Belles of the Motor Show ball
The Knysna Motor Show is a one-day-only event, held at the Knysna High School sports grounds, with elegant food and drink stalls providing refreshments in keeping with the glamour of this top-quality classic car event.
Nevertheless, the show is extremely family orientated, with a relaxed atmosphere a keynote. There is a beer garden and a food court to cater for all culinary tastes.
The show also falls just one week before the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb in Knysna, making it ideal to combine these two top quality events into an unbelievable petrolhead family getaway.
In a previous edition of the Knysna-Plett Herald, readers could see some of the South African-built classics that will be on show during the event. This week we bring you two more. The GSM Flamingo, 1962-1965
SA legend Bob van Niekerk realised that many South Africans would want a more sophisticated sports car and thus the GSM Flamingo was born, in 1962, initially featuring a 1.7-litre Ford Taunus engine.
Later, racier Ford Cortina GT 1500cc units were fitted, and a one-off V8 model was also built and raced successfully by Van Niekerk. The Flamingo featured a distinctive split-window rear window design, actually predating the famous 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray split-window model.
A total of 128 Flamingos were built at GSM’s factory in Paarden Eiland, Cape Town. Production ceased in 1965. Renault Alconi 1964-1967
In the mid-1960s, two Johannesburg race drivers and engine tuners John Conchie and Eric “Puddles” Adler achieved something really unique. Renault Africa homologated and listed Renault Alconis as production cars, for sale as new models through Renault dealerships in South Africa, with full factory warranty.
Alconi Developments was, in essence, a performance or speed shop, based in Johannesburg, and specialising in conversions for many light cars, but, significantly Renault R8s (and later the longer-nosed R10s). The achievement in having an Alconi kit ratified by a major manufacturer was huge and testimony to the thoroughness and reliability of Alconi conversions.
The R8 and 10 Alconis were based on the 1100cc Renault motor and featured modified cylinder heads, camshafts, a Weber DCD twin-choke down-draught carburettor on an Alconi manifold and an Alconi exhaust system.
The results were amazing, and in 1967 a Car Magazine road test showed the homegrown R10 Alconi to significantly outperform larger engined performance rivals, such as the Mini Cooper S 1 275, and the 1500 cc Cortina GT.
See more SA classics in the next edition of the KPH. –
The GSM Flamingo. A Renault R10 Alconi.