The Manilla Vintage Machinery Rally will draw hundreds of hobbists

A FINE VINTAGE: Manilla Vintage Machinery Club president Tim Scanlon with one of the old Australian Holden's from his collection. The Manilla Machinery Rally is on this weekend, with hobbyists travelling from all over the country. Photo: Peter Hardin
A FINE VINTAGE: Manilla Vintage Machinery Club president Tim Scanlon with one of the old Australian Holden's from his collection. The Manilla Machinery Rally is on this weekend, with hobbyists travelling from all over the country. Photo: Peter Hardin

SITTING in his car to avoid the noise, Manilla Vintage Machinery Group president Tim Scanlon gets stuck in about the 29th annual rally.

“It’s a bug, it’s a curse, once you start you just keep going,” he said.

“I’ve been in it for about 25 years now but a lot of other people have been doing it longer.”

Featuring a Massey Harris Tractor with the classic cherry red body and yellow tyres, this year, the show celebrates the makers’ centenary anniversary.

Tractor collecting can be a seriously expensive hobby, and one hundred years on, the tractor remains a major seller around the world.

At the rally in Manilla, collectors from all corners will bring cars, tractors, trucks, stationary engines and vintage machinery.

The stationary engines are pretty popular with the buyers and the sticky-beakers, Mr Scanlon said.

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“They’re cheap, you can do ‘em up and it doesn’t take a lot of money – plus you can house them unlike when you do a vehicle up and people enjoy it,” he said.

A Holden man himself, Mr Scanlon has collected a number of old classics, much to his wife’s dismay.

“I wouldn’t go anywhere else but Holdens, they’re Australian made, they’ve been around for a long time up until last year when they built the last Commodore in Australia – it’s a pity that,” he said.

“I’ve got a couple of Holden cars but they aren’t up to club plates yet.”

The rally raises much-needed funds for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter, last year the event donated more than $1500 to the chopper.

“They do such a great job, one of our members wife’s had to be transported to Sydney with the helicopter and he said you could not fault them and that’s why we donate,” Mr Scanlon said.

Vintage machinery groups have seen a resurgence in small towns across Australia, after the state government declared all historic car owners [more than 30 years old] that want to take them on the roads must be a member of a recognised vintage car club.

Numbers had waned before the change, but Mr Scanlon said the club has more than 200 members now.

“It keeps growing, probably one good thing is all the guys with vintage cars have to be a member now to be in the registration system, that’s a really good thing the government brought in,” he said.

RESTORATION RUMBLE: Manilla Vintage Machinery Club president Tim Scanlon with a stationary engine. Photo: Peter Hardin

RESTORATION RUMBLE: Manilla Vintage Machinery Club president Tim Scanlon with a stationary engine. Photo: Peter Hardin

But, with more members the cars aren’t getting any cheaper.

“You pay a lot of money for good cars today, they’re getting more expensive,” Mr Scanlon said.

“There’s auction sales that come up, people deal in cars – or just private sellers if you can afford them.

“I heard there was a GTH0 a guy sold for half a million dollars.”

The event brings hundreds of tourists into town, and Mr Scanlon said the local motel is already booked up.

With camel rides and jumping castles for the kids, a swap meet and free camping for exhibitors, there’s something for everyone.

The Manilla Vintage Machinery Rally is expected to draw more than 50 vintage cars and is on June 9 and 10 at the Manilla Showground.

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