Classics by the Beach: Sunday the 7th of January, 2018

The 2018 classic car scene got off to a ripper start with a bumper turn-out at the year's first Classics by the Beach gathering at Hobart's Sandy Bay.  The weather was perfect, the cars were superb and the whole event had an almost carnival atmosphere as owners, enthusiasts and passers-by enjoyed the spectacle.  

As usual, the cars featured in this month's UMPH post are just a small sample of the many excellent vehicles on display and were photographed mainly because they're either new to the event or haven't previously been been shown on this 'blog.  There have been, quite literally, hundreds of fabulous classics on display each and every first Sunday of the month gathering that are depicted in earlier editions (just search Classics by the Beach in the top right hand corner of the UMPH home page to find them).  

This excellent XA Ford Fairmont was in amazingly good nick with straight, rust-free panels, lustrous metallic duco, an unblemished interior and all its original features.  Not bad for a car pushing forty-five years of age!

This De Tomaso Pantera is a semi-regular and never fails to pull a crowd!

The owner of this Datsun 280 ZX told UMPH that he had only recently purchased the car and that its previous owner - the second from new, he said - had it since it was only a few years old.  Apart from a few minor paint blemishes, it was in really good condition and was totally standard, right down to its original alloy wheels.

The two Triumphs featured above and below were particularly striking.  The one shown on the left in the photo above - a Mk III Spitfire - has appeared in previous UMPH posts.  However, it would appear that it's recently had a bit of cosmetic work done, as it's looking particularly fresh.  The car on the right - a Stag - also looked amazingly clean and tidy.  Both are a credit to their respective owners!

Nice '75 Galant hard-top, by the way.

The Shelby Cobra isn't the only roadster-style sports car to adopt the small body / big V8 formula, even if it is the first example that springs to most people's minds.  The Sunbeam Tiger was the Rootes Group's (think Hillman and Singer) version of the genre, featuring a 289 ci Ford V8 and a four-speed box in a compact open-top body from Britain. 

Like the MGB GT V8 (coupe` only, although some inventive types have fitted V8s to their roadsters), there's also a four-cylinder version of the Tiger, the Sunbeam Alpine.  MG also did a roadster-only V8, the 1989 MGR V8, which was heavily MGB-based.  

Triumph went down the same track with a V8 edition of the TR7 coupe, inventively named the TR8.  Both MG and Triumph used the same 3.5 litre Rover (ex-Buick) alloy V8 that has seen duty in a wide variety of British vehicles but is probably best known as a Range Rover power plant.  

Triumph Stags, like the one shown several photos above, were V8-powered, too, but used an in-house designed 3.0 litre motor.  However, retro-fitting the Rover V8 to the Stag was a popular way to overcome perceived reliability issues - mainly caused by over-heating - encountered with the in-house 3.0 litre engine.   

It would seem that nearly everyone of a certain age's parents owned an Austin 1800 'Land-Crab.'  (UMPH's didn't but he had friends whose parents did.)  Conversation surrounding this particular car revealed a common theme:  those of that certain age (we're talking mid-50s +) learned to drive in them, they were remarkedly comfortable and they possessed TARDIS-like qualities, being able to comfortably accommodate dad, mum and at least two other siblings in spacious comfort.

UMPH absolutely loves this magnificent Valiant AP6.  Whilst the body was ostensibly standard - and finished to a really high standard, it must be said - it's clear that a lot of work has been done to the car, including:  triple side draught carbies, extractors, a custom alloy radiator and rocker cover, cross-drilled and slotted four-wheel disc brakes, Superlite style wheels with low-profile tyres, and a sports-styled interior.  And that's just what could be seen upon a cursory inspection!  

Unfortunately, UMPH wasn't able to hear the full story surrounding this very, very vintage motorcycle.  However, he does recall that local ABC radio presenter Chris Wisby may have interviewed a Tasmanian man who rode a machine like this from Europe to Australia, via the Middle East.  If you know anything about this bike, or the story that surrounds it, please leave a comment at the end of this 'blog.

Here's a reminder to wrap things up:  Saturday the 20th of Junuary, 2018, is the Post Vintage Car Club's annual South East Rally (that's next Saturday).  Entry is open to pre-1998 vehicles.  The event begins at the Wrest Point Casino, with registration from 8:00 am, the briefing at 9:00 am and the rally itself kicking off at 9:30 am.  

For further details / information, please go to: or phone either the rally director on 0400 080 905 or the club's general number, 0407 052 063.      



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