2015 Tour Classica
Every year on the Thursday before Motorclassica, the annual Australian International Concours d’Elegance & Classic Motor Show, Melbourne’s city streets rumble with the sound of classic and vintage engines, thanks to Tour Classica, the cavalcade that marks the official start to the event.
Many people line the streets to watch as rare and unusual machines drive through Melbourne’s Central Business District on their way to Carlton, home of Melbourne’s iconic Royal Exhibition Building, the event venue for Motorclassica.
In addition to featuring different cars each year, for an additional touch of variety Tour Classica starts each time at a different location. Past venues have included Albert Park, site of the Australian Grand Prix circuit, and Birrarung Marr, Melbourne’s newest major park. Last year Tour Classica commenced at Melbourne Zoo, where ironically Jaguars came face to face with jaguars! For 2015 the New Quay precinct, located in Docklands, hosted the start of Tour Classica for the first time. Paul Mathers, Event Director for Motorclassica, commented, “Docklands is now one of Melbourne’s key city precincts and its harbour-side setting makes it the ideal place to kick off Tour Classica and this year’s Motorclassica event.”
Each year the cars taking part in Tour Classica also travel along a different route. During the 2015 cavalcade the cars left New Quay Promenade at Docklands on October 22 around 9.30am, led by a 1974 Lancia Stratos. The cars travelled along La Trobe Street, Exhibition Street and Rathdowne Street, before arriving at the Royal Exhibition Building at about 10am.
Tour Classica’s rolling road show of some of Australia’s most valuable and rarest cars and motorcycles is quite impressive to see. Rarely, if ever, do some of these distinctive vehicles make it onto the road, while others are being driven for the very first time after long and expensive restorations. Paul Mathers said, “I really admire the owners … not only are their vehicles incredibly valuable and rare, but they are also about to enter a three-day exhibition, the most important on the calendar, and yet they’re incredibly enthusiastic about participating in Tour Classica. It’s fantastic to be able to showcase these fabulous vehicles out on the road.”
This year several automotive milestones are being celebrated at Motorclassica, including 50 years of the Dino. Not surprisingly there was a number of Dino models taking part in Tour Classica as a result, including a beautiful 1968 Fiat Dino Spyder. Several other notable vehicles that drove in the cavalcade were a 1963 Ferrari 250GT Lusso, which later won Restoration of the Year at the 2015 Australian International Concours d’Elegance during the weekend, and a 1935 Packard Super 8, which won the Pre-War USA category of the Concours d’Elegance.
Some of the other cars displayed at Motorclassica, such as the 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO, 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante, 1994 McLaren F1 and 2015 BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R concept car (Last shown at Pebble Beach) to name just a few, were simply far too valuable to drive in everyday traffic. Instead these cars were transported directly to the Royal Exhibition Building earlier in the week.
Motorclassica is Australia’s premier event for rare and exotic, historic, vintage, veteran, classic and collectable cars and motorcycles, and in my opinion a must see for car enthusiasts. For more information, please visit www.motorclassica.com.au.