Classics by the Beach, October, 2017

Tasmania has a number of top-notch annual car shows, the Post Vintage Car Club of Tasmania's Picnic at Ross ( and Shannons' Take Your Tops Off breast cancer awareness-booster and fundraiser not least amongst them (  A number of local car clubs and service organisations - Rotary and The Lions, for example - run great events, too, and Club Motori Italia's Parliament lawns display - scheduled this year for Saturday the 28th of October - is always a ripper.  

Twelve months between major events is a long time for classic car junkies.  Fortunately for those of us in the south of the state, there's a more regular fix in the form Classics by the Bay, an informal get-together that occurs on the first Sunday of each month at the middle car park of Sandy Bay's Long Beach. 

Don't let the notion that informality equals second rate; there's nothing ersatz about the cars that gather on and around the central lawn while their owners and onlookers mingle and chat.  Take, for example, Chris E's amazing Pur Sang Type 35 Bugatti replica (; &  

Local enthusiast and owner of several classics - including the magnificent 1937 Riley TT featured in UMPH posts of August, 2015 and, more recently, the Club Motori Italia Lufra hill-climb - Michael C explained that Pur Sang is an Argentinian company that build authentic Bugatti and early Alfa replicas for global export.  He further said that the French Pur Sang, which translates as 'pure blood' in English, was the name of a horse stud next to Ettore Buggatti's home, which UMPH presumes to have been in Alsace, France (part of Germany during Bugatti's lifetime).    

Although this particular car was only built approximately ten years ago, its authenticity and attention to detail is truly amazing.  Pur Sang meticulously manufacture all their cars' components using original materials and techniques, only up-dating or modifying where doing so is required to improve reliability.  

For example, Michael explained the original straight-eight engine block was originally, in effect, two in-line fours, each with its own cam- and crank shafts fitted from either end and joined together, which resulted in structural weakness and failure under stress.  To overcome this, Pur Sang Type 35 straight-eights are cast as a single block with one-piece cams and cranks fitted with shells to reduce vibration and increase durability and reliability.  Not a bad idea, seeing as the car's also fitted with a supercharger!        

Other fascinating features are the distributor and speedometer, both of which are driven by the camshaft, as shown below (speedo on the left, via a belt; distributor directly through the black aperture at the centre of the firewall).  The distributor is accessible on the dash panel, to the left of the steering wheel, allowing the driver to fine tune the engine's advancement and retardation on the go (please see the two images above).  

This wired-bolt system is almost a signature Bugatti feature.

There are a number of other Bugattis featured on this 'blog, photographed during the Bugatti Club Australia's Victoria and Tasmania Tour of 2017.  To see them, please click on the magnifying glass icon and search Bugatti in the top right hand corner of any Upper Middle Petrol Head page.


Of course, there were cars other than the Pur Sang Bugatti, all of them fabulous in their own right!  Please enjoy the following automotive feast!

This is the first time UMPH has seen a Fiat 20V Turbo in Australia.  Its Pininfarina design is very distinctive, featuring bold side-body moldings that flow from in front of and behind the mudguard apertures and match the angles of the car's four-spoke alloy wheels.  Very nice indeed! 

"Don't fool yourself, girl ...

... he's winking at you" (Zappa, F, (1979): Broken Hearts are for Assholes, Sheik Yerbouti, Zappa / CBS International).

There were too many cars to single them all out for special mention.  However, this VE (?) SS Commodore's originality did make it a bit of a stand-out on the day.  Sadly, these earlier examples are few and far between, having often fallen victim to ill-treatment at the hands of less empathetic owners before their true values were appreciated. 

Thank you to all the cars' owners for bringing them down to the bay and putting on such a magnificent display!  Thanks, too, to Michael C for the insight into the Pur Sang.  It would be hard to imagine a better start to the daylight savings season than a day immersed in classic car culture.



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