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A selection of the country’s most impressive classic bikes will participate in the opening parade of the new South Coast Bike Fest #SCBF2017 at Margate Beach from 27 to 30 April 2017.

Fuelled by the Classic Motorcycle Club of Natal, the parade of some 40 must-see classic motorbikes will head from Desroche Hotel in Margate, along Margate Main Street and into Panorama Parade before circling the event site and parking at the Classic Bike Museum Stand on the beachfront.

Here visitors can peruse the array of collector’s item bikes (pre-1937) as well as a number of classic bikes (pre-1992) which will be displayed on the Classic Open Stand.

Among the parade bikes will be the extremely rare Douglas 1922 and AJS 1931, both owned by Ken Sink, chairman of the South Coast Motorcycle and Car Club, a subsidiary of the provincial organisation.

“I’ve ridden the AJS since 1982,” explained Sink. “It was left to me in the previous owner’s will and I’m the third person to own it. The Douglas I’ve constructed over the years.”

These two bikes form part of his 16-bike collection which also includes the Lambretta TV 175 scooter, three Honda 305cc’s and a Honda cx500.

“There’s just such freedom in biking that you don’t get in a ‘tin can’,” said Sink, talking about his love of bikes. “You get to smell the countryside and it’s just that much more exhilarating. There’s also a great camaraderie within the biking community.”

In addition to the beautiful machines, the festival promises unbelievable entertainment and eating facilities including 35 of the country’s top bands and artists – Die Heuwels Fantasties, Prime Circle, Majozi, Professor, Just Ginger and PJ Powers among them –14 on-site restaurants and upgraded pubs and nightclubs, eight festival bars, gourmet pop-up food courts and some 5 000 holiday beds all within walking distance of this new, secure festival zone. All this within only 135km from Durban and 630km from Jozi – a one-day bike trip.

Visitors can grab a Red Bull at the energy bar near the Gravity Clash Zone where South Africa’s top skateboarding, BMX, FMX and trials bike riders will keep the audience enthralled. Alternatively, take a sip of Jack Daniels at the free Beach Pier Village Rock Stage where world-class music will soothe the soul.

Local event stakeholders, Ray Nkonyeni Municipality and UGU South Coast Tourism, expect this to be a hugely popular festival, attracting large numbers to the stunning seaside town.

“We had such a great relationship with Harley Davidson and it would be a travesty not to continue the growth of the tradition of this well-supported and well-loved biking event,” said Max Mbili, Municipal Manager of Ray Nkonyeni Municipality.

All bikes are welcome at the South Coast Bike Fest and entrance to the four-day event is free provided pre-registration is completed online. This pre-registration allows #freefunseeker ticket holders access to the event boulevard including secure parking, access to the Main Beachfront Boulevard, Village Pier Rock Stage, Experiential Energy Zone, Mardi Gras Market, Flying Fish Hospitality Deck, Castle Light Pool Party and much more! To pre-register for the #freefunseeker tickets, visit

Tickets to the #fuelyourfun Carling Main Beach Stage are also available at at a cost of R130 per day or R200 for the cocktail bar day pass. For a VIP four-day pass the cost is R360. Children under 12 enter free.classic-bike-show


Classic Car Africa contributor, Roger Houghton (centre) was adjudged the runner-up in the Motorsport – Magazines category in the recent SA Guild of Motoring Writers’ Motor Journalist of the Year competition.

His entry included two articles published in CCA: Always the bridesmaid, never the bride (Toyota’s history at Le Mans and in F1), and Man among Men (a tribute to the late Jan Hettema). The third article was on Kyalami and was published in Ian Groat’s Automotive Refinisher. In the photo Roger is flanked by Derek Leach (left), the Vice President – Sales and Marketing at Toyota Financial Services, the major sponsor of MJOY, and Bernie Hellberg, the chairman of the Guild.
Gavin Foster, CCA’s regular motorcycle contributor also went home with a bunch of awards for his ramblings on all things 2-wheeled.


Congratulations to them both.


14 September 2016 marked 80 years since Harvey Firestone Jnr, together with first Managing Director John Cohill, officially opened the Port Elizabeth Firestone factory and the firm’s first South African-built tyre rolled off the assembly line.

Harvey purchased the first 7.06 morgen (approximately six hectare) site on the corner of Kempston and Harrower Roads for £750 in 1935 and in 1936, with 150 people working on site, produced 350 car tyres a day.

Firestone SA became part of Bridgestone, the world’s largest tyre manufacturer, in 1997 and is one of only a few companies which can boast an unbroken 80-year history of manufacturing in South Africa. Today, Bridgestone South Africa’s PE Plant has a total of 43 000 square metres of factory space, employs over 350 people and has a capacity of 800 tyres per day, ranging from 10kg front tractor tyres to earthmover tyres weighing up to 800kg.

Apart from being the only tyre company to manufacture bias truck tyres locally, Bridgestone also has a second plant, based in Brits, which opened in 1971. Bridgestone are fully committed to South Africa and look forward to many more years of producing quality tyres in the country.


If you are in the Eastern Cape on 8 October head for the Otto Du Plessis High School in Otto Street, Algoa Park for the fifth Madiba Bay Car Show.
Brought to you by the members of the East Cape Street Rod & Custom Car Club, with sponsorship by Speedyquip, all proceeds go to charity and promises to be a day filled with classics and rods. If you can’t make it listen to LUISTER FM 90.6 who will broadcast live from the venue on the day.


cars in park ptaCars in Park

Zwartkops Raceway once again plays host to the 37th Cars in the Park on Sunday, July 31, 2016

It was a chance meeting between two old car enthusiasts just near Loftus Versveld in the mid-1960s that saw the establishment of the Pretoria Old Motor Club, and the subsequent hosting of Cars in the Park, the country’s premier ‘old-car’ event.

Legend has it that Erwin Kuschke was driving his Ford Model T down Park Street in Pretoria one Saturday morning when he came upon Steffan Stander driving a Model A Ford. The two naturally sounded their ‘ah hoo-gah’ hooters and stopped for a chat, and that confluence saw the idea for an old car club take root. In 1966 the Pretoria Old Motor Club was officially formed, and the rest is pretty much history!

This year the POMC hosts its 37th Cars in the Park, and it expected there will be more than 2 000 old cars attending, and upwards of 10 000 spectators. That’s a far cry from the nine cars that were exhibited at the very first Pretoria Cars in the Park in 1980, and it has taken the club an immense amount of work to get the event to its current level.

Since 2006 the event has been held at the Zwartkops Raceway on the R55, west of Preoria, and this year, in addition to the 2 000 vintage, veteran, classic, hot-rodded, customised and other special cars expected to attend, there will be over 100 motor clubs booking space around the Zwartkops race track.

The POMC will once again host its Special Invite display in the pit area, and this year the theme is ‘Pick Up Trucks’. These special vehicles date back over 100 years in terms of the history of the motor car, while today, pick-ups from the 1940s to the 1960s have found favour again with collectors of pristine original cars, as well as with the customising, hot-rodding fraternity.

The Pretoria Old Motor Club will also be hosting its own 50 Year Celebration at the show, with its members bringing some very special cars to celebrate the occasion. In light of the fact that it all began with a chance meeting of a Model T and a Model A Ford, expect to see a number of these cars in the POMC special half-century area.

The show opens to the public at 8 am on Sunday, July 31, 2016. Classic cars up to 1985 will be admitted to the race track grounds, as well as special-interest later-model cars. But the drivers of these later cars will have to produce proof of club membership or have made arrangements with the organisers, otherwise they will be charged full admission fee. Contact the organisers at the addresses listed below.

The drivers of classic cars will be admitted free of charge, along with one passenger. Additional passengers will have to pay full spectator entry fee of R100. Children under 12 will be admitted free.

Drivers of bona-fide classics and special-interest cars will be admitted to the grounds from 6 am onwards. These cars will then be parked at various allocations around the circuit, and required to remain in the grounds until 3 pm, to help ease traffic congestion.

An amazing array of cars is once again expected, ranging from cars built before 1910 to later classics dating up to 1985. Fords, Chevs, Buicks, Datsuns, Alfas, MGs, Cadillacs. You name it, and you’ll find your favourite car at the 37th Cars in the Park!

In addition to the cars, there will be hundreds of vendors selling food, drink, clothing, spare parts for old cars, books on old cars, and entertainment for the whole family.

Special parking for spectators is arranged south of the circuit on  the R55. There is also additional gate located in the suburb of Erasmia, off the R551.


Mark your calendar for Sunday May 1 and the Knysna Motor Show – remember it is a long weekend so bring the family and come and enjoy the spectacular array of cars, motorcycles, educational motoring elements, classic car traders and motoring memorabilia on display. There’s some delicious food and a beer garden too.

The event takes place on Sunday 1 on the Knysna High School Sports fields on Waterfront Drive. Gates will be open to the public from 09:30 to 16:00 and the entrance charge is R40 for adults, R10 for scholars 12 to 18 and kids under 12 get in free.

If the revving engines of classic and performance cars and beautifully tuned motorcycles , sets your heart racing and the glint of a Rolls Royce or veteran and vintage cars catches your eye, then the Knysna motor show is the place to be. This fantastic event gives the visitors a chance to get close up to almost 400 veteran, vintage, classic and super cars and an awesome display of motorcycles.


Classic Car Africa is heading for Nelspruit on Father’s Day, but thought it best to tour the Lowveld for a few days before. If you are keen on joining us on some of SA’s best roads then book directly through Protea Hotel Hazeyview and take advantage of the special that they have offered readers. We book in on 17 and out on 19 June. Don’t forget to mention Classic Car Africa when booking.

 IT’S AS EASY AS 1, 2, 3…

As a kid growing up in the 1980s you were either a BMW or Merc fan. Because of its motorsport success I was a Beemer fan. But looking at how many more W123 Mercedes still roam the streets perhaps my attention should have been more focused on the three-pointed star. Forty years on the W123 Benz is a leading light in the ‘Youngtimer’ classic world.

At its launch in January 1976, the Mercedes-Benz 123 model series offered a persuasive combination of elegance and multiple technical innovations. The saloon was the first model to become available. The range was expanded a year later by the Coupé and, for the first time, an Estate model. Over the course of the next ten years almost 2.7 million vehicles were built, among them also long-wheelbase saloons and chassis for special bodies. The era of the 123 model series marks a particularly successful chapter in the success story of the E-Class, as the intermediate model from Mercedes-Benz was called from 1993 onwards.

The new intermediate-class saloon was presented by Mercedes-Benz to the specialist media between 22 and 28 January 1976 at the Paul Ricard Circuit in southern France. A train specially chartered for the purpose from the Deutsche Bundesbahn, the German Federal Railway, transported the fleet of test and demonstration vehicles from Stuttgart to France: no fewer than 33 variously appointed and equipped vehicles from the 123 series thus made their public debut to the motoring media under the Mediterranean sun. The response from the media was consistently positive – for the car’s engineering as well as for its design. And their verdict was confirmed by the customers, too: the first year’s production sold out completely shortly after the launch of the W123, with early second-hand models often selling for their original price within that first year of production.

The W123 was also impressive for its high standard of workmanship, functionality and wide range of engines with nine different models from introduction ranging from the 200D to the 280E, with a broad spectrum of equipment and appointments.

Maximum safety, exemplary comfort and ease of maintenance: such were the requirements made of the Mercedes-Benz design engineers in 1968 when the specifications book for the model series was drawn up. One of the priorities during the development of the 123 series was to improve safety for the car’s occupants. The engineering designers were already, for instance, thinking about the integration of airbags, which then became an optional extra for the 123 model series from 1982 on. Passive safety was enhanced, in particular by the combination of an even more robust passenger cell and large crumple zones. Stronger struts in the doors ensured better protection in the event of an impact. In addition, the safety steering shaft invented by Béla Barényi and patented in 1963 made its debut as a complete system in the W123.

Mercedes-Benz began at a very early stage to investigate the use of alternative drive systems in the 123 model series. In 1983, for example, a 280 TE was fitted with a hydrogen drive system, following in the wake of a 1982 experimental vehicle with electric drive system, also based on the Estate model. And as far back as 1981 Mercedes-Benz had presented a 200 model with a bi-fuel drive system (liquefied petroleum gas and petrol). There was thus already an indication of the importance that alternative drive systems would take on for future generations of the Mercedes-Benz intermediate model series, even four decades ago.
The 123-series Saloon was built until November 1985; the era of the no less successful 124 series had begun ten months earlier. Production of the especially successful Estate models in the 123 series even went on until January 1986. From 1975 until 1986 almost 2.7 million vehicles were manufactured, the highest proportion of these being Saloons with normal-length wheelbase (2,375,440 units). 199,517 units of the Estate were built, along with 99,884 Coupé vehicles. In addition to these there were 13,700 long-wheelbase Saloons and 8,373 chassis as a basis for special bodies. These days the 123 model series has long been recognised as a classic – and remains as fascinating as it was at its launch 40 years ago.



Jeffreysbay Classic Car Club has the world reknowned Supertubes as its home base and the legendary surf spot is the ideal place to host the club’s annual motorshow – Keith’s Picnic.

Keith’s Picnic has been held for the last 5 years in honour of Keith Marsh, the clubs oldest member. Sadly Keith passed on in October 2015 but the show and his name continue in 2016 on 9 April.

All clubs and individuals are welcome to display their classics or special vehicles. Entrance will be free to the public, braai fires on hand and the relaxed atmosphere will be aided by Johnny Viljoen strumming out some golden oldies on his guitar.

for more information contact Johan Marais at, find Jbay Classic Car Club on Facebook or visit