Shannons Car Show – March 2015

It’s the first Sunday of the month and normally that means Classics By The Beach. This month, however, it meant the annual Shannons car show held at Rosny Park, just down the hill from home.

Fine conditions early were tempered by light showers in the early afternoon. There was a great turnout, nonetheless. I missed a few hours of the show and some cars had already left by the time I got there, but thankfully a mate named Bruce was there earlier and has chipped in with some of his photos to complete the story.

It’s a mega-gallery, this one. So grab a cuppa and enjoy.

Click any of the photos to enlarge.



Ferrari Dino

I’m hesitant to make this a feature car this week because it should feature in a much nicer setting, with much nicer photos. But how often to you get to see a Dino in person? Sometimes you’ve got to take your chances as they present. And let’s face it, the camera just loves this car.

Click to enlarge…..

It’s amazing to think that there have been times when some of the Dino models have been less loved than other Ferraris. That’s mostly the fate of the 348 Bertone Dinos rather than this one. But even these 246 Dino GT’s, whilst climbing nicely in price, don’t attract anywhere near the stratospheric prices of their Ferrari 250 cousins. I don’t understand why, because this is one of the most beautiful bodies that’s ever adorned a motor vehicle, IMHO.



Old timers

“When you buy one of these cars, you have to become your own engineer”

There are probably a few blokes around who can still fix these old timers, but the cost would be prohibitive and the care these guys exhibit when they fabricate, fix and fettle these old gems is telling.

One of the guys, whose cars are featured often on this website (he’s got a beautiful collection) is going to tackle a Jaguar C-type replica next. All he’s waiting on is the space to build it. Sweet.

I would love to know the story behind this……




The Aussies

Going to a car show like this one used to be all about the Holdens and Fords on display. Thankfully, we’re a little more diverse than that now, which means it’s easier to actually appreciate the Fords and Holdens on display.

For me, it’s a case of the older, the better. As you can see, most of the Fords and Holdens below date back to the 1960’s and 1970’s.

My favourite Holden of all time is the EH from 1964. And there were a bunch of them on show today.


What’s the collective noun for a group of gigantic carburettors? A stage? This LJ Torana race car has a ‘stage’ of three 45mm Solexes. Huge.




The Europeans

There were several Ferraris present, along with a slew of other Italians, Germans and Brits on the day.

One of my humble favourites was sitting among the Italian Mob. I love a slow-car-driven-fast and this Fiat 128 Coupe is exactly that, as you can see from the number of hillclimb stickers on the side.

This Fiat 850 belongs to a mate and has seen plenty of driving-in-anger over the years….



This Alfa GTV 2.0 sounded as sweet as it looks. And it’s for sale.



Bruce, who’s photos accompany mine on this entry, brought along his wonderfully clean Porsche 911 Carrera.


And this Porsche 930 parked near Bruce’s car looked the goods, too.


The full European gallery (minus the Jags, below)


The Jaguars

I’ve got a bit of a thing going for old Jaguars at the moment. Dreams of a Mark 2 3.8 with straight pipes keep going through my head. Must be a Wheeler Dealers thing.

Anyway, there were a number of fine examples present at the show, from the aforementioned Mark 2 to up to the XJ and everything in between. Elegance personified.


The Muscle Cars

You’ve already seen some Aussie muscle, above, but there was plenty of American muscle at the show, too. The blue Dodge Challenger was a particular favourite but there were Mustangs a-plenty, too.


The Hot Rods

Hot Rods aren’t my thing, but there were plenty of them there. So for those who are into what are probably the ultimate custom cars, here’s a little gallery for you….


The Others…

Here are some of the other wierd, wonderful and ones that make you wonder 🙂

A Toyota T-18 that’s had plenty of money spent.



An interesting VW Beetle paint job…..


Personally speaking, I’m not into low-riders, but they did look great when they were living the field later in the day. And therein lies the beauty of car shows, getting to see the effort that people make without having to make it yourself.



This is an Auburn-Cord-Deusenberg Speedster replica and a great looking one, at that. You can read more about them here.

A Toyota 700, with a 35hp two-cylinder boxer engine and automatic transmission. Again, not a car that I necessarily find fascinating, but I do find it fascinating that a) they were made in the first place, and b) people keep them going. It’s a wonderful thing.



And finally…..

I took this photo as this model Corolla was very nearly my first car. I looked at one when I was 17 but they wanted a little more money than I could afford. They still look groovy today.


Quick Review: 2015 Detroit Auto Show

Press days at the Detroit Auto Show are now done and dusted. I didn’t follow things in detail but there were a few standout cars and announcements that made enough noise to be heard over the miles.

All pics borrowed from Autoblog. I’ll put them back when I’m done. Promise.


Buick Avenir Concept

OMG! Swade’s mentioning a GM vehicle and he’s not suggesting it looks like a horse’s ass!!

No, it doesn’t. Some might even call it attractive. Or maybe just handsome.


I’m not fussed. I just wanted to mention the Buick Avenir Concept because much of the design work was done here in Australia. That’s more important than you think, too, because Holden are closing their manufacturing operations here soon, so every bit of work available to keep the designers and engineers busy is a good thing.


Ford GT40

Ford won this year’s Detroit show with the GT40. Hands down. It was the biggest announcement and it’s one of the best looking cars unveiled this week.

And the guy who designed it is a Tasmanian, or so I hear. Woohoo!

It has bucketfulls of carbonfibre and aluminium, and a stonking V6 Ecopower engine that makes more than 600hp. Imagine that – a smaller turbocharged engine being used where a big engine used to be. Genius!

It don’t look ‘alf bad, either. AND…. they’re actually going to build it!



Ford Mustang 350R Shelby Cobra Pony Bullet Eleanor Concept

Like many, I was a little worried about the new Mustang styling. Worry no more. Like most re-designs, it grows on you and this souped up, stripped out version with 500+hp looks the goods.

Notable: carbonfibre wheels are coming to the masses.

I like the fact Ford is doing their show cars in blue. It suits.



Jaguar and Bentley

Jaguar announced the name of their upcoming crossover vehicle – the F-Pace. No, really. Po-Face will be available in 2016.

Not to be outdone when it comes to stupid naming, Bentley also announced the name of their upcoming crossover. It will be called the Bentley Bentayga. No, really. It wasn’t because they lost a bet with Rolls Royce or anything like that. They’re doing this voluntarily.

Back to Jaguar news, they’re also working on electric windows that will move up or down when you touch a certain spot on the glass. They’ve got it to go down OK, but it’s tough to get back up when the touchscreen area is hidden in the door.

Again, not to be outdone, Bentley are designing an automatic window system using cameras pointed at all four seating positions. The windows will raise themselves automatically as soon as the car detects an occupant sneering at a poor person.

Sadly, only three of those four stories are true.


Chevrolet Bolt

Chevy showed their new fully electric vehicle – the Chevrolet Bolt – which they haven’t committed to building yet and therefore when they don’t, will not have a range of 200 miles and will not cost around $30,000. A true non-gamechanger in the finest GM tradition.

2015 Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept all electric vehicle – front exUpcoming Detroit shows will feature:

  • the Chevy Jolt, a joint-marketing exercise that runs purely on Starbucks coffee.
  • the Chevy Halt, which will not go anywhere at all.
  • the Chevy Solt, a seasoning-based car for the phonetic driver, and
  • the Chevy Dolt, marking the return of Bob Lutz to the GM family at the age of 106.


Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

It looks good in Giallo, but will look even better in Rosso. Step 2 of Alfa’s re-launch into the US market comes in the form of a sexy Spider that weighs just 9 kilos more than the hardtop it’s based upon.

Thank goodness they got rid of those insect-lights at the front.




Volvo XC90 R-Design

I hadn’t noticed before, but Volvo are bringing back the brick.




What did you like?

That’s my take from Detroit. I’ll add a dishonourable mention to the Mercedes ripoff of the BMW X6, which has to be the most un-ripoff-worthy vehicle of all time.

Did you see anything you liked, or disliked?

Comments are open if you’d like to share.

Classics By The Beach – December 2013

Last weekend was a weekend of car shows and with cracking weather, the shows were absolutely outstanding. First we had the annual Italian Car Show organised by Club Motori Italia. You can see lots of photos at that link. People I’ve spoken to within CMI say it was the best turnout they’ve had at that show, maybe ever.

Sunday, being the first Sunday in the month, it was Classics By The Beach down at Sandy Bay. If Saturday’s weather was considered fine, Sunday’s was amazing. It got the cars out of people’s garages, too, as ‘Classics’ was huge!

Continue reading “Classics By The Beach – December 2013”

Italian Car Show Hobart 2013

Club Motori Italia held their annual vehicle display on the Parliament House lawns today. I managed to take a little time out from our market stall at Salamanca to pop down and have a look (thankfully, the market and the Parliament lawns are right next to each other).

It was a great display this year, with a fine variety of cars including Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Fiat, Lamborghini, Lancia, Maserati and De Tomaso. Both old cars and new.

As always, I’m thoroughly impressed by the range and quality of cars hiding away in our little state. I’ve got a Subaru Brumby sitting here at home and I can’t help but think it’s going to have to make way for another little Italian runabout.

Click on any of the images below to enlarge.

Classics By The Beach – September 2013

Yesterday was the first day of Spring! It was a beautiful Spring day, too. Being the first Sunday in September, it was also Father’s Day here in Australia.

The good weather brought out some cars that might have otherwise stayed tucked away, but I think Father’s Day kept a few away as we had a slightly quieter Classics By The Beach. It seemed to be an older crowd with more older cars rather than just classic cars. It was a slightly smaller crowd, too, but none of that means that things were less interesting.

There was a nice little contingent of Aussie muscle from the 1970’s – a triumvirate of Toranas.

A9X Toranas

The black and blue cars are A9X models of the muscular SLR 5000 Torana. The A9X was a racing package developed for the Australian Touring Car Championship in 1977 and A9X Toranas dominated both the 1978 and 1979 racing series.

The purple car on the end is a SS model hatchback. Consider it the more practical Aussie muscle car.


The black A9X was decorated with some of the original dealership notices, included with the car so that the new owner would know how to safely operate the car. A nice touch for the show.



This Jaguar XK140 is another special edition car.

Jaguar XK140

Aside from simply looking exquisite, the car is also a replica of a speed record holder produced during the period. Certification came by way of a plaque fastened to the left side of the dashboard.

Jaguar XK140

Zooming out for a moment, it’s worthwhile looking at the entire interior, resplendent in rich red leather.

Jaguar XK140

Looking through my photos this month, I seem to have had a focus on interiors and dashboards. Some are certainly better than others. I don’t know about you, but I tend to favour the classic white-on-black with a dash of chrome. It looks classic, clean and elegant where some of the others look a little….. cheap.

Late model MGB – like.

MGB interior

Camaro – not so much.

Chevy Camaro

This Ferrari 308 has some beautiful switchgear…..

Ferrari 308

And I like the octagonal gauges in this MG:

MG interior

The most-beautiful interior award for this month has to go to this old Mercedes. I don’t think the photo does it justice, but it was magnificent:

Mercedes SL

Mercedes SL

It’s a stark contrast between the interior design of the Merc and that of this Ford Futura convertible (still a very nice car, by the way).

Ford Futura

Ford Futura

My personal favourite for this month was this Datsun 2000 convertible. It was just outstanding. The brightwork was beautiful, the paint was rich and the simple interior gave the car plenty of character and purpose. I could have stared at this car all day long.

Note the sideways-tilting radio. Love it.

Datsun 2000

Datsun 2000

Datsun 2000

Datsun 2000

Datsun 2000

Datsun 2000

Datsun 2000

Here are all the images from this month. Click to enlarge.

The Quail

I think I’m about to add Pebble Beach to my bucket list of automotive events. It’s a list that I still have to put together, but is being modelled partially on the trip being undertaken right now by the Aussie writer of Any Given Reason – check it out.

While Pebble Beach concours features a collection of amazing older metal, the preceding Quail display features classics as well as more contemporary machinery, including some eye-dazzling showcases from manufacturers.

The Quail was held over the weekend. Hopefully you’ve already seen the Spyker B6 Venator Spyder, which was unveiled there earlier.

Autoblog has a fantastic gallery of high resolution photos on site. The LA Times has a great writeup on it, too, with gallery at a separate link. Both are worth checking out.

I’ve pinched a few of the Autoblog photos, reproduced below, to give you a quick taste. These are some of my favourites.

Jaguar XK-SS, so cool it could only have been owned by Steve McQueen.


If you’ve never checked out Singer Design’s Porsches, you should. This video goes for 27 minutes but will tell you all you need to know about what some consider to be the ultimate 911.

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You can dislike BMW’s all you like, but you have admire what they’ve done with their stewardship of Rolls Royce. This is grand in every respect.

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And while we’re talking BMW, the company steals Saab’s Lime Yellow colour for the new M4.

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Spyker’s new B6 Venator Spyder, due for production soon. Hopefully.

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The Lamborghini for the five-year-old in all of us – the Veneno.

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The incomparable Bugatti Type 57 Atlantic. Simple amazing.

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The one-of-a-kind Ferrari P4/5 commissioned by James Glickenhaus. Imagine how good it would be if he told them to go at five-fifths!

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Any show that features the Aston Martin V8 is a fine show by me. I love this car.

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It’s nice to see the best classic Japanese metal getting a look in. Great cars.

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Classics By The Beach Car Show – March 2013

So many times I’ve wandered the automotive internets, seen those Cars n Coffee gatherings and thought to myself “why can’t we have a casual car show here in Hobart?” It turns out we DO have such a gathering and it’s called Classics By The Beach, held on the first Sunday of every month.

This morning I took the Alfa for a quick wash and headed on down to Lower Sandy Bay for the show. I was told to be there for a 10am start but despite pulling in at 9:30, there wasn’t a vacant spot in sight. It was a beautiful day in Hobart today so all the classic owners got their cars out nice and early – and what a feast for the eyes it was, too.

Ask your average Aussie what a classic car show looks like and they’ll tell you Ford Falcons and Holden Monaros. None of that local stuff here (well, not much). This was a collection of absolutely amazing cars with the vast majority of them coming from Europe. There were several Jaguars, Rolls Royces, Minis, even a Lamborghini, a Maserati, a very special 1958 Alfa Romeo and a Porsche Spyder.

The calibre of vehicles that are tucked away in such a small city as Hobart never ceases to amaze me. Car culture is alive and well in Tasmania, indeed.

Check out the gallery below. Click to enlarge.

Some special notes:

I believe the Porsche Spyder and the Alfa Giulietta were both just recently acquired by their owners. Most of the guys attending this event come regularly (frequently alternating their cars as most have collections rather than just one), but both of these cars were new to the show.

The dark green Rolls Royce was the star of the show, for me. The condition and the detailing on the car were just amazing. I wish I’d talked to the owner and got some more details. Next time….

Life doesn’t get more 1970’s than an orange Jensen, does it?

The Maserati sounded as good as it looked, though I have to admit the SS badge on the back did remind me of a certain episode of Top Gear 🙂 – this is the real deal, though.

There were no Saabs on display, sadly. I’m going to have to talk to my mate Drew and see if he might be interested in getting his V4 Saab 95 down there. I reckon it’d be a star attraction.

Saab Owners Club GB at the Classic Car Show, Birmingham

The NEC Classic Car Show is the biggest of its kind in the UK and last weekend, 1,400 cars and many, many more people packed into the National Exhibition Center in Birmingham to take in the automotive sights.

The Saab Owners Club GB were there with a wonderful display of classic Saab vehicles. I’m reliably told that a lot of the leg work was done by Ellie W, who is like a force of nature when it comes to organising and promoting these types of activities (my first time meeting Ellie was when he sold me a Saab Owners Club T-shirt!).

There’s always a team involved, though, and a number of members presented their vehicles at the show and manned the stand over the course of the weekend.

Congratulations to all involved (and I still loooove that Sonett!)

My thanks to Dave R for sending in the images.

Saab decision on Frankfurt Motor Show

Saab has decided that the company will not be present at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Presence at the show requires resources that Saab are currently allocating towards the restart of production in Trollhattan. Whilst it would be desireable to be at the show to help further Saab’s global presence, it is not considered an appropriate use of resources at this time.


And some thoughts to add some context…..

There will be some consternation and hand-wringing over this announcement. Of course, it’s quite regrettable that we can’t be at Frankfurt. It would be great to be there and show our vehicles off to the world’s press and visitors to the show. We do have new vehicles to show there, too, cars that will be significant for us in various markets around the world (more on those here).

Right now, though, an exhibition at Frankfurt is just not doable and out of respect for our various stakeholders, it would have been very irresponsible to allocate resources in this direction at this particular time.

We need to get back to being a car company first, which is what we’re doing. There are a number of motor shows coming up in quick succession after Frankfurt and we can get back on that wagon pretty quickly when circumstances allow it.

Living in Trollhattan – Wednesday night at the locks

If you’re familiar with summertime in Trollhattan then you’ll already know what this story is all about. If not, then here’s another little snapshot of life in Trollywood.

If you ever come to Trollhattan in the summertime, try to include a Wednesday night in your stay here. Why?

I’m not sure exactly who organises it, but vintage and veteran vehicle owners from the Trestad area (i.e. three cities – Trollhattan, Vanersborg, Uddevalla) hold an informal car show at the locks in Trollhattan on Wednesday nights. Today was the first day of June, the first day of summer, and a Wednesday, so the lads and ladies had their cars ready to show.

I’ll start this entry with what was the end of the car show for me – the more Continental section of the show, where the Saabs were loosely congregated amongst other European makes. Here’s a fine Saab Sonett II to start with (there were no Sonett III’s at the show, nor any original Sonetts, which have actually been there in the past, both a genuine Saab 94 and a very good copy)

This was the third time I’d seen this 99 today in Trollhattan……

There are heaps more photos after the jump…….

Continue reading “Living in Trollhattan – Wednesday night at the locks”