Seven big events for Hong Kong car and bike enthusiasts coming up, from races to shows of classics and the latest models

Hong Kong’s car and motorbike lovers can look forward to seven major events over the next six weekends

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 October, 2017, 10:15am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 July, 2018, 8:22pm

Hong Kong’s car and motorbike enthusiasts might be hard to pin down over the next two months. Many traditionally hit the road more often for weekend drives in the autumn – when the weather is cooler and drier. Also keeping them busy will be seven big motoring events over six successive weekends, from late this month to early December. Each of the events will have its own mood and content, and all are worth a visit for their colour and fun.

Chater Road Classic Car Show

Chater Road, Central

October 29, 10am to 4pm

The Classic Car Club of Hong Kong’s annual Chater Road show in Central has been a social event for generations and traditionally lines up about 100 of the finest collectibles in Asia.

The free show “typically attracts a wide spectrum of visitors, from industry leaders, celebrities, trade executives/experts, craftsman to car enthusiasts,” says the club’s spokesman, David Yuan.

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However, look out too for some of the younger collectors’ 1970s and ’80s Japanese and American models, some with original eight-track and cassette recorders.

Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong and luxury watchmaker IWC Schaffhausen are co-sponsoring this year’s show, but the event is traditionally relaxed and now attracts fashionable millennials, street artists, and mainland tour groups fascinated by Hong Kong’s unique motoring heritage.

2017 China (Macau) International Automobile Exposition

Cotai Expo, The Venetian Macao

November 3 to 5

Last year’s event featured some 100 marques and several talks in about 65,000 square metres of space. This event will be worth a look if you are in The Venetian. It also deserves better publicity in English.

The Motorcycle Show 2017

Lung Wo Road, Central

November 5

This show is free and also probably the most fun because it attracts the many “tribes” of motorcycling, and encourages visiting riders to dress up in their Easy Rider leathers, or pose in scooter mod, biker goth or Lolita gear.

At least 20 biker clubs are expected to convene and recruit new members on the harbour side of City Hall, alongside more than 30 stands occupied by local marques, dealers, racing and riding schools. Look out too for Hong Kong’s latest police and fire bikes, and some fascinating custom choppers and trikes.

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This year’s event also includes a “Hong Kong’s Motoring Heritage” display of classic cars and bikes at the government’s “Culture Pavilion” in the middle of Edinburgh Place.

This display commemorates local car culture with models “that would have been commonplace on Hong Kong’s roads through the last 10 decades”, says Ian Foster of show organiser Classic Auto-cycle Museum.

Look out for old Hong Kong MGBs, Volkswagen “Herbie” Beetles, Jaguar E-types, Morris Minis and even a Daimler that transported colonial governors. Other nostalgic exhibits include an Austin Cambridge taxi and a 1940s BSA M20 motorcycle.

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

November 10 to 12

Sino Group’s Gold Coast Motor Festival 2017 seems to be aimed at a wealthier set. Billed as “Hong Kong’s premier motor celebration”, the festival will present 80 classic and collectible cars at the property developer’s Hong Kong Gold Coast hotel and marina resort outside Tuen Mun.

The cars will be completely different from those on show at the Chater Road show, “and there won’t be bikes”, says local collector Carl Yuen, the festival’s honorary curator.

“Unlike Chater Road, which is a club event inviting members’ participation with their cars, the [festival] only accepts the top-of-the-crop cars – condition, history, pedigree and rarity are all considered before selection.”

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So look out for a Ferrari 250 GT/E, first introduced at the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1960; a Toyota 2000GT, Japan’s first supercar; and a 1926 Bentley 3 litre, one of the oldest registered cars in Hong Kong. Supercars range from the one-off Pagani Zonda Fantasma Evo to a Lamborghini Sesto Elemento, one of only 20 produced; a McLaren P1 GTR; and a McLaren F1.

Other collectibles include a Volkswagen XL1, a Bugatti Chiron and, maybe the event’s most fascinating display, an 1886 Benz tricycle. There will also be a series of talks, interactive events and a concours judged by experts, including an Indian prince, Rana Manvendra. The festival also celebrates local fashion and lifestyle, with Ascot Chang designing and tailoring the judges’ suits, “and our very own William Tang interpreting our festival with his unique, specially created hats”, Yuen says.

2017 Macau Grand Prix

Guia Circuit

November 16 to 19

Still a great weekend for Formula Three, touring car races, bike racing and lots of pit and track action. Tickets range from 50 patacas (US$6.50) to 900 patacas in the Lisboa stands.

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The circuit can be crowded but the vibe on the track and in the pits is worth any jetfoil and taxi hassle, and a good excuse for a flit to finer dining and better service in Macau’s casino resorts.

Auto Guangzhou 2017

China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair Complex), Guangzhou

November 17 to 26

This big regional event reportedly drew 667,000 visitors last year, who came to see 56 global launches and about 1,130 cars in 220,000 square metres of space. Even so, it’s worth a trip to see the latest Chinese cars, and speculate whether their design, finish and electronics could compete with foreign-made cars in Hong Kong.

This year’s event is themed “New Technology, New Life”, so expect new concepts and more geeky talk about electric vehicles, car connectivity and autonomous driving.

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Central Harbourfront Event Space

December 2 and 3

The FIA Formula E Championship’s fourth season begins with a two-race weekend event. Its eVillage has racing simulators and “interactive experiences”, but electric vehicles are “so 2016” in Hong Kong, since the government raised taxes on them on April 1. Why drive electric when it’s cheaper to guzzle gas – and go “vroom” instead of “sssss”?