FROM ambulances to taxis, each of the 200-plus vehicles at this weekend’s FX FJ Holden Nationals boasts its own story.
The cars on show at the four-day festival were all manufactured between 1948 and 1956. Among the most eye-catching is Eddy Tabone’s fully-restored 1953 FX Holden taxi.
Mr Tabone’s FX 48-215 operated as a taxi in the Parramatta area during the 1950s and ’60s.
He restored the vehicle to its original RSL cab colours of sky blue and red.
“It’s definitely an eye catcher,” Mr Tabone said yesterday. “Everyone loves the colours.”
The biennial motoring event has attracted entries from all states and territories, with the exception of the Northern Territory.
Owners began descending on the city on Thursday, taking Bathurst’s streets on a 60-year timewarp.
Official proceedings began yesterday morning with scrutineering at the Bathurst Showground. Vehicles – some of which have been modified to include V6 or V8 engines – were placed into one of eight classes for judging, which will take place today.
The event is held every two years in a different state and is organised by the Australian Early Holden Federation.
This year’s event, hosted by the FX-FJ Club of Australia (Sydney Chapter), is set to be the biggest ever, according to organising committee member Warren Arneil.
Mr Arneil, who is the club plate registrar of the Sydney Chapter, said the decision to hold the event in Bathurst for the first time was influenced by the iconic status of Mount Panorama.
“It’ll be the biggest nationals we’ve ever had, partly because of the venue,” he said. “If you mention Bathurst to any car people in Australia, you know it’s the Mecca.”
Organisers are expecting thousands to turn out to today’s show and shine at Bathurst Showground, from 9am. Entry is by gold coin donation, with the proceeds to go to Telstra Child Flight.
“It will be the best time to see the cars, they’ll be polished up nicely for judging,” Mr Arneil said.
Sydney Chapter president Steve Cooke said two years’ planning had gone into the event, adding owners had put a lot of work into their prized vehicles.
“You’ve got all shapes and sizes here,” he said. “You see all the different accessories people have roped in on their cars.
“Everyone’s got their personal touch and we all appreciate what each person has done.
“But no matter how much you modify them, they still have that shape. Like a woman, they’ve got curves.”