Monday, April 26, 2021

Shannon's Classic Car Show Sunday 18th April 2021

In 2020, by a stroke of good fortune, we dodged a bullet, holding the show the week before everything was shut down due to Covid. After restrictions were lifted in WA in September 2020, the Council of Motoring Clubs reconvened and, despite the uncertainty around events, we agreed we'd hold the Classic Car Show in 2021. The administrative and bureaucratic overhead was significant, but we obtained all the necessary approvals and the show was on. This year 75 motoring clubs, 13 traders and community groups attended with 900 vehicles. All the attending clubs put on excellent displays.

In 2020, General Motors announced the demise of Holden a few weeks before the Shannon's Classic Car Show, so we were not able to organise an appropriate display. This year our special theme was 'Made in Australia', which celebrated the wide variety of marques and vehicles that used to be built in Australia.

The Volkswagen Country Buggy was an entirely Australian development, although to be fair it's chief designer was German. Volkswagen had been assembling Type 1 Beetles and Type 2 Transporters in Victoria since the late 1950s. Over the years Australian content had increased substantially and by the 1960s Volkswagen's factory was the third largest automobile plant in the country. Recognizing Australia's unique conditions and market, a small team began designing a rugged, light utility vehicle for rural/farm use. The Country Buggy was based on Type 1 chassis and running gear with a very basic open bodywork. The entire project had been undertaken without advising Volkswagen in Germany and when the German's found out, they were displeased in their subsidiary's independence. Two examples were sent to Wolfsburg for evaluation. Ironically, Wolfsburg were considering a similar project but were extremely concerned that any light utility could not bear any resemblance to the World War Two Kubelwagen. Having taken the project right through to production readiness, Wolfsburg approved the Country Buggy for production for the Australia and South East Asian markets only. After a few year's of production the Country Buggy was replaced by the German-built Type 181 'Thing' (aka Safari, Trekker).

This car has a very interesting history, being sold in Perth to a Gallipoli veteran named A E Gray. He drove the car until 1967. The car was subject to a comprehensive, nut and bolt restoration that has received numerous awards and commendations.

The French Simca company had built Fiat cars under license before the Second World War. After the war it was purchased by the American Chrysler company and manufactured a range of solid sedans and small cars. The Simca Aronde was a popular seller in Australia thanks to its reliability and pleasant styling.

"Not the Dart! They always think it's the Dart!" was the iconic line in the 1980s Yellow Pages advert. Bill Buckle developed the Dart as a budget sportscar on the Goggomobil sedan chassis. The body comprised two fibreglass tubs joined at the mid-line. The engine was a two cylinder air cooled two stroke of 200cc or 300cc capacity. Doors were unnecessary as the car is so low you can simply step inside - which makes for a nervous driving experience in today's SUV filled traffic!

Lightburn manufactured cement mixers, refrigerators, wheelbarrows, go karts and... a motorcar. Unlike so many other light cars of the period, such as the Goggomobil and Lloyd, the little Zeta was designed and built entirely in Australia and it was, to put it frankly, terrible. The little fibreglass bodied car was hampered by numerous design flaws and build quality issues that has enshrined the Zeta in the top ten worst cars of all time.

German industrialist Carl Borgward licensed Australian motoring industry pioneer Sir Lawrence Hartnett to manufacture his budget Lloyd 600 (aka Alexander). The Lloyd was powered by a 600cc air cooled twin cylinder four stroke motor. Several thousand were built here until Borgward found itself in financial difficulties, interrupting the supply of knock down kits.

Chrysler established the Valiant name for its Australian built cars in 1962. Valiant would become one of the best selling marques in Australia, running a close third in sales behind Holden and Ford. Valiant cars were often more advanced than their competitors and did much to keep Holden and Ford 'honest.' By the late 1970s Valiants were entirely Australian designed and built. In the early 1980s Chrysler Australia joined forces with Mitsubishi, with the Japanese company taking over Chrysler Australia's lines.

The little NSU Prinz III was a popular selling German microcar from the late 50s and early 60s. To break into the Australian market they were shipped out in knock down kits for local assembly. They sold very well here but despite this, when the Prinz III was superseded by the bigger and more modern 1000, NSU decided to withdraw from the Australian market. 

1966 Toyota Crown.

This 1938 DKW F7 is one of two surviving DKWs that were bodied by Boltons bodyworks of West Perth. In 1939, with the onset of the Second World War a shipment of DKW rolling chassis destined for Adelaide was refused unloading by the stevedores. The chassis were then transferred to Fremantle, where they were acquired by Auto Union Sales of Perth. Auto Union Sales needed to find a local body builder, which they found in Boltons. Boltons were primarily a bus builder, responsible for Transperth bus bodies right through to the 1980s, but they also bodied a small number of sedans and light commercials. Two Boltons bodied DKWs have survived in Perth.

While everyone remembers the Fiat 500 'Bambino', few remember Fiat's larger range of cars, such as the 600 and 1100. Both the 600 and 1100 were assembled in Australia for a few years in the late 1950s. Fiat 1100s are now extremely rare in Australia so we were very pleased to obtain this fabulous example for the display. Unfortunately, it had mechanical problems on the drive in and didn't make the show.

British Vauxhalls were one of the best selling cars in Australia from the 1930s through to the 1960s, when they were supplanted by GM Holden. This example is a Perth built car. Body panels were stamped out in Adelaide and shipped by train to Perth where they were fitted to engines and chassis shipped from England.

In the immediate post war period British small cars were the top sellers in the Australian market. Several different brands were assembled in Australia, often interchangeably. This Austin was also sold as a Wolsley and a Triumph with different badging and trim.

Standard-Triumph assembled in cars in Australia from the 1940s to the late 1960s. On the left is a 1958 Standard 10, which sold very well in Australia in its day. On the right is a 1946 Singer, which was assembled in small numbers here.

A super rare Australia-built supercar, the Giocattalo. One of only 15 ever built.

Renault opened an assembly plant in Victoria in the mid 1950s and manufactured their distinctive rear engine cars here until the 1960s. Interestingly, the Renault plant also assembled Citroens and Peugeots.

Peugeot gained a reputation for solid and reliable cars after winning the 1954 REDex Reliability Trial. Peugeot cars sold out across the country within days of the trail, encouraging Peugeot to begin local assembly here. The solid Peugeot 404 wagon was a particularly strong seller.

1928 Model A Ford. Ford established an assembly plant in North Fremantle to build Model A Fords. This remained Ford's WA assembly plant until the 1980s. The factory was then repurposed to became the Matilda Bay brewery.

1935 Buick 8/40 sedan with body by Holden of Adelaide.

1961 Pontiac Laurentian. This car couldn't be any more American if it tried, but it was assembled in Australia along with several other AMC products, including the Rambler Javelin.

And the archetypal Australian car, the Holden EH. I owned a 1963 EH for a decade in the 1980s.

Bolwell was a fibreglass kit car and small volume manufacturer. Bolwell cars were produced in a variety of models with a range of different engines. The Bolwell Car Club put on a display of seven cars.

The Club Displays

There was a good solid turnout for the show. The additional Covid registration requirements did slow things down a little.

Corvettes WA and National Corvette Restorers put on a great display at the gate.

The Corvette display is always a crowd favorite.

The Vintage Pram Collectors display

Perth Soapbox Club -

Wireless Collectors Society -

Auto Resto display (always excellent) -

Richard's Tyrepower


Check them out here -

America West

Vintage Speedway Club

Curtin University Motor Sport team

Kalamunda Community Radio KCR 102.5 FM broadcast from the show.

Camp Quality -

Swissvax waxes and polishes -

Show sponsor Shannon's Insurance -

A view from the grandstand

Part of the 'Made in Australia' display

Sportscar Builders Club

Leyland P76. Another iconic Australian designed and built vehicle that gave Holden, Ford and Valiant a run for their money. Unfortunately Leyland Australia were in desperate financial straits at the time and the expensive P76 lost them money, hastening their end.

The iconic Holden Monaro and a Victa Monaro lawnmower

Holden Monaros

Another Aussie legend, the Holden Torana XU1

Holden EH

Holden EK

1962 Holden EJ

Holden EJs. The EJ was similar to its successor, the EH, but had the smaller 129 grey motor. The EH introduced the larger 149 red motor, substantially improving the car's power and handling.

1948 Buick

1951 Buick

1936 Buick

1952 Buick

MG TC Club

1938 MG SA

Alfa Romeo Guiletta Spider

Ford Customline

Jaguar E-Type

Austin-Healey Owners Club

Team W4 Landrovers

Darlington Dipsticks

The Darlington Dipsticks came in from the country to fielded six miscellaneous types.

Citroen Traction Avant

Vintage Sports Car Club

1925 Amilcar


FPV Tickford Club

A beautiful day out

Flame Tree Lawn

Slotcar racing was very popular with the kids. You can book these guys for events and parties - Ultimate Slotcar -

Shade in the pavilion area

Ducati Owners Club

French and Fantastic Club - Citroen Traction Avant and Renault 4

Renault 10, another model manufactured in Australia.

Renault Caravelle and Simca Aronde

Renault Caravelle and Simca Aronde

Renault Dauphine

Special Interest Vehicle Association - Renault 8 Gordini

Renault Alpine A310 and Peugeot 404


Datsun Z240

A collection of Renault 4CVs

NSU 1000. This was the model that succeeded the NSU Prinz III. It was a larger car and had a much better engine and would have been a popular seller in the small car market, but NSU chose not to sell the car in the Australian market. NSU did not return to Australia until they introduced the NSU Ro80 in 1969.

Piaggio Ape.

Australian Citroen Enthusiasts - Citroen Traction Avant

Citroen Traction Avant limousine


And another

The legendary Citroen DS

Fiat Lancia Club was celebrating its 40th year

Fiat Lancia Club


Fiat 500 and Fiat F124 Sport Coupe

Vauxhall Club

Veteran Car Club put on a great display of over 70 cars

Austin Seven Club and Austin Motor Car Club

Two Morris Eights in the Veteran Car Club

Morris Car Club of WA



Daimler and Lanchester Owners Club

The Daimlers

Model A Ford Restorers Club

Model A Ford Restorers Club

Volkswagen Club of WA

The Snail

A lovely Porsche 356 cabriolet replica. Given I could never afford a real Porsche 356 Pre-A, I'd be satisfied with this.

R and S Valiant Club

Charger Club of WA

Historic Commercial Vehicle Club

1952 Foden. Foden were a British truck company that had their origins in agricultural equipment and steam powered lorries.

1937 International

A 1920s Fiat hitches a ride to the show

Model A tow truck

Bus Preservation Society

These guys always put on a good display

Guy bus

Model A Restorers Club

Machinery Preservation Society

Stationary engines

VCC Military Section. Harley-Davidson military police motorcycle

Austin Champ

Jeep and Champs

Jeep for restoration

Jeep chassis for restoration

Ride Like the Wind Motorcycles -

And finally, my club - the KBG -

Moto Max -

Plymouth replica of "Christine" the haunted car from the Stephen King movie.

Nissan Cube - only a KBG member could love this

1971 Triumph custom

1969 Chevrolet C20

The legendary BSA Bantam

The oddest machine at the show this year - 1925 Ner-A-Car. It is not 'near a car'

1944 VW Kubelwagen

1974 Reliant Scimitar GTE

1963 Skoda Octavia

1925 Morgan Aero

1993 JZR Three Wheeler

The two three wheelers - modern and vintage

1925 Morgan Aero. This model is powered by a V twin JAP motorcycle engine

The JZR is powered by a V twin Moto Guzzi motorcycle engine

1978 Alfa Romeo 2000 Spider

Landrover Mark 1

1970 Mini Cooper S

1961 Panhard PL17

1952 Tatra T600 Tatraplan

Messerschmitt sewing machine

The Tatraplan

1980 Citroen CX Pallas

This has been my fifth year as principle organizer of the Shannon's Classic Car Show. It has been a real pleasure and a rewarding experience and I feel that the show has been restored to its position as the premier classic motoring event in the Perth automotive calendar. This is however, my last year as show organizer. Last year I said was stepping aside to allow someone else to run the show, but no one did. This year I am stepping fully away to let someone to take over. I wish them all the best for 2022.

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