An Australian made, owned and restored Holden Monaro GTS made history today by winning the Australian International Concours d’Elegance at the 2016 Motorclassica in Melbourne.
It is the first time that an Australian-made car has won a globally-recognised Concours d’Elegance event, and the first locally manufactured winner in the seven year history of the Motorclassica event.
Owned by Victorian Terry Smart, the fabulous 1969 Holden Monaro GTS won Motorclassica’s ‘Best of Show’ accolade to win the premier Australian International Concours d’Elegance title, along with the ‘Restoration of the Year’ trophy for its restorers, Recreation Automotive.
Smart’s recently-restored Monaro GTS scored a perfect 100 points from the hugely-experienced Concours d’Elegance judging panel, which described the restoration as “perfect” and “faultless”.
The white Monaro GTS beat a field of 85 cars and motorcycles to take the title of ‘Best in Show’.
Previous winners have included a Ferrari 275 Lusso (2015), Aston Martin DB2 (2014), Rolls Royce Silver Ghost (2013), Bentley R Continental (2012), Bentley Speed 6 (2011) and pre-war Daimler Double 6 limousine (2010).
“For a Holden of any type to win an International Concours event is certainly unexpected but this particular example is a world-class restoration,” Motorclassica Event Director Paul Mathers said.
“Without question Motorclassica is the southern hemisphere’s most hotly-contested Concours d’Elegance attracting the highest quality cars and motorcycles from around Australia and often the world.
“In terms of quality, Terry’s Monaro GTS, valued in the vicinity of $300,000, is literally faultless and as such a deserving winner.
“It’s also an exciting decision indicating that locally-designed cars can be competitive at the same level as the world’s great marques.”
Other winners at Motorclassica 2016 reflected the global nature of Concours competition.
Richard Knight’s 1923 Rolls Royce 40/50 Silver Ghost won ‘Vintage & Veteran’, Ken King’s 1931 Rolls Royce Phantom II won ‘Pre-War Classic UK & Euro’, Paul Capel’s 1936 Auburn 852 won ‘Pre-War Classic USA’, Tony Coates’ 1956 Alfa Romeo 1900 C Super Sprint won ‘Post-War Classic Closed’, Sam Sofi’s 1959 Mercedes Benz 190SL won ‘Post-War Classic Open’, Theo Dimopoulos’ 1961 Volkswagen Micro Bus Deluxe 23 Window won ‘Modern Classic UK & Euro’ and Joe Caruana’s 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 won ‘Modern Classic Aust-USA-Japan’.
‘Modern Classic SP & Performance Under 3 Litre’ went to the 1971 Dino 246 of Geoffrey Corah, ‘Modern Classic SP & Performance Over 3 Litre’ went to Phillip Allen’s Ferrari 512BB, while the ‘Preservation’ class went to Phillip Hilliard’s 1935 Rolls Royce 20/25.
Among the motorcycles, Matt Willis won the ‘Pre-War’ class with his 1938 Indian Chief and Jon Munn the ‘Post-War’ class with his 1965 BSA Lightning Clubman.
Motorclassica this year celebrated a number of automotive milestones, with special Concours classes awarded to reflect those.
‘130 years of Mercedes Benz’ was won by the 1955 Gullwing of Lindsay Fox, ‘110 years of Rolls Royce’ by the 1923 40/50 Silver Ghost of Richard Knight, ‘100 years of BMW’ by the 1997 840Ci M-tech of Robert Pavlov, ’90 years of Touring Superleggera’ by the 1956 Alfa Romeo 1900 C Super Sprint of Tony Coates and ’90 years of Ducati’ by the 1968 350/250 Desmo Twin of Paul Cowan.
“This year’s Motorclassica has certainly unveiled a diverse list of worthy winners which speaks to the depth of Australia’s historic motoring community. Each year is a genuine surprise and we already look forward to what 2017 will hold,” Paul Mathers said.