Something different to mix it up in here. Caught the 46th Victorian Hot Rod Show – which ran Jan 21-23 – while in Melbourne over the weekend, and while only 45 minutes or so was managed at the exhibition (only got there an hour before closing, on Sat night), it proved a rather compelling three quarters of an hour.

The show, housed at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton Gardens, is Australia’s longest running hot rod event, and for the 46th edition there were around 300 hot rods, custom cars and bikes on display within and around the venue.

Undoubtedly, the displays and sights would have been largely alien to many Malaysian motorheads, which you could argue are a rather parochial lot, being quite skewed towards the modern, but anoraks would have had a field day.

Indeed, the culture is simply roaring in Oz, and some of the machines on show were just downright fantastic pieces of craft – passion for the rides aplenty in evidence, with oodles of heritage as well as an impressive knowledge of the history on call, for sure. With plenty of good old-fashioned V8 growl on tap (and such lovely sounds, really), you wouldn’t have done well driving up in a Prius to this one.

Besides the machines, there were also trade displays – scale model cars on sale, litreally towering in their magnitude, as well as memorabilia from an age many of those at the show would have considered the golden era of the automobile. For yours truly, the retro Mopar t-shirts bagged were awesome enough, given the time managed.

A gallery of exhibition photos after the jump (and you’ll excuse the patchy quality at times – they were taken with the camera off a Google Nexus One!)

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