One of the top five car collections in the world
ANY REGION in the country would love to boast being home to the biggest or the best attraction - and we are not talking Big Pineapples or Big Bananas.
This is something very special. Very big.
Central Coast can now claim to have the largest, privately owned classic car collection in the Southern Hemisphere. Not a bad coup.
But there is more. The Gosford Classic Car Museum is also rated one of the top five car collections in the world.
This can only mean a huge boost in tourism numbers, always good news for a coastal region, but perhaps just as importantly, it is something for locals to be proud of, to show off and share with visitors.
The venue itself is spectacular. Previously a Bunnings Warehouse, the 11,000sqm of it has been stripped bare, walls painted a chocolate brown and floors polished to shine like mirrors. This means the cars - all 450 of them valued at about $75million - shine, sparkle and are reflected in the mirror-like floor.
"The quality of the place is amazing," marketing manager Kim Bradley said. "There are low drop-down lights that sit above the cars so the cars pop. There is no competition with the walls, it's all about the cars."
Open just seven months, the Gosford Classic Car Museum is privately owned by entrepreneur and car fanatic Tony Denny, and already visitor numbers are exceptional, sometimes a couple of thousand a day during peak times. The Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull chose to spend his 62nd birthday at the museum, surrounded by the $70million worth of cars.
Most of the cars have been hand-picked and will remain on show for up to five years.
However, there are new vehicles constantly being added to the collection by a team of experts always on the lookout for rare and unique finds across the globe.
The cars and motorcycles range from vintage classics to super cars, modern classics... even military vehicles. The cars are displayed by countries, the places where they were manufactured, including Germany, Italy, UK, Australia and Asia.
The Ferrari collection alone is valued at $30million.
"Tony Denny has always had a passion for cars," Kim said. "He treats them like a piece of art. He went through about 5000 cars before the 450 were chosen. There are another 100 cars waiting to go into the museum. It's an evolving museum."
Denny, who was raised in Australia and began his car-collecting passion in his twenties, saw the opportunity to sell second-hand cars in Eastern and Central Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
He lived in Prague for two decades before selling his company for $330million.
He returned to Australia to the Central Coast where he had holidayed for years during his time living in Prague. With his immense fortune along with his passion for cars, it was natural for him to set up the museum in the region he loves so much.
"Car enthusiasts from all over the world are expected to come to the Central Coast once the word spreads of the exceptional collection of classic cars," Kim said.
A team of 40 people works at The Gosford Classic Car Museum, all of them passionate about the display and thrilled to show it off to visitors.
"The number of people already come through has been amazing," Kim said.
"Seniors especially love to the see the cars. We have groups from all over coming in, clubs and so on. We treat every visitor as though they are part of our family. This is a private building, a private collection of dream cars and we love to share it."
The Gosford Classic Car Museum, 3-13 Stockyard Place, Gosford.