Automotive

In Photos: Motorclassica celebrates the Australian automobile industry one last time

In Photos: Motorclassica celeb...
The Motorclassica venue was built for the Royal Exhibition of 1880-1881 and forms an ideal backdrop for a display of automotive heritage
The Motorclassica venue was built for the Royal Exhibition of 1880-1881 and forms an ideal backdrop for a display of automotive heritage
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A Maserati 250F, with some of its history evident from the war paint. In a time of gentlemanly behavior, Juan Manuel Fangio was contracted to drive for the new Mercedes-Benz racing team in 1954 but as the cars weren't ready, the company allowed him to drive the car of his choice. He chose a Maserati 250F. When the all-conquering Silver Arrows arrived, he already led the title race with two wins from two starts. Sir Stirling considered it "the finest front-engined Formula One car you could ever drive."
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A Maserati 250F, with some of its history evident from the war paint. In a time of gentlemanly behavior, Juan Manuel Fangio was contracted to drive for the new Mercedes-Benz racing team in 1954 but as the cars weren't ready, the company allowed him to drive the car of his choice. He chose a Maserati 250F. When the all-conquering Silver Arrows arrived, he already led the title race with two wins from two starts. Sir Stirling considered it "the finest front-engined Formula One car you could ever drive."
The 2017 LaFerrari Aperta made an appearance. Just last month one of these sold for €8,300,000 (AUD$12.5 million or US$9.8 million) at auction in Maranello, a new world record for a 21st century automobile. Australia is a key Ferrari market, Ferrari Australia is having a record year, and celebrations went well beyond this event over the weekend.
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The 2017 LaFerrari Aperta made an appearance. Just last month one of these sold for €8,300,000 (AUD$12.5 million or US$9.8 million) at auction in Maranello, a new world record for a 21st century automobile. Australia is a key Ferrari market, Ferrari Australia is having a record year, and celebrations went well beyond this event over the weekend.
The auction of this D-type Jaguar was the star turn of the weekend, even if it didn't sell. A high bid of AUD$5.5 million (US$4.35 million), was not enough to take it home.
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The auction of this D-type Jaguar was the star turn of the weekend, even if it didn't sell. A high bid of AUD$5.5 million (US$4.35 million), was not enough to take it home.
The Holden Efijy was part concept car and part tribute to the Holden FJ, the second model built by Holden and the first with Australian design. It uses a Chevrolet Corvette floor pan, a 644 hp (480 kW) 6.0 litre V8 with Roots supercharger and an an air suspension system that lowers the car when the car at rest.Since its debut showing at The Australian International Motor Show in 2005, the Holden Efijy has been named the United States concept car of the year for 2007.
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The Holden Efijy was part concept car and part tribute to the Holden FJ, the second model built by Holden and the first with Australian design. It uses a Chevrolet Corvette floor pan, a 644 hp (480 kW) 6.0 litre V8 with Roots supercharger and an an air suspension system that lowers the car when the car at rest.Since its debut showing at The Australian International Motor Show in 2005, the Holden Efijy has been named the United States concept car of the year for 2007.
Ferrari's 70th birthday was the most prominent aspect of the show, with celebrations for VIPs and a representative complement of the marque's most significant historical offerings present on the floor, topped off by the appearance of a 2017 LaFerrari Aperta. 
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Ferrari's 70th birthday was the most prominent aspect of the show, with celebrations for VIPs and a representative complement of the marque's most significant historical offerings present on the floor, topped off by the appearance of a 2017 LaFerrari Aperta. 
A mass Lamborghini salute
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A mass Lamborghini salute
A photographer stood beside me peering down the length of the Melbourne Exhibition buildings. "The only thing I like more than taking pictures of cars like this," he said, "is taking pictures of them in this building." He's right. They don't make them like this any more.
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A photographer stood beside me peering down the length of the Melbourne Exhibition buildings. "The only thing I like more than taking pictures of cars like this," he said, "is taking pictures of them in this building." He's right. They don't make them like this any more.
This 1947 General Motors Holden 48-215 prototype is one the most expensive  Australian cars ever sold at auction. In  2013 it fetched AUD$668,750 as one of the four prototypes of the original Aussie car. Earlier this year, a 1977 ex Bob Morris Holden A9X Hatchback Torana racing car that won the 1979 Australian Touring Car Championship for Bob Morris sold for AUD$705,000. Two 1971 Ford Falcon XY GTHO Phase lll muscle cars sold in 2007 for AUD$683,000 and AUD$750,000 respectively. The most expensive Australian car ever sold at auction is a (actually, the only) 7.0-litre Holden Monaro HRT 427 which sold for AUD$920,000 in 2008.
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This 1947 General Motors Holden 48-215 prototype is one the most expensive  Australian cars ever sold at auction. In  2013 it fetched AUD$668,750 as one of the four prototypes of the original Aussie car. Earlier this year, a 1977 ex Bob Morris Holden A9X Hatchback Torana racing car that won the 1979 Australian Touring Car Championship for Bob Morris sold for AUD$705,000. Two 1971 Ford Falcon XY GTHO Phase lll muscle cars sold in 2007 for AUD$683,000 and AUD$750,000 respectively. The most expensive Australian car ever sold at auction is a (actually, the only) 7.0-litre Holden Monaro HRT 427 which sold for AUD$920,000 in 2008.
The car that started large scale production in Australia, the 1947 General Motors Holden 48-215 prototype
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The car that started large scale production in Australia, the 1947 General Motors Holden 48-215 prototype
British motorcycles were not the only ones to nest at night over inverted garbage can lids.
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British motorcycles were not the only ones to nest at night over inverted garbage can lids.
Cars once thought of as near worthless when they had been superceded, are now growing in value. This 1964 Morris Mini van sold during the exhibition for AUD$40,000. Fully restored and gorgeous, the 850cc van  has 55,000 original miles
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Cars once thought of as near worthless when they had been superceded, are now growing in value. This 1964 Morris Mini van sold during the exhibition for AUD$40,000. Fully restored and gorgeous, the 850cc van  has 55,000 original miles
Local Rod Hunter won a truckload of trophies during two decades of international competition, primarily as a speedway rider. His association with fine machinery continues and a sampling of his extensive collection of cars and motorcycles was on display at Motorclassica. "Look at this", says Rod, as he lifts the lid on a bonsai V8.
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Local Rod Hunter won a truckload of trophies during two decades of international competition, primarily as a speedway rider. His association with fine machinery continues and a sampling of his extensive collection of cars and motorcycles was on display at Motorclassica. "Look at this", says Rod, as he lifts the lid on a bonsai V8.
Another of Rod Hunter's exhibits was this Offy-engined speedway car.
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Another of Rod Hunter's exhibits was this Offy-engined speedway car.
Inside the Stryker was a "60 horse" flathead Ford V8 with an Eddie Mayer manifold and mods
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Inside the Stryker was a "60 horse" flathead Ford V8 with an Eddie Mayer manifold and mods
Rod Hunter and his V8 midget
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Rod Hunter and his V8 midget
A Kenny Roberts OW72 Flat-track replica with a real OW72 head. Another from the Rod Hunter Collection, built by Australian enduro legend Murray Tainton
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A Kenny Roberts OW72 Flat-track replica with a real OW72 head. Another from the Rod Hunter Collection, built by Australian enduro legend Murray Tainton
A Kenny Roberts TZ750 flat tracker. Not THE one, but one of six authentic replicas built. Gorgeous, and scary, as attested by owner Rod Hunter. Rod won numerous Australian speedway and long track championships, and he's ridden the two-stroke beastie. "I got it going fast enough to give the throttle a few blips in third", said Rod. "That was enough."
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A Kenny Roberts TZ750 flat tracker. Not THE one, but one of six authentic replicas built. Gorgeous, and scary, as attested by owner Rod Hunter. Rod won numerous Australian speedway and long track championships, and he's ridden the two-stroke beastie. "I got it going fast enough to give the throttle a few blips in third", said Rod. "That was enough."
It's a 1963 Gaz Volga 21, the Soviet Union's most prestigious commonly available luxury car from 1956 to 1970. Though not the vehicle of choice for the truly powerful, it was the most plentiful luxury vehicle that could be purchased by private citizens, and hence was driven by Communist Party and high ranking police and military officials, and at the height of the Cold War, this car was commonly used by the much-feared KGB. When one of these came calling, you were in serious bother.
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It's a 1963 Gaz Volga 21, the Soviet Union's most prestigious commonly available luxury car from 1956 to 1970. Though not the vehicle of choice for the truly powerful, it was the most plentiful luxury vehicle that could be purchased by private citizens, and hence was driven by Communist Party and high ranking police and military officials, and at the height of the Cold War, this car was commonly used by the much-feared KGB. When one of these came calling, you were in serious bother.
There haven't been many motorcycles with automatic transmissions, but this is one of them - the 949 cc (57.9 cu in) Moto Guzzi V1000 Convert 949 cc (57.9 cu in) used a two speed gearbox and a torque converter and was a favourite for VIP, police and army escort duty as it could be ridden at walking pace then pull smoothly to freeway speeds.Brakes Front: 2x disc, Rear: disc, pedal linked to one front disc
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There haven't been many motorcycles with automatic transmissions, but this is one of them - the 949 cc (57.9 cu in) Moto Guzzi V1000 Convert 949 cc (57.9 cu in) used a two speed gearbox and a torque converter and was a favourite for VIP, police and army escort duty as it could be ridden at walking pace then pull smoothly to freeway speeds.Brakes Front: 2x disc, Rear: disc, pedal linked to one front disc
Local manufacture came in many forms, with this Melbourne-made Ward-JAP using the same engine from JA Preswich that found its way into the motorcycles of Brough Superior, Triumph, AJS, Enfield Cycle Co, Zenith and HRD. T.W. Ward of the Melbourne suburb of Williamstown also manufactured bikes with Precision engines, and was the local Indian agent. As demand grew for the Indians following Cannonball Baker's tour of Australia, the local bikes slowly decreased in volume.
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Local manufacture came in many forms, with this Melbourne-made Ward-JAP using the same engine from JA Preswich that found its way into the motorcycles of Brough Superior, Triumph, AJS, Enfield Cycle Co, Zenith and HRD. T.W. Ward of the Melbourne suburb of Williamstown also manufactured bikes with Precision engines, and was the local Indian agent. As demand grew for the Indians following Cannonball Baker's tour of Australia, the local bikes slowly decreased in volume.
Indian has a long and proud heritage in Australia, largely due to the exploits of Cannonball Baker. Baker went to Australia on a promotional tour, with a plan to smash all the big inter-city records. A few days after he arrived, he rode from Sydney to Melbourne in 18.5 hours, a time not bettered for more than a decade, but he found a 33-mile triangular circuit of country roads near Mortlake about 150 miles from Melbourne and in 1915 used it to set a world 24 hour distance record for a motorcycle - 930 miles. A subsequent attempt saw him cover 1028 miles in under 22 hours but the bike didn’t complete the 24 hours. Baker sold a lot of Indians by demonstrating their speed and reliability on public roads across the world. Baker would eventually push the 24 hour record to 1386 miles at the Cincinnati Speedway.
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Indian has a long and proud heritage in Australia, largely due to the exploits of Cannonball Baker. Baker went to Australia on a promotional tour, with a plan to smash all the big inter-city records. A few days after he arrived, he rode from Sydney to Melbourne in 18.5 hours, a time not bettered for more than a decade, but he found a 33-mile triangular circuit of country roads near Mortlake about 150 miles from Melbourne and in 1915 used it to set a world 24 hour distance record for a motorcycle - 930 miles. A subsequent attempt saw him cover 1028 miles in under 22 hours but the bike didn’t complete the 24 hours. Baker sold a lot of Indians by demonstrating their speed and reliability on public roads across the world. Baker would eventually push the 24 hour record to 1386 miles at the Cincinnati Speedway.
Go fast gear for vintage Jaguars - triple dual-throat Webers
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Go fast gear for vintage Jaguars - triple dual-throat Webers
It might look steampunk, but this was quite some automobile in 1913. It began life with a Connaught Torpedo Tourer body, and would have been one of the fastest cars on the road, being one of only six built with exactly the same motor and gearbox performance specification as the cars which won the 1913 Spanish Grand Prix and the 1913 Austrian Alpine Trial, an event legendary for the torturous conditions it subjected participants to. When WW1 broke out 12 months later, it was requisitioned by the war office to serve as a VIP staff car, was auctioned as military surplus when the war finished, found its way to Australia as a doctor's car, spent time at a funeral parlor as a mourning car (that follows the hearse with the bereaved's  family), and then presumably with a different body, it formed the basis for a tow truck before being finally considered too old to be worthwhile and abandoned. It was discovered in 1966, recognized for what it was, and has been better looked after since. This car really was mesmerising close up.
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It might look steampunk, but this was quite some automobile in 1913. It began life with a Connaught Torpedo Tourer body, and would have been one of the fastest cars on the road, being one of only six built with exactly the same motor and gearbox performance specification as the cars which won the 1913 Spanish Grand Prix and the 1913 Austrian Alpine Trial, an event legendary for the torturous conditions it subjected participants to. When WW1 broke out 12 months later, it was requisitioned by the war office to serve as a VIP staff car, was auctioned as military surplus when the war finished, found its way to Australia as a doctor's car, spent time at a funeral parlor as a mourning car (that follows the hearse with the bereaved's  family), and then presumably with a different body, it formed the basis for a tow truck before being finally considered too old to be worthwhile and abandoned. It was discovered in 1966, recognized for what it was, and has been better looked after since. This car really was mesmerising close up.
The new Holden isn't made in Australia, which is largely irrelevant in a world where few marques associated with their original country of origin are owned by or manufactured in that country
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The new Holden isn't made in Australia, which is largely irrelevant in a world where few marques associated with their original country of origin are owned by or manufactured in that country
The display areas outside the main buildings were a treasure trove, with all manner of roadgoing exotica on display.
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The display areas outside the main buildings were a treasure trove, with all manner of roadgoing exotica on display.
Motor racing runs deep in Australia. The 80th anniversary of the Rob Roy hillclimb just outside Melbourne is coming up. It's the world's second-oldest permanent hill climb circuit.
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Motor racing runs deep in Australia. The 80th anniversary of the Rob Roy hillclimb just outside Melbourne is coming up. It's the world's second-oldest permanent hill climb circuit.
Morris vans have a cult following in Australia and a vibrant collector club still spruiks the marque's futuristic design 
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Morris vans have a cult following in Australia and a vibrant collector club still spruiks the marque's futuristic design 
A brace of Bolwell Nagaris.  100 of these were built in Melbourne and with a kerb weight of 927 kg and a 302 ci or 351 ci Ford V8, it was a much celebrated projectile on the local scene.
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A brace of Bolwell Nagaris.  100 of these were built in Melbourne and with a kerb weight of 927 kg and a 302 ci or 351 ci Ford V8, it was a much celebrated projectile on the local scene.
This three-wheeled 1910 Kelsey Motorette was cheaper than a Model T Ford when it was built, but people liked the four wheels of the landmark Ford and only 210 Kelsey Motorettes were ever built. The Kelsey sold for AUD$41,125 at auction during the show.
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This three-wheeled 1910 Kelsey Motorette was cheaper than a Model T Ford when it was built, but people liked the four wheels of the landmark Ford and only 210 Kelsey Motorettes were ever built. The Kelsey sold for AUD$41,125 at auction during the show.
This three-wheeled 1910 Kelsey Motorette was cheaper than a Model T Ford when it was built, but people liked the four wheels of the landmark Ford and only 210 Kelsey Motorettes were ever built. The Kelsey sold for AUD$41,125 at auction during the show.
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This three-wheeled 1910 Kelsey Motorette was cheaper than a Model T Ford when it was built, but people liked the four wheels of the landmark Ford and only 210 Kelsey Motorettes were ever built. The Kelsey sold for AUD$41,125 at auction during the show.
The magnificent Holden Efigy Concept looks good from any angle
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The magnificent Holden Efigy Concept looks good from any angle
The magnificent Holden Efigy Concept looks good from any angle
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The magnificent Holden Efigy Concept looks good from any angle
The vintage speedway display was a cracker
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The vintage speedway display was a cracker
Jaguar has always had a big following in Australia and there are many restoration specialists offering sublime skills in returning a Jag to its best
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Jaguar has always had a big following in Australia and there are many restoration specialists offering sublime skills in returning a Jag to its best
The magnificent Holden Efigy Concept looks good from any angle - under the bonnet is a 480 kW (644 hp) 6.0 litre V8 with Roots supercharger
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The magnificent Holden Efigy Concept looks good from any angle - under the bonnet is a 480 kW (644 hp) 6.0 litre V8 with Roots supercharger
Sponsors such as Ferrari and Pommery champagne had a major presence
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Sponsors such as Ferrari and Pommery champagne had a major presence
The vintage speedway display was a cracker
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The vintage speedway display was a cracker
The Royal Exhibition buildings on the edge of the Melbourne CBD
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The Royal Exhibition buildings on the edge of the Melbourne CBD
Three of the featured marques in Motorclassica 2017 were Holden, Moto Guzzi and Ferrari.
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Three of the featured marques in Motorclassica 2017 were Holden, Moto Guzzi and Ferrari.
The brochure for the first entirely Australian-built mass-production automobile
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The brochure for the first entirely Australian-built mass-production automobile
One of the earliest Aston Martins in existence, this 1923 1.5 liter side-valve sports racer is thought to be the ninth surviving Aston Martin and the earliest sports two-seater. It is the oldest Aston Martin in Australia, and has lived and raced in Australia since 1924. This car competed in some of the early Australian Grands Prix at Phillip Island in the 1927-1930 period.
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One of the earliest Aston Martins in existence, this 1923 1.5 liter side-valve sports racer is thought to be the ninth surviving Aston Martin and the earliest sports two-seater. It is the oldest Aston Martin in Australia, and has lived and raced in Australia since 1924. This car competed in some of the early Australian Grands Prix at Phillip Island in the 1927-1930 period.
A 1954 Holden FJ "ute". Holden didn't invent the "ute" with that honour believed to belong to arch-rival Ford, which began offering a "coupe ute" built in the Melbourne plant in 1934. Mass production began with the FX ute in 1951, followed by the FJ. Perhaps even moreso than the sedan, the Holden ute is an Australian icon.
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A 1954 Holden FJ "ute". Holden didn't invent the "ute" with that honour believed to belong to arch-rival Ford, which began offering a "coupe ute" built in the Melbourne plant in 1934. Mass production began with the FX ute in 1951, followed by the FJ. Perhaps even moreso than the sedan, the Holden ute is an Australian icon.
The Holden FE series saw the introduction of the first  'Station Sedan' in 1957.
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The Holden FE series saw the introduction of the first  'Station Sedan' in 1957.
This 1926 Delage DI SS two-door boat tail has a body believed to have been built by coachmaker Kelsch after the car was exported to Australia in 1926. The car has had a long and fruitful life and was used in the driver parade lap at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix to transport Kimi Raikkonen.
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This 1926 Delage DI SS two-door boat tail has a body believed to have been built by coachmaker Kelsch after the car was exported to Australia in 1926. The car has had a long and fruitful life and was used in the driver parade lap at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix to transport Kimi Raikkonen.
The Mercedes-Benz stand at Motorclassica featured a 1924 Benz 11/40 Tourer that was delivered new in Melbourne 93 years ago and is still going strong.  Benz et Cie joined Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft (Daimler Motors Corporation) in 1926 to form Mercedes-Benz.
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The Mercedes-Benz stand at Motorclassica featured a 1924 Benz 11/40 Tourer that was delivered new in Melbourne 93 years ago and is still going strong.  Benz et Cie joined Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft (Daimler Motors Corporation) in 1926 to form Mercedes-Benz.
A mint Holden FC model, produced in 1958
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A mint Holden FC model, produced in 1958
Only the Italians could make a good looking police bike, but apparently that was accidental. In attempting to create an off-road Moto Guzzi in the 1980s, the company created the 750 NTX complete with Paris-Dakar Rally styling. The bike was too slow and too heavy but the police liked it and ... when the model was cut from the customer line-up, production of police bikes continued. This is a 1992 model., 
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Only the Italians could make a good looking police bike, but apparently that was accidental. In attempting to create an off-road Moto Guzzi in the 1980s, the company created the 750 NTX complete with Paris-Dakar Rally styling. The bike was too slow and too heavy but the police liked it and ... when the model was cut from the customer line-up, production of police bikes continued. This is a 1992 model., 
Royal Enfield convincingly displayed a revitalised brand that is cool  once more. The Cafe Racer really looks the part.
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Royal Enfield convincingly displayed a revitalised brand that is cool  once more. The Cafe Racer really looks the part.
It's a 1942 Moto Guzzi military motorcycle known as the "Alce" and it is original and untouched. The wheels are interchangeable, plenty of ground clearance and a single cylinder motor capable of grunting through very difficult conditions.
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It's a 1942 Moto Guzzi military motorcycle known as the "Alce" and it is original and untouched. The wheels are interchangeable, plenty of ground clearance and a single cylinder motor capable of grunting through very difficult conditions.
Helping to make Royal Enfield cool again was the appropriately named Midlife Motorcycles. The Brass Rajah is a treat to look at.
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Helping to make Royal Enfield cool again was the appropriately named Midlife Motorcycles. The Brass Rajah is a treat to look at.
Built by Healing & Company in Melbourne in 1912, the Peerless was Australia's largest motorcycle manufacturer prior to WW1. The engine is a German Fafnir, though Healing also used British Precision engines on some models. This bike was once owned by Jack Kaines, who set up the Australian National Motor Museum in Birdswood, South Australia, subsequently sold at auction in the United kingdom as part of a deceased estate, and was purchsed by its current owner and returned to its birthplace in Melbourne.
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Built by Healing & Company in Melbourne in 1912, the Peerless was Australia's largest motorcycle manufacturer prior to WW1. The engine is a German Fafnir, though Healing also used British Precision engines on some models. This bike was once owned by Jack Kaines, who set up the Australian National Motor Museum in Birdswood, South Australia, subsequently sold at auction in the United kingdom as part of a deceased estate, and was purchsed by its current owner and returned to its birthplace in Melbourne.
Sometimes timing plays a role in the legacy a motorcycle leaves. This innovative Matchless Silver Arrow might have become one of the true gems of English motorcycles if it hadn't been launched at the same time as the 1929 Stock Market Crash. The narrow-angle 18 degree v-twin 400 only lasted a few years before it was retired from the range, but its smooth, sweet-running motor remains a gem to this day. 
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Sometimes timing plays a role in the legacy a motorcycle leaves. This innovative Matchless Silver Arrow might have become one of the true gems of English motorcycles if it hadn't been launched at the same time as the 1929 Stock Market Crash. The narrow-angle 18 degree v-twin 400 only lasted a few years before it was retired from the range, but its smooth, sweet-running motor remains a gem to this day. 
The owner of this Crosker, David Readie, has been involved in Harley-Davidson sales and distribution all his life. He found this bike long before they became the outrageously expensive items they are today. Good taste is its own reward. 
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The owner of this Crosker, David Readie, has been involved in Harley-Davidson sales and distribution all his life. He found this bike long before they became the outrageously expensive items they are today. Good taste is its own reward. 
An unrestored 500cc 1952 Moto Guzzi Astore illustrates the innovation of the Italian factory with upside down forks and the spring for the swinging arm under the motor.
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An unrestored 500cc 1952 Moto Guzzi Astore illustrates the innovation of the Italian factory with upside down forks and the spring for the swinging arm under the motor.
The Holden Torana GTR-X was a prototype that was seriously considered for production in the early 1970s. It ran Torana GTR XU-1 mechanicals, weighed 1,043 kg (2,299 lb), had four-wheel disc brakes and could achieve 210 km/h (130 mph). Everything was ready to go, with the entire campaign and brochures all ready when it was scotched. If only ...
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The Holden Torana GTR-X was a prototype that was seriously considered for production in the early 1970s. It ran Torana GTR XU-1 mechanicals, weighed 1,043 kg (2,299 lb), had four-wheel disc brakes and could achieve 210 km/h (130 mph). Everything was ready to go, with the entire campaign and brochures all ready when it was scotched. If only ...
The Jaguar D-type seemed like the centre of gravity of the exhibition, and would have been the most expensive car ever sold at auction in Australia if it had sold. A high bid of AUD$5.5 million (US$4.35 million did not bring the hammer down and the car remained unsold.
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The Jaguar D-type seemed like the centre of gravity of the exhibition, and would have been the most expensive car ever sold at auction in Australia if it had sold. A high bid of AUD$5.5 million (US$4.35 million did not bring the hammer down and the car remained unsold.
A lot of people travelled a goodly distance to see the Jaguar D-type that went to auction on the Saturday night of the event at Mossgreens. 
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A lot of people travelled a goodly distance to see the Jaguar D-type that went to auction on the Saturday night of the event at Mossgreens
There were once three of these Jaguar D-types in Australia, and this one is the last. It went to auction on the Saturday night of the event at Mossgreens. 
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There were once three of these Jaguar D-types in Australia, and this one is the last. It went to auction on the Saturday night of the event at Mossgreens
The 1969 Holden Hurricane was a two-seat research vehicle built by Holden with some very advanced features for its time including an hydraulically powered canopy which lifted the whole top of the car off and raised the passenger seats. Other features included Pathfinder (following a path of magnetic signals embedded in the road - an early form of "autonomy"), digital instrumentss, automatic temperature control air conditioning, an auto-seek radio function and a rear-view camera, which played via closed-circuit television (CCTV) to a screen in the center console.
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The 1969 Holden Hurricane was a two-seat research vehicle built by Holden with some very advanced features for its time including an hydraulically powered canopy which lifted the whole top of the car off and raised the passenger seats. Other features included Pathfinder (following a path of magnetic signals embedded in the road - an early form of "autonomy"), digital instrumentss, automatic temperature control air conditioning, an auto-seek radio function and a rear-view camera, which played via closed-circuit television (CCTV) to a screen in the center console.
Two Holden-bodied General Motors cars. In the foreground is a 1932 Chevrolet BA Confederate Moonlight Speedstar. From the firewall back, the body is hand-formed aluminum.
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Two Holden-bodied General Motors cars. In the foreground is a 1932 Chevrolet BA Confederate Moonlight Speedstar. From the firewall back, the body is hand-formed aluminum.
Fancy a C-type Jaguar? These legacy replicas from Paradise Garage feature all-aluminum bodywork and a steel tubular chassis made in the UK, a 3.4 liter XK120 engine and the one pictured above will be completed in Q1, 2018. All it needs is a detailed spec and the choice of colour ... and AUD$265,000
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Fancy a C-type Jaguar? These legacy replicas from Paradise Garage feature all-aluminum bodywork and a steel tubular chassis made in the UK, a 3.4 liter XK120 engine and the one pictured above will be completed in Q1, 2018. All it needs is a detailed spec and the choice of colour ... and AUD$265,000
Fancy a C-type Jaguar? These legacy replicas feature all-aluminum bodywork and a steel tubular chassis made in the UK, a 3.4 liter XK120 engine and the one pictured above will be completed in Q1, 2018. All it needs is a detailed spec and the choice of colour ... and AUD$265,000
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Fancy a C-type Jaguar? These legacy replicas feature all-aluminum bodywork and a steel tubular chassis made in the UK, a 3.4 liter XK120 engine and the one pictured above will be completed in Q1, 2018. All it needs is a detailed spec and the choice of colour ... and AUD$265,000
Holmesglen TAFE is a local educational institute where they teach skills that are in demand by industry. One recent project for students was a modernised, two-thirds scale Bugatti Type 35 which went on display at Motorclassica. The entire car was fabricated by students except for the 50cc motor. TThe original Bugatti didn't have disc brakes but ...
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Holmesglen TAFE is a local educational institute where they teach skills that are in demand by industry. One recent project for students was a modernised, two-thirds scale Bugatti Type 35 which went on display at Motorclassica. The entire car was fabricated by students except for the 50cc motor. TThe original Bugatti didn't have disc brakes but ...
Holmesglen TAFE is a local educational institute where they teach skills that are in demand by industry. One recent project for students was a modernized, two-thirds scale Bugatti Type 35 which went on display at Motorclassica. The entire car was fabricated by students except for the 50cc motor.
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Holmesglen TAFE is a local educational institute where they teach skills that are in demand by industry. One recent project for students was a modernized, two-thirds scale Bugatti Type 35 which went on display at Motorclassica. The entire car was fabricated by students except for the 50cc motor.
Man cave furnishings are always on the periphery of classic car events, and some of the goodies hidden away on these sideshow exhibits were worth investigating. That's a solid wooden surfboard at right.
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Man cave furnishings are always on the periphery of classic car events, and some of the goodies hidden away on these sideshow exhibits were worth investigating. That's a solid wooden surfboard at right.
Man cave material
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Man cave material
On the Classic Style stand, a 1963 BSA 650 Super Rocket cafe racer was on sale for AUD $17,950 (US$14,000)
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On the Classic Style stand, a 1963 BSA 650 Super Rocket cafe racer was on sale for AUD $17,950 (US$14,000)
On the Classic Style stand, a 1963 BSA 650 Super Rocket bobber was on sale for AUD $17,950 (US$14,000)
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On the Classic Style stand, a 1963 BSA 650 Super Rocket bobber was on sale for AUD $17,950 (US$14,000)
On the Classic Style stand, a 1970 BSA Rocket 3 750cc with an AUD $22,950 (US$18,000) price tag
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On the Classic Style stand, a 1970 BSA Rocket 3 750cc with an AUD $22,950 (US$18,000) price tag
On the Classic Style stand, a concours restoration 1958 1000cc Ariel Square Four with an asking price of AUD $45,000 (about US$35,500)
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On the Classic Style stand, a concours restoration 1958 1000cc Ariel Square Four with an asking price of AUD $45,000 (about US$35,500)
On the Classic Style stand were a number of bikes, complete with price tags, this one a BSA DBD 500 Gold Star going for AUD$32,950 (US$26,000).
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On the Classic Style stand were a number of bikes, complete with price tags, this one a BSA DBD 500 Gold Star going for AUD$32,950 (US$26,000).
The 1969 Holden Hurricane was a two-seat research vehicle built by Holden with some very advanced features for its time including an hydraulically powered canopy which lifted the whole top of the car off and raised the passenger seats. Other features included Pathfinder (following a path of magnetic signals embedded in the road - an early form of "autonomy"), digital instrumentss, automatic temperature control air conditioning, an auto-seek radio function and a rear-view camera, which played via closed-circuit television (CCTV) to a screen in the center console.
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The 1969 Holden Hurricane was a two-seat research vehicle built by Holden with some very advanced features for its time including an hydraulically powered canopy which lifted the whole top of the car off and raised the passenger seats. Other features included Pathfinder (following a path of magnetic signals embedded in the road - an early form of "autonomy"), digital instrumentss, automatic temperature control air conditioning, an auto-seek radio function and a rear-view camera, which played via closed-circuit television (CCTV) to a screen in the center console.
The mighty Holden Monaro became a supercar for the Australian masses
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The mighty Holden Monaro became a supercar for the Australian masses
Holden made it clear that the famous design center in Melbourne would continue to exist for many years to come.
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Holden made it clear that the famous design center in Melbourne would continue to exist for many years to come.
Two of the Marlboro Holden Dealer Team cars which warmed hearts and filled television screens during the 1970s and 1980s in Australia.
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Two of the Marlboro Holden Dealer Team cars which warmed hearts and filled television screens during the 1970s and 1980s in Australia.
This 1961 Jaguar Series 1 E-type roadster was the 100th produced and had been in single family ownership for 43 years prior to going to auction on October 14, 2017. It failed to make reserve against an estimate of $280,000 - $320,000
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This 1961 Jaguar Series 1 E-type roadster was the 100th produced and had been in single family ownership for 43 years prior to going to auction on October 14, 2017. It failed to make reserve against an estimate of $280,000 - $320,000
The auction section of Motorclassica from above. You'll find the results from all of the cars pictured on the Mossgreen web site.
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The auction section of Motorclassica from above. You'll find the results from all of the cars pictured on the Mossgreen web site.
The D-type didn't sell, falling AUD1.5 million short of the official lower estimate.
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The D-type didn't sell, falling AUD1.5 million short of the official lower estimate.
Man cave material
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Man cave material
It appears that all those old garage shelves stocked with brands we knew are still finding buyers.
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It appears that all those old garage shelves stocked with brands we knew are still finding buyers.
Honda's original 1047cc CBX six-cylinder from 1978 was the sharpest of the models which were softened in power delivery when they were subsequently fitted with Honda's Pro-link suspension and became sports tourers. That's an original Kawasaki Z1 900 in the rear.
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Honda's original 1047cc CBX six-cylinder from 1978 was the sharpest of the models which were softened in power delivery when they were subsequently fitted with Honda's Pro-link suspension and became sports tourers. That's an original Kawasaki Z1 900 in the rear.
The Goggomobil Dart was a sports car produced in Australia from 1959 to 1962, and though it had a relatively puny twin-cylinder two-stroke motor of just 400cc, more than 500 were sold in  four years before a sales tax increase killed the market.  The Dart is based on the German Goggomobil microcar and now has a cult following.
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The Goggomobil Dart was a sports car produced in Australia from 1959 to 1962, and though it had a relatively puny twin-cylinder two-stroke motor of just 400cc, more than 500 were sold in  four years before a sales tax increase killed the market.  The Dart is based on the German Goggomobil microcar and now has a cult following.
It's a 1949 Series-B White Shadow. Maybe it will never be officially recognised as such, but the bike that won the motorcycle concours at Motorclassica this year is a 1949 HRD Black Shadow with a motor that was never painted black. It had been ordered as a Rapide but the order was changed to Black Shadow specification part way through the build and ... it is the only one of 76 Series-B Black Shadows with a white shadow engine. The bike was discovered chained to a tree in the British Virgin Islands in 1974  with the cylinders removed. John Munn and Geoff Knott of Classic Style nursed the bike back to perfection and took out the company's fourth Motorclassica concours in five years with the result.
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It's a 1949 Series-B White Shadow. Maybe it will never be officially recognised as such, but the bike that won the motorcycle concours at Motorclassica this year is a 1949 HRD Black Shadow with a motor that was never painted black. It had been ordered as a Rapide but the order was changed to Black Shadow specification part way through the build and ... it is the only one of 76 Series-B Black Shadows with a white shadow engine. The bike was discovered chained to a tree in the British Virgin Islands in 1974  with the cylinders removed. John Munn and Geoff Knott of Classic Style nursed the bike back to perfection and took out the company's fourth Motorclassica concours in five years with the result.
Too good to leave out. Hire that copywriter.
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Too good to leave out. Hire that copywriter.
The Lancia Aprilia saloon is a remarkable car for several reasons. It was the last of Vincenzo Lancia's designs, and was done in conjunction with Battista "Pinin" Farina and Politenico di Torino, where it became the first car designed with the assistance of a wind tunnel.
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The Lancia Aprilia saloon is a remarkable car for several reasons. It was the last of Vincenzo Lancia's designs, and was done in conjunction with Battista "Pinin" Farina and Politenico di Torino, where it became the first car designed with the assistance of a wind tunnel.
This is a 1936 Lancia Aprilia cylinder head demonstrator, used to demonstrate the complicated valve operating mechanism that was one of the Aprilia's points of difference, as it was extremely efficient. The mechanism is believed to have been shown at the 1936 Paris Motor Show, and subsequently at motor shows around Europe.
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This is a 1936 Lancia Aprilia cylinder head demonstrator, used to demonstrate the complicated valve operating mechanism that was one of the Aprilia's points of difference, as it was extremely efficient. The mechanism is believed to have been shown at the 1936 Paris Motor Show, and subsequently at motor shows around Europe.
Another Lancia and yet another landmark technical innovation. This is a 1927 Lancia Lambda Ballon, though the Lambda was launched in 1922 and was the first car with a mass-produced monocoque chassis. A monocoque uses the frame and body as one integrated structure, though Lancia responded to public opinion by offering the car from 1925 onwards as a "platform chassis" too, so that customers could create their own bodies via the coachbuilders of the day. The "Ballon" designation indicates the car has a detachable hard top, a style that was briefly popular in Italy where the weather promoted the need for both open summer tourers and closed winter cars.
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Another Lancia and yet another landmark technical innovation. This is a 1927 Lancia Lambda Ballon, though the Lambda was launched in 1922 and was the first car with a mass-produced monocoque chassis. A monocoque uses the frame and body as one integrated structure, though Lancia responded to public opinion by offering the car from 1925 onwards as a "platform chassis" too, so that customers could create their own bodies via the coachbuilders of the day. The "Ballon" designation indicates the car has a detachable hard top, a style that was briefly popular in Italy where the weather promoted the need for both open summer tourers and closed winter cars.
Ferrari's 70th birthday was the most prominent aspect of the show, being at the heart of the exhibition, with celebrations for VIPs and a representative complement of the marque's most significant historical offerings present on the floor.
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Ferrari's 70th birthday was the most prominent aspect of the show, being at the heart of the exhibition, with celebrations for VIPs and a representative complement of the marque's most significant historical offerings present on the floor.
This is a Holden-bodied 1939 Oldsmobile Sport Roadster, one of ten made, two that remain and the only one restored. General Motors Holden offered two Oldsmobile models in three body shapes, with the ‎£400 Sport Roadster having a 3.5 litre in-line six engine producing 90 hp and returning 26 mpg. £400 in today's money would equate to around AUD$140,000 based on average weekly wages.
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This is a Holden-bodied 1939 Oldsmobile Sport Roadster, one of ten made, two that remain and the only one restored. General Motors Holden offered two Oldsmobile models in three body shapes, with the ‎£400 Sport Roadster having a 3.5 litre in-line six engine producing 90 hp and returning 26 mpg. £400 in today's money would equate to around AUD$140,000 based on average weekly wages.
Two more Holden-bodied General Motors cars, being a 1928 Buick Speedster at left, and a 1932 Chevrolet BA Confederate Moonlight Speedstar. From the firewall back, the bodies were hand-formed aluminum.
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Two more Holden-bodied General Motors cars, being a 1928 Buick Speedster at left, and a 1932 Chevrolet BA Confederate Moonlight Speedstar. From the firewall back, the bodies were hand-formed aluminum.
It might look steampunk, but this was quite some automobile in 1913. It began life with a Connaught Torpedo Tourer body, and would have been one of the fastest cars on the road, being one of only six built with exactly the same motor and gearbox performance specification as the cars which won the 1913 Spanish Grand Prix and the 1913 Austrian Alpine Trial, an event legendary for the torturous conditions it subjected participants to. When WW1 broke out 12 months later, it was requisitioned by the war office to serve as a VIP staff car, was auctioned as military surplus when the war finished, found its way to Australia as a doctor's car, spent time at a funeral parlor as a mourning car (that follows the hearse with the bereaved's  family), and then presumably with a different body, it formed the basis for a tow truck before being finally considered too old to be worthwhile and abandoned. It was discovered in 1966, recognised for what it was, and has been better looked after since. This car really was mesmerising close up.
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It might look steampunk, but this was quite some automobile in 1913. It began life with a Connaught Torpedo Tourer body, and would have been one of the fastest cars on the road, being one of only six built with exactly the same motor and gearbox performance specification as the cars which won the 1913 Spanish Grand Prix and the 1913 Austrian Alpine Trial, an event legendary for the torturous conditions it subjected participants to. When WW1 broke out 12 months later, it was requisitioned by the war office to serve as a VIP staff car, was auctioned as military surplus when the war finished, found its way to Australia as a doctor's car, spent time at a funeral parlor as a mourning car (that follows the hearse with the bereaved's  family), and then presumably with a different body, it formed the basis for a tow truck before being finally considered too old to be worthwhile and abandoned. It was discovered in 1966, recognised for what it was, and has been better looked after since. This car really was mesmerising close up.
Gorgeous from any angle. The Holden Efijy concept car won the United States concept car of the year for 2007.
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Gorgeous from any angle. The Holden Efijy concept car won the United States concept car of the year for 2007.
A 1954 Holden FJ "ute". Holden didn't invent the "ute" with that honor believed to belong to arch-rival Ford, which began offering a "coupe ute" built in the Melbourne plant in 1934. Mass production began with the FX ute in 1951, followed by the FJ. Perhaps even more so than the sedan, the Holden ute is an Australian icon.
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A 1954 Holden FJ "ute". Holden didn't invent the "ute" with that honor believed to belong to arch-rival Ford, which began offering a "coupe ute" built in the Melbourne plant in 1934. Mass production began with the FX ute in 1951, followed by the FJ. Perhaps even more so than the sedan, the Holden ute is an Australian icon.
The Motorclassica venue was built for the Royal Exhibition of 1880-1881 and forms an ideal backdrop for a display of automotive heritage
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The Motorclassica venue was built for the Royal Exhibition of 1880-1881 and forms an ideal backdrop for a display of automotive heritage
View gallery - 94 images

There was a tinge of sadness about this year's Motorclassica Show in Melbourne. Motorclassica is to Australia what Retromobile is to France and Techno Classica is to Germany, being the celebration of a 120 year-old automotive culture. The well curated annual event ran from October 13-15 and provided a wonderful perspective through which to view the passing of an industry dear to Australian hearts.

For those not aware of Australia's demise as a manufacturing economy, on October 6, 2017, the second last major manufacturer of cars in Australia closed its doors and next Friday, the last one (Holden) closes its manufacturing facility and with it, an industry woven into the Australian way of life.

The show had several parallel themes, being Ferrari's 70th birthday, Vintage Speedway, 100 years of Holden, 110 years of Lancia, and Moto Guzzi was the celebrated motorcycle marque.

The brochure for the first entirely Australian-built mass-production automobile
The brochure for the first entirely Australian-built mass-production automobile

The celebration of 100 years of Holden was obviously particularly relevant. Holden more than any other, was Australia's car. The first brochure for the car called it a Holden, and quite appropriately the name came from J.A Holden & Co, which started business as a saddlery in 1856 in Adelaide.

Holden began making motorcycle sidecars in 1913, car bodies in 1914, and the centenary of Holden celebration refers to the 100th anniversary of large-scale production of car bodies which began in 1917.

Holden Motor Body Builders (HMBB) was then formed in 1918. General Motors entered the Australian market in 1926 and the two companies merged to become General Motors-Holden in 1931.

Two more Holden-bodied General Motors cars, being a 1928 Buick Speedster at left, and a 1932 Chevrolet BA Confederate Moonlight Speedstar. From the firewall back, the bodies were hand-formed aluminum.
Two more Holden-bodied General Motors cars, being a 1928 Buick Speedster at left, and a 1932 Chevrolet BA Confederate Moonlight Speedstar. From the firewall back, the bodies were hand-formed aluminum.

Many of the cars on display were American cars with bodies made by Holden, and a flick through the extensive image library for this story will unearth more examples. That's a Holden-bodied 1932 Chevrolet BA Confederate Moonlight Speedstar above, while the car at left is a Holden-bodied 1928 Buick Speedster. From the firewall back, both bodies are hand-formed aluminium and the work is exquisite.

In the mid-1940s Australian Prime Minister Ben Chifley wanted to replicate the economic benefits of America's thriving automobile industry and invited General Motors to begin producing cars in Australia, offering considerable incentives for doing so.

Although GM America chairman Alfred P Sloan was apparently concerned about Australia's socialist tendencies, with the government running the railroads, airlines, postal and communications networks, the far-sighted "Project 2000" was conceived in 1946 to make an entire car in Australia and it kickstarted an industry that at its peak, produced 500,000 cars a year.

This 1947 General Motors Holden 48-215 prototype is one the most expensive  Australian cars ever sold at auction. In  2013 it fetched AUD$668,750 as one of the four prototypes of the original Aussie car. Earlier this year, a 1977 ex Bob Morris Holden A9X Hatchback Torana racing car that won the 1979 Australian Touring Car Championship for Bob Morris sold for AUD$705,000. Two 1971 Ford Falcon XY GTHO Phase lll muscle cars sold in 2007 for AUD$683,000 and AUD$750,000 respectively. The most expensive Australian car ever sold at auction is a (actually, the only) 7.0-litre Holden Monaro HRT 427 which sold for AUD$920,000 in 2008.
This 1947 General Motors Holden 48-215 prototype is one the most expensive  Australian cars ever sold at auction. In  2013 it fetched AUD$668,750 as one of the four prototypes of the original Aussie car. Earlier this year, a 1977 ex Bob Morris Holden A9X Hatchback Torana racing car that won the 1979 Australian Touring Car Championship for Bob Morris sold for AUD$705,000. Two 1971 Ford Falcon XY GTHO Phase lll muscle cars sold in 2007 for AUD$683,000 and AUD$750,000 respectively. The most expensive Australian car ever sold at auction is a (actually, the only) 7.0-litre Holden Monaro HRT 427 which sold for AUD$920,000 in 2008.

This is that car, the first Australian-built General Motors Holden 48-215 prototype. The first three prototypes were designed and built in Detroit, and borrowed much from contemporary American cars such as the Chevrolet Fleetline, but this is the first prototype built in Australia.

This car spawned the lineage of models that invariably crossed paths with every Australian at some point in their lives, be it in ute, station wagon or sedan form, beginning with the FX and onwards through the FJ, FE, FC, FB, EK, EJ, EK, EJ, EH, HD, HR, HK and HT. Holden added whole words to the language too, like Monaro (top right above) and Torana (below).

Two of the Marlboro Holden Dealer Team cars which warmed hearts and filled television screens during the 1970s and 1980s in Australia.
Two of the Marlboro Holden Dealer Team cars which warmed hearts and filled television screens during the 1970s and 1980s in Australia.

The original "Gawler Grey" Holden prototype had somewhat of a triumphant return to the venue it had last visited in 2013 when it was the star car of the auction accompanying Motorclassica, fetching AUD$668,750 to become one of the most expensive Australian-made cars ever sold.

For the record, all the other most valuable Aussie cars are muscle cars. Earlier this year, the 1977 Holden A9X Torana that won the 1979 Australian Touring Car Championship for Bob Morris sold for AUD$705,000. Two 1971 Ford Falcon XY GTHO Phase III cars sold in 2007 for AUD$683,000 and AUD$750,000 respectively, while the most expensive ever was the only 7.0-litre Holden Monaro HRT 427, which sold for AUD$920,000 in 2008.

The D-type didn't sell, falling AUD1.5 million short of the official lower estimate.
The D-type didn't sell, falling AUD1.5 million short of the official lower estimate.

This year the star car at the official Motorclassica auction was one of immense global gravitas, and I still don't comprehend why a Jaguar D-type with an extensive racing history was being sold in Australia. It is just as easy these days to present such a car in New York, Paris, London or Monterey, where a price estimate of AUD$7 million to $8 million is nothing remarkable to an audience accustomed to investing in storied automobiles. The cost of getting it there will be more than offset by the additional value that can be realised by putting the car on a global stage.

Yes, the internet works in Australia, but the globally-renowned auction houses such as RM-Sothebys, Gooding & Company, Artcurial and Bonhams know who the potential buyers are for any particular significant model. People who spend $10 million on a car are not one-time buyers, and when one of the elite auction houses has such a car to sell they make sure they work the black book thoroughly and the usual suspects partial to a model or marque are all contacted and enrolled in the game. In any case, a high bid of AUD$5.5 million (US$4.35 million) did not bring the hammer down and the US$21.78 million record price for a D-type was never under threat.

Ferrari's 70th birthday was the most prominent aspect of the show, with celebrations for VIPs and a representative complement of the marque's most significant historical offerings present on the floor, topped off by the appearance of a 2017 LaFerrari Aperta. 
Ferrari's 70th birthday was the most prominent aspect of the show, with celebrations for VIPs and a representative complement of the marque's most significant historical offerings present on the floor, topped off by the appearance of a 2017 LaFerrari Aperta. 

Another focal point of this year's Motorclassica was Ferrari's 70th birthday. To this audience, Ferrari is more a religion than just a revered marque. Ferrari dominates the collectible car market so comprehensively that 62 of the 100 most expensive cars ever sold are Ferraris. Just to be clear on that, all the "other cars" ever produced make up just 38 cars of the 100 most valuable.

The 2017 LaFerrari Aperta made an appearance at Motorclassica – last month one of these sold for €8,300,000 (AUD$12.5 million or US$9.8 million) at auction in Maranello, a new world record for a 21st century automobile.

Fancy a C-type Jaguar? These legacy replicas feature all-aluminum bodywork and a steel tubular chassis made in the UK, a 3.4 liter XK120 engine and the one pictured above will be completed in Q1, 2018. All it needs is a detailed spec and the choice of colour ... and AUD$265,000
Fancy a C-type Jaguar? These legacy replicas feature all-aluminum bodywork and a steel tubular chassis made in the UK, a 3.4 liter XK120 engine and the one pictured above will be completed in Q1, 2018. All it needs is a detailed spec and the choice of colour ... and AUD$265,000

Another noteworthy showing was from Paradise Garage, a workshop that always finds something special to display at Motorclassica. Last year it was a fully-restored 1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom II rolling chassis that was so intricate and detailed at the same time as being imposing, that people could be seen meditating on it. This time around it was a partially completed "legacy" C-type Jaguar. These replicas feature all-aluminium bodywork and a steel tubular chassis made in the UK, a 3.4 liter XK120 engine and the one pictured above will be completed in Q1, 2018. All it needs is a detailed spec and the choice of colour ... and AUD$265,000 (about US$208,000).

The stories are many in each of these shows, and I've chosen 100 images and written a short story about each of them in our Motorclassica photo gallery.

View gallery - 94 images
1 comment
Johannes
Excellent article Mike, worthy of the quality of the Motorclassica Show. And that venue...