The Concours Run 2023 – Summary

Last year I did a road trip in classic Mercedes to the National Rally in Adelaide.   The friends I went with all agreed that we wanted to do it again this year, and in many ways the road trip was better than the actual event.   This year without a National Rally, we picked the MBCV Concours in Melbourne as our anchor event.  We dubbed our trip The Concours Run 2023.

As with last year, the drive was an integral part of the whole experience.   It wasn’t just about getting there, it was about the journey.   Great roads, camaraderie with friends, adventures and seeing this beautiful country of ours.   None of that would be possible on the motorway.

This wasn’t just a drive, it was an an adventure in our classics, so all the cars on the drive had to be a model that was eligible for classic rego.   This was not a trip for modern cars.    We capped it at 10 cars to make it manageable and planned a route.

The route

A full summary of our route is available here.    Our plan was to take the alpine routes to Melbourne, especially the Great Alpine Road.   From there, we would enter Melbourne for the MBCV tech day on Saturday, and Concours on Sunday.   Then, we would take the inland route back home, going through towns like Parkes.

The Concours Run 2023 would be a little under 3,000km and about 5 days.

The cars

A full description of all the cars is available here.    They were all classic Mercedes ranging from 1971 to 1994.    All the cars made it back under their own power, although I lost an alternator on the last day.

The great thing about classics is that you can often limp them home.    Not the case in a modern.   Taking the cars on such a run had them running better and better, and everyone on the drive had a better appreciation of their cars capabilities by the end.   These are seriously capable cars and do not need to be babied.

To get my car ready for the trip, I had the transmission rebuilt, replaced the drag link and had an alignment done, replaced the front and rear speakers and did a flush of the self leveling rear suspension.

In my 560SEC, I did 2932km, using 356l at a cost of $792.   I was probably about middle of the pack when it came to fuel usage.

The concours run

Getting there

Getting to Melbourne took two days.    On the first day, we all met in Mt Victoria, where we took the excellent road down to Goulburn.   From there, we called in at MB Spares and Service for a workshop tour and lunch.    After lunch we headed for Tumut via Cooma.   There were some excellent roads especially in the Mt Victoria to Goulburn section and the Cooma to Tumut section.    A full description of day 1 is available here.

The second day had some of the best driving roads on the trip.   We started in Tumut and headed for Corryong, which had lovely scenery.   After a break in Corryong the next stop was Myrtleford, which was one of the best driving roads of the day.

After Myrtleford, we had the climb up over Mt Hotham which was an amazing experience.   From there we were back on excellent driving roads again, going via Omeo to Bairnsdale.   Finally we took a nice back road to our final destination in Traralgon.    A full description of day 2 is available here.

MBCV Garage Day

Day 3 was the MBCV Garage Day.   The Garage day was held at the excellent MBCV club rooms.  All our members had club room envy.   The day was really good, there was a short theory section followed by digging into getting a W124 260E running again.      It was a lot of fun to do this and get to know some of the MBCV members.

After the Garage day was a dinner with the MBCV crew, and we found time to give our cars a quick wash between those events.   A full description of day 3 is available here.

The concours run

MBCV Concours

Day four was the big event.   The MBCV Concours was really well run, with over 180 well presented cars.   This was not only more cars than we normally see in Sydney, but they were better presented overall.   I’ve wanted to attend this event for years, and it didn’t disappoint.

The MBCV concours also provided the opportunity to meet a few people I have been corresponding with on the internet for years.    A full description of the MBCV concours is available here.   I could have stayed for another few hours, but we had to go to meet our schedule.

The Concours Run

Getting Back

We left the MBCV concours at lunchtime.   Our first drive was Black Spur drive, which was a great twisty road through a rainforest like ecosystem.     We then got further and further into the outback, where we ware able to exercise the cars by passing road trains on the outback roads.     Our destination for the evening was the historic hydro hotel in Leeton, which is an incredible old art deco building.     A full description of the drive on day 4 is available here.

Our final day had a mostly outback drive.   We wanted to get some photos of the cars in front of the dish at Parkes, and also do a slow lap of Mt Panorama.   Despite my car losing its alternator at the breakfast stop, we managed both those things with frequent battery swaps.   A full description of day 5 is available here.

As we parted ways in Lithgow, we all agreed what a great adventure The Concours Run had been, with a great bunch of guys seeing parts of our country that are a bit off the beaten track.

The concours run

1 comment to The Concours Run 2023 – Summary

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>