MOTORING
image

Autos

Rev your engines for these fabulous motoring attractions and events

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 09 September, 2017, 9:01am
UPDATED : Saturday, 09 September, 2017, 9:01am

Welcome to Wheel News, a brief look at Hong Kong’s motoring world.

The local car and bike scene is looking busy again, with several new attractions and upcoming events. Here’s what’s on, and with verdicts on each.

Now

New Volkswagen showroom, Gloucester Road

The Volkswagen Hong Kong Centre has relocated to Harcourt House, on Gloucester Road. It seems a smart retailing strategy because the marque can now display seven cars to passing commuters on Hong Kong Island, just as rival showrooms have relocated to “distant” Kowloon Bay. The local Volkswagen people are also among the best showroon-English-speakers in town, along with counterparts representing Mercedes-Benz, Mazda and Volvo. Look out for the new Polo Sport Edition (from HK$159,980) and Passat Luxury (HK$299,980) alongside the Tiguan2 R-Line, Touran R-Line and the racy Golf R.

Verdict: Worth a look.

Until next Friday

Ferrari’s 70th Anniversary Collection, Repulse Bay

You can see eight fine Ferraris at dealer Blackbird Concessionaires’ Repulse Bay showroom, until next Friday, says Ferrari Hong Kong spokeswoman Elaine Fong. The displays are part of the marque’s global 70th anniversary celebrations. It’s an “impressive collection of iconic, all-rosso Ferrari [that] include the marque’s greatest and most limited series supercars”, she said. The cars include a 288 GTO, F40, F50, Enzo, 599 GTO, LaFerrari, F12tdf and the LaFerrari Aperta. Tell us which model you would buy if you won the Mark Six - and where in the world you would enjoy it.

Verdict: Don’t miss!

September 15

Rolls-Royce Phantom launch: Diamond Ballroom, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong

The marque will unveil its new “flagship” at this private lunch. Devotees will flock to the Phantom’s grille, and marvel at its comforts, technology and tradition. Critics will test its back-seat stretch - and consider two things: first, whether Maybach-Mercedes now exudes more old-money refinement; and, second, if a less costly BMW 7-Series, stretch Lexus or Audi A8L does the same job for high-level meetings, prime-address commutes and mobile boardroom business.

October 29

The Classic Car Club of Hong Kong’s Chater Road Show

Still the city’s grandest car event, with scores of classics parked on the pedestrianised street. Popular with photographers, local artists and tour groups, this colourful, well-presented show usually presents top-dollar restorations alongside younger collectors’ tattier 20-year-old classics. Owners usually stand by their cars and often discuss their restorations, importing, storage, spare parts and the varying quality of local mechanics.

Verdict: Don’t miss!

November 5

The Motorcycle Show 2017, on Lung Wo Road, Central

Organised by Classic Auto-cycle Museum, it’s the best motoring event in town, largely because it unites so many biking groups at one large, free-to-enter community event. As a result, last year’s show was well-backed by international bike-makers, dealers, riding schools, bike-tour agents and gear suppliers. The Hong Kong Police, Fire Services and Civil Aid Services often present their latest patrol and rescue bikes - and may even have recruited riders at past shows. At least 20 clubs are participating this year, from the Roaring Brothers Bikers and Devil Riders Association to the popular Hong Kong Scooter Power, Ducati, Black Boxxer, Tricycle and Vespa groups. The theme of this year’s show will be “Hong Kong’s Motoring Heritage” and will “focus on a Spine of vehicles displayed in the centre of Edinburgh Place”, the organiser said this week. “As well as classic motorcycles, we hope to have classic cars, buses, bicycles, and any other vehicles we can find in Hong Kong.” Bring a selfie stick for this show’s lively mood and memorable harbourfront backdrop. Motor shows in exhibition halls might seem bland after this.

Verdict: Don’t miss!

November 10-12

The Gold Coast Motor Festival, at Hong Kong Gold Coast, Tuen Mun

Sino Group’s second attempt at a festival “poised to become one of the most significant events in Asia’s motoring calendar”. Last year’s inaugural show drew many local collectors, experts and high-emission exotics, but its publicity was light and last-minute. However, the festival’​s organisers told Wheel News on Thursday that they will show some very rare collectors’ cars.

Verdict: Watch this space.

November 16-19

2017 Macau Grand Prix, Guia Circuit

If you’ve never been, go. It’s a fine long weekend of thrilling Formula 3, touring car races, excellent bike racing and lots of international car talk. Tickets range from 50 patacas on practice days to 900 patacas in the Lisboa stands on race days. The practice days are less crowded and good for track vibe and photography. Then you can go home and see more of the race on TV. The bike races are arguably the most thrilling on this tight, demanding track, and the young Formula 3 racers often become Formula 1 stars.

Verdict: Don’t miss!

December 2-3

Hong Kong E-Prix, Central Harbourfront Event Space

This meeting starts the FIA Formula E Championship’s fourth season and with a two-race format on Hong Kong’s harbourfront “Scalextric Track”. Its E-Village offers racing simulators and “a range of interactive experiences”, but its ticketing first seems expensive, from HK$2,140 for a weekend pass in the Observation Wheel Grandstand, and second, complicated by pre-event online public ballots for 10,000 freebies on both days. If you want a free ePrix ticket, you’ll have to offer personal information online, however. Local attendance at this event is unlikely to be boosted by the Hong Kong government’s April 1 tax increases on electric cars.

Verdict: Overcharged.

February 4, 2018

The Motoring Clubs Festival, on Lung Wo Road, Central

Run by the Motorcycle Show’s organiser, this informal, social show convenes local car groups in a similar free-to-enter format. The highlights of last year’s inaugural event were custom cars and electric vehicle owners explaining the joys of plug-in motoring. Could be a Hong Kong Motor Show if more marques and dealers took part.

Verdict: Don’t miss!

To tell Wheel News about your cars, bikes, club or motoring event, email Bill on [email protected]

business-article-page