There were a couple of late arrivals including the gorgeous new BMW Z4 sportster, as well as more details on everything from the fuel miser Suzuki Alto to the Honda Insight which was shown as a left-hand-drive concept but will soon be sold as a $30,000-something hybrid hero.
One of the genuine surprises was on the GM Holden stand, but it was not the Cruze.
The unexpected news was details of a couple of limited-edition showroom specials to keep the Commodore ticking along.
The International pack for the Commodore sedan and Sportswagon was not a shock, because dollar deals on Australia's favourite car always go well, but the arrival of a limited-edition Senator from Holden Special Vehicles was completely unexpected.
The car is priced from $69,990, which doesn't look like much of a bargain until you clock the regular Senator at $80,500.
Stripping the price means dumping some stuff, including the excellent 'magnetic ride' suspension, but the mechanical package is based on the latest Clubsport and that will be more than enough for most people.
"Today's release of the E-Series Senator is designed to appeal to customers seeking the performance our company is renowned for in a subtle - yet identifiably HSV - package, with a very attractive price point," says the managing director of HSV, Phil Harding.
Only 89 cars will be built and it still gets 317 kiloWatts and 19-inch alloy wheels. In the style of every limited-edition model the car comes with a special logo, in this case on the headrests.
"We think it's a good time to put some extra value into the range and the Senator should do well," says Harding.
Find out more on the 2009 Melbourne Motor Show