Our December newsletter featuring the following articles: All set for the Queen’s Plate, Party time, Collection in action – l, New deli menu, Journalism awards, Yuletide message.
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Horsepower of a different kind will be on view when L’Ormarins will, for the eleventh year in succession, be sponsoring the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (LQP) at Kenilworth Racecourse on 9 January supported, as always, by a display of thoroughbreds from the Franschhoek Motor Museum. An integral part of the multi-faceted L’Ormarins operation, the Queen’s Plate is the Cape’s most prestigious horse racing event, which features the best 16 thoroughbred horses in the country – accepted according to their weight-for-age merit ratings – competing for the R1 million purse.

Television personality Bonang Matheba is the official spokeswoman for this year’s race, which is the 155th running of the event – the first was in 1861 – and it stands as a meeting of racing excellence, style and grace marked with blue-and-white themed fashions, top-notch music and entertainment and superb culinary experiences. Apart from the prestigious Queen’s Plate, the day’s 12-race card will include the third Peninsula Stakes, sponsored by England’s Goodwood Racecourse, bringing international flavour to the day’s line-up. Additionally, the Breeder’s Cup, the biggest annual race day held in the United States, will again grant the LQP winner automatic entrance to its Mile Division, cementing the race’s global status.

 â€œThe L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate has a rich history and is a defining moment in the international horse racing calendar. Every year we strive to maintain strict standards of elegance and leisure while building on the successes of the past. LQP 2016 will deliver everything people have come to expect, plus a few surprises,” said Katherine Gray, co-ordinator of the 2016 event.

As part of the Glorious Goodwood partnership with LQP, the Best Dressed Lady and a partner will be flown to the UK’s Glorious Goodwood race in August 2016. French luxury brand Cartier will present the Best Dressed Lady with a Cartier bag, while the Best Dressed Man will win a Cartier wallet.
Not to be outdone, adding motorized style to the days’ four- and two-legged proceedings will be a select few of FMM’s elite horseless carriages to provide a glamorous sideshow to the main event. Among the models to be displayed are some famous BMWs – a 1953 502, a 1938 328 and Nelson Mandela’s 46664 charity 7-Series – the BMW-engined McLaren F1 road car, and a 1928 Rolls-Royce Phantom 1. MM


party time
On 4 December the entire staff compliment of L’Ormarins, Drakenstein Stud, Anthonij Rupert wines, FMM and invited guests all squeezed into one of the FMM display halls for the group’s annual year-end function. Johann and Gaynor Rupert were in attendance and in his speech, Mr Rupert thanked everyone for a successful year. Amongst a number of long service awards presented to the group’s staff, three members of FMM’s staff, namely Erica Williams, Juliana Bok and Elton Botha, were the proud recipients of their 10-year awards. After all the formalities, everyone was treated to a spit braai, some live music and some fun and games. WH
party time 3


collection in action i
An alphabetical series of short driving impressions of some of the museum’s car collection. This month we are ‘dazzled by the dozen’ of a Lincoln V12.
These days, mention a car with 12 cylinders and most people with immediately think of an expensive, high performance, high-tech executive thoroughbred from one of the elite manufacturers. But back in the mid-1930s when America was in the throes of recovering from the Great Depression, Ford was looking attract buyers to a lower-priced, mid-size luxury car to bridge a gap in its corporate model line-up, and the Lincoln Zephyr brand was the result. But far from being something cobbled together from the Ford stable parts bin – Ford had taken over Lincoln in 1922 – the stylish Zephyr was something of a trend-setter powered by an unstressed V12 engine.
Introduced in November 1935 as a 1936 model, the Lincoln Zephyr boasted a number of modern features. It was designed by Eugene Turenne ‘Bob’ Gregorie, who was a close friend the company’s president Edsel Ford, and the concept is said to have been based on the Pioneer Zephyr Streamliner train, otherwise known as the Burlington Zephyr. The shape included a low-raked windscreen, integrated fenders and aerodynamic bodywork to create a low drag coefficient, which was better than the rivalling Chrysler Airflow, the model that had started an ill-fated period of streamlined designs. In fact, the Zephyr was called "the first successfully streamlined car in America" by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. With its monocoque construction, the body was also strong yet relatively light, tipping the scales at 1 596 kg.
Under the self-supporting bonnet was a compact, 75-degree V12 engine adapted from Ford’s Flathead V8 with four cylinders tacked on. Cubic capacity was 4 380 cm3 and with a single down-draught carburettor, it delivered 82 kW at 3 900 r/min, which helped achieve a top speed was 90 mph (145 km/h). Dual water pumps were fitted. As with the Flathead, there were early reliability issues but these were quickly resolved.     
Suspension was by Henry Ford's beloved transverse leaf springs front and rear, with a dead axle up front and torque tube at the rear that, contrary to the car’s styling, was seen as an outdated set-up when the car was introduced. Four-wheel drum brakes were cable-activated for 1936-38 models but from 1939 they were hydraulic.
Styling changes were made in 1938, most noticeably to the front end and rear fenders, and the wheelbase was lengthened by three inches to 125 inches (3 175 mm). An 18-inch (457 mm) steering wheel was introduced, and a convoluted floor-mounted gear lever also appeared.    
FMM’s 1939 Lincoln Zephyr is a 1939 two-door Coupé, model code H-72, which is listed as being a six-seater but the seating belies that capacity. The front seat is a bench with split backrests to allow access to the rear where, unusually, there are two sideways-facing stools, which, combined with the sloping roofline, is hardly a comfortable place to be, especially for adults. It sold for $1 320 – the cheapest variant in the six-model line-up for 1939.
The Zephyr’s rakish styling has some Art Deco appeal to it and teardrop elements appear in the shapes of the front and rear lights, the rear wheel spats and some badging. Climbing aboard, the dashboard provides automotive symmetry: a centrally-placed, circular, all-encompassing instrument dial with a matching clock beneath, flanked by a matching ashtrays and glove boxes.
Flick a toggle switch to ‘on’, press the button and the engine springs into life with nothing like the ferocity one would expect from 12 pistons jumping up and down. Engage first in the conventional three-speed gearbox – despite the lever’s tortuous shape – release the stout under-dash handbrake and the Zephyr pulls away with the kind of lazy aplomb you would expect from a big-capacity, multi-cylinder engine. Despite the basic steering and suspension set-up, the rigid body contributes to a comfortable ride and the steering only gets heavy at slow speeds. With a turning circle of 13,4 metres, the Zephyr is hardly wieldy but the big spring-spoked wheel is not too heavy to twirl. The tapered bonnet points the way ahead and, all in all, this car comes across as a cool cruiser and I can imagine its presence adding some style to the lifting gloom of the period.
The Zephyr rejuvenated Lincoln’s status as a manufacturer and a total of 21 000 Zephyrs were sold in 1939, of which the H-72 Coupé accounted for 2 500. A redesigned body appeared in 1940, but production was halted from 1942 until the end of WWII when the car reappeared in 1945 badged simply as a Lincoln after Ford had merged the company with its Mercury division. MM


FMM’s popular Pitstop Deli has introduced a new menu in time for the anticipated seasonal rush of visitors to the museum. The culinary ‘starting grid’ now comprises: 

All Day:
Health – Greek yoghurt, homemade granola, seasonal fruit - R35
Croque Monsieur – Toasted Gypsy ham and Emmental cheese - R48

Smoked chicken, butternut, rocket, cranberry, cherry tomatoes and feta - R45
Baby spinach, strawberry, candied pecans, feta, raspberry and poppy seed vinaigrette - R38
Smoked salmon salad, capers, greens and lemon R45

Tandoori chicken, tatziki - R38
BLT and pickles - R40
Brie, fig jam, bacon - R45
Smoked mozzarella, olive tapenade, thyme, sun dried tomatoes - R38

Ploughman’s platter for one:
Cheese, cold cuts, pickles and preserves - R65

Smores – Chocolate ganache and marshmallows - R35
Banana, salted caramel drizzle and fudge crumble - R35

Vegetables, herbs and berries are all locally produced. Only estate-produced extra virgin olive oil and honey are used. MW


journalism awards
At the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists Motor Journalist of the Year awards banquet held at the Protea Balalaika Hotel in Sandton City at the end of November, FMM’s journalist Mike Monk received ‘Highly Commended’ awards in two categories, Magazine (Motoring) and Magazine (Motorsport). The awards were presented by Derek Leach, Vice-President for Sales and Marketing at Toyota Financial Services South Africa, which sponsors the competition, and Bernard Hellberg Jnr, Chairman of the SAGMY. The articles appraised were a Jaguar C-, D-, E- and F-Type road trip and gathering feature, and a history-correcting story on SA’s first motor race.


“Well, with 2015 almost behind us, here we are again facing another festive season – time sure seems to fly by these days!” says FMM curator Wayne Harley. “I must say it’s been a very good year for the museum with some amazing happenings, starting with our Passion for Speed demonstrations first at Zwartkops then at Killarney. In mid-year, being involved with the Working with Fire project was a rewarding exercise, and our massive Father’s Day turnout was a sight to savour. Co-sponsoring the Oily Rag Run again has merely whetted out appetite for future runs. A real highlight of the year was hosting the recent visit of Leonardo Fioravanti, the man who designed so many classic Ferraris. (See the December issue of TopCar magazine for the full story.)
“In closing, I would like to thank all of our fantastic supporters, friends and visitors for all helping to make operating FMM so worthwhile. It is just so gratifying to bring the history and joy of motoring to everyone visiting Franschhoek. Looking ahead to next year, we are planning some great activities to both attract new visitors as well as lure back previous callers. On behalf of everybody at FMM, I would like to wish you all a blessed Christmas and a joyful 2016, and if you are travelling by road, have a safe journey and enjoy the drive.” WH


A reminder that up to 31 March the museum will be open a little longer than usual. Check the ‘Where, What Times and How Much’ panel below for details. MW


In the upcoming December/January issue of Classic & Performance Car Africa there is a fascinating feature on FMM’s 1922 Isotta Fraschini, together with a report and photos of the 2015 Oily Rag Run that was co-sponsored by FMM.  


January 23-24: Timour Hall Car Show & Autojumble, Cape Town
January 29-31: Passion for Speed series racing, Zwartkops
February 5-6: Passion for Speed series racing, Killarney
February 12-13: Passion for Speed series racing, East London
February 13-14: George Old Car Show
February 14: American Day, Pretoria Old Motor Club clubhouse
February 20: Power Series Round 1, Killarney
February 27: Africa Endurance Series 6-Hour, Welkom
(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 18h00 (last admittance 16h00), Saturday and Sunday 10h00 to 17h00 (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.

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