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Fox’s car museum ready to reopen

Sean Car

Trucking giant Lindsay Fox’s classic car collection in Docklands’ historic Queen’s Warehouse is gearing up for reopening to the public “as soon as lockdown ends”.

The Fox Classic Car Collection, which is run by a special trust, has been showcased in the heritage-listed warehouse on the corner of Collins St and Batman’s Hill Drive since 1996. In 2019, Docklands News reported that the trust had moved the cars out of the warehouse into storage while remediation of the adjacent site took place.

But the trust’s chairman Bill Kelty confirmed with Docklands News last month that the collection of around 50 cars had been “progressively” moved back into the warehouse during the course of 2021, as it prepared for a long-awaited reopening.

Mr Kelty said that as soon as the current lockdown ended, the museum hoped to reopen to the public with a number of events associated with more specific cars, many of which were new to the collection.

He said the refreshed collection on display in Docklands would feature a “higher concentration” of certain vehicles, including classic Porsches among others.

The collection had been moved into storage in 2019 to preserve its value due the threat of damage from remediation from the neighbouring site.

But Mr Kelty said that with remediation now “progressing well” towards completion, the cars were no longer at risk. The collection is understood to be valued at between $30 and $40 million, and includes cars previously owned by Ringo Starr, Bing Crosby and Bob Jane, among other well-known names.

The trust pays just $1 a year in rent for the building and surrounding land, under a special 99-year lease granted by former Prime Minister Paul Keating and then-Premier Jeff Kennett in 1995.

The lease was issued on the condition that the land be used for the purposes of establishing a public car museum and promoting uses consistent with those purposes. The Kangan Institute has run an automotive TAFE next to Queen’s Warehouse since 1996, which was provided by the trust for a peppercorn sum.

With historic plans to develop the site adjacent to the warehouse, the new development had long been understood to house stage three of Kangan’s Docklands campus, as well as an expanded car museum managed by the trust.

Other automotive stakeholders such as Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV) and the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) are understood to have expressed interest in the past.

Mr Kelty told Docklands News last month it was still proceeding with plans to redevelop the site in the future, but what form the development took hinged on market conditions and COVID-19.

He said that “plenty of options” for a development anywhere between three and 11 storeys were still being considered, with a ground floor and mezzanine exhibition space to showcase events for the car museum.

However, he said that for now, its “number one priority” was reopening the car museum.

According to its website, the Fox Classic Car Collection will look to reopen to the public pending COVID restrictions on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10am to 2pm.

For more information and to pre-purchase tickets visit the website below •

For more information: foxcollection.org.au

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