Motafrenz Car Club

Australia's premier motoring club for the LGBTIQA+ community!

Committee Profile: Mat Giacomantonio

This section aims to help familiarise you with the Committee Members of the Club and let them share their story with you.

This month, the spotlight is on Mat Giacomantonio!

I’m Mathew Giacomantonio, I am a Mechanical Engineer currently working in automation and controls. I obtained my undergraduate and Masters degrees at Swinburne University, where a certain Doctor Campbell was my lecturer of one of my subjects.

Growing up, my life had always been surrounded by cars. My father being a recently retired mechanic has been a big influence in my appreciation for cars. Being a Fiat and Lancia specialist, those two marques have been some of my favourite. The first cars at my birth were my mum’s Fiat 500F and my dad’s lime green Fiat 131 both cars which I had and still adore.

I decided to join Motafrenz as a way to socialise and developed more homosexual friends, combined with my love of cars it was an obvious choice.

I started on the committee as the privacy officer then moved into webmaster and publication editor.
I am currently the Club Permit officer, I enable members to register their classic vehicles on the VicRoads Club Permit Scheme. I also handle the renewal of club permits.
I sign, inspect, and document the vehicles in our club and keep the records up to date.

My first vehicle was the legendary 4×4 from the Soviet Union, the Lada Niva. Fresh on my P-plates and needing a car, my dad’s client kindly gave me the beige Niva as he decided he was too old to continue using it.

An incredibly reliable (yes you read that correctly!) six years of motoring was had. It sadly met its demise, roof first, on Doncaster Road.

The sadness certainly didn’t last long, I was able to pursue one of my dream cars. Another legendary vehicle, this time the French masterpiece, the Peugeot 205 GTi. Setting the standard for what a hot hatch should be. What a car it was! It was its happiest being thrown around corners, each drive was always a pleasure. Unfortunately, that pleasure did require effort as there were frequent issues with it. I had to discontinue use for something more reliable. I could not part with it and it sits at home waiting for the day when I get around to bringing back to glory.

Reliable car? I could not have picked a more solid car than my sister’s old AH Honda Civic. Just your standard base model Civic but it drove very easily and would just go on forever. Great as a car it was I needed to move onto something more modern, particularly with air conditioning. Too good of a car to dispose of, I gave it to a friend for use on his country property.

After much deliberation on what to next purchase, I decided to stick with my love of hot hatches and picked up a Mark 2 Phase 1 Renault Clio Sport, the first of the Clios in Australia. It had all the modern features I needed in a car and the handling I want in a car. Not as exciting as a 205 GTi but still a fun and solid car to have.

My sole car on CPS is the gorgeous little FSM Niki, the Polish built Fiat, was sold in Australia from 1989 to 1992.

It came into my dad’s possession after one of his clients decided they didn’t want it anymore. After a few years of infrequent use it sat in the garage for a while. We resurrected it a couple of years ago and got it onto CPS at Motafrenz. It is a fun, if a little slow and archaic, car to drive. Its small stature means you can fit in almost anywhere. It was a hit a Pride march last year.

Dad had purchased a Fiat Dino while in Italy in the 70’s, a beautiful Bertone styled coupe that I have not been able to drive as it had sitting in the workshop for over 35 years. However, sometime in the new year, the Dino should surface! Stay tuned.

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