With the world of motorsport on hold and travel bans in place for Australia, you could be forgiven for considering a future escape.
Speedcafe.com has worked to develop a list of dream places, events and experiences for motorsport and motor racing fans so that you can tick off your Bucket List.
TASMANIA NATIONAL AUTOMOTIVE MUSEUM: Launceston, Tasmania
There is no doubt that when we start to ease the COVID-19 lockdowns, we will all be looking for a vacation combined with the luxury of some motorsport.
As the environment and the rules of the pandemic seem to change on a daily basis, a trip to Tasmania could be one of the first realistic options where we can combine action on the right track with a decent break.
With international travel virtually non-existent, the closest thing to vacationing “overseas” for mainland Australian residents could be a flight or a boat trip to Apple Island.
The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship is set to hold its penultimate round at Symmons Plains, just south of Launceston, on November 21-22.
In January, the Australian Racing Group will host a round at Symmons Plains January 24-26, then at Baskerville, just north of Hobart, the following weekend.
And don’t forget that you have Targa Tasmania from April 19-24 next year, which covers some of the best driving routes in the world.
Either way, a trip to Tasmania will more than likely result in a visit to Launceston, which means you should put the Tasmanian National Automobile Museum on your “to visit” list.
For over 30 years, NAMT has earned a reputation as a progressive destination for fans and enthusiasts looking for something a little different.
The museum was originally established in 1987 by Geoff Smedley, a well-known automotive identity from Launceston, within the Waverley Woolen Mills complex.
A nonprofit group, administered by a board of 12, was formed to help move the museum downtown in 1996 where it flourished.
The continued success has meant a move to an even larger purpose-built location on Lindsay Street which officially opened in September of last year.
NAMT is now part of Tasmanian automotive culture and the new facility offers the opportunity for unique themed exhibits that give visitors a reason to come back regularly.
One of the highlights of the new facility is the Hall of Muscle which is a tribute to the Australian muscle car that features a 1967 XR GT Falcon, XW GT-HO Phase II and 1969 Holden Torana LC GTR.
One of the highlights of motorsport includes a 1974 L34 Torana which was driven by the Holden dealer team and won pole at Bathurst in its first year at the hands of Peter Brock.
The car was also driven on pole and third in 1975 by Colin Bond and John Walker and second the following year by Bond and John Harvey.
Also on display is Tasmanian John McCormack’s 1973 Charger sports sedan, which won 27 of 42 races in 1974.
There is also a “supercars” element which is a rotating display of exotic examples from brands like Ferrari, Audi, Lamborghini and Honda.
The bike’s display includes a 2010 Buell XB12R Firebolt, which was the last dealer delivered Buell sold in Australia and is still in its delivery crate.
There’s also the factory-prepared Honda that Malcolm Campbell rode for the 1996 Australian Superbike Championship.
While modern classics are well catered for, the changing display regularly features cars and motorcycles spanning over 100 years of automotive history.
One of the historical highlights is a 1913 Leyland Urban Pumper which was Tasmania’s first motorized fire truck and a 1909 Renault.
All of the vehicles on display are the private property of amateurs and collectors, and although most are local to Tasmania, vehicles are sometimes on loan to the museum by interstate owners.
The Museum hosts various outdoor events throughout the year, often involving visits to automobile clubs.
A Community Awareness Weekend is held every year to show the local community what the Museum has to offer.
The museum is home to the Tasmanian Motorsport Hall of Fame interactive exhibit.
The Hall of Fame honors the countless Tasmanians who have excelled in local, national and international motorsport, including John Bowe, John Goss, Malcolm Campbell, Greg Crick, Barry Oliver, Robin Best, Ross Ambrose, Denzil Mead, John Large and Kerry Baily
This unique feature is presented, along with an extensive collection of rare and sought after diecast models.
The viability of NAMT depends solely on admission to the Museum, sales of the gift shop, and tax-deductible donations.
The museum was closed for several weeks due to COVID-19, but reopened on June 6.
|Address||84 Lindsay St, Launceston, Tasmania|
|How to get there||NAMT is located in downtown Launceston, Tasmania. There are daily flights from mainland Australia as well as boats carrying cars from Melbourne.|
|Opening hours and tickets||Open 7 days a week: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Adults: $ 14; Seniors: $ 11; Children under 16: $ 7.50; Family: $ 35.50; Annual pass: $ 35
|Telephone||+61 3 6334 888|
|Additional advice||The museum has full disabled access on one level and free parking, a short walk from the popular Seaport area.|