Howdy all motoring enthusiasts,
The month of October was all about the ACMC showcase event, at Rocklea showgrounds. Obviously, being on the same weekend as Harrigans at Jacobs well and also Warwick dragfest is not desirable, however available dates for Rocklea were almost non existent, so the 19th was all we had. The primary goal for this year was just to get the event off the ground and all the pieces in place.

The event proved successful in achieving the initial aims of bringing the motoring enthusiasts, the authorities, and automotive industry representation together for respectful interaction in a relaxed environment.

Qld Police and Qld Transport were on hand all day, chatting and answering our questions on everything from wheel and tyre size restrictions, to window tint legalities, and we got to check out the Police pursuit HSV which makes 340kw, has big Brembo brakes, and an interior reminiscent of a fighter jet cockpit.

The vehicles on display ranged from street rods to muscle cars, from Kenworth trucks to speedway sedans, from modern performance to tricked up tourers, from model A Ford to new Lamborghini’s, and the centre display was a circular arrangement of different Mustang models to celebrate 50 years of Fords pony car.

A variety of traders were on hand, offering fabrication services, rust removal, wheels, carbon fibre and all manner of custom and restoration. The SES kindly offered their help for the day which was much appreciated, and they bought along one of their heavy duty flood rescue boats to check out.

Industry was there in the form of the MTA ( Motor Trades Association) who are undergoing a revamp of the automotive industries persona and reputation. As I have mentioned before the entire automotive landscape is undergoing reform, change and a freshen up at all levels. The interesting thing here, or the most important point here as regards us the motoring enthusiasts, is that with the demise of the car manufacturing industry here (Commodore and Camry) being the last to leave, the AAAA (Aftermarket Automotive Association of Australia) and the MTA ( Motor Trades Association have made their cases to government, and now the government is looking and listening. The aftermarket industry here is a healthy thriving industry that has forged itself a place on the world stage-this industry is worth 11 billion to our economy every year, of that 11b, 5 is from manufacturing parts and components here. Now the Government is undertaking a full review of this industry, with submissions from players showing how they can grow and create jobs and contribute more to our future. The MTA are educating the public, revamping the service and repair industry and when I chatted with the divisional executive at this ACMC show he told me how modern car technology runs just a few years behind the aircraft industry. Rather than what we think of as a mechanic, the new term is automotive technician, and whats required to diagnose and service new cars is a serious level of smarts. Even the bodywork side of things is changing- a bodywork technician may not have the metal working skills of our old school panelbeaters, but they have much to learn and be skilled with when it comes to dealing with modern materials like composites, carbon fibre, water based spray paints etc. Its high tech stuff.

Anyhow, the point here is the Government now finally see’s and understands, that the automotive aftermarket industry is something that needs to be encouraged and supported, and that the passion so many of us have for vehicles, is a major factor in all this, To try to stomp on us, to treat us with contempt, is not the way forward on so many levels. Research has now been done on overseas aftermarket industries, and in all cases, even England, its recognised as a major contributor to the overall economy and is to be encouraged.

This is the way forward to better modification laws, respect between us and authorities, and a better economy .Its winning all round, and we do our part, by standing strong at the ACMC showcase.

Thanks all who attended, you’re a part of something much bigger than you might think.

Darryl Elliot