Classics By The Beach – December 2014

Rain. Fine, drizzly, persistent pain-in-the-arse rain. It’s the been the marker of our week-old Tasmanian summer and it did its best to try to ruin Classics By The Beach this morning.

Did it succeed? Hell, no!

It was a slow start but Classics did happen, which was especially nice for me as I missed the November edition and was hanging out to see what this month’s edition might bring.

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English, with Patina

It might seem a strange place to start, but the first car to really catch my eye this month is one that I’m not sure was even a Classics attendee. The father/daughter combination parked the car, went to a nearby coffee shop and then left an hour or so later. I didn’t see them wandering around or talking to anyone, even though there were a significant number of English cars in attendance this month.

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So why was an old, red Morris 1100 the first car to catch my eye?

Well, I was about 6 years old when my sister got her driver’s licence and her white Morris 1100 is one of the first cars I remember that didn’t belong to my parents. In fact, here are the first cars I can remember from my earliest years:

  • Dad’s XY Falcon Wagon
  • Pa’s HD Holden (brown)
  • My brother in law Steve’s blue Datsun 180B
  • Leanne’s Morris 1100
  • Mum’s TD Cortina (6 cyl)

I’m sure Mum had a car before the Cortina, but I don’t remember what it was. It might well have been an older Cortina as my family did seem to like their Fords (a make that I’ve never owned). Dad replaced the XY Falcon with an XB Falcon and Mum replaced the Cortina with a Ford Laser in the early 1980’s.

Anyway, back to Classics…..

This little red Morris took me right back to my primary school days. I don’t know if it still has its original paint but it looked like it. There was definitely some cracking and fading going on and it lent the car an air of originality. It was so nice to see one still on the road….

Another car with that patina feel was this late 1950’s MGA, in blue.

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It’s a beautiful old bird but a chat with the owner confirmed that the presentation is more to do with regularity that originality.

The car has actually been several different colours over its lifetime with this blue applied by a previous owner some time in the 1980’s. It also started life as a LHD car from the US and was converted to right hand drive when it arrived in Australia. The seats have been reupholstered according to the original pattern and a larger engine was installed some time ago.

The end result – a car that is used as a daily driver and is loved as ferociously a toddler’s teddy bear. It’s perhaps the best kind of classic car – one that is real.

Something to note: many classic car parts are hard to find and expensive, so our MGA owner did extremely well when he found the steering wheel on this car, which is 100% original and was brand new and un-used when he found it at a very good price from a like-minded MG enthusiast. Score!

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English and Renewed

Some regard the Jaguar E Type as being the most beautiful car ever made. I’m not one of them, although I definitely rank it highly. My personal preference is for Italian eye candy.

There’s no debate about the beautiful condition of this E-Type, however. It shone brightly on a damp day that definitely wasn’t made for showing cars. My only regret is that I couldn’t track down the owner to open it up and allow some interior shots as the level of detail I could see through the closed windows looked equally impressive.

There’s usually an E Type and an MGA at Classics but this month was a little different as there were a lot of Brits in attendance.

One of those was this MG 1300, which will look eerily familiar because it shares the same basic bodywork with the Morris 1100 shown above (and a Wolseley, and a Vanden Plas, and a Riley, and a…..). The MG had a 1275cc engine (think Mini) that’s now been bored out to over 1300cc.

This little bit of BMC platform sharing enjoyed a higher spec interior than the Morris parked across from it, with a nice dollop of wood on the dash and individual gauges as opposed to the long horizontal jobby on the Morris.

Volvo by Bertone

There’s always a disappointing lack of Swedes at Classics so you can imagine how excited I was when this Bertone Volvo rocked up just as I was about to leave.

The car’s been recently recommissioned after some time in storage and the owner now has it up for sale. Get in touch with me if you’re interested (or call the number on the rear window and speak to Paul).

It’s a V6. The seats look super-comfortable and the back seat actually looks capable of swallowing humans up to toddler age. It has “Volvo Sound” rear speakers and the original “Top Executive” radio/tape player is currently in the boot of the car 🙂

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The Italians

There’s always a good smattering of Italians at Classics. It’s one of the reasons I love going there every month. The Giulia Super was this month’s highlight for me (the Lambo’s a regular whereas I hadn’t see this super before). The 500 Abarth was a welcome addition, too.

I have to note the presence of the two newer Fezzas, too. It was wonderful to see them there and the crowds gathered accordingly. There was an interesting exchange later on between a frustrated local couple trying to exit a parking spot and one of the Fezza owners, whose car was parked nearby. Completely, absolutely 500% the local driver’s fault. Thankfully it was kept to being just a verbal exchange, although the local wife did break the cardinal rule – don’t touch another man’s car (especially when it’s a Ferrari).

These folks turned up 20 minutes later and entertained the local kiddies with their coloured lights.

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Coincidence? I think Mrs Local might have got her knickers in a twist and made a phone call that, as mentioned earlier, was totally unjustified as she was very much in the wrong.

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The Rest

Here’s a sample of the rest of this month’s attendees. You’ll see some semi-serious precipitation in a few of these photos, which reduced both the number of cars and the time I spent taking photos of them 🙂

This EJ Holden panel van was nice in matte black. I love the EJ/EH siblings. Probably my favourite Holdens of all time (it’s a short list).

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The photo of old Morris Minor sh-sh-sh-should give you an idea of the rain at one particular point of the morning…..

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The observant among you would have noticed an item on the Morris in need of some attention. Duly received…..

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Mini – no-one takes me further than you!

How long before the NA Mazda MX-5 is looked at as a Classic? And will it need to be in a particular specification? Or are there simply too many of them still around?

I give it 10 years.

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And how long before the modern Mini is considered a Classic?

Appealing as they are, I give it a lot longer than 10 years.

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I had a good chat with the owner of this Porsche 928 S4. I’d met Stuart at another event earlier this year and I’ve got 928 fever at the moment so it was a timely chat. Nice bloke. Nice car.

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In-dash radio was probably quite a thing back in the mid-20th century.

This lovely looking Valiant’s got “on-dash” radio 🙂

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That’ll do us for this month.

Thanks for reading. Next month’s Classics will be on Sunday 4th January.

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8 Comments

  1. Another great showing in Hobart! Looking forward to joining your from March.

    I went to Cavallino here in Sydney for the first time this weekend. My god, there were some cars there. Quattro, F12, P1, Testarossa, Dino, 308, 105’s, 124’s… but best of all, a 037 in Martini colours. It was heaven.

  2. Look forward to your Classics by the Beach every month. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  3. Its hard to believe that the red 360 Ferrari once spent time upside down, dispatching its original owner to the next world, the current owner has really done an amazing rebuild. Paul’s bertone 262c is a former ‘barn mate’ of your lancia, there is an identical but rusty 262c for sale at Stanley $500 on gumtree.

    1. The Ferrari – Really? Wow. Didn’t know that.

      The barn-mate, I knew about. Had a good chat with Paul about it yesterday.

  4. Yes the Ferrari was owned by a young guy in South australia, I think it happened around 2010. I first saw the car when it arrived in the state, the owner had it chained to a lamp pole and his 4wd he pulled it back into shape before the body and paint was done by eastern shore body works which was owned by the guy with the yellow Ferrari and half a dozen others. If you look closely at the headlights one still has a bit of gravel rash on it otherwise the car is perfect. The red Ferrari owner also has a corvette stingray 454 4 speed in bronze, the cool thing about this car is that it was a special order by him and he collected it from the factory, I doubt there are many 1 owner 454 4 speed stingrays about.

    1. Stu,

      Re: “the owner had it chained to a lamp pole and his 4wd he pulled it back into shape”

      The times that I’ve wanted to do that, after a ding…..Great ….!!

      1. At least Swade now knows how to sort out the front end of his Fulvia. Put the Brumby to work, Steven!