The 2018 Knysna Motor Show, sponsored by Sanlam Private Wealth, saw records tumbling at the High School Sports Ground on Waterfront Drive on Sunday, April 29. Around 8 000 visitors and participants turned up to see a top-quality display of over 400 immaculately prepared vintage, classic and super cars and motorcycles in weather that was perfect for the occasion. It was a fun-fair for the family and a sight that any petrolhead could only wish for.
“Not quite warm enough for the beach and not too warm for the cars and visitors out here on the field,” was one stall-holder’s summation, who said he had never seen so many people at a classic car show. This year’s event, organised by the Garden Route Motor Club, was the seventh Knysna Motor Show, and once again was by invitation-only.
“We aimed for a cross section of supercars, vintage and classic cars, historic racing cars, and a much bigger display of classic motorcycles this year,” said chief show organiser Peter Pretorius.
The 2018 motor show featured many interesting individually-owned cars and some awesome displays. One of these displays was the Parnell Bruce collection of classic racing cars which included Jaguar’s XK 120, C-Type and D-Type, a Ford GT40, a Shelby Daytona, an Austin Healey and a Lotus Europa all beautifully displayed.
There are those who would agree that the Knysna Motor Show has already made a huge contribution to the community simply by being hosted in Knysna and the buzz it created in the town. Enthusiasts began delivering vehicles to the sports field as early as Friday, and right up until cut-off time at 9 am on Sunday, classic cars could be seen rumbling along the N2 heading for their annual place in the sun. Many of the vehicles came from as far afield as Cape Town, Johannesburg , Limpopo, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal. The Knysna motor show is now well established as a national motor show covering the whole of SA and must rank as one of the best motor shows in SA.
“The 2018 show was the work of five months by a small group of dedicated committee members of the GRMC. Now in its seventh year we have again lifted the standard with more than 400 amazing cars and motorcycles on display,” said Pretorius.
“We are extremely proud to have Sanlam Private Wealth as our main sponsor for the second year. Their support and the effort that they have put in and working with us to make the KMS a world class event , is clearly what can be seen here. To Anel Grobler and her team from the SPW head office and Vincent Vermaak, a very big thanks and we sincerely hope that we will have your support again for 2019.
“We would also like to thank our supporting sponsors , Knysna Tourism , Algoa FM , Shatterprufe , Protea Hotels , Motul Oil , Clickonit , Swartberg Hotel (Prince Albert ) , The Motor Cycle Room ( Knysna ), Frost bros and Classic Car Africa. These sponsors are all part of the success what we are enjoying here today. A sincere thanks to them as well.”
This year’s show provided an extremely broad spread of special-interest cars and motorcycles, ranging widely in age and genre. The oldest car on the field was Ali van Jaarsveld’s 1908 Ford Model S – a predecessor of the famous Ford Model T -, while , sports classics and the latest supercars were represented by Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porsches and Aston Martins. And this included a striking and beautiful red example of a 1990 Lamborgini Countach which was transported specially from Johannesburg by its owner Ricardo Spagni.
Those with an eye for home-grown nostalgia were drawn to the special South African-specific display which featured cars only available in South Africa, some of them designed and built by South Africans, such as the GSM Darts and Flamingos from the 1950s and 1960s, and the earlier Protea sports car. Others in this genre included the Capri Perana V8 from the early 1970s, the Alfa Romeo GTV6 3.0 and Ford Sierra XR8 from the 1980s, all these revered world-wide today as highly collectable, and the giant-killing Renault Alconi from the 1960s.
In the Vintage and Veteran category, show-stoppers numbered Rolls-Royce mammoths from the 1920s, including a rare 1919 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost with special bodywork. A Bentley Three Litre from 1928 , a 1913 Cadillac Phaeton and a 1938 BMW 328 Frazer Nash were also hugely popular amongst visitors, as were many rare cars from this era, such as the Ford Model T and Model A examples. Another was an SS 100 sports car from 1936, a car that changed its name from “SS”: to “Jaguar” after World War Two. This year’s Knysna Motor show saw the Jaguar Club of SA celebrating their bi-annual Jamboree, in part a pre-event teaser to this weekend’s Jaguar-sponsored Knysna Hill Climb.
Another famous British marque with huge representation was the Morgan Car Club, which had an example of a 100 year old three wheeler on show and also celebrated the 50th anniversary of the high-performance V8-egined Morgan Plus 8!
As far as scarcity is concerned, show-goers were privileged to see a rare American-market-only rendition of the Corvette Grand Sport, a limited-edition tribute to the world’s most collectable Corvette, and a limited edition of the Dan Gurney Sebring liveried Cobra built by Port Elizabeth’s Hi-Tech Automotive.
The impressive classic motorcycle section this year saw machines ranging in age from nearly 100 years old to classics from the 1970s through to the 1990s, such as the iconic Yamaha RD 350 and RD400 models, Suzuki GT750s, and special café racers built by local Knysna motorcycle customizer Gavin Venter.
There were also some very old two-wheelers, courtesy of Tony Lyons-Lewis, Brian Wallace and Steven Helm, the motorcycles ranging in age from 1912 to 1929.
A huge 18-car display of chrome-laden American icons from the 1950s and’60s from the Kobus Mostert collection caused many oohs and aahs throughout the day.
By instituting an invitation-only policy for the show, Pretorius and his Garden Route Motor Club team once again ensured that all the cars and motorcycles on display were of exceptional standard in terms of originality, collectability and interest value. In addition, special displays were organised this year with individuals and a limited number of clubs who assembled high interest collections of an impeccable standard. This year’s show, with title sponsor Sanlam Private Wealth on board for the second year in 2018, struck a fine mix between appeal to the arch enthusiast and members of the public who only have a passing interest in the classic car movement. Sanlam Private Wealth’s Regional Manager for the Southern Cape Region, Vincent Vermaak, said he was impressed by the fine balance achieved between a high-quality event and a family-friendly environment.
“We are a Wealth management company, and so our interest here is in the preservation of these cars and motorcycles, some of which are extremely expensive, with very high investment value. This is why we have a hospitality area at the motor show to cater to our potential clients. “And working with the Knysna Motor Show organising team has been an absolute pleasure.”
Peter Lindenberg, celebrating 40 years of racing, and currently offering the Shelby performance brand for Ford Mustangs, was effusive in his praise for the event.
“We have supported this event for the past five years. Why are we involved? It’s not just about selling motorcars, although I have to tell you we had done three or four very good deals already with the show only halfway through.
“For us it’s a presence for Lindenberg Racing and the Shelby performance brand, and our commitment to the show and the Knysna Hill Climb, which takes place a week after this show.
“And as far as our involvement, there’s no-one that does it better than Peter Pretorius and his team. The attention to detail is superb, you know exactly where you have to set-up, what the rules of engagement are. And as for the promotion, just look at all the people!”
Peter Pretorius also made mention of the Garden Route Motor Club’s commitment to local charities.
“Besides the enjoyment of seeing the fantastic cars and motorcycles on display our second objective has always been to raise money for the local charities. Once we have accounted for the expenses to stage the 2018 Knysna Motor Show , all the remaining money is distributed to our nominated charities, the major ones being Hospice , Animal Welfare , FAMSA and E- Pap. And a couple of smaller ones. Last year we donated R150,000 and over the past years a total of more than R400,000.”
As in the past the 2018 event also conducted a prize-giving ceremony for the best cars and motorcycles at the show. The judges in the car section were Wayne Harley, curator of the Franschhoek Motor Museum, and well-known classic car journalist Mike Monk.
In the category for cars in the Pre-War division, the winner was the 1937 Packard 1501 Coupe owned by Kobus Mostert. The best classic car was the concours 1955 Porsche 356A, owned by Djurk Venter from Johannesburg, while a special award for the best single car marque collection was awarded to Cape Town’s Peanuts Fouche for his ensemble of rare Mazda Rotary-engined cars and celebrating the Mazda rotary engine’s 50th anniversary.
The winner of the motorcycle sections people’s choice and motorcycle participants choice both went to the 1957 Maserati 50 cc machine, beautifully restored by Mervyn Woods.
The 2019 Knysna motor show will take place on Sunday April 28, 2019.
For more information on the 2018 event and the 2019 Knysna Motor Show, contact Peter Pretorius on email@example.com