27 September 2017

Amazing barn find GTHO Phase III for auction

Gosford Classic Car Museum is hosting its very first public auction on Saturday 28th October, with VIP guests including Australia’s wealthiest heading to the Coast to view some of the nation’s most prized vehicles. Supported by Pickles, Australia’s number one auction and valuation specialist, the Museum will have up to 70 classic cars on sale, ranging from $50,000 AUD into the millions.

Headlining the auction are four show-stopping vehicles:
  • 1971 Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III – fewer than 100 models remain in the world
  • 1988 Porsche 959 – the world’s fastest street-legal production car when first introduced
  • 1968 Lamborghini Miura – Italy’s finest sports car
  • 1966 Aston Martin DB6 – the longest production run up to that date of any Aston Martin model
Gosford Classic Car Museum is home to the largest collection of cars in the Southern Hemisphere and was founded by Tony Denny in 2016, who – a car collector himself – decided to turn his hobby into a passion project.

In support of a very important cause, the Museum will also auction off its unique Formula Vee, with all proceeds going to NSW Kids in Need, which supports six child-focussed charities in the region. The previous owner was a racer who sadly passed away from cancer last year.

Tony Denny, Founder and Owner of Gosford Classic Car Museum said: “We’re thrilled to open our doors to the world for one night only, in what is one of Australia’s largest car auction this year. Selling off 70 of our classic cars is no easy feat; however, it is essential we make room for the exciting new collections that we have waiting in the wings. We can’t wait to see familiar and new faces on auction night!”

General admission tickets to the event can be purchased from Eventbrite for $25, with VIP options available as well. The catered affair is expecting up to 1500 guests.

Steve Allen, National Manager of Prestige Vehicles at Pickles added: “We are excited to collaborate with Gosford Classic Car Museum to bring to life Australia’s most iconic classic car auction to date. With the amount of quality and exotic collections going under the hammer, we foresee it being a great event.”

For bidders unable to attend, an online bidding facility – Pickles Live – allows bids to be placed worldwide in real time. All vehicles can also be viewed prior to auction in person by appointment or online.

For full details on the auction, visit https://classiccars.pickles.com.au/

23 September 2017

Web Spin: 2018 Harley-Davidson Street Bob Softail

So what's all the fuss about Harley-Davidson's new Softail range? And what happened to Dyna?

Even though I’ve owned a Harley for nearly two years and rode my first one a year before that, I still consider myself a Harley novice. However, I have been making up for lost time, swotting up on the copious history of this venerable make and riding as many of the models as I can.

Now, with the release of the new 2018 models last month, tongues were definitely wagging at the news of the dropping of H-D’s Dyna models, merging them instead with Softails into a single line. So, what does that mean?

To investigate, I headed out to Harley-Heaven in Western Sydney to meet new dealer principal, Craig Smith. Smith has been with the brand for more than a decade, servicing dealerships around the country for H-D head office prior to his new role in the big seat in Blacktown, replacing the affable John Buchanan, now back home in New Zealand.

Harley-Heaven Western Sydney
Harley-Heaven in Western Sydney

On a record hot September Saturday, dozens of diehard H.O.G. members and freelance riders are gathered for the semi-regular ‘shop ride’ at the smart new dealership where there’s comfy couches, a kick-butt coffee machine and lots of shiny chrome and matt eye candy.

David, Craig (dealer principal) and Joe at H-H 

Craig ushers me out to the rear where his demo bikes are parked and introduces me to a spanking new Street Bob, complete with the all-new four-valve-per-cylinder Milwaukee-Eight 107ci V-twin with dual counterbalancers. It’s the entry-level bike for the new Milwaukee-Eight range, stripped down and raw, ‘bobber’ style. The mini ‘ape’ bars are a bit unfamiliar to me initially, but they certainly work with the aesthetics.

2017 model Street Bob with exposed shocks.

“The old Dynas had the familiar twin rear shocks but now the suspension is a single coil and shock under the seat and the tubular frame is now 65 per cent stiffer than the old style Softail and has half as many component parts,” Craig tells me, “There are fewer welds and no more rubber engine mounts. Instead the engine is solid mounted, increasing frame stiffness.”

There is lots more technical stuff to ponder, but the proof as they say, is in the pudding, so let’s ride.

Close to fifty Harleys roar out onto Sunnyholt Road with me trying to look the part as the massive formation heads toward the Hawkesbury in a rowdy phalanx of Milwaukee muscle.

Smoko near Pitt Town.

Even though I am circumspect to begin with, the easy-riding nature of the new Street Bob soon has me confidently sweeping through the tight bends and accelerating smoothly out of the apexes like I know what I’m doing. The feeling is deceptively light and nimble and I find I can actually lay the bike over a little without scraping the pegs. Vibration is minimal and the power comes on smoothly right through the rev range.

Harley’s clever advertising copywriters are calling this “new school technology, skip school attitude.”

As with any radical change, there will be those who resist. Will Dyna make a comeback down the line? I doubt it. Harley-Davidson is knuckling down with a renewed R&D force that has promised 100 new models in the next 10 years which means there will inevitably be some ‘out with the old’.

Whether you’re an old hand or a dreamer, nothing should stop you getting into your nearest Harley-Davidson dealership to make up your own mind.

2018 Street Bob profile. No more visible shocks.
Rear suspension is neatly tucked under the rider seat.

Test Bike:

Harley-Davidson Softail Street Bob (2018)
Milwaukee-Eight 107ci V-twin (1,745 cc)
Priced from $23,495AUD

Test bike supplied by Harley-Heaven Western Sydney
70 Sunnyholt Road,
Blacktown, New South Wales 2148

03 August 2017

Harley-Davidson celebrates 100 years down under

That takes the cake, 100 years of Harley-Davidson in Australia (Josh Carroll)

Our boys were still up to their armpits in the trenches of Bullecourt and Ypres when Harley-Davidson arrived in Australia and set up their first shop at Morgan & Wacker.

 Toowoomba solicitor, Edwin Bernays, on one of the first Harley-Davidson motorcycles
to arrive in Australia. (State Library of Queensland)

Established in Brisbane in 1917, Morgan & Wacker is the second-oldest Harley-Davidson dealer in the world, the oldest H-D dealer outside the USA, and Australia’s oldest motorcycle dealership for any brand of bike.

Bill Davidson, where it all began in this country. (Josh Carroll)

Now, exactly 100 years later, Bill Davidson, the great grandson of Harley-Davidson co-founder, William H Davidson, came down under to celebrate with hundreds of devoted HOG fans and owners at numerous dealerships as part of a marathon 2500km ride from Brisbane to Melbourne via Canberra and Albury.

Motorweb editor, Rod Eime, welcomes Bill and Angie Davidson to Sydney (Josh Carroll)

Motorweb was thrilled to be invited to join a posse of select media for the ride. We joined in Sydney for a leisurely tour along the South Coast and Highlands aboard a spanking new Road King, complete with all-new Milwaukee-Eight™ 107 engine.

Our superb new Road King with Milwaukee-Eight™ 107 engine

Even though we’d ridden a Road Glide with the 107 before, this was a perfect chance to enjoy this superb touring bike on an extended test with lots of other cool bikes like Fat Boy, Road Glide and the Megatron of Harley road bikes, the Ultra.. It was a bike you can easily spend the whole day riding without collapsing at day’s end. The brand new engine retains the traditional V-Twin, big bore configuration with trademark exhaust growl, but is noticeably smoother across the rev range. The ample torque is there anytime you ask.

Plenty of great country roads. (Josh Carroll)

During the event, there was time to chat with Bill briefly between autograph signings and the he was excited to talk about his family, but also news on product development, where Harley-Davidson have have vowed to release 100 new models in the next 10 years.

It was party party party at the seven participating dealerships, with Bill demonstrating remarkable endurance signing everything from photos, brochures, T-Shirts, bikes, helmets and even body parts. Bands played, beer and BS flowed, and - of course - we were ferried back to our luxury hotels in minivans and taxis.

As part of celebrations, Harley-Davidson and premium dealer, Harley Heaven, also supported the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation to the tune of 100 grand. Two ‘ambassadors’ from the foundation overcame significant physical hurdles to join the entourage. A big effort rewarded with a similarly noble and worthy gesture.

Get down to your nearest Harley-Davidson dealer and test ride the new models for yourself.

04 July 2017

MV Agusta: Full Throttle Aria

The life and times of the iconic Italian superbike reads like a romantic opera. Roderick Eime joins the chorus.

The story of MV Agusta is like that of so many Italian motorcycle brands. Who knew that over time, there had been more 20 brands from the land that brought us Ferrari, Versace, Pavarotti and Peroni? True.

click image to read online

29 May 2017

Inspecting Kluger: Toyota's seven-seat SUV under the magnifying glass

Drive review available now.

Toyota's 2017 Kluger seven-seat SUV now delivers even more power for less fuel. We test the 3.5 litre EFI V6 on a country run and see if Toyota's claims stack up.

08 April 2017

Royal Enfield: A blast from the past

When old is new again, the romance of the old English-styled Royal Enfield is taking the world by storm. Roderick Eime rides into the sunset.

India has always been a place where ingenuity and necessity have gone hand-in-hand. Any visitor to this ‘incredible’ country will see numerous examples every day where industrious townsfolk, strapped for resources and facilities, will ‘make do’ by patching up, innovating, recycling and repurposing.

Read the full story in World Magazine - Autumn 2017

03 April 2017

Muscling In

Click image for a PDF
April 2017


There’s nothing quite like having almost a half-tonne of American metal beneath a comfortably cushioned saddle, the rhythmic rumble of an overly large V-twin engine punching through the buffeting breeze and a highway unfurling to a distant horizon ahead. Not for nothing are the most popular and revered of American motorcycles known as “cruisers.”

For 40 years, Robb Report has been an arbiter of living well. Covering the newest and finest in luxury worldwide, Robb Report fuels the contemporary desires of today’s elite consumers. This new Australian edition is for affluent, discerning people who are passionate about discovering the unparalleled, acquiring the meaningful, and experiencing the best of the best as a celebration of their success. Robb Report Australia is your source for luxury knowledge and inspiration. Our mission is to provide inside access and fresh insight to living well.