Car Show Classic: 2018 Tourclassica – Quick Observations

I only just made it down to the Alexandra Gardens where the Tourclassica drive was starting in time before they set off, but the rush was worth it!  Seeing the cars in the open air is quite different from inside a building, not to mention seeing them move.  The trio of Saab 93, Maserati Mexico and Toyota Crown represent the ‘normal’ end of things, but even they are not something you see on the roads very often.

The head of the queue of cars was made up of this pair of Bullitt Mustangs, a 2019 and a replica.  One of the drawcards of Motorclassica now that there are no traditional motor shows in Australia is the launch of select new cars, and there were a few of these for the weekend.

To go right to the other end of the scale in terms of exoticness from our first photo, this Delage is pretty spectacular especially in a park with a city skyline backdrop.

Here is another view of the car – you could say this was the equivalent of a Mercedes SL of its day.  It has been beautifully restored.


This 1968 HK Holden Monaro GTS won the People’s Choice award for the show, it too was in amazing condition.  This is the 186S six-cylinder version, which would have been more common than the 327 V8 when new but probably not now.


This 1926 Salmson race car is from the late 20s, and has a small, 1,100cc 4-cylinder dohc engine.


Another glamour shot, with what would be another prize-winning car (1967 Porsche 911s) leading a trio of Mercedes convertibles, while on the other side of the road we have a Holden Station Sedan (as it was officially called), a pair of Corvettes and a Chrysler 300B.

Obviously one is a 1963, while I think the other was a 1965.

A nice Fiat pairing – a 124 Spider and a 1949-55 500 C, which was a restyled version of the more well-known 500 “Topolino”.


This 1925 Hudson was the oldest of a few representatives of the make.  Mid-20’s cars like this with 4-wheel brakes must represent a turning point where the basic format of the car was finally settled, and from then on it was development and refinement.  The added-on indicators have been done in a way that I like – easy to see, but added neatly and not overly intrusive.   The Dino in the background was a very nice example of what must be one of the best cars ever – they can sell for over half a million dollars did you know?

Ferrari, MG and Bentley waiting for the off.

This 1924 Minvera AB Tourer survivor would go on to win the Preservation class for pre-1950 cars, and looks to be a deserving winner.  Not having immaculate, shiny paint would make it much more useable.

This Bristol 405 D drophead coupe had just 50 brothers (including some conversions) and was built alongside the 405 sedan, the sole 4-door Bristol model.  The front of the car is styled after the air intakes on the engines of the Bristol Brabazon airliner, quite a departure from the BMW kidney-style grille on the earlier 401/403 ‘Aerodyne’ cars.

Some more sports cars around this Aston Martin DB5 – Riley and Alfa Romeo to the left and Austin Healey and Allard (with the roll bar) behind.

Quite a few of the cars on the Tourclassica ended up winning prizes!  This 1963-1/2 Galaxie fastback is an R-code, meaning it has a 427 engine, and it won the “Last days of the American Supercar” class.  More of those in a moment…

Winning that class was quite an accolade, as all the entrants were fantastically-presented.  Here we have a 1969 Camaro Z/28 and Chevelle SS.

Don’s post announcing the Motorclassica Meet-up featured a blue Superbird – I wonder if he knew there would be another one at the show?

This Stutz Blackhawk was part of the Art Deco Cars class, and it is rolling past another couple of cars that would qualify too.

To come back down from the clouds, here is a 1934 Plymouth, or at least I think that is the model.  It is right-hand drive, so likely was built by GM-Holden’s in Adelaide.  I am aiming to get my article on early Holdens finished before Christmas…

If this boat-tail Auburn roadster looks familiar, it may be from seeing it in one of my posts from the Winton Historic races – there are some more photos there.

By the time I reached the end of the road, so to speak, one line of cars had left including this 1950 Cadillac Coupe De Ville, a similar model to one of the CC mascot vehicles.  Its story couldn’t be more different to that car’s though, which I will cover in a post on the Cadillac invited class next week.

This Bugatti was having an issue; speaking to the driver’s wife I gather it isn’t the first time, but old cars not behaving perfectly can’t be a surprise – indeed to have everything functioning perfectly with no issues from fuel vaporisation and such is quite the achievement.

International readers may not appreciate the location from the photos up to now, so here is one to show just how close we are to the centre of Melbourne.  The buildings are just over a quarter of a mile away, across the Yarra River and the Birrarung Marr park, which was opened in 2002 after a large rail yard was relocated over the preceding 20 years, and a road diverted.  Behind me is nearly 300 acres of parkland, including Government House, the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Shrine of Remembrance.  The slogan on our registration plates used to be “Victoria – The Garden State”, and this is the jewel in the crown.

Here is a closer view of the “Angel”, by sculptor Deborah Halpern.  It was originally installed in the ‘moat’ of the National Gallery of Victoria (which is also a quarter of a mile to the west), before being moved to its current location on the riverbank.

There are 16 images made from a mosaic of tiles, it took 3 years to build the scuplture.

Finally, as I waited to cross the road and head back to the real world, I saw the Bugatti heading off for the 6 kilometre drive to the Royal Exhibition Buildings and the Motorclassica show.  There will be more to come from both Don and I over the coming weeks.