Home Feature Story A Day at MotorFest, Daylesford

A Day at MotorFest, Daylesford

by Digital Mayne Media

“Closely involved with motoring events in my hometown in the past – it was simply as an observer that I visited the 2022 Motorfest event in Daylesford, Victoria.”

This annual motoring event was staged at Victoria Park on the southern outskirts of the town on Sunday 20th February.

It had its origins in 2015 when local custom car guru, Peter Olver came up with the idea of a monthly Cars and Coffee after visiting many similar events in the USA. His committee ran the first season in the postage-stamp-sized car park at Lake Daylesford and I joined Peter’s team for the second semester at the highly picturesque, Jubilee Lake. At this much larger venue, the event grew exponentially and was very popular with enthusiasts from all over Victoria. Its success was possibly its demise as difficulties with the Shire Council ended the second season. A different core group negotiated for a long time with the Shire and was eventually granted a home at Victoria Park for a once-a-year event.

2022, the main arena was this year the Soccer Club oval for the premium display cars, the motorbikes were next towards the West and the trade stalls continued under the cooling shade of the ancient deciduous trees.

The program board at the gate announced that the Oztrans Trucking stage, near the trade stalls was a fully boarded deck floor ready for dance couples to jive to the 50s and 60s rock’n roll bands. A local couple, Richard and Barbara Smart, in their Fender Benders dance outfits were on their way for demonstration dancing when I photographed them beside a black Ford Pilot.

Locals in the know, always said, “Look at the cars on the oval first before it gets too hot and then check out the stalls in the shade of the trees”. A good idea for me, though fortunately the weather was kind.

Some of the interesting activities included the V12 Aero Engine Display at certain nominated times and the Daylesford CFA Jaws of Life demo cutting open a wrecked car. A variety of food stalls were grouped around the sound stage and the Daylesford Football Club, as this was their home ground were cooking snags and burgers.

There were probably ten rows of vehicles running East, West on the Soccer Oval.The northern row was taken up by a massive collection of customs from the Melbourne Jets Car Club and the remainder of that row were cars from the monthly Castlemaine Coffee Cruise. Another large display was the Ford GT Falcon Club of Victoria.

In the special interest area were large displays by local car servicing business, Howe Auto and the members of Dry Lakes Racing Australia, DLRA had put together a good turnout seeing as their regular event at Lake Gairdner (Speed Trials), had been cancelled because the salt flats had turned to a pink, salty bog after unseasonal rains.

A number of members of Castlemaine Rods are also DLRA supporters, so it was a double stall incorporating the orange Typhoon streamliner and in the historic vintage class, a Belly Tank Racer running a modified early Holden Grey Motor.

The Howe Auto display incorporated Nulon products for sale, but the pride of place was Will Lamb’s speedway car which had arrived in its custom-built car transporter. Albert, Will’s father filled me in with some relevant details about the racing car which was built in 2011 in the USA by Rocket and runs a Chev 410 cu inch, Brodek aluminium cylinder block. Albert said it achieves 700HP, running on Alcohol and competes in the Late Model Class and some of the competition circuits are at Warrnambool, Rushworth, Moama and Murray Bridge. It’s usually a family affair as the big transporter is equipped with a bedroom with bunks.

I was feeling pretty happy with the day’s outing, the cars I had seen and the people I met and was heading for my daily drive to go home, when I spied an unusual red vintage Indian Motorcycle. As I was clicking away, the owner, Dave of Kyneton Design Shop, climbed on and proceeded to kick start the engine. The bike, pictured is a 1959 single engine 350cc Indian made in England under license and these models were factory produced as a threewheeler with the lockable rear trunk and used as road service patrol, police patrol and by tradesmen as utility vehicles.

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