Sunday, September 16, 2012

Gas Light Festival 2012

I'm not really into modern cars.  To my husband's dismay, I'd be just as happy driving a little 2nd hand stock-standard hatchback as I would be driving a high performance or luxury car.  That's not to say I don't like the act of driving - just that I don't really feel any excitement about the vehicles.

But put a car infront of me from the 1950s or earlier and I almost have conniptions as I prance around with paroxysms of delight.  Seriously!

So it is safe to say that I was in a very, very happy place when my husband and three of my best girls accompanied me to the Gas Light Festival in Ipswich last night.  

The Gas Light Festival had roughly a hundred pre-1920s automobiles lined up on the main street of the older part of the city.  There were old Buicks, Renaults, Model T Fords and Hupmobiles, beautifully restored and still functional.  A number of these amazing vehicles were running their old gas lights (hence the name of the festival).   Every automobile I passed I claimed I would like to own.

 One thing that amazed me about the vehicles was the detail in them; the paintwork on a wheel, the work in the fine leather seating, or the little vases which clipped in at the windowside.   If a metal strip was required at the side step, then it was worth decorating with the company's name in beautiful font.

The size of some of the vehicles was enormous and I had to wonder what they were like to drive, without power steering.   How much fuel did they go through in the same journey my modern car would make.   If I had been less hyperactive and awestruck by the cars I might have been smart enough to ask these questions of the owners who were never far from their prized possession.

Other than the cars, there was a real festival atmosphere to the event.  Live orchestral music was played at two points along the display and there were a number of folk dressed up in late Edwardian or early 1900s costumes as well as a number of pretty cool steampunk costumes - as the event had aimed for a steampunk feel.

Lovely C and Poisoned Kitty came in steampunk costumes.  Lovely C was rockin' a bustle dress while PoisonedKitty opted for a safari look.   Sassy D wore a 50s outfit complete with a rope petticoat and a very sweet vintage hat she had bought at the recent Way We Wear vintage clothes fair in Brisbane.

Many of the stores along the street had window displays relevant to the era or theme.  For example the bicycle store along the way had two old penny farthings on display, as well as a number of other old bicycles, including one that worked on a shaft pump system instead of chain - (to allow ladies to ride safely in long skirts!)

I even got the chance to quickly drop into The Vintage Advantage, located on that street, but didn't stay for long as hubby was getting hungry for some food.

All in all it was a fantastic chance to see some historical vehicles in a historical city.  I really do hope they repeat the event again next year.

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