Classic Cars In South Africa – Where To See Them
Most Classic Car Shows have already come and gone this year, but impressive collections are still on display. Here are our favourites!
Published: Thursday, September 7th 2017
The oldest cars in South Africa include an 1899 Benz Comfort, 1901 Benz Ideal, 1901 Albion Station Dog Cart and a 1902 Wolseley.
While these are defined as antiques rather than classic, they are testament to South Africa’s enduring love for old cars.
Over time, private collectors have amassed a heart-stopping number of antique, veteran, vintage and classic vehicles. Some of them have kept their treasures well-hidden and others have decided to share them with the world.
Some of them have been willing to part with these priceless works of art, while others… Well, as they would put it – could you sell one of your children?
Whether it be American muscle you’re after, or the sleek sexiness of James Bond-type English roadsters, every man, woman and child has at one time or another stood mesmerized by these works of engineering wonder.
How about the home-grown classics? Who remembers the Protea or GSM’s Dart and Flamingo models? In this article – we take a look at where to see these classic cars in action, or alternatively, where they're just hanging out, posing for the cameras.
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The Franschhoek Motor Museum
Tucked away in the Western Cape winelands, the Franschhoek Motor Museum transports their visitors well over 100 years back into motoring history. Owned by billionaire Johann Rupert, they present to you the evolution of the automobile with a charm and aptitude that only Franschhoek can offer. His personal metal menagerie consists of over 220 vehicles, including motorbikes and even bicycles.
Currently on display, you can find the likes of a Shelby Cobra, a Karmann Ghia, Maserati, the McLaren F1 and an antique 1903 Ford Model A – which was the first Ford ever imported to South Africa.
Located on the L’Ormarins estate, their museum can be viewed by appointment only. Be sure to book beforehand.
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Sedgefield Classic Cars
Situated on the N2 between Knysna and Wilderness, the sleepy hollow of Sedgefield boasts one of the major tourist attractions of the Cape Garden Route. You can spot them from the road. Sedgefield Classic Cars has a huge variety of vehicles at all times, ranging from vintage to post vintage and post 1945.
Phaetons, roadsters, coupes, sedans, sports cars, Jeeps and even modern cars, they’ve seen it all – and everything is for sale. Their goal is to help you find your dream car. They recently opened a ‘Car-fee Shoppe’ and Motoring Memorabilia Store at the depot to make your visit more relaxing. Probably because collectible car enthusiasts are known to faint as they walk in.
They offer door-to-door delivery anywhere in South Africa and also arrange exports throughout the world. Owner Sheridan Renfield has been a lover of classic cars his whole life. He was chairman of the Johannesburg-based Piston Ring Vintage Car Club for an astounding 21 years.
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Old Car Haven
‘Route 66’ – ‘Ford Country’
Those are the signs which greet you as you pull up the driveway of Herman Nel’s Old Car Haven. He’s not just a Ford nut – this sanctuary showcases a multitude of other classic cars, tractors, scale models and engines as well.
His Ford collection includes a beautiful 1957 Fairlane 500 and a number of English models, too. He also has a number of Lincoln’s and Cadillac’s on display.
Situated just outside of Nelspruit – White River is where you’ll find Nel and his collection. His impressive scale models alone are worth making the trip for. He started collecting scale models as a child, wrapping them up in cotton wool. His scale models include Ford Edsels, named after Henry Ford’s son; the blue Lincoln John F. Kennedy took his final ride in, Hitler’s Mercedes state motor car and Charles de Gaulle's Citroen Bugatti.
Classic Car Shows
There are a number of events throughout the year worth checking out. Owners of classic cars dust off their old beauties and bring them out for us to stare at in slack-jawed awe.
For the last 18 years, the annual Classic Car and Bike Show has been hosted with success by the International Police Association. The event has become a 'must do' on the Cape Town events calendar. The next show is scheduled for January, 2018.
In November, the Century Classic Car Run is set to roll out from Century City to the end of the Killarney circuit. 100 is the key number here. Entrants are limited to 100, the combined age of the car and driver has to equal or exceed 100 years and they will enjoy a scenic 100km route.
Over 250 vintage and classic cars dating from the 1920s to the 1980s will be on display at the Whales and Wheels event, held during the annual Hermanus Whale Festival.
The Scottburgh Classic Car Show just wrapped up in July, but they’ll be back next year. Car owners dress up to suit the era of their vehicle and everybody has a great time. The SCCS is widely regarded as one of the best classic car shows in SA.
Sandton-based Creative Rides will be having an Open Day toward the end of September. There will be a number of classic cars, live music, food stalls and pop-up shops.
The 24th of September is also gaining a bit of traction as National Drive-It day. If you’ve got it, flaunt it! Just watch out for those pavements.
Also Worth Checking Out
- Wijnland Auto Museum;
- The Albany Vintage and Classic Motor Club;
- The St. Croix Motor Museum;
- East Coast Classics;
- JB Classic Cars;
- Crossley & Webb;
- House of Classic & Sports Cars.