Motoring enthusiast brings 'wheely' great show to region

Motoring enthusiast brings 'wheely' great show to region

Redcliffe motoring enthusiast Rohan James Robertson is sharing his love of classic vehicles with the community by hosting a number of car shows across the Moreton Bay Region. 

Rohan runs Cardi Gras, an event that brings petrol heads together to browse antique rides in the one location, while also raising money for charities that assist the homeless.

This year the hugely popular family-friendly event will be held in Strathpine, Pine Rivers and the Ocean View Estate Winery and Restaurant across multiple dates.

“Cardi Gras is about giving everyone the chance to show off their pride and joy to other enthusiasts and spectators,” Rohan said.

“We welcome anyone who would love to show off their wheels, from car clubs to individual car owners.

“In the past, we have had everything from a 1914 Whitley Whippet right through to the brand-new mustangs, and everything else in between.

“There is always a wide range of cars to look at, and we hand out trophies for people who bring their cars down to be on display.

“We have trophies for best vehicle in show, best classic, best muscle, best hot rod, best paint, best club display and the people’s choice award.”

Rohan said people might know the event under its previous name, Hotrods for the Homeless.

He changed the name to Cardi Gras in 2019. The name was inspired by a friend who described his event as “like Mardi Gras, but with cars”.

Today, Cardi Gras events are held across other regions in South East Queensland including Ipswich, Blackbutt and Caloundra.

A lifelong passion 

Cars have always been a big part of Rohan’s life, with his love of cars stemming from his father.

“My dad was a marine engineer and when he married my mum, he left the seas and settled down on land and became a mechanical engineer,” he said.

“He used to deck out his walls with hot rod memorabilia, photos and pin-up girls.

“I remember dad put me and my two sisters, my grandparents and my mum in an old HQ Holden and we drove from Taree all the way up to the old Scarborough Caravan Park where we spent a week in 1972.”

While Rohan drives a more modern vehicle today, it does have a special meaning to him.

“One of my dad’s friends had a MGB car - one of the 1962 soft tops - and he let me drive it a few times,” he said.

“I always said if I ever had the money, I would get an MG.

“When my dad passed away in 2019, I got my inheritance and bought myself a car.

“I couldn’t afford an MGB because these days they are worth over $100,000 but at least I could buy an MG3 because they are only like $19,000.

“So now, I can say I have an MG. It’s a funny tongue-in-cheek joke for our family.”

Head along

Cardi Gras events will be held on the third Saturday of each month at the Strathpine Centre from 8am-noon for Breakfast with the Cars, as well as the Cars among the Vines at Ocean View Estate Winery and Restaurant on the third Sunday of each month from 2-6pm. This show will also feature markets and car swap meets.

Rohan will also be organising four Cardi Gras events to be held throughout the school holidays at Club Pine Rivers.

If you would like to enter the show and display your vehicle, it costs $5.

Entry for spectators is a gold coin donation.

Events will depend on the ongoing COVID-19 situation, with Rohan to post updates on the Cardi Gras Facebook page and website.

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