A diversion from the normal Sprite / Midget activity, but I thought it worth a look at the Concours D’Elegance event held in Melbourne at the Royal Exhibition Hall last weekend, followed by a classic car auction by Manhiem Australia.
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A nunber of the local Car Clubs were invited to display on the grounds in front of the entrance, and as ever, the Italians were as about as understated as a pink mini skirt at a Funeral Directors convention.
Needless to say, The Saint [and several clones] were on hand to represent the more subdued, and joined the rest of the Volvo Club outside.
Obviously, the 912 Porsche on the right demonstrates the correct display technique – the other one should have been at Summernats….Moon discs indeed…
Inside, it was all very twee, with lots to look at, and very little that was even vaguely affordable. That aside, it was like a surreal treasure trove of over restored cars,rare sights here in Australia, and onlookers that either seemed to know everything, or nothing about what they were looking at. The common denominator however, was the sense of admiration for some of the cars displayed – see below –
The best way to enjoy these kinds of shows in my opinion is to get in early, and just soak it all up without having to dodge people with their iPhones, or their six foot tripods and $3000 SLR cameras jockeying for position. That way, you can stand back and wonder in peace whether the 250GT or the 166 would be a better entry to have for the Mile Miglia.
This is a 300SL barnfind that will be restored soon – hopefully not too much. Some of them need to remain patinated and looking ‘real’. Besides, isn’t that all the rage now?
Patrick Devine once again generously shared his Gullwing with all and sundry, patiently answering lots of questions and openly staing that he was in fact a custodian of the car. He is an owner that isn’t too precious, proven by the fact that he let my proletariat arse in it…
Star of the Show was definately Sir Jack Brabham, accompanied by Ron Tauranac and Tim Shenken. Throughout the event, they were repeatedly hassled, stopped for photos, and interviewed, all taken in their stride, and with good humour. Sir Jack and Ron in my humble opinion should be revered to a much greater extent than they are in this country.
So, amongst all the automotive beauty, the auction began. Many of the lots passed in, including the Tatra T82 [a Czech built limo with an air cooled rear mounted 2.5L V8], and the ex Twiggy Muira that used to turn heads at the Birdwood Museum. The owner, [who also has a Pur Sang T35 Bugatti], drove it to Melbourne for the auction, where it passed in at $800K. I would have made a bid for it, but I can only sell one kidney….
All in all, a very satisfying weekend, packed with sights rarely seen. What was missing? Well, apart from the Healey Factory stand…..you know how this ends…