12-14 October 2018
Now in its ninth year, Motorclassica has firmly now established itself as Australia’s top Concours d’Elegance event. Held across three days, there’s plenty of time for enthusiasts to make a visit. New additions to the show this year included “Motorclassica after five”, which attracted a large number of people to enjoy a vino going into dusk on either the Friday or Saturday nights while meandering around the cars and bikes.
For us race fans though there were many highlights in 2018, topped by the celebration display of 90 years of the Australian Grand Prix. The selecting committee (which includes the scribe – interest declared) sourced and hand-picked a display of 22 cars from across the country (and, yes even one claiming from overseas).
Separate to the AGP celebration display were a handful of additional racing cars, including a couple of Grand Prix cars that had not competed in an AGP event.
First appearances included; Maserati 6CM, Repco-Brabham BT17 and Repco-Brabham BT23E.
But, let’s first focus on a summary of the cars in the Australian Grand Prix display.
Representing 1928: Austin 7
The first motorsport event in Australia to be officially dubbed, the Australian Grand Prix was the 100 mile road race at Phillip Island in 1928. A handicap race, it was won by Englishman, Col. Arthur Waite in this Austin 7. Current owner: Graeme Steinfort (VIC)
Representing 1929, 1930, 1933 and 1937: Lombard AL3
This Lombard was imported into Australia in the late 1920s by Bill Lowe who competed it in no less than four AGPs. His highest finish being 2nd in the 1929 event at Phillip Island. Current owners: Geoff and Neil Murdoch (VIC)
Representing 1930, 31, 32, 34,35, 36 and 38: Riley Brooklands
Owned and raced in no less than seven Australian Grands Prix is this ex. Bernie Dentry Riley Brooklands. Fourth in 1034, 5th in 1935 and 6th in both 1930 and 1936. Current owner: Ron Brownrigg (VIC)
Representing 1930 & 1932: Bugatti T37A
A Bugatti T37A won in 1930 and 1932 in the hands of Bill Thompson. Early racing cars were often dismantled, etc and this particular car is subject to that. The T37A displayed at Motorclassica 2018 has various parts from the original car. Owner of the displayed car: Kent Patrick (SA)
Representing 1932, 33 & 34: Salmson San Sabastian GSS
The Salmson was raced successfully in three AGP events; including 2nd place in 1932 in the hands of Geoff Disher. Chassis no. 145 is one of a handful of Salmson Works San Sabastian engine cars. Current owner: Rowan Murray (VIC)
Representing 1933: Frazer Nash Ulster
Housing the Anzini engine, this Frazer Nash sports car competed in the 1933 event at Phillip Island, but most of its pre-war time was spent in NSW. Current owner: Rod Quinn (WA)
Representing 1934: Singer 9 Sports
First time seen in public since Bob Lea-Wright won the 1934 AGP at Phillip Island in this car – the Singer 9 Sports. The car was shown in a semi-restored state, enough to wheel her into the building. Current owner: Nathan Tesca (VIC)
Representing 1935 & 1937: MG PA Special
The winner of two Australian Grands Prix is this MG P-Type, which was driven to those victories by Les Murphy. Current owner: Graeme Steinfort (VIC)
Representing 1950, 52, 53, 54 and 60: MG TC Special
This car competed in a total of five Australian Grands Prix with its most successful outing with its second owner, Adam Howie “Curley” Bryden at the 1953 event at Albert Park where it finished 2nd. The car was originally built in late 1948 by Bill Patterson, Reg Nutt and Doug Whiteford. Current owner: Richard Townley (VIC)
Representing 1952: Allard J2
“Galignite Jack” Murray raced this J2 in the 1950s with his most prominent finish at the 1952 AGP at Bathurst where he placed 5th. Current owner: Ian McDonald (VIC)
Representing 1953: Talbot Darracq Type 700
This was Reg Nutt’s entry in the 1953 AGP at Albert Park. One of only 3 Type 700s built for GP events in the late 20s its racing history was not that considerable. Current owner: Dr Noel Cunningham (VIC)
Representing 1955: Lago Talbot T26 GP
After the car had competed in 27 Grand Prix events in Europe between 1948-1951, Doug Whiteford brought it to Australia where he took it to a third place at the 1955 AGP. Current owner: Vern Schuppan AM (SA)
Representing 1964: Brabham BT7A Climax
This was Jack’s car for the inaugural Tasman Series in 1964, in which he took three wins, including the AGP at Sandown. Current owner: Peter Harburg (QLD)
Representing 1964 & 1965: Cooper T70 Climax
Bruce McLaren and Wal Wilmott built this car for Bruce to compete in in the 1964 Tasman Series. Bruce came second to Brabham in the AGP at Sandown on his way to winning that year’s Tasman Championship. Phil Hill then drove this car to third in the 1965 AGP at Longford. Current owner: Adam Berryman (VIC)
Representing 1966 & 69: Lotus 39 Climax
Jim Clark raced this car in the ’66 Tasman Series, finishing third in the AGP. Leo Geoghan then upgraded the car for the ’69 series and finished third in that year’s AGP. Current owner: Chas Kelly (TAS)
Representing 1965: Brabham BT11 Climax
Bib Stillwell drove this BT11 to 6th place in the 1965 AGP. Current owner: Peter Strauss (VIC)
Representing 1968: Repco-Brabham BT23E
Sir Jack’s 1968 Tasman Series entry. He took pole position at the ’68 AGP, all but to retire from the race. The car then became the Jane-Brabham and raced by John Harvey, then sold to the USA collector, Art Valdez. Of note to Motorclassica was that this car was presented in its 1968 guise for the first time since period, and the first time in Australia in over 40 years with its current owner purchasing the car in early 2018 and having a full restoration undertaken in the UK. The car was also the last vehicle to enter the building having passed customs clearance on 11 October 2018 and coming straight to the Royal Exhibition
Left: Elfin MR8-BC and right: The Alan Hamilton McLaren M10BBuilding from the dock. Current owner: Aaron Lewis (NSW).
Representing 1970 & 71: McLaren M10B
Raced to 2nd place in 1970 by Neil Allen, then to 3rd in 1971 by Alan Hamilton. Current owner: Alan Hamilton (VIC)
Representing 1975: Elfin 622
The Formula 2 car competed in the 1975 AGP at Surfers Paradise. Current owner: Jeff Brown (VIC)
Representing 1979: Elfin MR8BC
John Bowe drove this Formula 5000 to 2nd place in the 1979 AGP. Other notable period drivers included James Hunt, who drove the car for Garrie Cooper in 1978 at Winton Motor Raceway. Current owner: Mike Glynn (Vic)
Representing 1979 and 1980: Williams FW07
This Formula One car was the only one in this AGP celebration display to have not competed in an AGP, although 1980 World Champion, Alan Jones MBE raced this FW07 six Grands Prix across ’79 and ’80 – winning four of them – 1979 German & Austrian Grands Prix, and in 1980 Canadian and Argentine Grands Prix. It is also the sister car to the FW07 that Jones drove to victory at the 1980 AGP. Current owner: Paul Faulkner (VIC)
Representing 1981: RALT RT4
This RT4 was raced by ’81 FQ World Champion, Nelson Piquet to second in that year’s AGP. Current owner: Frank Arronis (NSW)
The other racing cars on display at Motorclassica 2018:
1937 Maserati 6CM
One of 27 6CM Maserati built, this car was bought new by Johnnie Wakefield in 1937 and used that year, and in 1938. Wakefield came tenth in the car at the Gran Pramico d’Firanze in 1937. The car was severely damaged in 1938. It was unveiled to the public at Motorclassica 2018 for the first time in about 60 years, and following a recent, extensive restoration. Current owner: Tom Roberts (VIC)
1957 Lotus 12
This car was the first Formula One Lotus built by the Colin Chapman team. It debuted at Silverstone in 1958 by Graham Hill, who later also raced it at the Monaco GP. Frank Gardner then bought the car from the Works in 1960 and it came to Australia. Current owner: Mike Bennett (SA)
1954 Porsche 356 Pre-A
An extensively raced 356 here in Australia, and abroad at circuits such as Leguna Seca. Current owner: Ron Goodman (NSW)
1966 Repco-Brabham BT17
This is the only Group 7 Sports-car Brabham built – the successor of the BT5 and BT8 models. Housed with a 4.4 litre 620 series Repco-Brabham motor, Sir Jack competed it in three races in the European season in 1966 before the car was put to the side and not raced again. Motorclassica 2018 was the first time ever this car has being seen in Australia having passed customs the day prior to show opening. Current owner: Nigel Tait (VIC)
1968 Chevron B15-B
This car was raced here by Phil Hill. Current owner: Brian King (NSW)
The show – Motorclassica 2018
With over 140 cars on the floor this year there was plenty for people to see. Some fabulous new restorations, but also some pure preservation cars; including a Minerva with a ram mascot on the radiator!
Best of Show was awarded to the 1932 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS of Lawrence Southward.