A collection of classic cars are set to drive a mini tourism boon in Warrnambool when dozens of Vauxhalls make their way to the city this year.
The Vauxhall Owners' Club of Australia will bring about 50 classic cars - some dating back to the 1920s - to the city in February for its annual week-long rally.
Victorian branch treasurer Ian Cole said the event would inject hundreds of thousands of dollars into the region's economy that has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I wouldn't be surprised if a couple of hundred thousand dollars is spent in Warrnambool by the time it's all finished. You'll be surprised, it'll be a lot of money," he said.
About 100 people have booked out the Figtree Holiday Park for the event which runs from February 25 to March 3, but Mr Cole said many planned to stay longer.
A show'n'shine will be held on Saturday, February 27 at Lake Pertobe to give the community a chance to view the vehicles.
"Warrnambool's a perfect city for it," he said.
Mr Cole said the earliest model Vauxhall planning on coming to event would be a 30-98 which dates back to the 1920s - a car that was regarded by many as the first English sports car.
"In the 1920s, there was great rivalry between Vauxhall and Bentley, so the Vauxhalls looked like those old '20s Bentleys," he said.
"The hero of the day is a Vauxhall called a 30-98 - that's 98 horsepower. In those days they only had brakes on the back."
While that model was made in England, Mr Cole said Holden wwas making bodies for Vauxhalls, and a lot of other cars, in Australia during the 1920s and 1930s.
"They were a popular car and then General Motors then switched across to making Holdens and they stopped bringing Vauxhalls in," he said. Later models were fully imported.
Mr Cole's own Vauxhall is a two-door 1938 Wyvern H-Series Caleche convertible which he purchased in 1938 for $650.
He described it as a "cute little car" that looked like Noddy's car from the Enid Blyton books.
"I've owned it for 41 years and I actually bought it to put my kids in the back when they were four and five," he said.
"It was a one-owner vehicle and I purchased it from the original owner approximately a month after his wife died. He couldn't bare to keep the car."
Mr Cole has since restored the vehicle which has a wooden body. "They're the sort of bodies that Holden made and they put the metal sheet over them, so you wouldn't want anyone to run into it while you were in it," he said.
Organisers are keen for this year's rally to happen after last year's Hahndorf event in South Australia had to be cancelled.
"So many things were cancelled because of COVID-19," Mr Cole said.
"We're worried again but I'm sure it will blow over by then."
While half of those attending the rally are coming from across Victoria, the rest are from interstate.
"You've got people coming over from Perth in old cars. Coming from Queensland in old cars, that's assuming the borders are open," he said.
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