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Cars are the stars at Motorclassica 2014

Star of last year's Motorclassica and eventual 'Best in Show 2013' award winner, this 1921 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost is indicative of the rare, exotic and collectible cars on display at this year's event.

Motorclassica will play host to some of the most outrageous automotive designs of all time with more than 500 rare, exotic and collectible cars set for this year's event, at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne on 24-26 October.

Lancia's amazing Stratos Stradale, from 1974, will contrast sharply with a classic 1956 Aurelia BT20 GT from the same Italian marque, while direct from Los Angeles will be a genuine 1964 AC Shelby 289 Cobra.

Adding further spice to the mix there'll be a 1932 Delage D8S just returned from the world's premier Concours d'Elegance at Pebble Beach (USA), alongside an incredibly-rare 1924 Stoewer D10 Tourer.

Delivering the 'wow factor' will be a spectacular 1923 Delage/Hispano Suiza which is essentially a melding of two very different cars, to a design with extraordinary coachwork that has to be seen to be believed!

"Every year Motorclassica delivers a fresh batch of amazing cars that either have never been seen before in this country or are very rarely seen here," Event Director Paul Mathers said.

"We strive to deliver something new and different every year, and this year's mix is probably our most eclectic yet ... the only commonality among our exhibits in 2014 is that they are all significant, rare, valuable and desirable."

Described as "the world's best Stratos Stradale", the wild 1974 Lancia coupe's futuristic lines couldn't be more in contrast with the classic design of the 1956 Aurelia BT20 GT, a car with an interesting history.

Originally owned by the famous Campigoglio Racing Team, which numbered Piero Taruffi among its drivers, the Aurelia GT was later campaigned by female racer Izzo Letzia before coming to Australia in the mid-60s, brought here by Malcolm Preston and Charlie Dean of the Repco research department.

Locally the Lancia was fitted with many Australian-made components in its role as a research and development vehicle, and today many of those components and the original Roma license plates are still with the car.

Also boasting racing heritage is the 1964 AC Shelby 289 Cobra which began its competition career at America's famous Riverside Raceway, has raced at two Goodwood Revival meetings in the UK and several times here in Australia.

But its real claim to fame is that it was used in the racing sequences for the famous Herbie VW movie, 'The Love Bug'!

One of the most desirable cars of its day, Motorclassica's 1932 Delage D8S was imported to Australia as a new chassis, before being fitted with a custom body built by Martin & King of Melbourne. Owner Jim Watt then exported the car again later that decade and toured Europe extensively, before returning the car to these shores at the end of World War II.

Taken off the road in the '60s for a restoration that never happened, the current owner acquired the D8S as a "basket case" in 2006 and set about a full three-year restoration which included a replica of a one-off Delage body from 1931.

Before being much admired at the recent Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, the Delage D8S also competed in the Classic Tour which took cars 2800 kilometres from Seattle to Monterey.

The 1924 Stoewer D1O is the only known survivor in the world of an original production run of just 50.

Believed to have been displayed at the 1924 Melbourne Motor Show, in the very same Royal Exhibition Building venue, the Stoewer wears bodywork from Waring Bros Coachbuilders and was rediscovered on a farm near Lismore, New South Wales in the late '50s.

After years in storage, the Stoewer had its engine rebuilt and was recommissioned just two years ago.

A mecca for automotive enthusiasts, Motorclassica is Australia's premier annual exhibition of unique, collectable and historically significant cars and motorcycles, together with special displays of automotive memorabilia, models and other collectibles.

This year, visitors will also be able to see the latest models from iconic automotive heritage brands Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Lotus, Porsche, Caterham and Morgan and motorcycles from Benelli, BMW, Indian, MV Augusta and Triumph.

The 2014 Motorclassica will also feature the Australian International Concours d'Elegance, which will once again be contested by an array of the world's most fabulous, important, significant and valuable cars and motorcycles.

Milestones being celebrated this year at Motorclassica are 100 years of iconic Italian manufacturer Maserati and 50 years of the Ford Mustang with some exciting exhibits, plus a display dedicated to famed Australian motorsport specials, with a number of unique racing vehicles built here in the '30s and '50s.

Motorclassica will also pay homage to Donald Campbell's dual World Land Speed and Water Speed records set right here in Australia in Bluebird CN7 and K7 with a specially curated display - '50 Years of Speed presented by Longines' - that draws on unique items from collections from across the globe.

Donald's daughter Gina, a world water speed record holder in her own right, is the Ambassador for 2014 Motorclassica.

Another highlight will be the annual Motorclassica Auction on Saturday night 25 October, which last year set two world record prices.

Conducted by Theodore Bruce, the Auction is again generating much interest among the global collector car community with several very special consignments to go under the hammer.

Tour Classica, the traditional public prelude to Motorclassica, will 'roar' into life this year at the Melbourne Zoo on the morning of Thursday 23 October, with a public parade of significant cars and motorcycles through the streets to the Royal Exhibition Building.

Along with almost 400 cars outside across the weekend in the Lorbek Luxury Cars-supported 'Club Sandwich' car and motorcycle club displays, the 2014 Motorclassica will see more than 150 cars on show inside the main building.

Additional information on the 2014 Motorclassica, to be held at Melbourne's Royal Exhibition Building from 24-26 October, is available at www.motorclassica.com.au

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