Racing into history at Winton

May 15, 2017
Benalla Auto Club Victoria member and Kialla resident Nick Crocitti is set to race his 1934 Ford Roadster at next month’s Historic Winton. Nick spent several years lovingly restoring the vehicle, but this could very well be the last time he races it. 

‘‘It might be the last season. I have a new car which I’m working on at the moment,’’ he said. 

‘‘It’ll be a little bit nicer but still keeping the pre-war-style shape and that will probably be ready by, I’d imagine, the end of the year for the next season. 

‘‘But in the meantime the old car is still fine. It still gives me a lot of enjoyment.’’ 

Nick races in the regularity class and said it was purely a time-driven event. 

‘‘It’s not a wheel-to-wheel race as most full-on race cars are and it caters for people who are small budget, backyard race car drivers.’’ 

Nick said he was excited about racing at Historic Winton because the atmosphere was amazing and it was his favourite track. When asked whether racing could be difficult, Nick said it was more about learning to drive within your limits. 

‘‘Know where your boundaries are and just stick to them, but having said that, each time you run your vehicle you get a little bit better, you understand the vehicle’s characteristics and you push your potential a little bit further but not to the point where you think you’re going to end up hurting yourself or the vehicle,’’ he said. 

This is the 41st year Historic Winton has been held and it is known as Australia’s largest all-historic motor race meeting. Historic Winton co-ordinator Noel Wilcox said a great thing about the event was the various people it attracted from across Australia. 

‘‘The event continues to evolve from not only a race meeting for old men and their cars and bikes,’’ he said. 

‘‘We now have a huge heritage display aspect at our meeting. 

‘‘There’s so much going on off the track to keep people occupied.’’ 

Noel said the event saw a wide range of vehicles come together such as vintage pushbikes, old speedway cars, vintage caravans, old commercial vehicles, steam engines, model pedal cars, a huge display of antique radios and even farm machinery. Historic Winton has a particular focus on early motor sport, with many of the vehicles from the 1920s to 1960s. The event also features motorbikes.

Noel said it was the only meeting in Australia that had as well as cars and motorbikes and the motorbike sidecar event always attracted a large crowd. 

‘‘The unique thing also is we get so many vehicles each year that haven’t seen the light of day for 50 or 60 years,’’ he said. 

‘‘Vehicles turn up each year and we wouldn’t even have a clue they’re coming. We’ve got competition vehicles that haven’t been out for 50 to 60 years.’’ Nick said Historic Winton was certainly the place to be if you were interested in cars. 

‘‘Any car enthusiast that doesn’t attend should think again because it caters for muscle cars, historic cars and all sorts of early-style motorbikes,’’ he said. 

‘‘I just urge everyone to try to attend. It is an excellent weekend.’’

Have you visited the Historic Winton? Share you favourite memories with us below in the comments!
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