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Our November newsletter featuring the following articles: Bumper package, FMM all at sea, Queen's plate, Museum Meanders 4, Drive-in delight, Barn finds, Scheckter cards at CTMS, Collection in action – W, Long service awards, Sarel in the spotlight, MM commended, Topcar and Top Gear SA close, Gastrol classic oils, Exhaust blips, Dates to diarise and more.
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Apologies everyone for the later than usual newsletter but once you scroll through this November edition you will see that it contains a bumper package of topics. A couple of topical items materialised late in the month, hence the delay, but I trust you will find the wait worthwhile. Grab a cuppa and enjoy the read. Oh, there will be a December newsletter... Please note that the museum will be open throughout the holiday period except for Christmas Day. For opening times and costs, refer the end of this newsletter. MM


Well, almost. FMM has pulled off a major coup by becoming involved with the local importers of Maserati in the Maserati Cape Town Race Week from 15-20 December and the Cape2Rio 2017 yacht race (first start 26 December 26, main start 1 January). Four of the museum’s cars will be on permanent display at the V&A Waterfront, and during the race week guests will be driven from the V&A to FMM to view the collection. As part of the package deal, L’Ormarins estate wines will be offered and served during what will be a major event for locals, holidaymakers and overseas tourists alike. The FMM Maseratis that will be displayed are the 1937 6CM, 1948 4CLT, 1954 250F and 1956 150S. 


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 features an unparalleled race card of 18 races. The first eight races will take place on the Friday, which will also be a Ladies Day with the hosting of a luncheon and garden party. As is tradition, the running of the Grade 1 L'Ormarins Queen's Plate will take place on the Saturday with racing enthusiasts and socialites from all corners of the globe expected to watch South Africa’s finest thoroughbreds compete for the R1 million purse. 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.
“Although multi-day racing festivals are popular in other parts of the world, this will be a first for South Africa and we hope to follow in the footsteps of other racing festivals such as the Qatar Goodwood Festival, Royal Ascot and the Melbourne Cup,” says LQP festival coordinator Katherine Gray. 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. Friday’s best dressed lady and her partner will take home a variety of prizes, and Saturday’s best dressed couple will once again win an all expenses paid trip to attend the UK’s biggest race day, Glorious Goodwood.
FMM will once again partner BMW in supporting the event and six of the museum’s cars will be on display, 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. Tickets for the Queen’s Plate are on sale at Computicket. MM
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Next in line of the museums I visited following my attendance at the annual Schloss Dyck ‘Das Klassiker und Motorfestival’, was Godin’s Sporting Cars and Bikes. This was something totally of the beaten track and arranged by my trip host (and FMM consultant) Chris Routledge. Chris and Anthony Godin have been close friends since the invention of the motorcycle and being a biker myself, Chris thought it would be great for me to see Anthony’s stock, which can be viewed by the public by appointment only. Anthony’s workshops are situated in Mereworth, Kent, which is a 60 km drive from London but well worth it if you like classic bikes. Anthony also looks after a few celebs’ motorcycles, one of whom is an ex-Formula 1 world champion... The collection is made up of stock that is for sale or in for service, and what a collection it is. At the time of my visit there where Indians, Harleys, Ducatis, BMW and Vincents including an HRD, but it was a Brough Superior racer that caught my eye. Not sure if it was a period racer, this sculpture of a motorcycle was just so exquisite and I was even allowed to mount this beauty. Alas, no joy rides are permitted. As with all the other museum visits I made, it was a morning well spent. WH


In late October the museum hosted a Motor Movie Festival when car lovers and movie fans combined their passions and relived the drive-in experience (albeit indoors) by watching motor-themed movies while seated in a classic 1930s, ’40s and ’50s car from the museum’s famous collection. The two-day festival included four movie screenings of The Italian Job (1969), Vanishing Point (1971), Midnight Run (1988), and Thelma & Louise (1991). 
There were two showings of all the movies on each of the days. Attendees had the opportunity to view all of the museum’s current displays – appropriately including a selection of cars with links to well-loved movies – and taste wines from the L’Ormarins estate’s Anthonij Rupert range before enjoying a movie screening from the seat of a special car (glass of wine in hand). The experience was rounded-off with a roadhouse burger and gourmet milkshake in the museum’s Pitstop Café.
FMM curator Wayne Harley joined in the proceedings and said afterwards, “The drive-in festival was super fun and it had me harking back to the good old days. I know its wasn’t quite the real thing, but sitting in a car watching a movie eating popcorn just bought back memories of the many Saturday nights at the old Witbank drive-in, being 18, having just got my driver’s licence, chatting cars with my mates before the show and not forgetting trying to impress the girls. The drive-in wasn’t just going to the movies, it was a culture. The festival at FMM paid tribute to that. Even the food served afterwards added to the atmosphere.
“I bought my ticket for the showing of Vanishing Point but it was the showing of Thelma & Louise that sold out … go figure a chick-flick sell-out,” says Wayne with a grin. “It was a small start, but I’m sure we are going to see this event grow and grow as I am still getting requests as to when we are we going to do it again.” MM


As a contrast to the usual pristine presentation of vehicles at FMM, a new display in Hall 3 features some of the ‘barn finds’ that are part of the museum’s collection. The vehicles are shown in their ‘as found’ condition along with some other motoring parts and accessories, all the items thankfully preserved rather than left to be buried or simply rot away.
The cars on show are a 1922 Rhode racer, 1926 Talbot 14/45, 1927 Calthorpe (one of the last to be made), 1928 Plymouth, 1930 Singer 10, 1935 Armstrong-Siddeley, 1938 Dodge Coupé,  1947 Studebaker Starlight, 1947 Buick Super 50 Coupé and a 1948 Nash Ambassador. DM


The Cape Town Motor Show held at Killarney on Sunday 6 November was a massive success with around 1 400 vehicles exhibited and an attendance figure approaching 14 000. FMM took part in the event, displaying the Tyrrell 007/1 grand prix car driven by Jody Scheckter in the 1974 Formula 1 season, and in 1975 by his brother Ian in the SA F1 Championship, which he won. The other car on display was the Lexington Racing March 78B-Ford BDA that Ian Scheckter drove to win the SA Formula Atlantic Championship title in 1978.  MM


An alphabetical series of short driving impressions of some of the museum’s car collection. This month we pilot an early example of one of the pioneering British makes, Wolseley.

The history of Wolseley goes back to 1887, when Dublin-born Frederick York Wolseley established the Wolseley Sheep-Shearing Machine Company to make the most of the many patents he had devised for sheep-shearing equipment while working in Australia. Herbert Austin was working Down Under at the time and took an interest in the company, pointing out to Wolseley where his design and construction methods were going wrong. Wolseley was impressed and Austin was appointed manager in 1893. Wolseley later resigned, then passed away in 1899.
By this time the company had been set-up in Birmingham, England and was operating successfully, even to branching out to make bicycles. Then Austin’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to travel to Paris to look at the pioneering horseless carriages that were all the rage. Inspired by what he saw, he returned home and produced his own three-wheeler that was a modified copy of a Léon Bollée. However, due to patent rights, the car was never produced.
Undaunted, Austin made a second car, also a three-wheeler but with the single wheel at the front. Again, no more were made despite a catalogue (one of the industry’s first?) being made for the car. Austin then made a four-wheeler with a single-cylinder 3,3 hp (2,5 kW) horizontal engine and took part in a 60 km timed run from Birmingham to Coventry and back. He finished second.
Then machine gun inventor Hiram Maxim joined in. Maxim was a member of the Vickers, Sons & Maxim Company and had consulted Austin a number of times regarding the design of flying machines that he was developing and constructing.  Wary of becoming too involved in the motor car business, this friendship led to the sheep-shearing side pulling away to allow the Wolseley Tool and Motor Car Company to be incorporated in March 1901 with a capital of £40 000 by Vickers, Sons & Maxim to manufacture motor cars and machine tools, with 33-years-old Austin as managing director.

By May 1901 the company issued its first catalogue of Wolseley cars. At this time there was a diversion of opinion over engine layouts, a minority advocating a horizontal layout while a vertical design was the more popular approach. Austin was a ‘horizontal man’, which put Wolseley at odds with its rivals and the company made a loss in its first 10 months. Profits were made in 1902 and 1903 and prizes were won in sporting events and at motor shows, but these were followed by five years of losses, brought about mainly by component supply issues. 
Austin agreed to build the vertically-engined Siddeley, named after its originator John Davenport Siddeley. The car outsold the Wolseley and so Austin bought out the company and J D became sales manager. But in 1905 a frustrated Austin resigned, leaving J D as general manager. At the Olympia Motor Show, newly-badged Wolseley-Siddeley cars with both vertical and horizontal engines were displayed.  Wolseley’s fate was seen to be turning, as was Austin’s – once his contractual obligations to the Wolseley Tool and Motor Car Company ended, he established The Austin Motor Company Limited.
Banker Lionel Nathan de Rothschild joined the company bringing his money, but the board was unhappy because people were calling the cars simply Siddeleys and profits were marginal. In 1909 the dissatisfaction led to both Siddeley and De Rothschild leaving the company, opening the door for Ernest Hopwood to move from the British Electric Traction Co to become managing director. He was joined by A J McCormack in 1911 as a period of stability began, instigated by board member Walter Chetwynd. The company regrouped into fewer premises, and the Siddeley name was dropped. Wolseley began making a profit and by 1913 it was Britain's largest car manufacturer, selling 3 000 cars. 
During this time Wolseley introduced the 12-16, which proved to be a very popular model. The car in the FMM collection was acquired from the Waldie Greyvensteyn collection in 1977 and is a 1912 Town Car model with an ornate body by Hurst of Belfast. Although the roof extends to the top of the windscreen – it carries a roof rack for luggage – the rear passenger compartment is separated by a split glass screen, the top half hinged so that conversation with the driver can be made. Upholstery is in rich cerise-coloured studded velvet, the hue matching the pin-striping on the purple painted bodywork. The windows drop down into the doors old railway carriage-style by means of a brocade-edged sash. An elegantly-patterned headlining edged with tassels adds to the classy ambience. Access to the front is from the passenger side only, and the sculpted dual seat is trimmed in leather. 
The 12-16 is powered by a 2 226 cm3 four-cylinder side-valve engine with a single Zenith carburettor. The 12 refers to the RAC horsepower rating: the engine produced 15 hp (11 kW) at 1 800 r/min. Once the priming cocks have been utilised, the motor swings into life at the first turn of the crankhandle and pulls away with enthusiasm thanks to a low first gear. Top – third – gear is high, leaving flexible second to bear the brunt of the drive to the back axle. As regular readers will know, my long-legged frame is not commensurate with veteran and vintage ergonomics – the pedals are mounted very close together forcing me to drive shoe-less in order to operate the central accelerator, while the top of the gear lever  sits in the crook of my right knee. Ah, the joys of pioneering motoring...
The 12-16 was certainly no slouch. A speeding fine was issued on the car for travelling at 143 km/h in a 120 km/h zone in Alberton, only for it to be found that someone was illegally using the Wolseley’s number plates...   
The thick-rimmed steering wheel is not overly large and steering effort not too heavy once on the move. Tyres are 815x105s mounted on wooden artillery wheels. The chassis has a wheelbase of 2 819 mm and weighs 762 kg. Suspension is by leaf springs all round and the foot brake operates on the drive shaft while the handbrake works on the rear wheels. The Lucas King of the Road headlamps were powered by a running board-mounted ‘generator’, a cylinder containing calcium carbide that when topped up with water produces acetylene, which ran through pipes to the headlamps where it could be ignited to produce light.      
I wonder what thrills the early motorists must have had driving around in such self-propelled elegance. It could not have been easy, but even by 1910 a level of sophistication was already apparent as the motorised age was fast gathering momentum. Wolseley certainly set a high standard and little wonder the 12-16 was a success. 

The company was renamed Wolseley Motors Limited in 1914 and set up operations in Canada and later began a joint venture in Japan with Ishikawajima Ship Building and Engineering, a coalition that was the foundation of Isuzu Motors in 1949. The company grew and prospered and in 1921 manufactured 12 000 cars, continuing to be Britain’s biggest motor manufacturer. However, over-expansion led to receivership in 1927 when it was purchased from Vickers by William Morris (later Lord Nuffield), who pre-war had bought a Wolseley taxi. Up to this point, at various times Wolseley had built motor cars, aircraft, aero-engines, gliders, railcars, a gyro car, boats, armoured cars, buses and ambulances, not to mention mines and depth-charges. Wolseley was incorporated into the Morris Motors empire where it became a badge-engineered product under BMC, BMH and British Leyland ownership before the name was dropped altogether in 1975, an unflattering finale to what was once an eminent force. MM


At the L’Ormarins year-end function held on November 25, two of FMM’s staff received long-service awards. The beautiful flower decorations that adorn the museum’s premises is just one of the tasks proudly carried out by Susan Bok, who has worked on the L’Ormarins estate in various roles for 30 years. Susan was presented with a certificate by Mr Johann Rupert. The other recipient was workshop technician Deon de Waal, who has been with FMM for 10 years; first working on the vehicles just prior to FMM’s opening in 2007. 


South African motor sport legend Sarel van der Merwe recently visited FMM along with fellow racers Etienne van der Linde and Johan Fourie for filming with Doreen Morris for an Afrikaans TV programme Driekuns. The trio were interviewed about their careers, and the show will be aired in December. While at FMM, Sarel took an opportunity to drive the museum’s Chevrolet Camaro.


In November, Sarel was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his achievements in motor sport by the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists at the annual Motoring Journalist of the Year awards dinner. WH


FMM’s media consultant Mike Monk received a Highly Commended award at the recent annual South African Guild of Motoring Journalists Motoring Journalist of the Year awards dinner, held at the Birchwood Hotel near the OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg. The award was for articles submitted in the Motoring Magazine category, for which a grading of 75% or over has to be given by a panel of judges made up of fellow journalists and members of the motor industry.         


It is with deep regret that I have to pass on the message that as of end-November, TopCar magazine has closed down – the last issue will be January 2017, due on the shelves mid-December. It is a shock and significant loss to both the motoring community and the magazine industry. In a statement to the magazine’s contributors, editor Calvin Fisher stated that publishers Media24 cited “pressure from the market and the economy” as the reasons for closure. In recent years, TopCar has published a number of features on FMM cars and I have been privileged to be involved with them all. A strong camaraderie was established between both parties and it is sad to accept that the relationship is unable to continue.


At the same time, Media24 closed down Top Gear SA. Globally, the printed word is under continual and increasing pressure from digital media for all-important advertising support and is battling to hold its own. TopCar and Top Gear SA are the latest victims of this change of approach. MM


Castrol has developed a range of oils for veteran, vintage and classic cars and motorcycles – collectively pre-1980 – that are now available in SA. The oils are to the correct formulations and viscosities as originally recommended by the vehicle manufacturers but developed using latest technologies where appropriate. For further info contact Paul Williams on 011 465 8294 or 082 373 5980 or, alternatively Giovanni Schule on 011 460 1410 or 082 786 3044 or MM


Dec 3: Power Series & Motorcycles + Oval Track racing, Killarney Raceway
Dec 3: Historic Tour regional Round 6 & Border 100, East London
Dec 4: The Classic Car Show, NASREC
Dec 4:  Willowbridge Beers & Gears, Tyger Valley
Dec 10-11: Vintage auction, 10 Briar Rd, Salt River, Cape Town
Jan 21-22: Timour Hall Car Show, Plumstead, Cape Town
Feb 11-12: George Old Car Show, George


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.


R80/adult  |  R60/pensioner and motor club members  |  R40/child (3-12 yrs)
During December, we are open until 6 pm. Last entry at 5 pm.

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: Web:
View cars currently on display.
Newsletter text by Mike Monk.

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