120 classic cars bound for Flagstaff Hill

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More than 120 classic cars will converge on Flagstaff Hill on Wednesday March 20 as part of a four-day rally, the Targa Classica.

The first car in the rally will arrive at Flagstaff Hill at 7am and among the cars brands featured will be Bugatti, Porsche, Alfa Romeo, and Ferrari, alongside Australian classics including the Holden Sandman, Torana, and a range of Fords.

For car lovers this will be a feast and anyone heading to Flagstaff Hill between 7am and 9am to check out the cars can also buy a bacon and egg roll and a coffee.

Council is supporting the event via the 2023/2024 Festival and Events Fund.

“We’re thrilled to have Warrnambool included on the itinerary and Flagstaff Hill provides a great stop for motorists and an opportunity for motoring enthusiasts to check out some rare cars that have been beautifully maintained or restored,” Warrnambool Mayor Cr Ben Blain said.

“At the community breakfast people can chat with the drivers, check out what’s under the hood and witness the spectacle as the cars depart.”

Targa Classica organiser Andrew Lawson said the rally would cover more than 1,100km and showcase the Goldfields, Grampians, Great Ocean Road and the Macedon Ranges. 

“We wanted to create an event that celebrated cars, the event’s Italian roots, and also Victoria’s regional centres,” Mr Lawson said. 

“With direct links to Italian heritage through the event, we feel it’s important to show off the highlights of our amazing state, in keeping with the tradition and foundations of the event’s Italian connection.”

Mr Lawson, who founded Targa Classica, was inspired by his own experience of competing in Australia as well as in Italy at the Targa Florio in Sicily and the Mille Miglia. 

The Targa Classica (the only event like it in the Southern Hemisphere) takes its inspiration from the iconic classic car events of Italy - a much-loved tradition since 1906.

Today, the Coppa Delle Alpi, Coppa Milano Sanremo, Mille Miglia, Nuvolari, and Targa Florio are considered the pinnacle for classic car enthusiasts.

Mr Lawson said the event was expected to inject more than $1 million into regional economies, with more than 1,500 hotel beds filled and 4,500 meals served. Visitors will travel to the event from interstate, and it is anticipated that this year’s event will generate more than $1.5 million of activity spread across six Victorian regions.