The Bay to Birdwood is one of the biggest car runs in the state – 1,250 entries this time. It alternates between a run for classic cars (1956 to the late 70’s) and vintage cars (built up till 1955) every other year. This year it was the vintage turn.
I’ll be honest – vintage cars aren’t usually my thing. I’ve traditionally viewed them as a bit of a novelty, and whilst there are certainly some vintage cars that I admire, I’ve not had a lot to do with them in the past.
However I’ve long maintained that true automotive enthusiasts have at least a passing interest in anything with four wheels and an engine, so with this in mind I went down to check out the Bay to Birdwood run. I was expecting rows of old, relatively unexciting vintage cars, and whilst that was certainly the case for a lot of the field, there was a lot more there of interest than I was expecting.
I’d just like to point out, in case anyone takes offence, that I mean no disrespect by declaring my disinterest for older cars. Their are thousands of owners that clearly derive a lot of joy from vintage cars, and I’m also sure that these same owners have little interest in rally cars or 70’s European sports cars, too. But the variety in our hobby is one of the unique attributes that makes it such a rich pastime, and should be celebrated.
I was half expecting to see Dillinger hanging off the running boards of this Packard, brandishing a shotgun.
Old vintage motorbikes are cool without a doubt. It’s probably because at a glance they don’t look terribly different to the old Triumph’s and Ducati’s of the 60’s and 70’s, and I don’t think that motorbikes have really got any better looking since then.
The dedication of this couple was admireable. The weather was a little chilly and rainy, and in these conditions a lot of people of this age wouldn’t even dream of going into the garden let alone drive their vintage car to Birdwood!
Although I still decided that the old sports racer type cars were clearly my favourites. Take this Bugatti for instance, it’s from the days when you could buy a road legal car and take it straight to the track, and have a good shot at winning an international race with it. Can you image doing that today? Probably the only thing that comes remotely close is something like a Radical, but even then it would be a bit of a stretch.
And the best part of the day? It was seeing just how many people turned out to watch the cars go by, everyone smiling and waving and having a great time. It’s always funny how you never seem to meet many car enthusiasts in your normal life, but they all come out of the woodwork for an event like this.
Words and photos by Andrew Coles.
#Alfa Romeo #B2B #Bay to Birdwood #Bugatti #Greenhill road #MG