The Sporting Car Club’s 101 Years of Motoring Display

The Sporting Car Club of SA is one of the oldest motoring clubs in the world, and with over 1600 members it’s the largest in Australia. But what makes the Sporting Car Club great is its depth, and with dedicated sections of members devoted to all manners of motoring ranging from vintage, through classic, racing and modern, the Sporting Car Club has most of the motoring bases covered.

So the idea behind the 101 Years of Motoring display was to get the whole club together and put on a show like no other. And the venue? Probably the best you could pick for a show of this size – the Torrens Parade Ground in the heart of the Adelaide CBD.

And I guess the weather probably enhanced the experience somewhat. It was an absolutely stunning 23deg day, and the bright sunshine reminded us that summer is only just around the corner.

There’s actually a lot of really rare metal hiding in the sheds of Adelaide, and even though you hardly ever see these cars, chances are the owners are members of the Sporting Car Club. That’s how they get things like one of the few RHD BMW M1’s in the world at their shows.

Check the uber rare BMW Motorsport cam cover, and those extractors! This M1 was delivered new to an owner in Sydney, who ordered it from the factory in RHD. M1’s were only ever made LHD, and there was some confusion when it arrived in Sydney as a LHD car. I can only imagine what sort of argument ensued, as the car was then sent back to BMW in Germany where it was converted to RHD by the factory, before being sent back for delivery in Sydney. 

The M1 was conceived in the late 70’s by BMW in collaboration with Lamborghini as a car to go Group 4 Sports Car racing with. In order to make sufficient numbers to meet homologation BMW used the M1 in the one make M1 Procar race series, which followed Formula 1 as a support category and was won by Niki Lauda in 1979 and Nelson Piquet in 1980. Just 456 M1’s were built, and it’s interesting to see the Italian touches to the car that are no doubt a result of Lamborghini’s involvement in the program – the Guigiaro styled bodywork, the Magneti Marelli ignition and the Campagnolo wheels.

  The variety was quite astounding. At what other show would you see a March open wheeler on display next to a classic Bentley? Two cars of the same era, but very different purposes.

The show made good use of the drill hall, with selected cars on display indoors. This mint BMW E9 3.0 CSL (photographed recently at Adelaide Motors) was parked next to a new BMW 6 series Gran Coupe. I think BMW have really got their styling back on track in recent times, and whilst I wasn’t really a fan of the Bangle era BMW’s, the current models are stunning. The Gran Coupe stopped me in my tracks, and I’ll be visiting Adelaide Motors soon to take a closer look.

Next in the lineup was this white AMG SLS.

And rounding out the modern’s was W.O’s finest, a new Continental GTC Convertible.

Ian Brock has been racing this Elfin Streamliner for some time – his racing number is his age. I first remember watching him race when he was number 78.

But arguably more impressive than anything else in the hall was this Jaguar pigeon pair – C and D Type replica’s. But they were more than just replica’s, they were impressive in their own right.

The black paint on the D Type looked four feet deep. Michael Katsikitis, eat your heart out. It would take a photographer far more brilliant than I to even begin to convey the quality of this paintwork.

I’ve seen this Aston Martin DBR2 before, but the realisation came to me that day that this is my favourite car in Adelaide. It has just the right combination of classic 50/60’s looks, race pedigree, road drivability, light weight, an old school roar and big power to deliver modern speed. I’d love to do a full story on this car.

Although when you think about it, this Sprite follows the exact same path as the DBR2, and probably delivers 80% of the excitement in a much more attainable package. And hey, they raced Sprite’s at Le Mans too, right?

This Polo GTI was super clean, and those OZ Racing rims really set it off like nothing else would.

Bonus points for the politically incorrect bear on the back window, too.

And another shot of the wheels, well, just because.

Super wide rubber on the back of this Lola F5000. The noise from the giant V8 drowned the show out when they fired it up, and I really couldn’t imagine driving something like this. It’s pretty much just a race prepared big block strapped to the back of a bathtub. The driver sits in this bathtub, and is enveloped by a large fuel tank. Does this sound like a good idea? No, it does not.

Next to it was its smaller brother, the Lola T204 Formula Ford from the mid 70’s. Unlike the F5000, I could really imagine having a go in a Ford. In a recent article, Road & Track journalist Peter Egan said “No street car I’ve driven, no matter how expensive or exotic, slithers through a corner with the same sense of control and speed as an ordinary, sub-$25,000 used Formula Ford. The driving experience simply doesn’t get a lot better”.

Yay for the 70’s!

There were two Citroen 2CV’s in attendance, one a Dolly model, blasting French pop music out of its rolled back fabric roof.

This roughly translates to ‘this isn’t a car, it’s a lifestyle’.

Tom Gilbert from Adelaide Hills Toyota had his 86 out, looking brilliant in gunmetal. I think this is my favourite colour for an 86, and it’s nicely set off by the set of Work CR Kai’s Tom is running on it. Parked next to an MX5, it caused me to think – has the 86 stolen the MX5’s mantle as the ultimate bargain drivers’ car?

Speaking of drivers cars, it’s been a while since I’ve seen a stock S2000 in such good condition. I think good, clean S2000’s are a surefire future classic.

You can’t beat drag stance…

… or headlight wiper brushes, both very cool for entirely different reasons.

Mark my words – in 30 years time, we’ll all be making replica Aeromil Pacific windscreen banners and putting them on our ‘period’ modified old cars. Why? It’s the windscreen banner from the last ever Classic Adelaide rally.

I feel ashamed to admit it, but the car that was easily the most talked about by everyone I met was this VN Commodore police car, equipped with the police spec 5.0 Holden V8 and auto trans. Just think about it though, when was the last time you saw police pack wheels actually fitted to a police car? It was complete with period Bridgestone RE92’s, too.

And it only had 705km on the clock!

But the truly remarkable thing is that from exact Ecurie Ecosse D-Type replica’s…

…to rows and rows of more common classic’s….

… all of these cars are from just the one club. A pretty incredible show, really.

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  1. Alvin Chua October 23, 2012 Reply

    There is actually another RHD M1 - White in colour - was part of an Adelaide collection together with a Polaris Silver 2002 Turbo (which is still in Adelaide and is almost completely restored) until a couple of years ago and now resides in Melbourne!

    • Andrew Coles October 23, 2012 Reply

      Thanks Alvin, I had no idea. Was that one converted by the factory, or an after market? How many M1's do you think are in Australia?

      • Alvin Chua October 24, 2012 Reply
        photos of both on there and from the discussion - the white one was converted in UK!

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