Car Show Classics: 2015 Great Australian Rally – Compare And Contrast

Something I like to do at car shows is get a pair of cars in a photo.  It can be fun, sometimes you get rivals like the Triumph Dolomite Sprint and Ford Escort RS2000 with their high-performance 2-litre engines and sometimes, well click through and find out!

Sometimes you get pairings of generations of an iconic car, like the Chrysler 300B and 300D.

Keeping with the progressing-alphabetically theme, here is an MG B and MG C!  A shame there wasn’t an MG A to join the party.

Another theme is early and late models from the same brand.  Mind you this 1920s Rolls Royce 20/25 and modern Phantom aren’t strictly analogous, we would need a Silver Ghost for that as the 20/25 was ‘the little’ Rolls-Royce.

Or a pair of Morgans, what I think is an early Plus 8 and a modern V8 Aero roadster.  The Aero doesn’t seem to have been that well received, and even ignoring the cross-eyed headlights the styling seems a bit forced or contrived.

There is a more dramatic difference between this pair of Singers.  The Singer 9 Roadster with its overhead cam engine was quite a popular entry level sports car, and was also raced extensively with class victory at Le Mans in 1934 for example.  After WW2 Singer continued with an evolution of prewar vehicles which quickly became outdated.  The Rootes brothers took over in 1956 and built a Singer version of the Hillman Minx, until 1958 with the Singer OHC engine.  The blue Gazelle sedan is slightly later than that, about 1961.

Another pretty striking contrast can be made between a Goggomobil 400 and 1968 Mustang convertible.

Only slightly larger size difference is present with this scale model MG TF for children!

A few years later and someone looking for a sporting machine might find themselves choosing between an MGB and a Mini Cooper S – which would you have chosen?  In 1968 the Cooper S cost $2,390 while the MGB was $3,220.

Another “choose one” situation was presented by the Leyland P76 and this slightly-later Holden Premier wagon.  While the P76 has many technical advantages on paper, at the time there were a couple of other issues such as poor production quality and supply issues.

Here is an interesting pairing from over a hundred years ago; a Cadillac (a 1903 or 04 from memory) and a Renault.  Things have progressed a lot since then!

Getting slightly newer (but only just!), I’d place these cars at slightly before WW1.  Can anyone identify them?  I may have some photos from a previous event that may help but they are not available now.

Because the main groups at the show are car clubs, things are ripe for comparisons between older and newer cars.  You may be surprised to know that even the Model T, that symbol of mass production, evolved quite a bit during its run.  The move away from a brass radiator would have been a cost issue but the other panels ahead of the windscreen appear to be pure styling.  A solid-roofed sedan is a much bigger change!

Here’s a 1938 Oldsmobile and 1948 Buick, illustrating the still-rapid change of pace of the automobile in general.

A much smaller change in the Austin-Healey Sprite; from the bug-eye or frog-eye first model to the much more conventional follow-up, equipped as it was with fripperies as a boot/trunk lid!

A much bigger contrast is between the by then archaic MG TD of the early 1950s and the MGB that debuted in 1961 and firmly put MG in the modern era, although there is less than 10 years between them although this B is a later type.  I’ve spoken to the owner of the B, and the two-tone paintwork is something he has done to capture the spirit of the earlier cars.

Here are examples of the first and last models from Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV), a BA GT-P that was released in late 2002 and the final GT-F from 2014 – about the newest car at the show and definitely what you might call an instant classic.  The BA has a 290kW/390hp 5.4 DOHC “Boss” V8 while the GT-F has a supercharged 5.0 V8 with kw/hp.

For something different, a change in generation of racing cars; on the right a 1927 Bugatti Type 35c, straight eight 1.9L supercharged engine making 130 hp for 130 mph top speed.  At left is a Cooper 500, which was built in 13 series through the 1950s and powered by several 500 cc motorcycle-based engines – typically JAP.  The car is simply so small and light that performance is amazing.

Here are a pair of dignified black machines; a late-fifties Mercedes-Benz 220 variety and a 1930 Packard coupe.

Next a striking pair of coupes, a 1978 Chrysler Scorpion and a Jaguar XK150.  Obviously the sedan-based rebadged Mitsubishi Sapporo has just as many differences as similarities to the Jag.

To finish up, lets step things up by a car!  A Ford Crown Victoria, Nissan Bluebird and 1962 Dodge Phoenix make a pretty disparate trio, although you might find shared elements such as styling themes or purpose.

I hope you have enjoyed this little diversion, there was more potential had I set out to take photos of car pairings at the time!  If there is interest I will see what else I can find from other shows and historic race meets.


Further Reading From the Great Australian Rally:

Car Show Classic: Goggomobil Coupe 400 – Couper S Version

Curbside Classic: Armstrong-Siddeley Sapphire 346 – Peak Siddeley?

CC: DKW Schnellaster – Found In Australia