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Our December newsletter featuring the following articles: Cristmas cheer, FMM’s Maseratis at the V&A, Queen’s plate update, Museum meanders 5, Collection in action – x, Long service awards, Overseas group visit, Carvault opens, Knysna show sponsored, Exhaust blips, Dates to diarise and more.
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Before you read all the latest news in this final newsletter of 2016, I would like to wish one and all a Merry Christmas and trust Santa will look after everyone’s present dreams. I would also like to wish you all a safe and prosperous New Year.  All of us at the museum are looking forward to an exciting 2017 and hope you get to visit us soon. WH


The second annual Maserati Cape Town Race Week is taking place at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront from 15-20 December with L’Ormarins/FMM as new partners. This premier yachting regatta acts as a prelude to the iconic Cape2Rio Yacht Race, which begins on 26 December (first start) and 1 January 2017 (main start), and has already become a prestigious event for sailors from South Africa and around the world.

"This is an amazing opportunity to celebrate the city’s sailing heritage and combine it with Cape Town’s many accolades, creating an event of global stature with its roots firmly in the Mother City. It's a chance to show the other side of sailing – the fun side – and open up a sport and pastime that remains mysterious to many,” says event director Simon Borchert. “With Maserati Cape Town Race Week we aim to show how easy it is to enjoy the sport, and to highlight the many upsides of the sailing lifestyle."
Racing consists of five divisions, with one race being held daily during the course of the event. On the 20th, a middle distance in-port race will take place that also acts as an in-port race for the iconic Cape2Rio Presented By Maserati event. “Racing will take place in Table Bay and adjacent areas using a variety of buoys and features in the area”, says International Race Officer Stuart Childerley. “For the competitive racing divisions, we will provide an opportunity to demonstrate the overall performance of a boat and its crew while sailing all angles of the wind. For the cruiser divisions, we intend to provide a slightly more relaxed type of racing, ensuring everyone has fun while afloat.”

Four of FMM’s cars will be on permanent display during the race week – the 1937 6CM, 1948 4CLT, 1954 250F and 1956 150S. Invited guests will be driven from the V&A to the museum to view the rest of the collection. As part of the race week package deal, L’Ormarins estate wines will be offered and served during what will be a major attraction for locals, holidaymakers and overseas tourists alike.
Keen spectators and fans will be able to visit the Race Pavilion, view the regatta boats up close, enjoy a number of pop-up stores as well as the Corsa Classica – Maserati's exhibition of some of their rarest vehicles as well as the unveiling of their new SUV, the Levante. The Race Village will be open from 10h00 to 20h00. One of the many post-race activities is a VIP charity event where proceeds will contribute towards the The Royal Cape Sailing Academy and The Ripple Effect, an organisation committed to the preservation and conservation of the Western Cape’s coastline.
"There is a clear synergy between the majestic yachts, the daring sport of sailing, and Maserati's tradition of craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology. We are looking forward to a thrilling week in December," says Brad Graaff, Operations Manager for European Automotive Imports – South Africa. MM 


The Cape’s premier horse-racing and social calendar event, The L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate, will take place on Friday and Saturday 6-7 January 2017 at Kenilworth Racecourse. This exciting two-day affair – the first in SA – features an unparalleled race card of 18 races. The first eight races will take place on the Friday (first race 12h00) and includes the prestigious Sceptre Stakes, the premier sprint race for fillies in the Western Cape. Friday will also be a Ladies Day with the hosting of a luncheon and garden party, and the day’s best-dressed lady and her partner will receive prizes. The first race starts at 12h00 and gates close at 17h00.

As is tradition, the running of the Grade 1 L'Ormarins Queen's Plate will take place on the Saturday. The first race starts at 11h00 and the day’s activities will run until 23h00. Racing enthusiasts and socialites from all corners of the globe are expected to watch South Africa’s finest thoroughbreds, accepted according to their weight-for-age merit ratings, compete for the R1 million LQP purse. Listed by the Telegraph in the United Kingdom in 2014 as one of the top five race days in the world, this year sees the 156th running of the Queen’s Plate – the first was in 1861 – and it stands as a meeting of racing excellence, style and grace marked with blue-and-white themed fashions.

Both days will offer an impressive array of world-class music and entertainment across a number of hospitality marquees. True to the original blue-and-white LQP aesthetic, classically dressed guests will reflect the event’s age-old elegance and style as they mingle beyond the track. Saturday’s best-dressed couple will win an all-expenses paid trip of a lifetime to attend the UK’s biggest race day, Glorious Goodwood, in August 2017.

Adding motorized style to the days’ four- and two-legged proceedings will be a selection of elite horseless carriages from the stable of Franschhoek Motor Museum’s Queen’s Plate partner, BMW. Among the models to be displayed are some famous examples of the marque – namely the 1938 BMW 328, 1953 BMW 502 and 2004 BMW 760Li Security Edition (the Nelson Mandela 46664 charity car), plus the BMW-engined 1953 Bristol 403 and 1994 McLaren F1 road car. In addition, a 1928 Rolls-Royce Phantom 1 will represent R-R being part of the BMW group.

“2017 marks an exciting new chapter in the history of the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate and we are thrilled to announce that it is becoming a two day festival, which will be a much needed and successful development to the brand, and will allow both local and international guests who travel to the event to enjoy two days of racing,” says LQP festival co-ordinator, Katherine Gray.

Underscoring the race’s global status, the LQP winner is automatically granted entrance to the Mile Division of the Breeder’s Cup, the biggest annual race day in the world, held in the United States. In addition, The Peninsula Stakes, sponsored by England’s Goodwood Racecourse, will run at LQP for the fourth consecutive year.

 Tickets for the Queen’s Plate are on sale at Computicket. MM
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Cars, bikes and now planes. With my overseas trip fast coming to an end there was one more piston-driven fetish I had to fulfil – war planes. WWII fighter planes to be exact. With my trip host and travelling encyclopaedia of British history Chris Routledge, we set off to the museum at Hendon Aerodrome, which was considered to be the cradle of British aviation from 1908 to 1968.

As a kid I’d always been fascinated by piston-engined fighter planes; the way they looked, the sound they made when going into a dive, and especially those that could fire their machine guns through the propeller. And, believe me; I was not disappointed. Situated 12 km north-west of Charing Cross, upon arrival one is immediately greeted with a P51 Mustang (the Cadillac of the sky), the plane that made such an impact on the long-range bombing runs into Germany during WWII. And then it all starts – you don’t know what to look at next, always with the fear that you might have missed something or, can we go back and look at that again? 

The collection is phenomenal, highlights being the Spitfire Supermarine, and the last remaining Benz-powered Messerschmitt BF109, the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt. Then, as we walk into one of the last displays, a plane that as a young boy always captured my attention, not because it was fast or the best or had the biggest cannons, but because of the teeth they painted on the front air-scoop – the Curtiss P-40. Known in the US as the Warhawk, the two versions supplied to the RAF were known as Kittyhawks or Tomahawks, depending on the version. Another dream come true, another box ticked... 

The museum is well worth a visit, not only from an obvious aviation and historical perspective but from an engineering viewpoint as well. What is sad, however, is that it takes a war for some of our greatest aviation innovations to take place. WH


An alphabetical series of short driving impressions of some of the museum’s car collection. This month we celebrate the X in Xmas with (what else?) an XK120 in Santa red...
The XK120 was the car that created a sports car lineage that helped make Jaguar one of the most exciting and revered post-war motor manufacturers. Born out of William Lyons’ Swallow Sidecar Company – founded in 1922 and later renamed SS Cars – Jaguar Cars proper was established in 1945 at which time the now-famous six-cylinder twin-cam 3.4-litre XJ engine was being developed. A prototype XK roadster appeared at the London Motor Show at Earls Court on 27 October 1948 and it caused such a sensation that the car was quickly put into full-scale limited production – only 200 were originally planned. The first 242 units were built with wood frames and aluminium bodies and were capable of 120mph – hence the name XK120 – making it then the world’s fastest production car. To emphasise the point, an XK120 went to Jabbeke in Belgium and recorded 126 mph (202,7 km/h). But once the decision was taken to extend production, following examples were bodied in (heavier but cheaper) steel before uprated XK140 and XK150 models followed that, in turn, preceded the iconic E-Type.
So with the XK120 we have a lot to be thankful for. Picking up from where the SS100 left off when it ceased production in 1940, the XK120 was manufactured in three body styles (drophead, fixed-head and roadster) between 1948 and 1954 and a total of 12 055 were built, of which the first 242 were bodied in aluminium over an ash frame. The FMM’s roadster – chassis no. 660032, body no. F1121 – is one of these rare early examples. The car’s engine – no. W1164-7 – is correspondingly one of the first of the in-line six-cylinder XK-series motors that was produced in five displacements during a 44-year life span. Initially with a displacement of 3 442 cm3, the iron block/alloy head engine featured dual overhead-cams, inclined valves with inverted bucket tappets, and hemispherical combustion chambers. With dual SU HS6 carburettors and an 8,0:1 compression ratio, the long-stroke (83x106 mm) motor produced 119 kW at 5 200 r/min and 265 N.m of torque at 2 500. UK’s The Motor magazine road-tested an XK120 roadster in November 1949 and with an undertray fitted and hood and sidescreens in place, it recorded a 0-60 mph (96 km/h) time of 10 seconds and a top speed of 124,6 mph (200,5 km/h). Fuel consumption was given as 19,8 mpg – 14,3 ℓ/100 km.
Built on a Jaguar Mk.V saloon chassis, the XK featured wishbone and torsion bar independent front suspension with semi-elliptic springs at the rear, Burman recirculating-ball steering directing 16-inch steel wheels, and 12-inch drum brakes all round, which apparently were prone to fade. The XK’s long, flowing lines – an early example of Lyons’ eye for style (remember the company’s motto Grace, Space and Pace?) – are enhanced on this car by the bright red paintwork, and up close it is surprising just how long and low the car is. The rear-wheel spats and lack of exterior door handles emphasize the smooth lines.
The cockpit is upholstered in quality carpeting and two-tone leather upholstery. For storing odds and ends there are satchels on the inner door panels and a storage shelf behind the seatbacks – the boot is long and shallow. For sure, the car is perfect for a weekend dash down to the coast, the drive potentially more appealing than the destination. Such was its appeal, dashing Hollywood star Clark Gable bought the first production roadster.  
The gearbox is a four-speed, operated by a precise, floor-mounted lever, and once on the move the engine’s good torque characteristics become apparent as it pulls well from low-down revs in any gear. Twirling the big, four-spoke steering wheel at parking speeds takes effort, but on the open road the heavy feel is acceptable. Looking down over the humped bonnet certainly stirs the senses, and the exhaust tone emanating from the majestic XK motor adds to the occasion. It is easy to appreciate the impact the car must have had 68 years ago – striking looks and ground-breaking performance at a relatively affordable price.
The XK120 was soon successfully active in racing and rallying in Europe and America, as well as establishing numerous record-breaking high-speed runs. It was the foundation for a line of sports-racing cars that continues to this day – C-, D-, E- and now F-Type Jaguars all trace their roots back to the XK120. What a proud heritage. MM


In last month’s newsletter the photographs of FMM’s Susan Bok and Deon de Waal were inadvertently left out – so with apologies for the omission, here they are. Susan has worked on the L’Ormarins estate in various roles for 30 years while Deon has been part of the workshop team for 10 years. MM


During November, 14 cars from overseas took part on a Classic Cape Safari and visited FMM as part of their itinerary. Organised by UK-based Classic Travelling Limited, owners came from England, Guernsey, Australia and Switzerland. The list of cars included seven Jaguars, two Mercedes-Benzes and an AC Cobra, Aston Martin, Chev Corvette Sting Ray, Porsche 911 Turbo and a Ford Mustang 350GT. The tour began and ended in Cape Town, but took in Stellenbosch, Hermanus, Swellendam, Price Albert, Plettenberg Bay, Addo, Mossel Bay, Montagu and Franschhoek. MM


A new specialised vehicle storage and detailing facility has just opened in Cape Town. Carvault is situated at 1 Copperfield Road, Salt River and caters for
long- and short-term storage for all types and ages of vehicles, including motorcycles.
All vehicles booked in for storage will undergo a multi-point check and will have a full valet on arrival at the facility before being parked. Car covers are supplied, and once parked the vehicles will be linked with trickle-chargers where necessary. All vehicles are started every 10 days to maintain pressure and fluids, and are washed once a month. Carvault’s skilled detailing department provides anything from a wash and vacuum to full detailing, including complete bodywork upgrades and protection, leather treatments and repair, deodorising and disinfection. Other services offered include dent, paint and mag wheel repair and chassis degreasing and treatment. 
Business hours are Monday to Friday 08h30 to 17h00 and Saturday from 09h00 to 13h00. After-hours can be accommodated by appointment. Airport shuttles can also be arranged. For more info please contact Mark Bruce on 083 992 7834 or Cindi Harding on 083 250 8787


Sanlam Private Wealth has taken up sponsorship and naming rights to the annual Knysna Motor Show, organised by the Garden Route Motor Club. “This is a major step that will go a long way towards boosting the Knysna motor show as a premium event and build on the successes achieved over the past four years,” says club chairman Peter Pretorius. Sanlam Private Wealth has been named the top wealth manager in South Africa in the Intellidex Top Private Banks and Managers Survey for the last three years. Next year’s show will take place on Sunday 30 April and in a statement the company said “We are very proud to be associated with a calibre of business such as this and look forward to a great event”.


Following on from the announcement about Castrol Classic oils in the last newsletter, Crossley & Webb have been appointed as stockists for the Western Cape.


Jan 21-22: Timour Hall Car Show, Plumstead, Cape Town
Jan 28: Passion For Speed, Zwartkops Raceway
Jan 29: Historics Round 1, Zwartkops Raceway
Feb 4: Passion For Speed, Killarney Raceway
Feb 4: Regional racing Round 1, Dezzi Raceway, Port Shepstone
Feb 5: Crankhandle Kalk Bay Veteran Run
Feb 11: Regional racing, Midvaal
Feb 11-12: George Old Car Show, George
Feb 25: Mopar SA Endurance Championship Round 1, Phakisa
Apr 30: Knysna Motor Show, Knysna
(Clubs and organisations are invited to send details of upcoming events to for inclusion in Exhaust Blips.)


The Franschhoek Motor Museum is situated on the L’Ormarins Estate along the R45 in the Franschhoek Valley in the Western Cape, which is approximately a one hour/75 km drive from central Cape Town.
Opening hours are:
April to November
Monday to Friday 10h00 to 17h00 (last admittance 16h00),
Saturday and Sunday 10h00 to 16h00 (last admittance 15h00).

December to March
10h00 to 18h00 (last admittance 17h00) every day.
The museum is open on most public holidays except 4 December and Christmas Day.
Admission prices are R80 adults, R60 pensioners and motor club members (with membership ID), R40 children (ages 3-12).
Guided tours are available upon request at no charge. An on-site delicatessen serves food and refreshments, while tasting and purchasing of the estate’s wines is also offered. Modern ‘charabanc’ rides through L’Ormarins to adjoining wine farms are also available.

Tel: 021 874 9000 Fax: 021 874 9100 E-mail: Web:
View cars currently on display.
Newsletter text by Mike Monk.

Copyright © 2016 The Franschhoek Motor Museum, All rights reserved.