Vintage motorcycles draw big crowds at Bulli Showground

Thousands braved the cold cloudy weather over the weekend to relive the magic of machines from yesteryear at Bulli for the second annual AMCA Australia National Classic, Vintage and Antique Motorcycle Event .

The return of the event that instantly became one of the biggest drawcards for visitation on the calendar follows the successful debut in 2017 when 3000 people, including many families, visited Bulli Showground to check out bikes of all variety and brands from decades ago.

AMCA Australia President Tony Blain is one of nine people involved in ogranising the event and said he was confident “we have doubled last year’s attendance”.

“We have had 5000 to 6000 people here. It is exactly what we hoped would happen,” he said.

“The Lord Mayor came down on Sunday morning and was very impressed. As where the vendors who said “we will see you next years”.

“People came from all around Australia and overseas. We are locked in for the next five or six years now on the last weekend in August at the same location”.

The youngest motorcyles were built in the 80’s and the auction of motorcycles on Saturday afternoon was another highlight of this year’s event.

The first auction in 2017 saw $500,000 in sales. A year later and 29 vintage and classic motorcycles went under the hammer and sold for a combined total of about $250,000.

The weekend also included seminars covering everything from metal repairs and fabrication to the Australian vintage land speed record.

There was a swap meet for motorcycles and parts 35 years and older, historic motorcycle club displays, trade stalls, a People’s Choice motorcycle show, judging and demonstrations.

Mr Blain said he knew such events were successful overseas but in Australia it is rare to have an all-inclusive motorcycle event. But this one as instantly established itself as a great family day out.

“It’s a great opportunity to speak to people with lots of knowledge about vintage bikes and to see the amazing work people have done in restoring these classic machines”.

Mr Blain said AMCA Australia was a not-for-profit and run by volunteers. 

“You don’t need to know a lot about motorcycles to get caught up in the enthusiasm and magic of the day.”

Destination Wollongong General Manager Mark Sleigh said there was a great opportunity to build on the success of the first two events. “It can only grow from here”.

Among the bikes listed for auction were a prized, rare 1946 Harley Davidson EL 61 Knucklehead, a 1953 AJS 7R, a 1953 Harley Davidson FL Hydra-glide, a 1937 K800 Zundapp, a 1937 BSA Y13 and a 1948 Indian Chief.

AMCA USA chief judge Don Dzurick also returned to Australia to lead the judging process for a second year at Bulli.

Entry is $10 and gates opened 8am on Sunday.

Large numbers: Hundreds of people at a time gathered in various locations around Bulli Showground for demonstrations and talks.

Large numbers: Hundreds of people at a time gathered in various locations around Bulli Showground for demonstrations and talks.

99 years young: Bryan Bell with a 1919 Indian at the second annual AMCA Australia National Classic, Vintage and Antique Motorcycle event at.Bulli Showground on Sunday.

99 years young: Bryan Bell with a 1919 Indian at the second annual AMCA Australia National Classic, Vintage and Antique Motorcycle event at.Bulli Showground on Sunday.

Dirt bike: David Trevor with his colourful red and yellow 1979 Maico shows the variety of two wheel machines on display. Pictures: Robert Peet.

Dirt bike: David Trevor with his colourful red and yellow 1979 Maico shows the variety of two wheel machines on display. Pictures: Robert Peet.

Crowd: Big attendance

Crowd: Big attendance

Rustic and real: Tony Hirini and Waza Sturdy looking at a vintage Harley Davidson showing all the charm of the machines from last century.

Rustic and real: Tony Hirini and Waza Sturdy looking at a vintage Harley Davidson showing all the charm of the machines from last century.