It’s not every day you spot many of the world’s most sought-after classic cars rolling into the Cottesloe Civic Centre. But that’s exactly what happened over the weekend.
Tootling past the Council complex on Broome Street Sunday, off on a morning brekkie essentials hunt and collect mission, I spotted a 1937 Rolls Royce Phantom III, a 1936 Mercedes Roadster and classic racing green Bentley, circa late ‘20s, disappear into the grandiose portals of the Centre. The whole vision was decidedly Great Gatsby.
“Surely the burgermeisters and civil retainers of Cott haven’t shouted themselves some new wheels for the depot pool?” I thought. “We know the rates are stratospheric, but this is preposterous!”
Alas, it was no such luck for the Council bods – well, at least some of them. What was really afoot was the arrival of the gleaming machines of the Celebration of the Motorcar event in the CCC grounds. And what a line-up it turned out to be!
Anyone with a passion for horsepower, glinting chrome, lustrous duco and elegant styling would have thought they’d just arrived in the Great Garage of Nirvana.
Many of the iconic names in motoring were lined up, spanning nearly 100 years in elite motorcar production; polished, purring and in mint condition, ready to incite serious awe and envy among enthusiasts. Maserati, Bentley, Ferrari, Mercedes, Porsche, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Rolls-Royce…and on it went, 28 different makes of benchmark autos.
Proud vehicles owners sat around the neo-Georgian grounds discussing their cherished chariots, while a fervent public peered under bonnets, through windows and into rumble seats – and pictured themselves rocketing past the chequered flag at Le Mans at the wheel of one of these beauties. Kicking tires and caressing automotive curves was out; admiring masterpieces of body styling and sleek chassis design was in.
Each make of car had its own area, with a flight of vehicles from many vintages, some makes spanning from the 1920s to the present.
First held at the Civic Centre in 1993, the event was an immediate success, being named the WA car event of the year. Many collectors debuted their new purchases or restorations at the event.
With the growing size of the show, it moved to Claremont Teachers’ College, and then on to Perry Lakes in 2003, the last year it was held. However it made a triumphal return to its rightful home venue over the weekend with arguably the best collection of classic cars ever exhibited in WA.
Organised by Automotive Events Management, the event was all in a good cause, with the charity proceeds going to Kalparrin, which is based at Princess Margaret Hospital for Children. The organisation works with the parents of children with disabilities and special needs, providing assistance in the wards, a lounge and kitchen to enjoy a quiet break between appointments, and access to Family Support Officers.
“The Celebration of the Motorcar serves several purposes – it benefits Kalparrin as the event’s charity in fund- and awareness-raising,” said Celebration of the Motorcar Chairman, Paul Blank.
“It also gives the owners of some extremely special cars a suitable opportunity to show them to an appreciative audience. And finally, it gives the car enthusiasts of Perth the opportunity to see a truly unique group of cars.”
It sure does.
The Starfish photographed a few more of the finer machines on the swards at the CCC, then jump-started “The Thing” from General Motors Holden, and toad-galloped down Marine Parade, jungle-green with envy. Where the hell’s that Lotto ticket..!?!