Brilliant vintage turnout for annual Muckleford meet

| 29 Jan 2014

Victorian members of the Vintage Sports Car Club of Australia headed to Muckleford in a superb range of cars for their annual Australia Day Picnic.

This picnic has been held at Muckleford, a smaller than a dot on the map spot near Castlemaine in Central Victoria for a number of years now and usually attracts an impressive line-up of cars. This year was no exception.

With just a postcode, a long since used school room and a sporting oval, there is not a lot to Muckleford but in the shade of lots of trees and with fellow enthusiasts on hand to talk cars it really is the perfect spot for a casual gathering cum picnic and if, as it happened on this occasion, the weather turned there was the old school house to retreat to.

This year’s picnic attracted it usual suspects, some of whom ventured out from locations not far away while others travelled from farther afield. All cars arrived at the venue under their own steam although a couple had been trailered to nearby Castlemaine and then under their own power for the last few kilometres to Muckleford.

Among the stars was a 1929 521C Short Model Fiat started life with a Commercial Tourer body. After being badly damaged in a bushfire a few years ago the car changed owners and during its resurrection acquired its current body. Other changes included an increase in engine capacity from 2512cc to 2.7 litres, a high-lift camshaft, a switch from the original single updraft Solex carburettor to a pair of 1¼ SUs and a taller diff. The upgrades have combined to produce a very smoothing running tourer able to mix it easily with modern contemporaries on the open road.

As with many such gatherings in this ‘modern’ era many of the cars wore name plates and badge work that have long since disappeared from today’s motoring scene, more’s the pity.

Looking over the 30 or more cars present it was just like looking through an automotive history book, at least in their original form; names like Delage, Sunbeam, Morris, Hispano Suiza, Bugatti, Dodge, Lagonda, Packard, Rover, Jaguar E Type, Lancia Fulvia, Bentley Roadster, Humber, Riley, MG, and Vauxhall to name but a few.

There were of course a few ‘moderns’ but they were well and truly outnumbered by the oldies and some not quite so old, such as a 1960’s Alfa Romeo Giulia Super, Mach 1 Ford Mustang from 1`970 and even a 48/215 Holden from 1953.

Main image shows a 1912 Hispano Suiza dwarfed by a 1926 Packard.

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Words and pictures: Barry Edmunds