Our November newsletter featuring the following articles: Season Opening Hours, Tour Groups Keep Rolling In, New E-Type Panels Available, C The New Display, Collection In Action – K , Exhaust blips.
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From 1 December until 31 March, the museum will be open a little longer than usual.
Opening time is 10h00, last admittance is 17h00, and closing time is 18h00 every day.
FMM will be closed only on 4 and 25 December.
Admission prices remain the same – R60 adults, R50 pensioners and motor club members (with membership ID), R30 children (ages 3-12).


Following on the exhaust pipes of the Garden Route Motor Club and the 8th International Vintage Bentley Tour of South Africa was a group of 40 members of the very active Western Cape Region of the Mercedes-Benz Club of South Africa, who arrived in an assortment of 21 models. The impressive convoy sported lots of SLs – 190, 250, 280, 450, 500 and a 600, plus various other models old and new. Refreshments and a tour of the museum were laid on, with particular interest shown in FMM’s collection of Benzes.

“A wonderful experience, no doubt to be repeated in the future,”
- said the club’s outing organiser, David Shakeshaft. 


Racing Exercise
The all-original and complete set of body panels for the Series 1 Jaguar E-Type and selected parts of Series 2 and 3 are now available to order from Jaguar Heritage Parts. Jaguar’s technicians and engineers employed state-of-the-art scanning technology to digitally map every inch of an E-type in 3D before transferring the scans to CAD images to create a complete and virtual model of the car to ensure perfect panel alignment. “We’ve taken huge steps to ensure that we are now providing the highest quality E-Type panels on the market,” said Tim Hannig, Director, Jaguar Land Rover Heritage. “In fact, you could say that our customers are now able to buy panels, even better than the originals.”
Furthermore, Jaguar’s Heritage workshop at Browns Lane in Coventry, offers warrantied servicing and restoration services for E-Type as well as all of Jaguar’s classic models. Jaguar also recently introduced three exhaust kits, fabricated to original specification, for the iconic sports car as well as seven specially-formulated engine and gear oils designed for use in all pre-1980 Jaguar and Land Rover Heritage models.
Jaguar Heritage offers a growing and comprehensive catalogue of over 30 000+ spare and replacement parts for a range of Heritage models 10 years out of production.


Collection In Action – J
In readiness of the year-end influx of visitors, there is a new display of convertibles in Hall C. The roadsters being put on display are: 1927 Buick Standard, 1929 Hupmobile, 1929 Marquette, 1930 Chrysler, 1930 DeSoto, 1931 Ford, 1932 Ford V8, 1937 Buick, 1938 Chevrolet, 1940 Packard 120 Super 8, and 1960 Alfa Romeo Spider by Carrozzeria Touring.
All of the cars have interesting backgrounds, which are given on the display boards accompanying the cars, but the 1931 Ford revives a couple of interesting South African anecdotes. In 1929 a similar car was driven from Durban to Johannesburg and back in a record-breaking 21 hours 40 mins. In April of the same year, the SS Western Knight, sailing from New York, sank off Port Elizabeth while carrying Model A parts for the Ford factory, which caused a huge production setback. Water damaged cars were sold to bargain hunters at auction.


Collection In Action – J
An alphabetical series of short driving impressions of some of the museum’s car collection. This month we downsize into a KR200 bubble car...
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a... cabin scooter! And it does not take a superman to drive it... But there is a link to the skies. The KR200 is a bubble car – the KR stands for ‘kabineroller’ – designed by aircraft engineer Fritz Fend and produced by Messerschmitt from 1955 to 1964. Post-war, the German aircraft manufacturer was temporarily not allowed to manufacture aircraft and had turned its resources to producing other commodities. In 1952, Fend approached Messerschmitt with the idea of manufacturing small motor vehicles its factory in Regensburg, and the go-ahead was given.
Based on Fend’s Flitzer invalid carriage, the design is a cross between a scooter and an aircraft fuselage and the KR175 appeared in 1953 and featured tandem seating accessed by a hatch that opened upward and to the right. The standard version had a canopy made from a large Plexiglas dome with a cut-out at the front for a small, flat glass windshield and a cut-out on either side for the frames for the sliding windows. The windscreen wiper was manually operated and the front wheelarches did not have wheel cut outs.
The KR175 was powered by an air-cooled 174 cm3 Fichtel & Sachs single-cylinder, two-stroke engine mounted in front of the rear wheel. It produced just 6,7 kW at 5 250 r/min. It was started with a pull rope but there was an option of an electric starter, which became standard in 1954. The throttle was operated by a twist-grip on the left of the handlebar steering. The chain-driven, non-synchro gearbox was a sequential, positive-stop type with four speeds but no reverse. The gear lever, on the right side of the cockpit, had a secondary lever on it which operated the clutch, but a pedal became standard in 1954. All three wheels had cable-operated brakes actuated by the single pedal. A handbrake was provided.
Around 15 000 KR175s were sold before it was replaced in 1955 with the KR200, which boasted an engine capacity increase to 191 cm3. Power was increased to7,6 kW at a giddy 6 000 r/min, which helped improve top speed to anything up to 105 km/h – depending on the weight of the passenger(s) of course! The engine had two sets of contact breaker points and, to reverse, the engine was stopped and then restarted, going backwards. This was effected by pushing the key further into the ignition switch. An offshoot of this set-up was that the KR200's transmission then provided the same four ratios in reverse.
There were some styling changes that included cut-outs in the wheelarches, an improved canopy design and an electric windscreen wiper. The rear suspension and engine mounting were reworked, and hydraulic shock absorbers were installed at all three wheels.
In order to prove the KR200's durability, in 1955 Messerschmitt prepared a KR200 to break the 24-hour speed record for three-wheeled vehicles under 250 cm3. It had a special single-seat, low-drag body and a highly modified engine, but the suspension, steering, and braking components were stock. Throttle, brake, and clutch cables were duplicated. On 29-30 August  the record car was ran for 24 hours at the Hockenheimring  and broke 22 international speed records in its class, including the 24-hour speed record, which it set at 103 km/h.
FMM’s KR200 is a 1957 model so is fairly civilised in terms of controls. Being 1,9 meters tall, I wondered about ever fitting into the cockpit but was amazed to find that with the front seat right back on its runners, my feet were nowhere near the pedals! But once aboard it was surprisingly comfortable, and the view outwards is 360. Once fired up and first gear located on the slightly vague linkage, it was A for Away to the accompaniment of the usual two-stroke blat from the exhaust.
The steering bar is connected directly to the track rods of the front wheels, providing an extremely direct response and I quickly discovered it required small, measured inputs in order not to weave about. Certainly it is the most direct steering I have encountered, the 4.00×8-inch tyres responding immediately. Without the opportunity of venturing into any serious traffic I cannot describe how vulnerable one might feel – if at all – but in the context of its time the KR200 certainly fulfilled a need. Certainly lots of fun.
In 1956 Messerschmitt was allowed to manufacture aircraft again and lost interest in the KR, so a company Fahrzeug-und Maschinenbau GmbH Regensburg (FMR) was set up to continue production, and other models were introduced. Production ceased in 1964 after some 40 000 had been sold as the demand for basic transport in Germany had diminished as the country’s economy boomed. But for the time, the KR200 successfully answered a need.
(Yes, alphabetically we have cheated a bit here – Messerschmitt does not begin with a K but we do not have a Kaiser or a Koenigsegg in the collection, and Kias are not classics – yet...) MM


In the upcoming December/January issue of Classic & Performance Car Africa tthere is a fascinating feature on FMM’s 1922 Isotta Fraschini.  


November 21: Inland Championship Round 7, Midvaal
December 5: Power Series Round 10, Killarney
December 6: Beers & Gears, Willowbridge, Tyger Valley
December 12: African Endurance Championship 9-Hour, Killarney

(Clubs and organisations are invited to send details of upcoming events to mike4m@telkomsa.net 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 Monday to Friday 10h00 to 17h00 (last admittance 16h00), Saturday and Sunday 10h00 to 16h00 (last admittance 15h00) – the museum is open on most public holidays.

Admission prices are R60 adults, R50 pensioners and motor club members (with membership ID), R30 children (ages 3-12).

Guided tours are available upon request. 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: fmm.co.za Web: www.fmm.co.za
View cars currently on display.
Newsletter text by Mike Monk.

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