Motafrenz Car Club

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Member Article: The Rally – Part IX

Day 8 – Auction and Awards

After the rally, there’s one official day. It starts with the auction and then finishes with the awards ceremony and lunch. There was a bit of spotto going on around Hobart overnight with rally cars spotted by other teams. My hotel didn’t have off-street parking so I was parked on the street and being relatively close to the two rally hotels, the Alto ended up on quite a few Facebook posts.

Teams who are selling their cars drive out to Manheim and any unwanted items are donated to charity (esky, tents, tools and camping gear), or thrown into the rubbish in the case of tyres and jerry cans.

The charity bin clearly shows the diversity of the participants in the rally. Some teams think nothing of throwing away (well more donating) two $500 swags of fancy sub-zero sleeping bags that have only been used for a week, or car fridges, and other teams donating well-used tents beyond their useful life (just like the cars) that had been given to them. There were plenty of very nice swags and tents that were much nicer than my $59 Kmart special. But when people are flying home, taking these things back is often more of an inconvenience than it’s worth to keep them.

Historically more cars usually go to auction, but in the last few years more cars have been bought back. The used car market has changed a lot since covid and finding a shitbox under the threshold has become a lot more difficult despite the $500 value increase to $1500. A lot of teams keep their cars for the following year, and a lot of negotiations happen before and on the rally with other teams making deals to buy cars for future rallies.

On the plus side though the used car market changes since COVID-19 meant the auction cars got much higher prices than they did historically. Quite a few cars would have fetched much better money on the mainland, but the costs to get them back to the mainland kept a few buyers away. All up the buybacks and auction raised about $70,000 more for cancer research. This came from around 70 auctions and around 180 people buying their cars back.

After the auction, we headed to Wrest Point Casino for the awards ceremony. Far more plush than the usual surf club or the like, finding a place capable of fitting the 600 rally participants and support teams was harder in Hobart than many other finishing points. They give out awards for least likely to make it to the finish line (but did), best breakdown, best repair, best team theme and Spirit of the Rally.

You learn about some of the repairs that you hadn’t heard of at the rally. Team Banananana driving the little Suzuki Carry won Spirit of the Rally. They had a great attitude, and kept everyone entertained throughout the rally, but were also willing to pull aside and let other teams overtake their speed-limited 80km/h.

It was also one more opportunity to catch up with the rest of Buddy Group 20 before we all headed off on our next adventures and to wrap up the weekend. Some were heading back later that night, and others during the week. I had the equal longest post-rally holiday around Tasmania of our buddy group, with Defiance Duo and I both having a week of sightseeing around Tasmania before we caught the ferry back to Melbourne.

Words by Daniel Borton. Pictures by Daniel Borton and the official rally photographer.

Paul Hollingworth

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