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Motorclassica 2023 cancelled two weeks out

Melbourne’s biggest classic car event axed without explanation a fortnight before it opens

22 Sep 2023

MOTORCLASSICA, Melbourne’s biggest classic car show, has been cancelled this week just a fortnight ahead of the event’s scheduled opening.


Due to take place at the Royal Exhibition Buildings from October 6 – 8, Motorclassica organisers axed the event without explanation, taking to social media to say simply: “We’d like to confirm that the 2023 edition of the event will not be taking place this year. Thank you all for your support”.


GoAuto reached out to the event’s organisers for comment but have not received a reply.


Last year’s Motorclassica was the first held in three years, owing to COVID-19 related cancellations, and was considered a success by organisers interviewed by GoAuto at the time.


With the assistance of importers including BMW, the 2022 event was one of the largest ever hosted – a feat it had hoped would be improved upon this year.


Speaking to past attendees, and previous winners of Motorclassica this week, GoAuto was told that fractures in planning had been evident from “June or July” with related club members informed the event may be axed by individuals close to the organising committee.


“I heard a couple of months ago from the vice president of our club – who is also attached to nearly one hundred different motoring groups nationally and who helps run Motorclassica – that the main backer of the event said it was not profitable enough and that their appetite to run it again had evaporated,” said a source who wished to remain unnamed.


Motorclassica hosts the Australian International Concours d’Elegance and is considered the country’s premier event for vintage, veteran, and classic cars.


Last year, event organisers told GoAuto that the event’s new format would secure its future while further bolstering the number of attendees purchasing tickets.


Motorclassica event director, Jon Treherne, said the refreshed format aims to reflect upon what the future of the event might be.


“It was about breathing some life back into Motorclassica. The two-year break during COVID-19 gave us time to sit back and reflect on what is the future of Motorclassica,” he said.


“It is a change for us, and it also means a change in audience as well. It’s about those changing passions, and one of the things I quickly saw was that for us to be able to grow and secure a solid future for Motorclassica, we need to follow those trends.


“It is about bringing in more of the modern. Really what I wanted to do was to share the very earliest cars right through to the pinnacle of modern technology but in a format that does not alienate any of our 10-year diehard fans.


“But we bring in the opportunity to attract a new and younger audience into Motorclassica – and that’s really where the changes come from: it’s about giving new meaning to a broader audience.”


Apparently, it was all for nought…


GoAuto will update this article if and when more information comes to hand.


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