PREPARATIONS for a Chevrolet convention in Echuca-Moama next month are ramping up with more than 150 classic car lovers set to converge on the twin towns.
Organisers were in Echuca-Moama on the weekend to talk to Campaspe Shire Council representatives and tie up some loose ends regarding the three-day event.
The 567 (55-56-57) Chev Club of Victoria is hosting the 12th annual Chevrolet Convention between October 13 and 15.
Organiser Tony Anastasio drove his 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible to Echuca on the weekend to show residents along the Murray River what they could expect next month.
Mr Anastasio has owned the car for 18 years which he says is in ‘‘totally original’’ condition.
‘‘It’s a beautiful cruiser,’’ Mr Anastasio said.
‘‘It originally came from America. A guy from Ballarat brought it in and he later sold it to a friend of mine near where I lived in Lilydale.
‘‘I’ve always loved 55 Chevs. My ultimate car was a 1955 chev convertible.
‘‘I saw the car when it was in Ballarat and I said to the guy if you ever decide to sell it let me know.’’
Unfortunately when it came up for sale, Mr Anastasio had just bought a hot rod so couldn’t afford it.
‘‘But my friend it was sold to only had it two or three years and then said to me ‘do you want it?’,’’ Mr Anastasio said.
‘‘I had sold my hot rod by then so I said yes.’’
Mr Anastasio has done little to the car, saying ‘‘as much as you see it in the photo’’ is how he bought it.
‘‘I’ve just updated the brakes which makes it a bit more user friendly when driving,’’ he said.
It has one of Chevrolet’s first V8 engines — ‘‘what they call a baby 265’’ — and an original two-speed Powerglide transmission.
‘‘She’s a nice old girl,’’ Mr Anastasio said.
‘‘I don’t drive it that often. It doesn’t come out as nearly as often as it should.
‘‘It runs beautifully and purrs along.’’
Mr Anastasio said few Chevy convertibles were imported into Australia and those that were were converted for use as consulate cars.
Also on show at Aquatic Reserve with Mr Anastasio’s Bel Air was a modified purple 1957 Chevy pick-up complete with a 350 Chev Turbo 400 engine.
Mr Anastasio admits he has a passion for old cars.
‘‘As a kid I had an FC Holden as a paddock bomb,’’ he said.
‘‘I always loved the FC Holden shape and I guess the Chevrolet was the next step up.
‘‘I had a four-door 55 Chev and I built it up from scratch and it went on from there.
‘‘It’s what I do now. I restore and rebuild and modify old classic cars and hot rods.’’
The 12th annual Chevrolet Convention is held every two years and is back in Echuca-Moama after visiting the twin towns in 2015.
‘‘We generally choose different locations,’’ Mr Anastasio said.
‘‘We’ve been to Ballarat, Wangaratta and Bendigo but the last time we were in Echuca we were received so well and had such a great time we planned on coming back.’’
The event will kick off on the Friday with registrations and a sausage sizzle at Victoria Park.
The Saturday will feature a poker run around Echuca, before a cruise along the Murray River to Morrison’s Winery, and then a dinner dance at Moama RSL.
The main event is the Show ‘n’ Shine on Sunday, between 9am and 2pm, at Aquatic Reserve.
That day will feature bands, awards and a major raffle.
Mr Anastasio said organisers had received a good response and as well as the 150 car entrants, Sunday’s Show ‘n’ Shine was expected to bring in excess of 250 cars.
The convention comes at the end of the Buick Car Club of Victoria’s 50th anniversary event in Echuca with vehicles from that event expected to stay on for the Chevrolet show.