Inaugural Daylesford Motorfest to raise funds for 30 local charities

COOL CAR: Daylesford Motorfest organiser Peter Olver with his restored 1932 Ford Pickup truck. Photo: Brendan McCarthy
COOL CAR: Daylesford Motorfest organiser Peter Olver with his restored 1932 Ford Pickup truck. Photo: Brendan McCarthy

THE INAUGURAL Daylesford Motorfest is set to be the biggest new event on Hepburn Shire’s calendar. 

It will see up to 2000 display cars and hundreds of motorcycles flock to Daylesford from across the country this February; all in the name of fundraising for charity.

Eganstown’s Peter Olver came up with the idea for a fundraising event through the platform of a motor show a number of years ago. With a lifelong love for classic cars, he was inspired to create a car event by those he had attended in the United States.

“We started the Cars and Coffee in Daylesford three years ago. It started with a group of about 15 of us with the idea to show our cars to raise some money for the local hospital,” he said. “We had about 20 cars at the first event in Lake Daylesford then all of a sudden we had 50 cars at the next. So the next event we had out at Jubilee Lake, where more than 500 cars showed up.”

By the third event, the Cars and Coffee group had raised more than $13,000 for upgrades to the Dialysis Ward at Daylesford Hospital.

“It was so pleasing to see where the money went – it was great,” Mr Olver said.

But with the huge numbers turning out to the Cars and Coffee events, Mr Olver knew that it could be grown to cater for more people and therefore raise more money for the region’s charities.

He had the idea to host the rapidly growing and increasingly popular event at Daylesford’s Victoria Park, which has the facilities to cater for big crowds of people.

“We changed the name from Cars and Coffee to Daylesford Motorfest because the first had been so successful that other communities started to follow us – Ballarat, Castlemaine, Maryborough and Bacchus Marsh – after coming to our event.”

Mr Olver said special display vehicles like Mad Max and race cars would be on show, as well as commercial vehicles like old farm tractors.

“People will see from a T-Model Ford to a brand new Mustang and everything in between. People will see all makes and all models – we aren’t just targetting one era,” he said.

“We are trying to not only have all of these wonderful cars on display, but atmosphere as well.”

There will be a fashion parade, a jaws of life demonstration, wood chop, live music, slot cars and live music.

The event organisers are expecting around 6000 people to attend, with the hope it could possibly expand to a two-day festival in 2020. Funds raised will be donated to more than 30 community groups throughout the shire.

“February is normally a very quiet time for traders, but this event is attracting a lot of people to stay for the weekend,” Mr Olver said.

The festival will take place from 9am on Sunday, February 17.