all about cars and their owners in Sydney Australia
Classic Cars in Sydney
Classic Cars belong to an era that is a little later than the vintage cars. These were once expensive with features like engine displacement, luxurious accessories, and even custom coachwork. Many were built in limited quantities and are regarded by some clubs as being the pinnacle of styling, engineering and design for that particular era.
Some of the features which were typical of pre-World war II cars - such as removable fenders, trunk, headlights, and vertical grill treatment - all but disappeared as the car-makers returned to consumer requirements after the war. As well, in Australia, General Motors-Holden produced the first car designed and built for Australian conditions - the 1948 FX Holden. It was succeeded in 1953 by the Holden FJ, which proved to be enormously popular as the economy continued to grow following the war years.
Some of the other classic cars which followed the war and made their way to Sydney include the great Porsche which was introduced in 1948. The Italians were also manufacturing outstanding vehicles with v12 engines and a 5-speed gear box. These were prized as the racing cars of their time. The British-made Jaguar Mark VII also had a huge impact.
A number of British cars emerged to rival and even surpass the Jaguar in terms of comfort and performance. One such was the Bentley Continental, which cost four times as much as the Jaguar in the sixties. Another from this period was the Rolls Royce Silver Shadow. This also formed the basis for the elegant Corniche convertible, which appeared in the seventies.
Other Classic cars which followed were the XJ 12 Saloon from Jaguar, which was voted the world's best car by a panel of judges selected by a car magazine. Understandably, a V12 was a fuel-thirsty beast and this was highlighted by the fuel crisis of 1973.
The British and Europeans continued to produce stunning cars which were definite crowd pleasers whenever they were spotted on the streets of Sydney. Lamborghini brought out the great Countach. Equally stunning was the Lagonda, which was made by Aston Martin.
The Americans were also producing classic cars and a few were seen here. For instance, Chevrolet released the Corvette in 1953 and this was followed by the Ford Thunderbird, which was more like a convertible. Also, the Ford Mustang made a huge impact on the world market when it was released in 1964. It offered a high performance with a low price. The Australians brought out their own muscle cars, such as the high performance Holden Monaro and Ford Falcon GT, for this market.
As well, the Japanese saw an opening for a low-priced, high performance, reliable sporty car and in 1970 they released the Datsun 240Z. They had a more European style than the American cars and attracted much attention when they first appeared on Sydney streets.
Classic Car Hire
Many of the cars mentioned above are available for hire from the Classic Car Hire companies which are listed in Sydney's Yellow Pages telephone directory. The considerations that were discussed on this website for vintage car hire should also be taken into account when hiring a classic car.
Classic Car Clubs and Shows
The owners of these cars often belong to Clubs which organise showings, special events, picnic days, and the like. There are also clubs for particular car makes as well (Ford, Jaguar, Holden, etc) as well as for sports and muscle cars. Several organisations which may be able to help with more information are:
CLASSIC RALLY CLUB INC (NSW)
PO Box 2044
Contact: Tony Kanak
Phone: 02 9858 2662
COUNCIL OF MOTOR CLUBS INC. (NSW)
Contact: Terry Thompson
Phone: 02 9599 3726
HISTORIC SPORTS AND RACING CAR ASSOCIATION (NSW)
P O Box 5063