Classic Car Articles
Wintersun 2008, QLD
I returned home from a week in Queensland to find one hundred and twenty five millimetres of rain in the gauge back in Sydney. I was laughing as I had just jagged a great week on the Gold Coast and enjoyed all the pleasures of Wintersun to boot.
Wintersun is Australia's leading annual Retro Nostalgia Festival and features a huge array of Hot Rods, Custom and Classic Cars along with more than 100 bands and performers, dancing, movies, and competitions. I went for the cars but plenty of people went for the music, dancing and nonstop partying that this event provides. All the shop keepers get behind the event with displays in their windows and a local real estate agent even had two hot rods parked in his office!
I had a chance to sneak into Coolangatta for a few days before the weekend and see what was going on. There are heaps of planned activities and plenty of classic cars cruising around before everything heats up over the weekend. This show is big, real big. In keeping with the retro theme a lot of the punters dress accordingly and you could easily position yourself in one of the pubs or cafes lining the streets and just watch the world go by. A lot of people did just that.
Due to other commitments I had to cut a track on Sunday so only had the Saturday to immerse myself in the atmosphere and crowds that make up Wintersun. A light southerly made the day pleasant and the cloud cover ensured you didnít get burnt to a crisp and the crowds turned out in force. With most of the streets blocked off to pedestrians only it was easy to get about and if you are interested in seeing all the cars on show you would have to walk a minimum of five kilometres to check everything out. I reckon I did at least double that and Iím sure I missed a bit as well.
You name it, it was there. Hot Rods, classics, customs, local and American muscle, lowriders, radical rat rods and throngs of people. It didnít matter where you were you could always hear music with multiple stages spread out across Coolangatta with people dancing in the streets and enjoying it to the max. If you wanted to check out the cars on the main drag opposite the beach you had to walk it twice as it was impossible to see the cars on both sides by walking up the road due to the huge crowd. The cars didnít disappoint either.
On the beach the local market was in full swing and it was complemented by heaps of vendors selling retro clothing, performance parts, accessories, food and just about anything you care to name. There was something for everyone and one of the busiest vendors was a retro shoe store that was massive and full of women getting a new set of dancing shoes or boots for the evening entertainment.
Just when you thought you had seen it all along comes a couple of leggy meter maids resplendent in the skimpiest gold bikinis that gave the pub patrons something to cheer about. It was a very well run event with so much happening from the beach to the back end of the park about a kay and half away that it would be impossible to get bored quickly. There were plenty of cars for sale amongst those on display and there was a corral of cars that were to be auctioned off later in the weekend.
A day just wasnít long enough so next year Iíll be dusting off the blue suede shoes and hopefully jumping in the Nomad for a week of R&R to really enjoy what is one of the best events I have ever attended. If you want to escape a dreary winter wherever you live, Wintersun will definitely get your motor running. Book early (like now) for accommodation for next yearís event and check out their website at www.wintersun.org.au for the dates, program and all relevant information.
Words and photos by Mark, proprietor of Classic Car Gurus