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Classic Drives Australia

For many, cars are not merely a way of getting from A to B. In particular where classic cars are concerned they are part of a dream, an experience, or a way of life.

So we’re going to look at creating those dreams – you’ve got your classic car, where’s the best place to drive it?

Even if you’re not yet the owner of a classic there’s an experience to be had, with bespoke rentals a great way of getting behind the wheel of something super-cool.

In this edition we’re off to the other side of the world – the huge expanse that is Australia.

And if we inspire you to start looking for one of your own, check out our for sale section.


Where to go

OK, so it’s a bit of a stretch, Oz, but we reckon it’s worth it in an effort to find a lesser-known Classic Drive. Australia is a vast, vast country. There are roads you can drive that are straight for hundreds of miles.

It has deserts, coasts and bush, as our Aussie cousins say. For a bit of everything, the Great Ocean Road is the drive to take.

It takes in swathes of often-deserted beaches, pretty villages and natural rock formations – not to mention the Otway Ranges just a little inland; a rainforest-like national park that encompasses all sorts of vegetation.

The generally accepted route is to start at Torquay in the state of Victoria and enjoy the route’s 150 miles of stunning scenery along the B100 road down to Warrnambool.


What to take

You might not think that Australia is all that famous for its cars. And you’d be pretty much right.

However, there are plenty of Aussie-built motors, even if they carry a famous name from another part of the world, that will sort your experience.

The Holden Monaro, originally produced between 1968 and 1977 (though I was revived in name between 2001 and 2006, sold as a Vauxhall in the UK) is a cracker.

Named after the Monaro region in New South Wales, it was a two-door pillarless hardtop coupe available in three models. Think Australian muscle car.

Similarly, the Ford Falcon GT was produced by Ford Australia from 1967 to 1976 and was the performance version of the range.

It’s got pedigree and is linked with the evolution of the Australian muscle car industry and motor racing. Of course, while meaty classic coupes are all well and good, who can resist a good old fashioned Ute?

You’ll have heard the word, of course, but not everybody might know that it is sort for ‘utility’, with a cargo area behind a passenger cab. A Ute can come in many variations – they’ve been made by Holden, Ford, Chrysler, Chevrolet and, more recently, firms like Nissan and Toyota.

What to see

There’s plenty to stop off and see on the Great Ocean Road. For drivers the winding 25-mile stretch down to Apollo Bay is a big highlight – some real driving road with the backdrop to match.

Then there’s the aforementioned Otway Ranges. You’ll find rainforest scenery with a host of flora and fauna and giant tree ferns – all set against dramatic coastal views.

There are high waterfalls, narrow valleys and secluded beaches to boot. Diversions to the 1848 Cape Otway Lighthouse and the Melba State Park – also famous for dense rainforest – are also recommended.

The best section for the marriage of classic car and natural beauty has to be the Port Campbell National Park, where rock pillars standing up to 200ft high can be seen. Dramatic stuff.


How to get there

So this one’s most likely going to be classic rental, unless you’re super-rich and can afford to fly your own car to the other side of the world.

Fly yourself to Melbourne and then take the Princes Freeway to Torquay to start the Great Ocean Road. When you’ve completed the 150-miles, you can either turn around and retrace it, or head up the Princes Highway for a swift return to Melbourne.

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