Gay and lesbian car enthusiasts are revving up to hit the road this summer for LGBTI-friendly car club Motafrez’s annual Magical Mystery Tour.

The treasure hunt on wheels will be held on Sunday, January 22 as part of the Midsumma Festival.

Motafrenz president Gordon Campbell said the event is designed to be fun and to encourage newcomers to join the group.

“It’s a leisurely drive around country Victoria. When you get to a certain point, you answer questions,” Campbell explained.

“The car with the most correct answers wins.”
The event also raises money for Melbourne-based virology and communicable disease research body, the Burnet Institute.

Campbell said the group welcomes anyone with an interest in cars or seeing new sights.

“A lot of people join because they want to have a social life and to make friends, be connected,” he said.

“It’s not really a technical car club. People are interested in cars but it’s also about socialising, motoring, going places, seeing things.

“Most of the time, people bring what we call their ‘daily drivers’ which is just their average car, but they usually do have other cars.”

The club’s 120-strong membership is mostly made up of gay men, however, it also includes some straight members. Campbell said he’d like to see more women join — women’s membership sits at about five percent.

The club has been running for more than two decades and is affiliated with Victoria’s peak motoring club body, the Association of Motoring Clubs.

Members also regularly show at the RACV Classic Showcase, one of the largest displays of British and European cars.

“I think we’re part of the furniture these days,” Campbell said.

“We find people who otherwise might not be directly involved with the community come along and talk to us and sometimes join.”

A recent showing at an American car show at Flemington racecourse, however, caused some “sideways glances”.

“One of the [Motafrenz] blokes has restored, very beautifully, an early ’60s Dodge truck,” Campbell said.

“We found out that’s the way to pull the boys at the American car show — they were all over it!”

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