Feature Mark Walker September 9, 2022 (Comments off) (118)

Journey to a treasure trove

Here on The Race Torque, we’ve recently taken in a number of motoring museums around the country.

The list includes Charlie’s Auto Museum, Ash’s Speedway Museum, the National Motor Racing Museum, the National Motor Museum, the Qantas 1934 Hangar and the Trafalgar Holden Museum.

All of them have their own hidden gems and quirks, and The Motorist Vintage Motoring Museum is no different.

It’s definitely not the biggest showcase you will travel to, but the actual journey there is a massive part of its attraction.

Located in the main street of Gembrook, a town on the eastern fringe of the Dandenong Ranges, the roads in the local area, extending back to Melbourne in the south and west, and north to the Yarra Valley are absolutely top-notch.

They are favourites within the TRT team, who have been known to frequent the area, plus we know for a fact that some leading car journos have the tour through Gembrook as a part of their standard road test route, which says a bit about the quality of bends in the local area, and the general lack of traffic that they carry.

Housed in an original country garage from the 1950s (which replaced the original wooden building from the 1920s that burnt down), one of the very cool things is that many of the items on display are available for purchase, which extends to the entry area, which has recently been converted into a pop-up shop for a wide variety of motoring books, magazines, manuals and other pieces of interest.

We’ve been told that it is a temporary situation, and with the collection destined for eBay, there is some value in getting along before the best bits get picked up by eagle-eyed collectors.

Inside, there are a number of machines and displays with some cool tales to tell.

Take for instance the 1925 Studebaker stretch limo, believed to be the only one of its type completed with a brass body.

Tipping the scales at nearly three tons and fitted with only rear brakes, long-range predictive decelerating is a must for its pilot!

An oddity is a 1991 London Taxi, although not in the familiar black scheme, with the displayed example presented in its original burgundy hues.

There’s a classic 1934 Federal Bus out of the USA, a 1936 Rolls Royce 20/25HP, dating to a time when the factory produced the chassis (which period retailed for £1,050), with the bodies constructed by a variety of coachworks from around the world, plus a 1967 BMW R50 motorcycle.

Many of the display items are continual works in progress, such as the 1951 Daimler DB18, a project car that is being revived from a rather incomplete condition.

As we said, it’s not a massive display, but it’s definitely worth a gander, with its location directly across from the Puffing Billy terminus another quality reason to sneak this onto the itinerary of a family day out.

The Motorist is open anytime by appointment, further details are available at themotorist.com.au.

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