ENTHUSIASTS of Australia's rarest and finest automobiles are descending on Melbourne this weekend for the world-renowned Motorclassica car show.

We were granted access to the grand opening evening at the palatial Royal Exhibition Building, where almost 150 widely varying and ultra rare road and cars are on display.

Mercedes-Benz is the celebrated marque this year as it honours 130 years since it first created the automobile, and duly displayed its continual innovation by unveiling its stunning new AMG S 65 Cabriolet, complete with 463kW/1000Nm 6.0-litre twin-turbo V12.

The German brand's proud heritage was also a highlight, Benz showing off 20 vehicles including an ultra-valuable 1936 540K Cabriolet and mid-Fifties 300SL Roadster and Gullwing beauties.

 

The 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300Sl Roadster at the 2016 Motorclassica motor show.
The 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300Sl Roadster at the 2016 Motorclassica motor show. Iain Curry

Rival BMW is marking 100 years in 2016 and also put on a strong show, not least with its recently-confirmed i8 Roadster in concept form, its M6 GT3 challenger about to tackle the Bathurst 12 Hour with a line-up of Aussie racing legends, and some gems from its past including two JPS Australian Touring Car Championship winners, a 1980 M1 and 1938 328 Roadster.

Bike fans will appreciate the 90 year celebration of Ducati, while trade stands and automobilia will keep enthusiasts reaching for their wallets.

The cars are the stars however, and this delightful event allows spectators to meander between the classics - I spotted no roped off areas - and respect and enjoy anything from a Lamborghini Miura to a 1938 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300B to a brand new McLaren 570S supercar up close.

 



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