10 of the best from Mo­tor­clas­sica ‘16

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Mo­tor­clas­sica is the finest col­lec­tion of clas­sic cars you’ll see in Aus­trala­sia. Here are our picks for best in show. By Damien O’Car­roll. Held in the main hall of the his­toric and beau­ti­ful Royal Ex­hi­bi­tion Build­ing in Mel­bourne, the Aus­tralian In­ter­na­tional Con­cours d’El­e­gance and Clas­sic Mo­tor Show - or Mo­tor­clas­sica has quickly estab­lished it­self as one of the must-sees of the dow­nun­der mo­tor­ing scene.

With more than 100 ut­terly stun­ning clas­sic cars on dis­play, Mo­tor­clas­sica has also be­come a place that Mercedes-Benz likes to un­veil some rather stun­ning new cars at, and this year was no ex­cep­tion as the Ger­man man­u­fac­turer chose Mo­tor­clas­sica to un­veil the stun­ning (and rather large) Mercedes-AMG S 65 cabri­o­let.

Pack­ing a 6.0-litre bi-turbo V12 that pumps out 463kW of power and a rather stag­ger­ing 1000Nm of torque, the S 65 tops a range of S-Class cabrios with its prodi­gious $461,200 ask­ing price.

But while the S 65 was deeply im­pres­sive, the clas­sic metal on show was the main fo­cus of Mo­tor­clas­sica, so here are our ten favourites of the show.

BENZ PATENT-MOTORWAGEN

It would seem ob­vi­ous that be­cause Mercedes had cho­sen Mo­tor­clas­sica to both un­veil the S 65 and cel­e­brate its 130th birth­day at that there would be some rather tasty clas­sic Ben­zes there, and they don’t come much more "clas­sic" than that car that started it all.

While this par­tic­u­lar Motorwagen isn’t an orig­i­nal (only 25 were ever built and just a few re­main to­day) it is an ex­act replica that was built by ap­pren­tices at the Mercedes fac­tory. Need­less to say, it is still worth a vast sum of money… Abarth did some bril­liantly men­tal things to tiny Fi­ats in the 1960s, but prob­a­bly the best (and ar­guably most men­tal) was the Fiat 600-based Abarth 750.

The gor­geous lit­tle ex­am­ple at Mo­tor­clas­sica was one of the rarer 1000 ver­sions, com­plete with the roar­ing 56kW en­gine that was cooled both via an oil cooler in the com­i­cally large front bumper, as well as the per­ma­nently opened state of the rear en­gine cover!

It wasn’t all Euro­pean clas­sics at Mo­tor­clas­sica, as this gor­geous 240Z proves that Ja­panese clas­sics were also rep­re­sented. In­tended to prove to Amer­ica that Nis­san could build ex­cit­ing cars, the 240Z was even­tu­ally sold there as a Dat­sun be­cause it sounded "less Ja­panese".

This par­tic­u­lar car was orig­i­nally ex­ported from the UK to Zim­babwe where it lived for 30 years be­fore it was taken to South Africa and un­der­went a full restora­tion. The cur­rent owner brought it into Aus­tralia ear­lier this year.

1932 FORD 18 SPE­CIAL

While Ford of­fered a star­tling 14 dif­fer­ent body styles in the USA, in Aus­tralia the 18 was only built in five dif­fer­ent con­fig­u­ra­tions, with pro­duc­tion only ever reach­ing 1,695 units.

This stun­ning lit­tle Deluxe Road­ster is an ex­am­ple of one of the many spe­cials built in the 1930s and boasts a power in­crease of around 70kW over the en­gine’s orig­i­nal 49kW, bring­ing it up to 119kW. It also packs 1940 hy­draulic brakes, repack­ing the orig­i­nal me­chan­i­cal brakes.

1974 ALFA ROMEO MONTREAL

Alfa Romeo only 180 right hand drive Mon­tre­als and this stun­ning ex­am­ple of what is a pretty damn stun­ning car in the first place was de­liv­ered new in Syd­ney in 1974.

The Montreal packed a scream­ing 2.6-litre V8 that red­lined at a then-strato­spheric 7000rpm and could pro­pel the gor­geous coupe to 100kmh in 7.4 sec­onds. It was, how­ever, also more ex­pen­sive than the E-Type Jaguar and Porsche 911 and was never re­ally a sales suc­cess, with only 3900 be­ing built.

1955 MERCEDES-BENZ 300SL

A stun­ning sil­ver gull­wing 300SL was an­other star of the Mercedes stand.

With just 1400 built be­tween 155 and 1957, the 300SL was pretty much an in­stant clas­sic. De­rived from the leg­endary W194 racing car, the 300SL was not only vis­ually beau­ti­ful and had those amaz­ing doors, but - and pos­si­bly more sig­nif­i­cantly - was the first pro­duc­tion car to ever fea­ture di­rect fuel in­jec­tion.

1971 DINO 246 GT

While there was no short­age of Fer­raris at Mo­tor­clas­sica, in­clud­ing a num­ber of pretty lit­tle Di­nos, this unusu­ally blue ex­am­ple stood out and not just be­cause of its colour.

In­tended to be a Porschechal­leng­ing sub-brand of Fer­rari, the Dino was named af­ter Enzo Fer­rari’s late son and was later used on mod­els with en­gines with fewer than 12 cylin­ders.

This par­tic­u­lar car was orig­i­nally de­liv­ered in the UK, be­fore be­ing im­ported into Aus­tralia in 1993.

1922 ROLLS-ROYCE SIL­VER GHOST TOURER

Ut­terly huge and im­pos­ing, this bright red Rolls was hard to miss, even among the sea of cars in the hall.

This par­tic­u­lar Sil­ver Ghost was de­liv­ered from the fac­tory to Aus­tralia, where it was bod­ied in Syd­ney where it has resided ever since. It passed through a num­ber of own­ers, even be­ing pressed into duty as a hearse for some time, be­fore be­ing bought by the cur­rent owner 15 years ago.

It sat in their shed for a num­ber of years be­fore be­ing treated to a full restora­tion and a new body.

1961 VOLK­SWA­GEN MI­CRO BUS DELUXE 23-WIN­DOW

Stag­ger­ingly valu­able and de­sir­able these days, this VW spent a large part of the last 20 years as a lot of its kind have sit­ting in stor­age wait­ing pa­tiently to be restored.

Two years ago it was sold to its cur­rent owner and fi­nally got the breath-tak­ing restora­tion it de­served.

Built in Ger­many and de­liver to Aus­tralia, this is an orig­i­nal RHD ex­am­ple AM-coded nine seat model. The "AM" stamp means it was built for de­liver to Mel­bourne (M) in Aus­tralia (A).

1971 FORD FAL­CON GTHO PHASE III

Of course it wouldn’t be a clas­sic mo­tor show in Aus­tralia with­out an ex­am­ple of the most leg­endary Aussie mus­cle car of all time. And this par­tic­u­lar ex­am­ple was ab­so­lutely beau­ti­fully restored.

It was part of the Theodore Bruce clas­sic auc­tion that was tak­ing place at Mo­tor­clas­sica and had an ex­pected price range of be­tween AU$400,000 and AU$450,000.

633293513 (hall): Mo­tor­clas­sica show takes place in the ap­pro­pri­ately el­e­gant Royal Ex­hi­bi­tion Build­ing in Mel­bourne.

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