Expect these SA beauties at motor show
A stand-out feature of the 2018 Knysna Motor Show on 29 April will be the historical display of production sedans and sports cars only available in South Africa.
These cars date back from present day to the 1950s and chart the amazing engineering and design ingenuity that exist in our country.
Over the next few weeks, running up to the event, the Knysna-Plett Herald will bring you some of the cars that will be on display in a special section dedicated to these South African-only cars, which today enjoy huge international interest, and value, because of their rarity.
The Protea (1956-1958)
This humble sports car was designed and built in Johannesburg by a team led by sports car enthusiast John Myers. A prototype version was completed in 1956 and production versions first appeared in mid-1957. It featured a strong square tubular chassis, and running gear culled from the side-valve four-cylinder Ford/Anglia 100E series of cars. This meant that, performance-wise, it wasn’t ultra-quick, although an overhead valve conversion available from the UK improved things dramatically.
It was the first fibreglass-bodied car to be built in South Africa and a total of 15 Proteas are known to have been built. A number of examples exist today, including a Protea Triumph, which features a completely different body, clad in aluminium.
The GSM Dart (1958-1965)
Just a few months after the Protea was launched, the GSM Dart broke cover early in 1958, also featuring a glass-fibre body and Ford 100E mechanicals.
This car was the product of collaboration between a Cape-based trio: Willie Meissner, Bob van Niekerk and stylist Verster de Wit.
The shape of the Dart was actually decades ahead of its time, and in the early 1990s, experts remarked how similar the 1958 Dart looked to the BMW Z1 sports car.
These cars were built in Cape Town, as well as in the UK, under the name “GSM Delta”. Until production ceased in the mid-1960s, a total of 116 GSM Darts were built in South Africa, and they were extremely successful in motorsport, later being fitted with a Cortina GT 1500cc engine, as well as “hot” racing engines, including Climax and Alfa Romeo units.
The Knysna Motor Show is a one-day only event, held at the Knysna High School sports grounds, with food and drink stalls providing refreshments in keeping with the glamour of this top-quality classic car event. Nevertheless, the show is family orientated, with a relaxed atmosphere a keynote. There will be a beer garden and food court to cater to all culinary tastes. The show also falls on the calendar just one week before the Jaguar Simola Hill Climb in Knysna, making it ideal to combine these two top quality events into an unbelievable petrolhead family getaway. The show runs from 09:00 to 16:00. Ticket: adults R50, children 12 to 18 R10, and children under 12 free.
More info: Peter Pretorius 082 321 4724 / firstname.lastname@example.org / Garden Route Motor Club website www.grmc.co.za –
A GSM Dart belonging to Peanuts Fouche.