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Shepparton Motor Museum enjoys 'spectacular' celebration

Motor enthusiasts came out in force yesterday to celebrate the first birthday of the Shepparton Motor Museum.

JOHN LEWIS February 18, 2013 4:09am

Braedan Meka, 8, Bradon Resul, 13, with a 1965 Ford Mustang owned by Perry Meka.


Shepparton Motor Museum enjoyed a ‘‘spectacular’’ first birthday party yesterday as thousands flocked to view gleaming examples of automotive history on display.

Museum staff and board members were run off their feet directing traffic, taking entry fees and guiding visitors.

In its first year, the not-for-profit museum at Emerald Bank has attracted 15000 visitors.

Many of them appeared to have returned yesterday, with others visiting for the first time.

Museum board chairman Peter Bicknell said the turnout was ‘‘absolutely spectacular’’.

‘‘We had hoped for a good turnout, but this is beyond our wildest dreams,’’ Mr Bicknell said.

He said yesterday’s high visitor numbers would help spread the museum’s reputation as a top tourist destination.

‘‘Everyone who comes will go home and say what a great day they had,’’ he said.

‘‘We want this to become the number one tourist destination in the area.’’

The museum’s regular exhibits of classic cars, motorcycles, trucks and bicycles were boosted by about 250 entries for an outdoor public exhibition.

Entries ranged from a gleaming 1965 Foden truck owned and restored by Frank Latorre of Shepparton East, to a crowd-pulling Shelby Ford GT40 owned by Kialla car repairer Trevor Simkin, and several shining examples of classic motorcycles including a 1948 Sunbeam and a Kawasaki Z900.

‘‘Shepparton has been crying out for this for years,’’ Mr Simkin said.

Inside the museum’s double-storey building people thronged to eyeball penny farthing bicycles, Holdens, Fords and Jaguars from the 1960s and a collection of Harley Davidson motorcycles donated by Shepparton’s Garth Wallace.

Outside, motor racing legend Jim Richards signed posters and held court with enthusiasts.

Mr Bicknell said it was a perfect day.

‘‘The weather is great, this is somewhere to go for $5 and relive the memories and the good times,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s just fantastic.’’

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