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Car club goes extra mile for cruise visits

Busselton Dunsborough Times
Ian Ellson in his 1959 Chevrolet Impala, with fellow car enthusiasts Ray Morgan, Garry Trigwell, Frank Sutton, Gary Lenton, Peter Dagleish, Derek Snowdown and Graham Bailey.
Camera IconIan Ellson in his 1959 Chevrolet Impala, with fellow car enthusiasts Ray Morgan, Garry Trigwell, Frank Sutton, Gary Lenton, Peter Dagleish, Derek Snowdown and Graham Bailey. Credit: Busselton Dunsborough Times, Taelor Pelusey

As Busselton enters its fourth year as a cruise ship destination, the Veteran Car Club is highlighting the importance of providing visitor attractions and is leading by example.

The club has hosted a display of vintage cars for disembarking cruise passengers since the first ship docked in 2014.

While the displays provide the club a welcome opportunity to “show-off” their cars, club member Graham Bailey said it also served a tourism purpose.

“It’s a bit of a community service and offers something different for people visiting Busselton,” he said.

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“We’ve been here for every cruise but one and always have an excellent response.”

Busselton and its meet-and- greet volunteers earned a commendation from Tourism WA late last year for its development and progress as a cruise ship destination.

More than 10,000 passengers aboard seven cruise ships visited in 2015-16, injecting more than $2 million into the local economy.

Mr Bailey said since the first ship’s arrival, the club had seen visitor numbers rise steadily and expected the trend to continue.

Fellow member Peter Dagleish said aside from Napier in New Zealand, he knew of no other vintage car displays for cruise visitors.

“It’s important to create a point of interest for visitors though,” he said.

“We have the car displays and there’s the markets, and there’s more and more on offer for visitors.”

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