MO­TOR­ING: AUTO AMORE

Au­tumn in Hong Kong means cooler weather – and the high sea­son for auto en­thu­si­asts and mo­tor­cy­cle lovers to come out to play.

The Peak (Hong Kong) - - Contents - STORY GLEN WAT­SON

Au­tumn in Hong Kong means the high sea­son for car en­thu­si­asts and mo­tor­cy­cle lovers to come out to play

On most Satur­day morn­ings in Hong Kong, the roads to places like Shek O come alive with the roar of au­to­mo­biles and mo­tor­cy­cles of all types, sizes and eras. It’s a joy to drive or ride in, and also watch road­side as the cars and bikes zip along the twist­ing asphalt to­wards their fi­nal des­ti­na­tion.

In park­ing lots, own­ers and spec­ta­tors min­gle over cof­fee and crois­sants – bonded by en­thu­si­asm for all things re­lated to these mo­torised ve­hi­cles that rep­re­sent the past, present and, in some cases, the fu­ture. Own­ing a clas­sic car or bike in­volves pas­sion, per­sis­tence and petrol.

But it’s the au­tumn months when things re­ally kick off. From Oc­to­ber to De­cem­ber, there are sev­eral ma­jor car events hap­pen­ing in Hong Kong and of course Ma­cau, where the 64th run­ning of the Grand Prix takes place be­tween Novem­ber 16 and s19.

THE CHAT­TER ON CHATER

For clas­sic car lovers, the Chater Road Clas­sic Car Show in Cen­tral takes place Oc­to­ber 29. Or­gan­ised by the Clas­sic Car Club of Hong Kong (CCHK), this Sun­day show fea­tures some 100 pris­tine ve­hi­cles rep­re­sent­ing all eras of au­to­mo­bile his­tory, such as the 1926 Bent­ley and Sir Michael Kadoorie’s grey 1936 Rolls-royce Phan­tom III, which was dis­played last year, up to the more fa­mil­iar mod­ern clas­sics from Ja­pan and else­where around the world.

Even BMW’S mod­ern and very fu­tur­is­tic i8 model was part of the pack.

The CCHK be­gan in 1979, when Dick Wor­rall and 18 other en­thu­si­asts gath­ered to share their pas­sion for older cars. The fol­low­ing year, they be­came an af­fil­i­ated club of the Hong Kong Au­to­mo­bile As­so­ci­a­tion (HKAA), un­til the CCHK was in­cor­po­rated in 1989.

This non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion pro­motes the col­lec­tion and preser­va­tion of clas­sic cars. Its roughly 500 mem­bers col­lec­tively own about 750 cars. The mem­bers meet reg­u­larly to share their love and ex­pe­ri­ence through gath­er­ings such as Sun­day Morn­ing Drive, Nog­gin’ & Nat­ter, Clas­sic Car China Drive and the an­nual Chater road show.

Over the years, CCCHK and its mem­bers have also sup­ported many pub­lic and char­ity ac­tiv­i­ties by pro­vid­ing pieces of their col­lec­tions for hol­i­day pa­rades, pro­mo­tion of road safety, char­ity fundrais­ing, as well as vis­it­ing homes for the el­derly and or­phan­ages.

Last year’s Chater show drew the at­ten­tion of hun­dreds of spec­ta­tors as well as the Ur­ban Sketch­ers group, who feasted upon the smor­gas­bord of clas­sic car shapes, colours and tex­tures to cre­ate their artis­tic in­ter­pre­ta­tions of the au­to­mo­biles on dis­play.

WHAT’S UP ON TWO WHEELS

The Mo­tor­cy­cle Show 2017 (Novem­ber 5) is also in Cen­tral, this time at Ed­in­burgh Place in front of the Post Of­fice and for­mer City Hall on Lung Wo Road be­side the Cen­tral Wa­ter­front ex­hi­bi­tion area. Or­gan­ised by Ian Fos­ter and the Clas­sic Auto-cy­cle Mu­seum, this event brings to­gether the city’s bike own­ers, clubs, deal­ers, man­u­fac­tur­ers and even the emer­gency ser­vices that use mo­tor­cy­cles.

Some­thing new this year is the show be­ing granted per­mis­sion to use the curvy in­stal­la­tion in front of the for­mer City Hall. The tem­po­rary “Hong Kong ∞ Im­pres­sion” Pavil­ion will be a fo­cal point for a Mo­tor­ing Her­itage Ex­hi­bi­tion “As well as clas­sic mo­tor­cy­cles we hope to have clas­sic cars, buses, bi­cy­cles, and any other ve­hi­cles we can find in Hong Kong,” says Fos­ter.

One of the best things about col­lect­ing vin­tage mo­tor­cy­cles is that they fit within the con­fines of Hong Kong’s tiny flats. A spare bed­room can be eas­ily con­verted into a garage, bikes and their parts can squeeze into build­ing lifts and there is a strong com­mu­nity of like-minded bike en­thu­si­asts to help with restora­tions and go rid­ing with on Hong Kong’s 1,700km road net­work.

THE GOLD STAR

The se­cond run­ning of Sino Group’s The Gold Coast Mo­tor Fes­ti­val (Novem­ber 10-12) at Hong Kong Gold Coast in Tuen Mun will see this show zoom much closer to its goal of be­ing the “Peb­ble Beach of Asia”. This is a paid-en­try show, with tick­ets rang­ing from $60 for se­niors and stu­dents to en­joy a day with the cars, up to $2,888 for two VIP passes good for all three days.

Build­ing on the in­au­gu­ral show last year, the or­gan­is­ers have en­listed well-known clas­sic car afi­cionado Carl Yuen to cu­rate the 80 or so ve­hi­cles on dis­play that will in­clude such won­ders as the 1926 Bent­ley 3-litre – one of the old­est reg­is­tered ve­hi­cles in Hong Kong – up to cur­rent won­ders such as the Volk­swa­gen VX1 hy­brid, of which only 250 were built, and the one-off spe­cial edi­tion Pa­gani Zonda Fan­tasma Evo.

“This year’s fes­ti­val prom­ises to de­liver an­other ex­cit­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for mo­tor­ing afi­ciona­dos and fes­ti­val-go­ers. It holds spe­cial mean­ing as we are also celebrating the 20th an­niver­sary of the es­tab­lish­ment of the HKSAR,” says Eu­gene Le­ung, gen­eral man­ager of the Gold Coast Mo­tor Fes­ti­val.

“The scenic Hong Kong Gold Coast is a per­fect venue for this fes­ti­val for all, which is gain­ing wide­spread in­ter­na­tional recog­ni­tion and ac­claim,

bring­ing sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits to the mo­tor in­dus­try, to tourism and to the lo­cal Hong Kong com­mu­nity.”

Other high­lights of the Gold Coast Mo­tor Fes­ti­val are an iconic Fer­rari 250 GT/E first in­tro­duced at the 1960 Le Mans 24-hour race, a Toy­ota 2000GT that was one of the first Ja­panese su­per­cars, one of the only 20 Lam­borgh­ini Sesto Ele­mento cars ever made, a Mclaren P1GTR and the iconic Mclaren F1.

“With the sup­port of lead­ing car man­u­fac­tur­ers, we shall also be dis­play­ing some of their most sought-af­ter cur­rent of­fer­ings, in­clud­ing the Bu­gatti Ch­i­ron, which will make its first Hong Kong pub­lic de­but,” says Le­ung.

In a nod to the huge pop­u­lar­ity of e-sports, the spon­sors this time in­clude Xbox in col­lab­o­ra­tion with game maker VLT and lo­cal rac­ing driver Dar­ryl O’young, who will go head-to-head in vir­tual com­pe­ti­tion with mo­tor-rac­ing fans on­line and on-site as they race in the newly re­leased Forza Motorsport 7 game in hopes of beat­ing him and claim­ing prizes such as the lim­ited-edi­tion Xbox One S con­sole.

THE MO­TOR­ING IN MA­CAU

The Ma­cau Grand Prix is a leg­endary event in what is now known as China’s gam­bling mecca. But for even longer than the gam­ing, Ma­cau has been re­garded as a ma­jor

–Eu­gene Le­ung, Gold Coast Mo­tor Fes­ti­val

step­ping stone to For­mula One and a great week­end for spec­ta­tors who sim­ply en­joy the dis­plays of rac­ing and amaz­ing vibe of the for­mer Por­tuguese colony.

Cur­rent F1 driver Valt­teri Bot­tas, the Mercedes team­mate of Lewis Hamil­ton, ab­so­lutely tore up the com­pe­ti­tion in Ma­cau be­hind the wheel of the Galaxy Re­sort F3 car a few years ago and was well on his way to win­ning this pres­ti­gious event when his back wheel brushed a bar­rier and he was forced to re­tire.

THE ELEC­TRIC AV­ENUE

Fi­nally in De­cem­ber, it’s the se­cond run­ning of the Hong Kong E-prix in the Cen­tral Har­bourfront Event Space be­tween the ifc mall and Ta­mar. Held De­cem­ber 2-3, this is the kick-off event in the FIA For­mula E Cham­pi­onship’s fourth sea­son and fea­tures a two-race for­mat along the Hong Kong har­bourfront. Be­sides a fan­tas­tic VIP tent, there is also an E-vil­lage with rac­ing sim­u­la­tors and other in­ter­ac­tive ex­pe­ri­ences.

It costs $2,140 for a week­end pass in the Ob­ser­va­tion Wheel Grand­stand, although if you go on­line pub­lic there are 10,000 free tick­ets on of­fer for both days.

WILD IN WANCHAI

Fi­nally, at the end of De­cem­ber, car lovers get a Christ­mas treat in the form of the Hong Kong Car Show (De­cem­ber 24-27) at the Con­ven­tion and Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre in Wanchai. There are themed zones fea­tur­ing an ex­ten­sive range of prod­ucts and ser­vices in­clud­ing mod­ern and clas­sic cars, au­to­mo­tive con­sum­ables and me­chan­i­cal parts, car beauty and care, di­ag­nos­tic ve­hi­cles and prod­ucts, mo­tor­bikes, ac­ces­sories and main­te­nance ser­vices. Other high­lights in­clude race sim­u­la­tors and lucky draw prizes.

The au­tumn months of­fer plenty for car and mo­tor­cy­cles fans to en­joy in Hong Kong and nearby Ma­cau. But you have been warned – this hobby is very con­ta­gious.

01 01 The Pa­gani Fan­tasma Evo on dis­play at the 2016 Gold Coast Mo­tor Fes­ti­vall.

02 03

02-03 The Char­ter Road Clas­sic Car Show is one of the long­est run­ning auto events in the city. 04-06 The Gold Coast Mo­tor Fes­ti­val will be run­ning for the se­cond time this year, and is be­ing dubbed the "Peb­ble Beach of Asia". 05 06

04

07

08

07-08 The FIA For­mula E Cham­pi­onship is set for the streets of Hong Kong once again this year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.