Friday, April 23, 2010

Wheels Motoring Expo Mar 2010 - part 4

I crossed over to the lawn area between the High Court and Scienceworks, to view more cars. It was getting late in the day and between drizzle, people were starting to leave. 
As always, the Ford GT guys were there.
As were the X-Falcon crew. 
Nice Red Pepper XB GT Falcon Coupe.
RT Charger
Ride on lawn mower.
Chevrolet Monza.
XR Falcon club had quite a few cars. 
I guess he has an underbonnet cooling problem. 
I think the Boss bonnet bulge will become as iconic as the XB bonnet nostrils. Ive already seen a few transplanted onto XE's
Lincoln Continental
Lincoln Continental
Chrysler 300 Coupe
Chrysler ?
Dodge Challenger
Dodge Challenger
Plymouth 'Cuda
Datsun 240K
FJ Holden Panelvan

Then the nude bicycle riders started dinging their bells and riding through the Wheels Motoring Expo displays, as part of Naked Bike Ride Day. Most people thought it was pretty funny. I did hear one old dear shout 'what about the children'. On a serious note, it probably wasnt a good idea to steer them through the several thousands of people milling about the gorgeous cars spread over four lawns, and as the police had already sealed off the area from traffic for the event I dont know who allowed this. If the bike riders thought they were being anarchic, i think they were just lucky they didnt hit someone walking backwards taking a photo and not expecting a hundred nude bicycle riders to appear from nowhere. 
One less car. Notice how the model car racers took no interest - they had a race to win!
Renault Alpine A610.

This is a fascinating, complex car. Renault and Alpine had a long relationship making sporting versions of Renault cars, designed for sporting purposes. Few made it to Australia. The Renault Alpine 610 had the worlds lowest drag coefficient at 0.28.  Im not sure what version this car is, but most left the factory with a high tech alloy V6 of between 2.4 and 3 liters. There was also a turbocharged version available. The engine and transmission in this car was selected for use in the DeLorean sports coupe built in Ireland. 
Daimler V8
And so we say farewell to the motoring expo for 2010. As one of the years leading car shows in Canberra, it is a must for car nuts to attend. Sadly, I didnt get to see a few cars I briefly glanced, such as a white 1959 Cadillac limo and a de Tomaso Pantera. Too many cars, too great an area, too little time. However - there is always next year!

Wheels Motoring Expo Mar 2010 - Part 3

Having walked from one end of the Old Parliament House lawns to the other, and having dined on fine cuisine, my carspotting continued. To my immense surprise I came upon a Tatra 603.
Tatra 603-2

The Tatra 603 was built in Czechoslovakia from 1956 until 1975, in three largely similar variants - T603-1, T603-2 and T603-3. It is a rear engined, rear wheel drive car powered by an AIR COOLED aluminium V8 of 2500cc capacity, the car weighs in at 1400 kg

The T603-1 has three headlights under a clear glass cover. The T603-2 has four headlights in a long oval grill,  the T603-3 has no grill and the headlights are flush with the car's front fascia. It can be difficult to tell exactly what model T603 you are looking at as when they were returned to the factory to be exchanged for "new" model T603s, the older cars would be disassembled and rebuilt in current styling. These cars were then returned to use as "new" T603's. As a result, most T603s are of the later -3 styling, regardless of when they were originally built
How did a T603-2 end up in Canberra ? Very few of these cars were sold privately, being reserved for senior officials. This car was built in 1960 for the Czech Agriculture Ministry, went back to the factory in 1965 and rebodied, then its history is unknown until 1999 when its current owner bought it in the Czech republic and shipped it to Australia.
Nice air scoops for the air cooled V8.
Sophisticated eastern bloc signalling technology.
A bit more comfortable than a Trabant.
Why does this car affect me ? It is the clean aerodynamic lines, the mechanical package, the tasteful timeless european take on automotive streamlining. The chrome detailing, the view from the front. The details like the delicately curved air scoops. It is also the history of Tatra the company. It is a beautiful car. Only 21 thousand were built over the life of the car, all by hand.

When I was in Prague in 2004, I snapped many photos of the Tatra T700, including a few in use as Police cars. The Tatra company still exist, post iron curtain, and still make rear engined air cooled cars, although they are (and always were) primarily a truck company. If the owner reads this, please email me - I would love to go for a spin and then photograph in graphic detail, every part of this car. 
Ford Landau
Based on the XB Falcon coupe, but using P5 LTD panels and parts, the Ford Landau was built between 1973 and 1976, with 1385 produced. Powered by a 5.8 litre Cleveland V8, with a 3 speed automatic transmission and four wheel disc brakes, this car could move. Equipped with the LTD interior and dash, it was quite luxurious, and it is interesting that Holden never made a Statesman version of their competing Monaro coupe. A unique model in Ford Australia's history.
Plenty of vintage cars.
Willys Overland
I think it's a Renault.
Cadillac. Just take a few moments to look at the detail on this car. 
Full faced helmet, essential when taking your 100 year old Cadillac for a spin down the Tuggeranong parkway. 
Very nice late model Charger.
Humber Super Snipe. Another car I would happily have in my Top Ten garage. 
Chevrolet Monza
Morris Marina.
Very cool Holden panelvan and matching trailer. Unfortunately, the way it was placed among cars made it hard to photograph well. 
Strange Rat rod. 
S Series Valiant
Studebaker Lark - 1963? - possibly an ex Victorian police car. 
VF Valiant hardtop
A dozen or so old Yank post war cars were there as well.
Very tidy HZ Panelvan. 
Austin A40 Farina.
GT - not a Phase 3, but an Austin 1300 GT 1974. 
Humber Vogue

Coming in Part 4 - Modern Falcons, Nude bicycle riders and some orphans.