16 February 2024

Third running of muster set to rev up Cooktown

| Lyndon Keane
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Martin Watkinson shows his support for the Cape York Automotive Muster, which will be held again in 2024 during the Cooktown Discovery Festival weekend in June. Photo: Supplied.

The “obsessed” organiser of Cape York’s favourite car show says she has already had inquiries from owners preparing to drive their pride and joy to Cooktown to participate in the 2024 instalment of the event.

The Cape York Automotive Muster will be held on 15 June, 2024 during the Cooktown Discovery Festival, with record numbers of utes, four-wheel drives, motorcycles and muscle cars set to go on show.

Organiser and self-confessed petrolhead Lauren Bowyer, who started the event in 2022, explained its origin to Cape York Weekly as planning ramped up last week.

“I started the muster in 2022 after a random discussion with my mother, who mentioned to me that I should organise a car show for Cooktown, because I am, and have always been, obsessed with four-wheel drives and trucks,” she explained.

“Initially I called it the Cape York Ute and 4X4 Muster, however, I had been approached that year by a number of spectators to ask me why I didn’t include muscle cars, motorcycles, trucks and BnS utes in my list of categories.

“I worked on including these categories in the 2023 event; this then led me to changing the event name to the Cape York Automotive Muster in 2023.”

Car nuts will have seven categories to contest when the final touches of polish are applied in June: Best in Show, Best Flex, Best Motorcycle, Best Ladies Rig, Roughest Rig, Best Classic 4×4 Rig and Best Classic Car.

Ms Bowyer said the format of the event would feel familiar to previous entrants, adding she believed there could be some head-turning offerings from outside of Cape York on display.

“I have already received emails from people from down south who want to bring their vehicles up to participate in the event,” she said.

“This year’s event will be run much the same as the previous years.

“Participants will drive their vehicles in the annual Cooktown Discovery Festival parade, then line up in the area designated to the Cape York Automotive Muster to be judged, based on the categories they have registered for.”

READ ALSO Festival set to welcome back vehicle muster

With nearly $30,000 in cash and prizes offered in both 2022 and 2023, Ms Bowyer urged sponsors and fellow car enthusiasts to offer their support to ensure the third running of the muster was the biggest and best yet.

“Working full-time and trying to pull this event together can be very difficult at times,” she said.

“Stress levels go through the roof when trying to organise an event like this one, but I do it because I love how excited people get about it, I love seeing the reactions to the vehicles in the parade, and I do this for our community.

“I’d also like to say thank you to the small group of people who have helped me in any way these last two years, whether it be directly related to the muster, or just to hold me down when I feel like giving up on it.”

Ms Bowyer’s own vehicle, the unmissable black and hot pink Voodoo Queen, will be on display at the event, and she said she had lofty long-term ambitions for the muster.

“Eventually, I would love to get the muster to grow into its own regional event, where people can come from all over, just like they do for the Deni Ute Muster, but that is a pipe dream for now,” she laughed.

Cape York Automotive Muster organiser Lauren Bowyer, pictured with her Voodoo Queen ute, is calling on sponsors and entrants to again support the 15 June, 2024 event. Photo: Supplied.

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