FINS & FIFTIES FLASH ON SHOW

Classic Chevys, Fords, Pontiacs, Dodges, Oldsmobiles Buicks! Whatever car you fancy from the glorious chrome-bedecked, outrageously-finned Fifties, you’ll have your pick at Nasrec Expo Centre, South West of Johannesburg this Sunday, July 9, with the next instalment of The Classic Car Show.

“The cars from the 1950s simply mean Rock n Roll to us petrol-heads,” says organiser Paulo Calisto. “And the great thing about our show is that each year we draw classic, unrestored original examples, super-trick customs and even restoration projects in half-finished form. The guys that build these cars put a lot of love, sweat and gears into finding them in the first place, let alone the real work that follows, once a restoration project begins. I love the muscle car era too, and we’ll have hundreds of these on show. But the cars from the ‘50s, it’s like they were the ones that started this whole movement for many of us. These are the roots car!”

The 1950s can actually be termed a preview of the whole muscle car era that followed. Because it was in this decade, that the American manufacturers became embroiled in the great horsepower race. Engine outputs rose in that one decade, from about 100 horsepower (75 kW) to over 300 horsepower.

The horsepower race was partly driven by the American manufacturers who were involved in NASCAR racing at that time. Hudsons were the first “factory kings” of the sport in the early 1950s, followed by Chrysler with the glorious 300 series cars. After that it was pretty much a straight fight between Ford, Chevrolet and Dodge, and all these factories churned out super-high-horsepower optional examples for sale to the public, that could then be legitimately raced on the oval tracks as “stock cars.”

But it was in the styling departments too that things went a little crazy. After the drab, economy-conscious years that followed World War Two in the late 1940s, the 1950s gave rise, in America especially, to a huge wave of optimism. And the cars reflected it, with ornate chrome grilles, bumpers, tail fins, and elaborate side-flashes.

Of course, there will be hundreds of other classics at Nasrec, ranging from custom vans and pick-ups to hot rods to muscle cars, of which Mustangs and Camaros and Dodges will be well in evidence. And let’s not forget the fabulous Cobra recreations that we have running all over Jo’burg.

Classic car owners can enter through Nasrec’s Gate Two from 7 am, while spectators can enter through Gate 5 from 9 am. The Prawn and Food Festival will offer prawns prepared by the famous Calisto restaurant group which has franchises all over Gauteng.

Entrance fee to the show is R80 per adult and R20 for children under 11-years-old. There will be a host of family-type entertainment on hand as well, including live music and helicopter rides at R150 for a short flip. There will be a beer garden and a mini-prawn festival at the show, and Halaal food will also be on sale.

For more information, visit www.classiccarshow.co.za. Or call Paul Calisto on 082 497 7218.

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