Hidden (mostly) away from view is Sydney’s most amazing classic car dealership. There may be other dealers selling classic cars, but none have the commitment to the history, knowledge, and their customers quite like Classic Throttle Shop (Throttlers or CTS if you’re feeling lazy).
Born in 2003 by Rory and Karin Johnston under the railway line leading to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Classic Throttle Shop was a small collection of highly desirable cars squeezed together in a very humble space but somehow, the location was fitting.
Historically, CTS is in the right spot. Unlike Melbourne where beautiful old warehouses and period buildings drip with character throughout the city, Sydney struggles to serve up anything beyond uninspired concrete blocks yet the cavernous spaces that lead on to one of Sydney’s premier landmarks are filled with character, particularly when one of the trains noisily rumble overhead with vibrations making you feel the place is alive.
A few years later CTS consolidated two bays and turned a grubby locale into a world class showroom. The high warehouse style ceilings create an incredible atmosphere with negative space with the walls painted white like a canvas, drawing your eyes to the subject matter and it’s hard not to be mesmerised.
Natural light fills both sides of the space allowing the cars to be beautifully lit. The smaller adjacent bay gets less light but has enough quirks and old world charm to draw you in. The wooden flooring is beautifully laid out where eTypes and Gullwing Mercs feel right at home. Period artwork, posters, and artefacts are scattered throughout pulling you back in time.
Staff are incredibly knowledgeable and passionate. They are constantly dealing with looky-loos on a consistent basis (ahem!), while protecting paintwork and bodywork from over zealous children while balancing the needs and attention of high net worth customers. If you’re lucky, you may be there when they need to move the La Ferrari to get to the Countach, so they can drive out the Testarossa. The sound echoing off the giant walls is something.
So what cars do Classic Throttle Shop acquire? Everything from the obscure to the exotic, race cars, Japanese heroes, micro cars and muscle cars focusing mostly on originality.