LEONGATHA SHOW ‘n SHINE – Sunday 5th March

The Sporting Register occasionally receives invitations from other clubs and organisations to participate in car displays or Show ‘n Shines. Some local events such as the recent Leongatha Rotary Club’s Show ‘n Shine and Swap Meet are listed in our club calendar and promoted through Idle Chatter. Your correspondent sometimes attends such events, where more often than not, other members of the Sporting Register can be found enjoying the occasion. The Leongatha event is one such event and it’s held in the centre of the town’s velodrome, which despite the dry summer is a well-maintained green, grassy oasis capable of accommodating around 400 vehicles. Although this year’s event fell a little short of that number, the event was very well supported by classic car and motorbike enthusiasts. American cars and bikes were very well represented, as were our home-grown classics with restored and modified Holden sedans, Monaros, Toranas and Falcons being very popular with the crowd. Unlike our regular Breakfast Club gatherings in Warragul, there were very few sporting vehicles, and European cars in general were certainly in the minority. There were many very beautiful cars on display and some superb workmanship shown in their customisation and presentation.  An interesting segment of the display included vintage commercial vehicles and some restored tractors, the most striking of which was a massive Chamberlain in bright orange.

Several Sporting Register members brought their vehicles along and placed them on display. Peter Walker drove his supercharged V8 Simca Vedette down from Mirboo North, Tim Leadbetter had his quirky, Subaru-powered Purvis Eureka there, Bill Cropley and Peter Witney arrived in Bill’s red 1970 Mustang notchback and John Moore rode his Suzuki GT750 from their property just down the road. Jim McNiven is part of the Rotary Club’s organising committee and he elected to display his Panther Lima which was featured at one the Sporting Register’s monthly dinner meetings at the Drouin Golf Club last year. Yours truly decided to exercise the Mini Marcos with a spirited run over to Leongatha via the Grand Ridge Road. Apologies to any other Sporting Register members whose cars were on display, that I may have missed.

As well as managing a large classic car display, the organisers set aside a shady area outside the velodrome for a swap-meet site where vendors sold everything from soap to switchgear. Then there’s the food vans which are certainly worth patronising. Upon entry to the velodrome, drivers and riders are asked if they would like to have their vehicles judged in one of the many categories for both bikes and cars. There’s also a peoples’ choice award and regular lucky door prizes handed out during the morning. At about midday the trophy presentation takes place. This year John Moore’s Suzuki GT750 won the Best Japanese Bike category, and the Mini Marcos picked up the Best Special Interest Vehicle trophy. Perhaps our success is just a cunning plot to ensure that we return again next year – if it is, then I guess it’s worked.

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