anniversary classes at this year’s Motorclassica, and we can say categorically that this year is destined to be one of the most exciting collection of cars we have ever seen… and the most eclectic. From the sublime to the ridiculous, our Bentley and Abarth collections are eye-popping, contrasting the stately elegance and heritage of the former with the “edge of your seat” madness of the latter. The remaining selection is coming on nicely, with special class entries closing on Friday 3 May, and first round concours entries closing the following month.
Historic Winton, always a great event for the racing community, fires up once again in May, hosted by the Austin 7 Club, while the Rolls-Royce Owners Club of Australia commences its Federal Rally in Toowoomba, of which Motorclassica is proud to play a small part.
More Motorclassica news follows, so fasten your seatbelt. It’s going to be quite a ride!
The Motorclassica team
Recently, British car maker, Alvis joined Jaguar and Aston Martin in resurrecting a selection of old models as “continuations”. But what of the hundred years that precedes today? It’s fair to say that from the 1920s to the 1940s, when the Luftwaffe flattened their Coventry factory, Alvis was a titan of Britain’s luxury sports car market, manufacturing Grand Prix and Le Mans cars throughout the inter-war period, and even placing 6th in the great endurance race in 1928. The 4.3L produced between 1936 and 1940 was one of the fastest cars in the world and the first production four-door to hit 100mph. It was also one of the most expensive, only marginally cheaper than a Bugatti Type 57.
In the swinging 60s, Alvis was the marque of choice for the Duke of Edinburgh, who famously sported a one-off 1961 TD21 drophead coupe. Douglas Bader was another famous owner of a number of important models.
100 Years of Alvis supplies the perfect bookend to Bentley’s centennial at this year’s Motorclassica.
There is no denying the impact that Japanese sports cars have had in shaping automotive history and popular culture. Given that the European and American car manufacturing industries had a 60 year head start, Japanese car makers have punched well above their weight and achieved much since Datsun released Japan’s first sports car, the DC-3 in 1952. With only 50 built, in was an inauspicious start, but would eventually lead to the iconic Fairlady / Z-car series, the biggest selling sports car in the world in the 1970s. Honda followed suit in 1963 with the S500. Powered by a tiny 500cc engine, it was the beginning of a revolution which over the following two decades saw the introduction of Toyota’s 2000GT and Celica, Mazda’s Cosmo and RX series, Nissan’s Skyline.
Historic Winton, Australia's longest running, all-historic motor race meeting runs for two big days of non-stop action on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th May 2019. This iconic town and country event will feature all the grandeur and pace of yesteryear at the spectacular rural location of Winton Motor Raceway, with over 400 historic racing cars, motorbikes and sidecars battling it out on the long track.
The long weekend of historic motoring will commence on Friday 17th May with the Benalla Historic Vehicle Tour which is always great fun for all who participate, as well as spectators, with more than 2,000 display vehicles expected to surround the Winton Motor Raceway track on the weekend.
For more information visit www.austin7club.org.
After making some big changes last year, many of you will be pleased to know that Club Sandwich will be back to its old self in 2019, with club displays changing daily, a new central club and for the first time ever, a digital superscreen broadcasting the Bathurst 1000 live all day Sunday.
We are now accepting entries for interested clubs to participate over the weekend. Successful clubs will receive a package of benefits including two free day passes to Motorclassica per car and free tea and coffee on arrival. Due to our special anniversary celebrations, Bentley, Alvis, Citroen, Fiat, Mini and Japanese car clubs are all strongly encouraged to get involved in the celebration of your marque.
For more information and availability, please contact Steph Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This month we were heartened to receive the story of a lifelong commitment to our Australian motoring heritage, from Helen Moss. Helen tells the story of her uncle, Tom Rodwell, a Riley enthusiast from the NSW Central Coast:
In 1962, Tom purchased a 1953 RMF 2.5 litre Riley, soon named Paddy O for ₤225. Tom was a builder, so Paddy became his work car, towing a trailer piled high with scaffold planks, a concrete mixer, wheelbarrow and everything else required. Tom felt he owed Paddy a debt of gratitude for his years of willing service, so after he retired, he took the covers off his faithful old work-horse and gave Paddy a ground up restoration, completed in 1980.
Last September, two days after Tom’s 91st birthday, Paddy was on show at a Central Coast Cars & Coffee Club event. From amongst 563 cars on display, Paddy emerged the winner, a great reward for 57 years of ownership.
While out one day in 1974, Tom spotted a wrecked 1949 RMA 1.5 litre Riley dumped in a muddy paddock. The front was smashed and the engine trashed and in pieces. Given his love for the marque, Tom could not leave this poor Riley to rot. He found the owner, paid $40 for wreck and discovered that the car was once owned by Lt. Col. Thomas Steele MLC, who was instrumental in the introduction of the 40-hour working week to NSW.
Tom gave the Riley, soon named Casey O, a ‘quick’ restoration and won the 1974 Riley Club Concours. After a more thorough restoration through 2006-2011, Casey won the Concours again in 2015.
Are you scheduled to finish a restoration in 2019? Have you recently purchased a concours-worth car or motorcycle? Have you got a special auto celebrating an anniversary this year? Or have you only recently heard of Motorclassica, and want to share you pride and joy with the world?
Motorclassica is now searching for unique, rare and fascinating classic, vintage and veteran cars which have a special story to tell. With 10 regular classes and six special classes for both restored and preservation vehicles, there is always a place for something extraordinary. For more information or to enter online now click here.
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