GALLERY: Autorama Illawarra a roaring success

It's well known that rain and convertibles don’t mix – a fact that  caused a small problem for the organiser of Autorama Illawarra.

‘‘None of the convertibles turned up because of the rain,’’ organiser Giovanni Zappia said.

‘‘We were supposed to have eight Mustang convertibles but they didn’t turn up.’’

Still, 120 other cars and bikes did turn up at the first annual Autorama car show, held on the football field at Berkeley Sports Club yesterday.

A member of both Wollongong South Rotary and the NSW Muscle Car Association, Mr Zappia brought the two groups together for the fund-raising event.

The show aimed to raise enough money to make StandBy, the post-suicide support and counselling group, available in the Illawarra.

So with the proceeds going to a worthy cause, Mr Zappia, who had his 2007 GT Cobra on show, was concerned when he woke up yesterday to the sound of rain.

‘‘I was very worried but the show still had to go on,’’ he said. ‘‘It has slowed things down but we still got a really big crowd. There’s probably a couple of thousand people who turned up here.’’

Peri Mylonakis was one of the judges responsible for awarding the show’s 45 trophies. He had his work cut out for him with a wide range of cars to judge.

‘‘We’ve got vehicles which are pre-1948, like the old hot-rods – we’ve got some of them stock and also modified. And that pattern is the same throughout the eras.’’

Still Mr Mylonakis found a few favourites.

‘‘We’ve got a few really nice cars here today,’’ he said. ‘‘There’s a couple of guys have brought some extensively customised Australian cars. There’s a ute here that has had the roof cut off and then shortened and then bolted back on and it’s got a fantastic paint job. There are a couple of standout cars and there are some original classics.

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