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Melbourne, Australia

21-23 october

m o t o rc l a s s i c a

Top show down under


Words and photography Ben Dillon

Motorclassica category Winners

Melbournes second Motorclassica builds on the inaugural events success

From the moment Derek Bell rattled the 130-year-old leaded-light windows of the Royal Exhibition Hall in Melbourne by revving the engine of his 1987 Le Mans-winning Porsche 962, the second Motorclassica was bound for glory. Like any movie sequel, the pressure to better the original is a strong motivational force doubly so after Octane rated last years inaugural Motorclassica as our World Event of the Year. And this years highly anticipated event featured a depth of quality and variety that surpassed the standard set in 2011, with 110 cars on show boasting a combined value of more than AU$100 million (65 million). Australian racing great Vern Schuppan joined Derek Bell, along with 16,000 visitors who took in the diverse range of vehicles on display. I think its amazing, Bell enthused. When you see the quality and preparation of the cars its astonishing. And this beautiful building lends itself perfectly to it. Australians have an affinity with the V8, and while Australian and US muscle cars were on the menu, the overall palate of Motorclassica was
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a swirling blend of flavours with a spread of iconic and intriguing vehicles, from the oldest Benz in Australia an 1896 Benz Velo to one of only seven 1973 Chapron-built Citron DS23 Pallas Prestige limos, an Alvis TB21 Roadster, Mercedes-Benz 540K and 1973 Porsche 911RSR. Away from the static indoor display, Tour Classica saw 78 entrants start from the Australia Grand Prix pitlane at Albert Park and head into Melbourne, mixing with modern machinery and turning heads along a 6.9km route to the Exhibition Hall. The sight of cars such as a Lamborghini Miura SV, MercedesBenz 300SL Gullwing and Facel Vega going wheel to wheel with lunchtime traffic was a treat for spectators and drivers alike. Motorclassica also saw the unveiling of the 1969 Holden Hurricane concept a car largely

forgotten by both the company and motoring public fresh from a three-year restoration, having not seen the light of day for nearly 40 years. The Bonhams auction house was on site with an impressive array of collectables, bikes and cars for sale, highlights of which included an ex-Australian Government 1967 Rolls-Royce Phantom V by HJ Mulliner Park Ward and a gorgeous Lancia Aurelia B20GT, which sold for $159,000 (103,000). The coveted Best in Show award went to Gary McMillan for his Bentley Speed Six, first delivered to Oswald J Syme (son of publishing giant David Syme) in November 1927, fitted with a Mulliner saloon body on a standard 12ft chassis. The Bentley was upgraded over six years to Speed Six specifications and now wears replica Vanden Plas-style Le Mans bodywork.

Best in show 1927 Bentley Speed Six Antique, veteran and edwardian 1908 Isotta-Fraschini FENC 10hp semi-racer european and British vintage 1926 Delage DISS boat-tail tourer American vintage and pre-war 1940 Ford Deluxe Convertible european and British pre-war 1933 Hispano-Suiza HS26 Junior Cabriolet european and British post-war classic 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190SL Roadster American post-war classic 1958 Chrysler 300D Coupe modern european and British 1973 Citron DS Pallas Prestige

The sight of a Lamborghini Miura SV, Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing and Facel Vega going wheel to wheel with lunchtime traffic was a treat for spectators

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