What is Patina Breakdown?

Back this November for its second outing, Patina Breakdown is a car show for the “perfectly imperfect”


Debuting in November 2022, Patina Breakdown is a car show with a difference. You won’t see any elite-level stunners here; this show is all about rides with character rather than bling. It’s a celebration of cars that are “worn in but not worn out” – patina, dents, bruises and flaky paint are all welcome.

Following its successful initial go-’round, Patina Breakdown will return for 2023, 17-19 November at Moonambel Recreation Reserve, a few hours north-west of Melbourne.

Here’s organiser Tim Barnett to explain how the show came about and what to expect at this year’s event.

“Tell me if this sounds familiar. The weather is nice, you have knocked enough domestic jobs off the list to put your brownie points in the black (just), and there’s a car show on.

“So, without too much fanfare, you grab the keys to your old banger, hoik up the roll-a-door and climb into the driver’s seat. You sit there a moment, savouring the sweet smell of old vinyl, dust, stale fuel, and probably a couple of long-forgotten Macca’s chips that made their way under the seat. A couple of hefty pumps on the go-pedal and you kick it in the guts. You wince momentarily as the engine cranks much slower than you are comfortable with, but she loyally kicks alive with a cacophony of mechanical taps and rattles – none of which cause you a whimper of concern. This old girl has been with you for years; you know every tick, tap and clunk is merely her way of saying ‘good morning’.

“You pull out of the driveway and head off to the car show to take part in the show ’n’ shine. As you roll through the entrance, old mate at the gate gives you a wry smile, and directs you “down the back for this old banger, mate.” You nod and plop her into drive, wait the 3-6 business days for the shift to lurch you forward slightly, then scamper away with a wisp of oil smoke dutifully trailing behind.

“That’s all well and good, but a bunch of us blokes got a bit tired of being the cheap sideshow to the main event. We decided to make our own show, and we called it Patina Breakdown. We would make a celebration of the perfectly imperfect: the flaky, scuffed, bruised and battered. Worn in but not worn out.

“So, in November 2022 we rolled into the surprisingly well-equipped Moonambel Recreation Reserve in western Victoria. We camped two nights, and made use of the local pub only 300 metres down the road, where many stories were swapped and friends were made. We had a local coffee Kombi keeping the caffeine up, and a wood-fired pizza van for the big display on the Sunday. More banter around the campfires and a few ales to warm the cockles.

“On show day, the turnout was nothing short of amazing, given the big downpours in the days leading up to the event. We still managed 80 cars for show day, and only one early drizzle. The response to that first event was staggering; it was such a laidback vibe, and some killer cars turned up – with any apologies for dirt, dust or rust being batted away with a ‘don’t you dare apologise for that stuff – you’re at Patina Breakdown!’

“All in all, we had an absolute blast, and donated all proceeds back to the Recreation Reserve, which they have used to upgrade the hot water service. Ripper!

“Needless to say, the locals have welcomed us back with open arms for round two of Patina Breakdown, which will take place 17-19 November. The venue is once again Moonambel Recreation Reserve, around 2.5 hours north-west of Melbourne and 45 minutes east of Stawell.

“We will have a meet-and-greet at the Moonambel Resort Hotel on the Friday night, a cruise to Avoca for lunch on Saturday, and there’ll be plenty of time to relax and catch up on Saturday night at the Rec Reserve.

“Sunday will be the open-to-the-public display at the Rec Reserve between 10am and 2pm. Entry fee is $10, but if you want to camp there’ll be an extra fee set by the Reserve. Car entry for the show on Sunday is $10 per car. All funds raised will be donated back to the local community.

“We hope to see you there! In the meantime, you can find more info on our Patina Breakdown Facebook page.”