CAMPERDOWN is set to be the new home of a custom car and bike show that is tipped to attract more than 500 cars and 250 motorbikes and provide an economic boon for the town.
After 16 years of staging the Colac Custom Car and Bike Show, the organising committee has severed ties with its Colac roots and is already in the planning stages to develop a replacement festival in Camperdown.
Committee president Andrew Searle said the group planned to stage two events in Camperdown, one in conjunction with the Rock the Clock festival scheduled for October and a stand-alone custom car and bike show in January.
Mr Searle said the January event would run over three days and include a movie night in the Theatre Royal on the Friday, a show and shine (including up to 30 trade stalls on the Saturday) followed by a twilight ‘run’ and finish with a day cruise on the Sunday.
“We’re really excited about staging the event in Camperdown,” he said.
“It’s a beautiful town with its avenue of elms and historic buildings and lends itself beautifully to an event like ours.
“The Rock the Clock festival is also a great opportunity to display the cars, many of which will be from that era of the 50s and 60s.”
Hot rods, standard original classics, vintage and veteran cars (dating as far back as 1915), sprintcars, drag cars and modified GTs, Toranas and Mustangs from the 70s and 80s will also feature.
Mr Searle said the committee had agreed to relocate the event to Camperdown after ongoing difficulties with the Colac-Otway Shire.
“For many years now the committee has found the ever-increasing red tape around securing a permit for the event to be held to be a massive mountain to climb,” he said.
“This year the committee has come to an impasse with the Colac-Otway Shire and can see no way to continue with the planning for the 2018 year.
“As such and with much regret the Colac Custom Car and Bike Committee has decided it will not be staging an event in Colac in 2018.”
Mr Searle said the show had run successfully in Colac since 2001 and had become a significant fundraiser for many local and national charities, including The Long Road Appeal, Colac Rotary, Colac Fire Brigade, Camp Quality and many others.
He said the custom car and bike show is estimated to have helped raise in excess of $150,000 for the various causes.
“We’ve already been in talks with the Corangamite Shire and they have given us excellent advice and support,” he said.
“We’re also keen to work with local community organisations like the Lions and Rotary clubs, local businesses and various other groups to bring them on board.
“We want the whole town to benefit from the show and for it to become a valued addition to Camperdown.”
Corangamite Shire mayor Jo Beard said it was exciting for not just Camperdown but the whole shire to have a successful car and bike show coming to town.
“We’re really looking forward to this event and what it can bring to the area,” she said.
“There are so many people that this kind of event appeals to, so we’re really excited to give our support to it.
“We’ve already met with the organisers and they are a fantastic group of people with a great vision for the event.”
Shire economic development and tourism manager Michael Emerson said an event of the planned car and bike show’s scale will be a significant boost for the shire’s economy.
“We’re delighted to welcome the event to Camperdown,” he said.
“It will help promote our towns as places for people to live and visit into the future as well.”
Mr Searle said the show was staged by a group of about 10 car enthusiasts.
“We’re not a club as such – we just get together to stage a couple of events each year because we love our cars and love to see them all displayed in one place for people to appreciate and enjoy,” he said.
“However, we are already working with the Colac Collectible Car Club which is helping to stage a car show in Camperdown as part of the upcoming Rock the Clock festival.
“That’s something we’re really excited to be part of – rock ‘n’ roll and collectible cars are a perfect mix.
“We’re excited to become a valued part of the Camperdown community and really look forward to working with the different groups and staging a really great event.”