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Motor show is special

It's a pity that Australia can only afford one big show every year.

When I was a little bloke, a visit to the old Sydney Showgrounds was always a very special event.

We didn't have much money for show bags or rides, but the Royal Easter Show was always one of the year's highlights. And it only got better once I discovered horsepower as well has hoofs and horns through a first visit to the Ford pavilion.

I went back to the same spot many times during the years that the Sydney Motor Show was staged at the Showgrounds and can still remember the feeling of anticipation and excitement as I walked through the gates. It's the same way I'm feeling this week about Darling Harbour and the opening day of the Australian International Motor Show.

Alright, I've already seen most of the show stars - including the Jaguar F-Type and Range Rover - but there is still something special to discover and it must be even better for ordinary visitors to Australia's biggest annual motoring event. 

I'm looking forward to seeing the new Toyota Corolla for the first time, and getting up close to an Aston Martin One-77, while Subaru is promising a very special hotrod BRZ. And even the Skoda Rapid is new. Oh, did I mention the outlandish specials on the Mercedes-Benz stand?

That's what's so great about any motor show - there is always something unexpected, and it's the only real chance to do back-to-back comparisons with the sort of cars that Australians are buying every week, looking at everything from boot space to cabin finishes and back-seat legroom.

It's a pity that Australia can only afford one big show every year, alternating between Sydney and Melbourne, and that the event has outgrown Darling Harbour and will move to Homebush when it comes back to the harbour city in 2014. But will I care as I walk through the doors? Not a bit. For a couple of minutes I'll be a 10-year-old again.