Monday, November 22, 2021

Celebration of the Motorcar 2021

Celebration of the Motorcar is an event like no other in Australia, with an unequaled display of prestige, exotic and classic cars. Displayed by invitation only, the cars are the crème-de-la-crème of the state’s finest collectable cars, with a few interstate exhibits added into the mix. In the region of $35 million worth of rare and desirable cars are on show each year, spanning vintage through to the latest prestige and exotic cars.

The star of this year's Celebration of the Motorcar, in my opinion, was this 1904 Napier L48 world speed record car, "Samson."

Samson was a one off construction by the British Napier company to break the world speed record. These were the days when to go faster you built a bigger engine. Samson was powered by a six cylinder, sixteen litre T block engine. The car competed in dozens of races, including the famous Gordon Bennett Trophy. In 1908, with a larger twenty litre engine it set a British record of 119 miles per hour - the first British car to break the 100 miles an hour barrier.

Like other experimental racers of the period, the car was significantly modified during its short career. The original sixteen litre engine was replaced by a twenty litre engine, with which it achieved many of its record speeds. Being a straight run racer, it handled rather poorly and in 1908 the car was badly damaged during a race. The engine was salvaged and the car was scrapped. The car's original sixteen litre engine was sold to the Cromwell brothers, from Australia, who fitted it to their racing speedboat, Nautilus II. Nautilus II won the Griffiths Cup in 1914 and 1915.

In the 1920s, the Cromwell's replaced Nautilus' engine with a Hispano-Suiza aero engine and the Napier engine was placed in storage. The engine was discovered in the 1980s by Bob Chamberlain, who acquired the engine and undertook the massive effort of recreating the car as it was originally constructed. The car, which set a standard of excellence for a historic car reconstruction, competed in a number vintage race events and concourses before it was purchased by Peter Briggs for the York Motor Museum collection. It was great to see this car 'out and about.' For more details see:

And it was fabulous to see it run!

Shannon's Insurance and their iconic Goggomobil Dart.

Abarth 1000CTC

De Tomaso

Newly arrived in WA, 1968 Fiat 2300S with body by Ghia.

Aston Martin DB2/4

Porsche 356C

Cadillac row

The display of Cadillacs was flanked at each end by iconic 1953 Cadillac El Dorados

The happy Cadillac owners posing with their cars - wide angle lens required!

1967 Alfa Romeo Spider

1974 Alfa Romeo Montreal

1965 Alfa Romeo 2600 Sprint

1961 Maserati 3500 GT

1934 Bentley Derby

1929 Bentley 4 1/2 litre tourer

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II rolling chassis. This was actually how Rolls-Royce - and many other manufacturers - supplied their vehicles. The purchaser would then send the rolling to chassis to a body builder of their choice. This car will shortly be shipped to the UK for its bodywork.

Facel Vega, a French luxury car from the 1960s.

1935 SS Tourer. The company we know today as Jaguar actually started life as Swallow Sidecars. After making their name in sidecars (obviously), they progressed into cars under the brand name SS. In the late 1930s they introduced the SS Jaguar, but with war looming in Europe the company recognized that the name SS had unfortunate implications, so they swapped the brand and model names around and  become Jaguar.

Another British rarity - the 1959 Bristol 406. Bristol were an aircraft manufacturer during the Second World War who moved into motorcars in 1946. Bristol picked up the BMW concession from Frazer-Nash and began building copies of prewar BMWs. The 406 was the first Bristol model that abandoned BMW styling and was entirely designed in-house.

1937 Alvis 4.3 litre Charlesworth

1965 Alvis TE21

American row

1957 Plymouth Savoy

1960 Plymouth 2 Door

2021 McLaren Elva

The French Connection - Facel Vega and Peugeot 403

Citroen SM

Citroen CX

My favourite car of the day - 1949 Delahaye 135M Cabriolet with body by Guillore. Delahaye built magnificent luxury cars in France prior to the Second World War. They struggled along in the postwar period, but found it difficult to find a market in war ravaged Europe, going out of business 1954.

Proud owner Ross and his magnificent Delahaye

For more information about the show, check our the website: