Sunday, October 24, 2010

MOTORCLASSICA and the Exhibition Buildings

Friday night I met up with some classic car enthusiast mates to see a display of local classic cars at the Melbourne Exhibition buildings. Although the cars were amazing and many having an marvelous history, the building itself never ceases to amaze me.

The Entrance

The interior & the cars

This one is for my Blogger mate Simon in France - It's a Big 6 Citroen Traction Avant

This MG K3 was owned by Prince Bira of then Siam. It has a rich history and is featured in my book of Rob Roy Hill climb. We have some great classic racing cars in Australia.

What a perfect setting for a Classic Car Show - in a Classic Building.

The early Holden, Australia's own.
Commonly known as the FJ.
 From the Exhibition website:
The Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens were completed in 1880 for Melbourne’s first international exhibition, a product of the optimism, enthusiasm and energy of the people of Melbourne in the late-19th century. Melbourne was a prosperous city, basking in the wealth from the richest gold rush in the world. How better to publicise the achievements and opportunities in the colony of Victoria than by hosting an international exhibition?

 On 9 May 1901, the Royal Exhibition Building hosted the opening of the first Federal Parliament. Prime Minister Barton wanted it to be as inclusive as possible. No other public building could accommodate such a large group of people, and the organisers were eager to make the occasion spectacular and memorable.

A modern day FJ built by GMH recently
A concept car.
The atmosphere was radiant and illuminated the vast spaces of the building and the great sea of faces with a bright Australian glow. A sight never to be forgotten was the assemblage which, in perfect order but with exalted feeling, awaited the arrival of the Duke and Duchess in the great avenues which branch out from beneath the vast dome of the Exhibition Building. (Argus 10 May 1901)
An above the building photo. Compare it to the plan below.

The original plan of the Exhibition buildings - my father remembers both the building, the bike track and the Aquarium as a child. He told me only last week of seeing the seals there.

An early print in the stages of construction of the Exhibition Buildings.

The first sitting of Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia was held in these buildings in 1901.
Occasionally I wonder what it would be like to be retired, our weekends pass so quickly. After the Classic Motor Show, there was shopping, catching up with a movie (The girl with the pearl earring), and Sunday breakfast with my Daughter who was down from Brisbane with her partner Sharn. Where does the time go?
Sunday Arvo was taken up with lawn mowing, car washing and then relaxing in the back yard with a bottle of chilled Sauvignon Blanc. The sun was out, the sky was cloudless and the temperature was in the mid-20s.
I put some bird seed in the feeder and the doves, sparrows and wattle birds came to feed.
Today we had a very special visit from a pair of parrots in full colour. What a perfect Sunday.

Look what the bird seed enticed into our backyard on a sunny mid-afternoon.

Work tomorrow!!!


  1. I would love to have been there, I love old and classic cars.
    Wish we could attract such colourful birds to the bird tray but not much chance in either the UK of France!!

  2. Over the years there's been a few classics thtu our garage, mainly MGs, Triumphs and a couple of Alfas. Lotsa fun.
    The parrots were amazing and sometimes we get galahs and rosellas in the big gum tree in out backyard.

  3. It looks like a fascinating exhibition. As you are an author of a book on hill climbs I wonder if you know about the Cronoscalta?

  4. LLM.
    Checked out the link - wow what great cars an photos.
    Still have a soft spot for the Alfa 105 Coupe.

  5. Had you heard of this race before?


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