Car enthusiasts have won permission to showcase their collection in a former Castlemaine tech school and now just need the money complete their decades-long quest.
Mount Alexander Shire councillors signed off on a planning permit for the future motoring museum at 5 Etty Street when they met on Tuesday night.
It will allow Castlemaine Hot Rod Centre Ltd to customise an old gymnasium for a research library, display centre and climate controlled archive area.
The group will also turn a second building to train new generations in specialty vehicle trades, with room for community groups to hold meetings and other events.
All the museum now needed was government funding to fit the buildings out, the centre's chairman Larry O'Toole said.
"If we are successful in doing that, we will be able to proceed quite quickly," he said.
"If we are not, it will still go ahead but at a much, much slower pace."
The push to create a skills and cultural hub for hot rods and other specialty vehicles began in 2004 but it was only last decade that an opportunity came up for the old tech school site.
The new museum could one day become a focal point for all motoring enthusiasts in a town long seen as the hot rod capital of Australia.
The training school component could also become an epicentre for skills needed to work on a range of specialty cars, Mr O'Toole said.
The centre is now in talks with a number of educational groups about students using facilities to complete specialty projects.
That could include vehicle restorations and modifications.
The council voted through the planning permit despite opposition from one member of the public.
That person had opposed the development on multiple grounds including operating hours in one of the buildings, traffic concerns, and the potential for pollution.
Shire officers were not concerned about issues raised by the objector.
They said the hours of operation were clear and in keeping with the character of the area, and that traffic would not be as intense as it would if a school was operating in the buildings.
Shire staff also said that the building was on land the council had previously set aside for motor repairs.
Cr Stephen Gardner said hot-rodders were doing exciting things at Etty Street.
"I support it [the proposal] wholeheartedly," he said.
So did his fellow elected colleagues.
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