IF YOU ever needed proof that the Aussie show car scene is thriving, you need only look at the hugely successful events put on by Elvis Barbieri and the team at Showcars Melbourne. In 2011 Elvis realised that there was a gap in the market for a well-organised, family-friendly show that he and his friends could go to. So he started one.
“I originally started the show because I had a lot of friends that wanted to show off their cars in a safe and controlled environment,” he explained.
“The event was such a success that it has become an annual show, and it has just grown beyond belief.”
The annual Showcars Melbourne Showdown was first held in Altona North, but has now moved to the Moonee Valley Racing Club, as the old venue was simply no longer big enough.
Now in its sixth year, the 2017 event saw over 500 cars roll into the racecourse. The indoor section was filled to the brim with some of Australia’s winningest show cars, while the outdoor area showed everything from Aussie muscle and concours-condition classics to bespoke hot rods and custom motorcycles.
There was no shortage of familiar faces, with Rhys Christou’s menacing XR Falcon (SM, Apr ’16) drawing a constant crowd in the inner pavilion, and other legendary builds such as the Boyd Coddington-built Vern Luce ’33 Ford coupe and Lou Ackovski’s TOXIC Q HQ Holden (SM, Oct ’14) on display.
“It gets better and better every year,” event MC Gian Blundo said. “The reason why it has grown like this is because of Elvis’s passion. He’s in the industry and he knows everyone. He really does live for the cars.”
Elvis and his team are already looking forward to the next Showdown event in 2018, and are planning for an even bigger turnout. In the meantime, Showcars Melbourne is hosting a Father’s Day event later this year, which will be held on the picturesque St Kilda foreshore. We’ll be there! s