A new venue, a new layout. The new venue, the beautiful Pialligo Estate, was a fantastic success. The new layout – parking cars according to their types – while looking attractive, produced some difficulties.
The Mercedes-Benz Club Concours and German Auto Day at Pialligo Estate was such a success, including for the owners of the estate, that we are hoping it will be able to be held there on future occasions. It was certainly great to get away from the rigidities of the National Capital Authority and the ridiculous costs charged by the ACT Government to hold the day on land they control in the centre of Canberra.
At the Concours and Show and Shine we had a world record number of cars for our club in Canberra – overall 80 cars turned up. The bulk of vehicles, though, were entered in the Display category. It was evident that much effort had been put into preparing cars for the day, particularly those entered into the categories that were judged. Probably an unsociable amount of time was spent with polishing rags and other items during which partners and families were ignored. It looked like some had even polished the insides of the wheel nuts (am I
kidding? – maybe!). Others brought cars along in an everyday state – also completely acceptable. One ML series vehicle looked as if it had just returned from an outback dirt-road trip – showing that we don’t only use our Mercedes-Benz cars as show ponies. The issue with the layout trialled this year was that our judges found it difficult to determine which cars were to be judged and which ones not. There are always lessons to be learned, so this will be reviewed and changed.
Also for next year, we will do everything we can to encourage more owners to enter their cars in the categories to be judged (Concours and Road Divisions). It does require some work on the part of the owners of the cars, but it leads to robust competition and enhanced interest on the day, and winners not only receive the accolades of other club members but are also awarded an attractive trophy. There were 14 cars entered in the Concours Division and a further 12 in the Road Division, so only a limited number of the 44 trophies we had at our disposal were awarded. The results were published in the October/November issue of StarACT.
As an important note, we are looking for a new Concours Director for 2018. Planning for the Concours will commence early in the New Year. If you are interested, please contact me.
Finally, I would like to thank everyone who helped make the Concours a success, too many to mention everyone by name, but I would like to single out the judges who did an especially good job – Richard Jackson (Chief Judge), Sonia Goodwin, David Williams, Ray Stowers, Brooke Thorpe, Col McPherson and Patrick Nolan. Additionally, a huge thank you to Rowan Brennan of Pialligo Estate and to Charlie Costello, the Estate’s General Manager. It was with great sadness that I read about the terrible fire that Pialligo Estate’s main restaurant suffered about a month after our Concours. I wish them much courage and energy as they regroup and rebuild.
Tony von Brandenstein
Concours Director, October 2017