The Nationals news Perth edition
Perth was the place to be over the Easter long weekend for Blue Oval faithful as the Falcon GT Club of Western Australia hosted the 17th Falcon GT Nationals. Overall, 140 cars were entered, with entrants coming from all over Australia, including a group from North Queensland, who drove all the way. Although numbers were down a little, compared to events held in the Eastern States, the quality was still high, with a number of rare and unusual GTs and GT-HOs being presented.
As usual, scrutineering and pre-judging kicked off proceedings on Thursday and Good Friday, with the ‘Show and Shine’ being held on Easter Saturday. Unfortunately, due to high cost of hiring Barbagallo Raceway, there was no on-track activities this year, however most agreed that the Sunday cruise to Mundaring and Kalamunda and the visit to Tony Pernechele’s private Ford Museum at Bailup Farm on Monday, provided suitable alternatives.
Despite the other activities on the programme, the show is still the highlight and for the first time in Nationals history, the big display was held indoors, at the Claremont Showgrounds Pavilions… the same location as the scrutineering. Although weather has never really been an issue in previous years, the air- conditioned pavilions did provide a much more comfortable environment for entrants, judges and spectators alike, whilst also making it easier for owners to keep their vehicles clean.
In every car show, there are always gems that stand out in a sea of gleaming paint and polished chrome and this Nationals was no different. Top display had to go to Robert Panizza, whose stunning Onyx Black Phase III sat on a base of reflective black perspex, surrounded by 500mm high, machined alloy Autolite spark plugs, which also continued around Ian John’s wonderfully unique, True Blue Phase II. For the unrestored cars, it was hard to go past Michael Stavrides’ immaculate Vermillion Fire XY GT (pictured top right), or Murray McDonald’s Lime Glaze XA GT sedan, although the rarity of Parry Bitsikas’ New England Green XB GT sedan – one of two built for the same original owner – made you look twice. The story behind the latter was fascinating; a special order XB GT in this colour was stolen and destroyed in 1976 with the car’s unfortunate owner immediately placing an order for an exact replacement, the machine here.