Shannons Historic Demonstration at the Australian Grand Prix

The Shannons Historic Demonstration at the Australian Grand Prix had an extremely simple premise – take a whole bunch of rare, priceless and desirable racing cars, and let their owners loose in them around the Grand Prix circuit for fifteen minutes each morning. It was a fantastic opportunity to hear cars on full song that you usually only see on static display, or in photos.

One of the highlights for me was the Ferrari 156/85 F1 turbo that Michele Alboreto drove in the 1985 Formula 1 season.

It struggled to blend in with ordinary traffic.

And it’s crew were all wearing period Ferrari Agip shirts. I love attention to detail like that.

Much love for this Porsche 906. The ultimate sports racing car, something that you could use to win a top tier GT race and then drive back home that night.

All the good parts of a 911, except with the engine in the correct location and a damn sight less weight. What’s not to like?

I really dug the period LeMans style modifications on this E-Type – extra driving lights faired in, yellow highlighted radiator opening, louvered hood and the quintessential Dunlop knock-off wheels.

It was kind of like a more production based version of the D-Type, one of which was also there.

Speechless is, I think, a word that accurately describes this photo.

There were no less than three Ferrari 275GTB’s in the demonstration, one of them a rare 275GTB Competition.

Spot the difference – the top is a 275GTB, the bottom a 275GTB Competition. You can see how the Competition has extra vents behind the rear wheels, hidden boot hinges and  quick fill fuel filler integrated behind the drivers window. It just looks more like the legendary 250GTO.

From the best era of racing cars.

The timeless Maserati 250F.

A rare opportunity to see three Austin Healy 100S’ together – not bad considering just 50 were built. The 100S – ‘S’ for Sebring – was a special aluminium bodied racing version of the 100/4 BN1. It featured an aluminium head and was the first production car to be fitted with disc brakes all around. It had more power than the normal Healey, and weighed 91kg less.

I think I’d be rather more excited than this passenger if I were riding in an Alfa Romeo 8C around the Grand Prix track on race day morning…

A slightly more modern take, but the BMW M1 is still a classic none the less. I know they’re factory but I’m still not quite sure what’s up with those double roundel badges on the back, though.

This car is a very, very good replica of the Jaguar XJ13. The XJ13 was conceived in the mid 60’s as the replacement LeMans racer for the D-Type and featured a mid mounted 5 litre V12 engine. The project never really had full management support, and it was thought that the just released Ford GT40 made the prototype obsolete before it hit the track so the project was cancelled. The only prototype crashed heavily during a promotional activity in 1971, and was completely rebuilt in the mid 70’s. Nobody knows it’s exact value, although it’s rumoured that it’s current owners turned down an $11million offer a few years ago. This replica is exact, down to the most minute details. It’s a very pretty car.

The muscular Ginetta G10. I think it looks a bit like a Triumph TR4 on steroids.

A 1994 TIGA Sports Racer cruising back after a session on the track.

This Australian built Ausca is one of the most finely designed 50’s racing cars I’ve seen. I certainly wouldn’t like to roll one, but I think in this case a roll bar would completely ruin the aesthetic.

The Bugatti Type 37A. I love looking at these Bugatti type 37’s, as you can really see the technological progression through the different models. The 37A still has wire wheels…

…wheras the T37/35B has the then cutting edge alloy wheels.

Stay tuned for our closer look at the historic Group A/ Group C touring car class, coming soon.

 

 

 

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