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Motorclassica 2015 attracts 13 manufacturers

Out with the old: This year’s Motorclassica show in Melbourne is expected to have more vehicles on show than ever – including the largest number of brand new cars and motorcycles exhibited by manufacturers.

Historic vehicles remain priority amid record manufacturer presence at Motorclassica

19 Jun 2015

THE 2015 Motorclassica Concours d’Elegance and classic motor show will feature a record 13 car manufacturers when the event opens its doors at the Melbourne Royal Exhibition Building from October 23-25.

Despite all the modern metal, organisers insist the event’s focus on historic vehicles will not be reduced, and that the juxtaposition of new and old enhances the visitor experience.

BMW, Citroen, Ferrari and Mini make up the new faces confirmed for this year’s event, while Alfa Romeo, Caterham, Jaguar, Lotus, Maserati, Morgan and Porsche will return.

Mercedes-Benz has been credited for blazing a trail by staging an Australian new-model premiere of the S-Class limousine at the 2013 event – which it repeated last year with the S-Class Coupe – and is confirmed to return for the third year running.

Rival BMW and its British subsidiary Mini, meanwhile, are planning a significant presence of both cars and motorcycles at Motorclassica 2015, including a celebration marking 40 years of the 3 Series range.

BMW Group Australia general manager of corporate communications Lenore Fletcher told GoAuto the Motorclassica audience was attractive because of its passion for motor vehicles old and new.

She said the 3 Series anniversary provided an opportunity for people to look at the evolution of BMW over the past 40 years and that Mini, particularly in terms of performance cars, is steeped in heritage going back to 1959.

In addition, Ms Fletcher said it was hoped that an international BMW club meeting would be held in Melbourne to coincide with Motorclassica, meaning a large international contingent is expected to attend as well as organising satellite activities around the event.

“There is a huge opportunity for people who are into classic cars to look at those, but also be able to see what’s new and different,” she said.

GoAuto understands the all-new, partially carbon-fibre 7 Series flagship limousine could receive its Australian debut at Motorclassica, taking centre stage among what is shaping up to be a large and comprehensive BMW presence.

Motorclassica event director Paul Mathers told GoAuto visitor surveys revealed a majority liked to see the juxtaposition of new and old vehicles at the show, although they tend to not be interested in brands that have little or no heritage value.

He added that each year visitors ask why certain manufacturers are not represented when they have significant anniversaries to celebrate.

This year, in addition to the BMW 3 Series anniversary mentioned above, Citroen will celebrate at Motorclassica 60 years since the game-changing and iconic DS luxury sedan was launched.

Asked whether the proliferation of new car displays risked detracting from Motorclassica’s appeal to enthusiasts and collectors of historic vehicles, Mr Mathers admitted the venue would be a little more squeezed for space but said there would be no compromise on the event’s ethos.

“For the past five years we have presented 104 cars in the Concours d’Elegance, 30 cars for auction and 40-50 motorcycles in the motorcycle Concours, and we will have exactly those numbers again,” he said.

“We are not going to compromise on the Concours d’Elegance, which is essentially the hero part, just for the sake of squeezing more in. We’re just not about that.

“Motorclassica has always been about quality first and foremost … we have to provide the visitor experience people have come to expect.”

Mr Mathers pointed out that unused floor space on the Royal Exhibition Building’s upper level was increasingly used to house the Expo, freeing up room for manufacturer displays.

He believes manufacturers are attracted to Motorclassica due to the level of audience engagement the event provides.

“Our audience ‘gets’ cars, and manufacturers have realised that displaying to a really engaged audience works much better than going to a mass-market audience and trying to engage them,” explained Mr Mathers.

“Mercedes-Benz were the ones that recognised the opportunity because we attract a really exclusive, high-end, automotive-appreciative audience.” Special features at Motorclassica 2015 will include 50 years of the supercar, 50 years of the Shelby Mustang, 50 years of the Dino, 50 years of Bugatti Club Australia and 70 years of motorcycle brand MV Agusta.

“I can guarantee you will have never seen in Australia a more impressive collection of supercars than you will see at Motorclassica this year,” said Mr Mathers.

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