Australia’s longest running, all-historic motor racing meeting, Historic Winton, is on again this month.
The action starts revving-up on Friday, May 25 with the Benalla and District Classic Car and Motorbike Tour and accelerates with two big days of non-stop racing on Saturday and Sunday, May 26 and May 27.
There will be more than 400 historic racing cars and motorbikes from the 1920s to the 1980s, plus a huge heritage display of veteran and vintage vehicles.
Heritage emergency vehicles will also be on display, as well as cars and motorbikes with significant anniversaries.
Among the more than 2000 display vehicles expected to surround the Winton Motor Raceway track on the Historic Winton weekend will be a rarely seen Aussie ute.
The Austin 1800 Ute was solely Australian made with only 639 Mark 1 models made in 1968.
Owner Malcolm Chaplin said he had owned the ute for 18 years.
‘‘It has travelled the country extensively from Hobart to Alice Springs and Uluru and from Brisbane to Adelaide,’’ Mr Chaplin said.
‘‘In that time and travelling we have only seen two other Mark 1 utes.’’
The ute will be part of the extensive display of milestone and rare vehicles at Historic Winton.
Event organiser Noel Wilcox said there would be so many cars on display that spectators could use the vintage bus to travel to the displays all around the outside of the race track.
‘‘The unique part about Historic Winton is that spectators can visit the competition paddock (pits) and see the race cars, bikes and sidecars up close and meet the drivers,’’ Mr Wilcox said.
‘‘Unique vehicles will not only be in the heritage display, they will be on the race track as well.’’
He said South Australian driver Peter Cundy would celebrate the first grand prix at Mt Panorama (Bathurst), held in 1938, competing in his MG NA541 that was an entrant in the 1938 race but was a non-starter.
Another MG, a 1948 TC model that was owned and raced by the late, great Jack Brabham in 1954, will also race at Historic Winton.
Mr Wilcox said tribute or replica cars could also race at Historic Winton and one example included the Parsons and Phillips Ford V8 Special.
‘‘This car is identical to the one that won the first Albury Grand Prix in 1938,’’ he said.
‘‘It was built by the son and grandson of Ted Parsons Snr, the original co-driver.
‘‘Completed in 2014, grandson Robert Parsons of Wangaratta will have the car on display at Historic Winton this year.’’
The Norton Owners Club Victoria will mark the advent of the Ford Model T, the first Norton motorbike with a Norton engine, produced in 1908, and four other significant Norton anniversaries by showcasing some of their much-loved veteran and vintage motorcycles.
Other scarce motorcycles on display will include a 1954 200cc Velocette LE, a 1963 125cc Honda C92 Benly and a 1963 125cc Kawasaki B8.
‘‘This is just the tip of the iceberg, with 52 vehicle and event anniversaries being celebrated and a large heritage display of veteran vehicles in the corporate centre at the lower end of the competition paddock,’’ Mr Wilcox said.
BENALLA AND DISTRICT CLASSIC CAR AND MOTORBIKE TOUR
Be part of the action on Friday, May 25 and assemble at 9am in front of the Benalla Art Gallery, in the Benalla Botanical Gardens.
No gravel roads. Red plate vehicles are welcome.
The tour concludes with a ‘shine and show’ display.
For more information, phone the Benalla Visitor Information Centre on 5762 1749.
HISTORIC WINTON TICKETS
Tickets are available at the gate.
Prices are: Saturday $30, Sunday $35, weekend $60, children 16-and-under no charge, competition paddock $5.
Camping at the track: $25/head per night. For camping inquiries, phone Winton Motor Raceway on 5760 7100.