Our May newsletter featuring the following articles: Auburn back on the road, German marques on view, Getting in tune, Charabancs and bikes, Out in front, Insurance clarification, Exhaust blips
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Franschhoek Motor Museum’s ex-Bertie Bester supercharged straight-eight 1936 Auburn 852 Speedster, one of the last of the brand to be built, is back on the road again following a mechanical refurbishment after the block became porous with resultant unwelcome mixing of oil and water. Locating a replacement Lycoming engine was proving difficult but a standard, non-SC block was found and purchased from Louis van der Merwe in White River, and together with the original engine sent to Antonio’s Engine Rebuilders in Paarl for a rebuild. The new block’s porting had to be modified in order to accept the supercharged induction system but the crankshaft, con-rods and pistons were salvaged from the original engine. Combining the parts has created a superb sounding and performing engine befitting the Auburn’s sporty nature, as FMM workshop manager Lorenzo Farella and myself recently found out.

For the story behind the rise and fall of Auburn and driving impressions of the car, check out the June/July issue of Classic & Performance Car Africa magazine, which goes on sale at the end of May. MM


Currently on view at the Franschhoek Motor Museum is a new display in Hall B consisting of a varied selection of German cars from down the years. Ranging from a tiny Messerschmitt bubble car to the magnificent 1928 Mercedes-Benz Type-S, the display features many favourites including a VW Beetle, Borgward Isabella, DKW/Auto Union and an Opel Olympia (that later named Rekord). In addition, a number of more sporty models from days gone by are on view such as a 1930’s BMW 328, early Porsche 911and a Gullwing Mercedes-Benz together with some more recent saloons and high performance machines featuring such rarities as a Porsche Carrera GT and a Brabus Mercedes-Benz. WH/MM


Image from http://4c.alfaromeo.com/
The museum has been the delighted recipient of a Churchill automotive test and tuning bench that was designed for workshop use in the mid 1940s. The unit was donated by Charles Van der Spuy of Darling, and is in excellent condition – a real time machine. WH


Image from http://4c.alfaromeo.com/
As mentioned in the last newsletter, visitors to L’Ormarins and the Anthonij Rupert estates can now experience a touch of nostalgia with a ride in one of FMM’s custom-built ‘trams’, a form of public transport popular in South Africa a century ago. The new versions link the museum, Terra del Capo and Anthonij Rupert wine tasting centres, each picturesque journey between the estates lasting around 30 minutes. Hop on/hop off conditions apply.
Recently, the museum has been questioned about visiting facilities for motorcyclists and the new tram service helps considerably in answering the calls.  For various reason motorcycles are not allowed onto the L’Ormarins Estate. Now, motorcycles can be safely parked at the Anthonij Rupert wines tasting venue on the old Graham Beck estate, which is now part of the group. Riders can then travel on the trams to L’Ormarins/FMM through the winelands, taking in areas that previously were not open to the public. WH/MM


Image from http://4c.alfaromeo.com/
FMM has appointed a new senior Front of House Manager, Magdaleen Wepener, who hails from Newcastle in KwaZulu Natal but has been living in Cape Town for the last nine years. Her key roles involve coordinating all of FMM’s hospitality functions as well as inter-estate tram scheduling – see ‘Charabancs and bikes’. She enjoys her new position for the fresh challenge it presents, and the working environment.  Prior to joining the museum’s staff, Magdaleen was the unit manager at Boschenmeer Catering in Paarl, overseeing a number of administrative roles. She lives on a smallholding in Klapmuts and has a keen interest in cars, identifying the museum’s Ford Woody, McLaren and Type-S Mercedes-Benz amongst her favourites. MM


In the last newsletter we reported on the cancellation of the Century Run and the reason given centring on an insurance issue, but SAVVA chairman Dave Alexander rightly points out that the background to this important aspect needs some clarification.
“There is a small percentage of entrants who choose to carry no insurance at all, and it is only these entrants who are obliged to take out insurance to cover the event,” explains Dave. “After an incident last year involving a SAVVA member who had an accident with no third party cover, the second party was on the cusp of suing SAVVA and the club involved for the substantial bill to repair his vehicle. SAVVA cannot afford to lay itself open to this type of litigation. It is not good enough for entrants to simply sign an indemnity as the danger is from a non participant’s third party claim, hence the low cost temporary third party cover.” MM


As well as the feature on the Auburn, the June/July issue of Classic & Performance Car Africa magazine will carry a feature on FMM’s Jeep Wagoneer that is credited with pioneering the SUV market. TopCar magazine is currently running a series of articles on historic South African race circuits. East London was the first to be featured, part 1 is in the current May issue and part 2 will appear in June, with other circuits to follow.


May 10: Regional racing, Killarney www.wpmc.co.za
May 10: Inland Championship circuit racing, Midvaal (Nino Venturi 0827744285)
May 10-11: Landy Festival, Soetdoring Vakansieplaas, Vereeniging www.landyfestival.co.za
May 11: Knysna Motor Show peterp@epweb.co.za
May 16-18: Jaguar Simola Hillclimb, Knysna www.speedfestival.co.za
May 18: Cars in the Park, Alexander Park, Pietermaritzburg www.carsinthepark.co.za
May 31: Regional racing, Scribante, Port Elizabeth
May 31: Gauteng Motor Show, Zwartkops www.zwartkops.co.za
June 7: Historics Tour circuit racing (Round 3), Zwartkops www.historicracing.co.za
June 8-12: Milligan Rally, Port Elizabeth johannesg@nedbank.co.za
June 14: Regional racing, Killarney www.wpmc.co.za
June 14: Vryheid Old Car Show, Lucas Meyer Primary School harvie@dalesvanheerden.co.za
June 21: Regional racing, East London Carol Radloff 0834112866
June 21: Inland Championship circuit racing, Phakisa, Free State

(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 © 2014 The Franschhoek Motor Museum, All rights reserved.
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