Ballarat Mechanica brings Hot Rod heaven to city

EIGHTY awesome hot rods, customs and classics, all under the one roof on Fathers' Day.

You'd have to go to Melbourne, right?

Wrong.

Ballarat will have its own indoor custom car show with the city's first Mechanica, on Saturday and Sunday at the Ballarat Exhibition Centre in Wendouree.

More Ballarat car stories and reviews here.

The Ballarat-based Flukes Car Club started Mechanica as an outdoor show, hosting the event in Camperdown twice and on the other side of Melbourne once.

However the club decided to aim even higher by creating something special in its home town.

"We're Ballarat guys," Anthony Darwin said. "We're a Ballarat-based club so it made sense to have it here.

"We've got plenty of local cars but we've got cars coming from Melbourne and all over the place. The support from a lot of clubs and owners has been really good. By three weeks ago we were already full.

"We believe this will be the biggest indoor car show Ballarat has ever seen."

While run by Flukes, the show will also feature cars from the Ballarat Road Rodders, the Early Holden Car Club, Daybreakers and the Customline Club of Victoria.

It means the line-up will include a broad range of machines from different eras, including 30s and 40s based rods, customs and classics from the 50s and 60s, and muscle cars from the 70s and 80s.

Mr Darwin will have his 1965 Pontiac GTO there, and his brother David a 1957 Chevrolet Belair, among the hot rods like Ken Clarke's 1929 Ford Roadster.

It means Mechanica should have a very broad appeal.

"It's for car lovers in general," he said.

"We have no specific theme because it's our first (indoor) show. There are restored cars, modified cars, a bit of everything."

The expansive space within the Ballarat Exhibition Centre has enabled organisers to think big.

Apart from four score cars under the roof, there will also be 10 motorcycles, along with about 20 trade stands.

"I came here with my girlfriend Jo for an antique show," Mr Darwin said.

"The moment I walked in I thought it would make a great venue for a car show."

Despite the appeal of an indoor show the highlights won't be limited to what is under the roof, according to Andrew Hodge, who will bring his 1934 Ford Tudor hot rod along to Mechanica.

"It is a show but it's also a bit of a get-together," he said. "There could be a hundred or more cars outside. The show outside will be just as good as the one inside."

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