The cars of yes­ter­year

Cel­e­brat­ing the chrome bumpers

Sunshine Coast Daily - Caloundra Weekly - - NEWS - Lacee Froeschl [email protected]­news.com.au

THE fes­ti­val that knows no age or gen­der bar­rier re­turned last week, to cel­e­brate its fifth an­niver­sary among hun­dreds of chrome bumper en­thu­si­asts.

Ryno In­sur­ance Dow­nun­der Beach­fest fea­tures a “mag­i­cal com­bi­na­tion” of hot rods, clas­sic cars, mus­cle cars, clas­sic mo­tor­cy­cles and car­a­vans that were built be­fore 1983.

Run by peo­ple whose lives re­volve around the pas­sion of col­lect­ing, build­ing, show­ing and driv­ing such ve­hi­cles, the five-day event was a suc­cess.

Old-school panel beater and car nut Colin Chap­man said it was the per­fect op­por­tu­nity for him to con­tinue liv­ing his dream – a love for cars that spanned nearly 65 years.

“My mother says that my first word ... was car,” Mr Chap­man said.

“My ear­li­est rec­ol­lec­tions... were all about how good cer­tain cars looked.

“Now I’m 65 years old and still as in­sane, pas­sion­ate and in­fat­u­ated with with cars as I have al­ways been.”

Though it was an “amaz­ing” fas­ci­na­tion, Mr Chap­man de­scribed it as an “un­for­tu­nately all con­sum­ing bug” that was next to im­pos­si­ble to get rid of.

As he grew up among a “mag­i­cal com­bi­na­tion” of ve­hi­cles, he saw them as pieces of art be­fore func­tional trans­port machines.

Mr Chap­man said his group of car nuts en­deav­oured to pro­mote safe driv­ing through the Aus­tralian Street Rod Fed­er­a­tion.

“Cars were de­signed as ev­ery­day trans­port and have al­ways been that, but there was an era be­tween the 50s and 60s where in Europe and Amer­ica the cars were an art form at the fore­front,”

Mr Chap­man said.

“These days car de­sign is very func­tional, all about econ­omy (and) safety,” he said.

He said the beach­fest aimed to show­case, pre­serve and ed­u­cate younger gen­er­a­tions about a pas­sion for cars as a trib­ute to the era of chrome bumpers.

Mr Chap­man added he couldn’t think of any­thing that he would rather spend his time do­ing, de­spite the love-hate re­la­tion­ship of observing things of “yes­ter­year”.

“It def­i­nitely is an in­cur­able bug and I hope that I have it un­til the day I pass away.”

It def­i­nitely is an in­cur­able bug and I hope that I have it un­til the day I pass away. — Colin Chap­man

PHOTO: PATRICK WOODS

HOT TO DRIVE: Paul and Deb Di Lizio are gear­ing up for the Caloun­dra Beach­fest with their hotrod.

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