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Show cars and vans add to Leyburn Sprints

Those dusty old caravans that once sat rotting under a thousand backyard mango trees are making a return to fashion in the new Retro Caravan Show Off at the 19th annual Historic Leyburn Sprints on the Darling Downs this weekend.

Organisers are expecting around 30 colourful vintage caravans for the inaugural Show Off tomorrow and Sunday, bringing back memories of simple family holidays in the days before high-rise beach apartments and luxury resorts.

The Show Off and the traditional Shannons Show 'n' Shine on Sunday promise the shiniest attractions will not be confined to the almost-200 historic, classic and performance cars contesting the round-the-houses time trials.

The vintage caravans will be displayed in a reserved area along with many tow vehicles matching the era. A rock 'n' roll theme featuring the John Skye Band and an open-air dance floor will complement the display tomorrow afternoon.

Sprints organising committee president Ann Collins said the Retro Caravan Show Off and Shannons Show 'n' Shine would be colourful additions to the event line-up.

"The vintage caravan movement is strong and growing and we've been delighted at the interest from owners in our first Show Off," Mrs Collins said.

"We hope to see all types, from 60s classics to pre-war models, built in wood, aluminium or fibreglass and frequently decked out with period furnishings, fittings and appliances."

Van owners will pay $10 to enter judging for Best Retro Caravan and Display, Best Retro Caravan and Car Combination and Quirkiest Retro Caravan.

Winners will get cash prizes and all vans will parade around the Sprints track during the Sunday lunchtime break.

Another big turnout is expected for the Show 'n' Shine. Entry is free for car owners with a Sprints ticket. Trophies for winners in 15 classes will be presented on Sunday.

On-track, the Sprints will showcase a huge variety of cars dating from 1934 to 2014. It commemorates the running of the Australian Grand Prix near Leyburn on 18 September 1949 and has become one of the most enduring events of the Australian historic racing calendar.

Camping for spectators and competitors, market and food stalls and the 1863-licensed Royal Hotel near the start-line will add to the attractions of the Sprints weekend.

Adult tickets are $15 per day or $25 for the weekend, on sale at the gate. Competition starts at 8am each day. More information is available at www.leyburnmotorsprints.com.au

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