Our February newsletter featuring the following articles: Wayne’s 5th gear, SEFAC day, Love actually, Passion for Speed, Behind the Wheel, Exhaust blips.
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On 27 January I was privileged to be involved in the filming of a 5th Gear programme for the BBC’s North-One television channel. Theme of the episode was the museum and its collection of South African cars. The Protea, GSM Dart and the Ford Capri Perana all featured and were driven around the property of L’Ormarins with great gusto as only presenter and ex-racing driver Tiff Needell can manage. Yours truly also put in an appearance and I must say that working with Tiff was quite an experience as his sharp sense of humour often had me in stitches right when I was supposed to be looking serious and professional in front of the camera. As a result, many of the takes had to be done more than once. Out of the three different cars he drove that day, Tiff connected the most with the little Dart and said it was quite clear why the car was, and is still, such a little champ on the circuits around South Africa.  WH


Ferrari SA treated the SEFAC club to a corporate day at the Franschhoek Motor Museum on 21 February. Some 125 ‘tifosi’ attended the invitational event with 33 beautiful – mostly red – Ferraris gracing the tar. KR


FMM’s Valentine’s Day ‘two for the price of one’ promotion was a great success. A big and varied line-up of the collection’s red-painted cars greeted a bumper group of visitors. The offer of rides around the quadrant was taken up by no less than 56 people but we are not aware if any proposals were made en route... KR


FMM’s ex-Sam Tingle LDS-Climax/Repco F1, the ex-Jody and Ian Scheckter Tyrrell 007-1 F1, the ex-Ian Scheckter March 78B-Ford BDA Formula Atlantic and the ex-Team Gunston Chevron B25-Ford FVC Formula 2 cars thrilled the crowds with demonstration runs at the two Passion for Speed international race events held at Zwartkops (Jan 31) and Killarney (Feb 7). Ian Scheckter drove the Tyrrell while FMM’s Wayne Harley, Lorenzo Farella and Deon de Waal drove the other cars. In Cape Town they were joined on track by Charles Arton in his newly-acquired March 79B Formula Atlantic. MM


Image from http://4c.alfaromeo.com/

The second in a new, alphabetical series of short driving impressions of some of the museum’s car collection, but this month we have had to cheat a little...
February’s featured car was supposed to begin with B but when the museum was obliged to carry out some noise tests on the L’Ormarins Estate – FMM takes great steps to comply with legislation in this regard – the planned car had to be dropped in favour of something else. As a result, in helping out with driving a group of cars for the test I was allocated the Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM, which technically begins with M – but its origins do go back to Benz, so please forgive the literary licence...
Purposeful goes some way to describe the DTM’s looks but does not fully encapsulate what the car represents, namely a road-going version of ’Benz’s C-Class Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) competitor that took part in the 2003 championship season, winning nine out of 10 races. Produced for the 2004 model year, the initial release of the vehicle was limited to special order or invitation of ownership and FMM’s car is one of these. Only 100 CLK DTMs were manufactured although in 2006 80 convertible versions were produced.
The DTM rules called for a normally aspirated 4,0-litre V8 limited to 500 hp (373 kW). However, the production cars utilised a supercharged version of M-B’s 5 439 cm3 24-valve V8 tuned to deliver 428 kW at 6 100 r/min and 800 N.m of torque at 3 500. Compression ratio was 10,5:1. Under the radically modified CLK coupe body shell (length/width/height: 4 650/1 800/1 360 mm), the all-independent suspension was revised and the front track widened by 74 mm and the rear by 110 mm to allow fitment of special wheels shod with 255/35 ZR19 front and 285/30 ZR20 rear Dunlop SP Super Sport tyres.
With a kerb weight of 1 740 kg that includes an EU-directive 7 kg of luggage and a 90 per cent full fuel tank (which holds 92 litres!), performance figures were given as 0-50 km/h in 2 seconds, 0-100 in 4,1, 0-200 in 12,2 and 0-250 in 20,7, with a standing kilometre time of 20,8 seconds. Top speed was electronically limited to 320 km/h (200 mph).
Getting into the car, the lightweight doors open up to a purely functional interior trimmed in leather, Alcantara and carbon fibre. An ever-so-slightly quartic steering wheel and two rock-hard bucket seats with full racing harnesses backed by a roll hoop where the rear normally resides immediately create an air of intent. Push the button and that forced induction motor burbles into life. Gear shifting is by sensibly-sized wheel-mounted paddles once Drive is selected. Pull away calm as you like but once on a track and the accelerator given some boot, this 12-year-old Silver Arrow is immensely powerful and quick even by today’s standards. Using the big ventilated discs to achieve a slow in/quick out cornering technique, driven smoothly the DTM is immensely rewarding and satisfying with no hidden vices. Yes, it can be provoked into hooliganism but that’s not the order of the day. Using the rev range in second and third is all that was needed to appease the sound man, the faint tyre squeal through the faster corners merely a bonus.
B for ’Benz. B for Brilliant... MM


In the February/March issue of Classic & Performance Car Africa magazine there will be features on FMM’s 1914 Humberette and 1964 Studebaker Avanti. In TopCar magazine’s series of articles on historic South African race tracks, the February issue covers Kimberley’s Alexanderfontein-Paardeberg and East London’s Esplanade circuits. MM


February 27-28: SA Endurance Series Round 1, Phakisa

March 5-7: D-J Commemorative Run, VVC Durban/Jhb
March 7: 2nd Worcester Wheels Festival
March 7: Historics racing, Kyalami
March 8: Any Dam Wheels Day, CCC Johannesburg
March 14: 2nd Power Series, Killarney                                   
March 14: Maluti Midas Show, Maluti Bethlehem
March 19-22: MG TripleM gathering, Franschhoek
March 21-22: Crankhandle Club Swartland Rally          
March 21-22: O D Inggs, Albany, Port Alfred
March 21: Extreme Festival Round 2, Zwartkops
March 21: Regional races, Scribante Raceway
March 22: 2th Annual British Sports Car Tour
March 22-29: 2015 Jaguar Jamboree, Clarens, Free State
March 28: Autumn Trophy races, Kyalami
March 28: Motor show, Westcliffe School, Bellville

April 2-12: Stars of Sandstone

(Clubs 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.

The opening hours are Monday to Friday 10h00 to 17h00 (last admittance 16h00), Saturday and Sunday 10h00 to 16h00 (last admittance 15h00), and the museum is open on most public holidays

Admission prices are R60 adults, R50 pensioners, R30 children. An on-site delicatessen offers refreshments and A Rupert Wines can be enjoyed.
Newsletter text by Mike Monk.

Copyright © 2015 The Franschhoek Motor Museum, All rights reserved.
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