Our May newsletter featuring the following articles: Father's day, Collection in action – Q, Knysna show and hillclimb, Ralph Clarke and more.
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On June 19th, the increasingly popular Fathers’ Day Special will take place at the museum. An exciting programme of events is being planned for the day including driving demonstrations around the museum’s quadrant. To facilitate all visitors having the opportunity to enjoy and participate in the various happenings being presented, attendance will take place in three time slots, namely:

09h00-10h00: Car club members
09h00-13h00: Patrons for the first events session
13h00-16h00: Patrons for the second events session.

Some 45 vehicles will be paraded at 5-minute intervals and cover models built from 1900 up to 2010 and including three grand prix cars, 1937 Maserati 6CM, 1954 Maserati 250F and 1974 Tyrrell 007 F1. From tiny veterans such as the Le Zebra, Ford Model T and Bugatti Tipo 35B through to the majestic Lorraine Dietrich and Mercedes-Benz S-Type, and post-war classics featuring examples of Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Jaguar and Porsche amongst many others, an exciting show (weather permitting of course) is guaranteed, with all the sights, sounds and smells everyone will take pleasure in. Six unusual 4x4 off-roaders will also be part of the show. 
Also on display will be a collection of fine art prints by famous UK motoring artist Nicholas Watts, many of which are signed limited editions sold with a letter of authenticity. Of special interest will be the artist’s portrait of local racing hero Sarel van der Merwe driving the Porsche entered 962C in the 1988 Le Mans 24-Hour. A large selection of greetings cards featuring Watts’ paintings – a popular purchase at FMM for some time – together with a new range of affordable, signed ‘mini mounts’, will be on sale along with a range of scale model cars.
Five food and refreshment stalls will be set up on the lawn on the far end of the museum’s quadrant. FMM’s Deli will only be serving coffee and tea.
On the day, admission to FMM and the L’Ormarins Estate is by tickets only, which are already available on Webticket (logon to www.webticket.co.za for more details). Fathers will get free admittance while the other charges are adults R60, children under-12 R30, pensioners and motor club members (with membership ID) R50. However, in order to control visitor flow, the total number of tickets is limited to 1 800. In the event of all the tickets not being sold beforehand, on the day Webticket will have a stand at the museum’s reception hall. Patrons with a ticket purchased for either of the morning sessions can stay on the Estate for the rest of the day. However, a ticket purchased for the 13h00-16h00 time slot will not allow access to the Estate before 13h00.

Gates will open at 09h00 and close at 16h00. The museum closes at 17h00. This is one of FMM’s most popular annual visitor attractions and should not be missed. MM
Buy Tickets Now


An alphabetical series of short driving impressions of some of the museum’s car collection. This month we reach Q –no, not Mr Bond’s sidekick – with a car that is part of the Rupert family’s personal collection.
Calling a three-box saloon a four-door is unimaginative but if you are an Italian manufacturer of premium-priced cars with a racing pedigree, then chances are that you will get away with it. Maserati have done just that with its luxury sports saloon – the Quattroporte. The first generation appeared in 1963 but Citroën’s brief takeover of Maserati all but brought an end to the concept. Fortunately, fortunes changed for the Italian brand and the super saloon managed to survive. 
Turin-based coachbuilder Pietro Frua designed the first Quattroporte, which was revealed at the 1963 Turin Motor Show and manufacture began the following year. It was a large car powered by a double-overhead-cam 4 136 cm3 32-valve 90-degree V8 engine, a production car first for Maserati. It was offered with either a ZF five-speed manual or a three-speed Borg-Warner automatic transmission: a limited-slip differential was optional. Top speed was 230 km/h. The car was exported to America where legislation necessitated the car’s rectangular headlamps being replaced with twin circular units. Production ceased in 1966 after just 230 examples had been sold.
A Series II version was introduced in 1966 that featured the dual headlamps as standard, a completely redesigned interior with a fashionable-at-the-time full-width wooden facia and, revised suspension layout. In 1968 a 4 719 cm3 engine became available, and top speed was raised to 255 km/h. Around 546 Series IIs were built before production ended in 1969.
There was a lull in the model’s life line following Citroën’s takeover of Maserati in 1968. The concept car appeared at the 1974 Paris Motor Show. Designed by Marcello Gandini at Bertone, the car was built on a stretched Citroën SM chassis, which meant front-wheel drive and hydropneumatic suspension. Under the bonnet was a 3,0-litre V6, which helped realise a 200 km/h top speed. However, in the aftermath of the 1973 global oil crisis, the car was not granted EEC approval and, to make matters worse, Citroën was declared bankrupt, which led to a company takeover in 1975. All this adversity rendered the car as a non-starter and a mere (unlucky) 13 examples were built.   
From 1976 the new corporation began introducing new models, including a third-generation Quattroporte that was launched in 1979. Styled by Italdesign’s Giorgetto Giugiaro, a pre-production prototype made its public debut at the 1976 Turin Motor Show but production only commenced three years later. At first it was badged ‘4porte’ but this was changed to Quattroporte in 1981. 
It is a clear and positive evolution of the first-generation car, with exterior joints and seams on the bodywork filled to create a seamless appearance. Two V8 engine sizes were offered, a 4 136 cm3 unit with initially 177 kW that in 1981 was increased to 188 kW at 6 000 r/min and 350 N.m at 3 200, and a 4 930 cm3 version with 206 kW at 5 600 r/min and 390 N.m at 3 000. A five-speed ZF manual and a Borg-Warner three-speed auto were the transmission options, but the B-W ’box was quickly replaced with a three-speed Chrysler A727 Torqueflite auto. Depending on the chosen transmission, top speeds varied between 220 and 240 km/h.
Front suspension consisted of dual wishbones, coil springs and an anti-roll bar while at the rear a Jaguar-like set-up was employed consisting of cast aluminium hub carriers linked to the chassis by lower wishbones, the half-shafts doubling as upper control arms. The calipers of the inboard-mounted rear brakes were bolted directly to the diff housing, the entire assembly supported by a bushing-insulated cross beam. Initially, a Salisbury-type limited-slip differential was used, which was replaced in 1984 by a more advanced Torsen diff, which Maserati dubbed ‘Sensitork’.
The Quattroporte’s slightly offbeat charm caught the attention of Anthonij Rupert, son of South African billionaire businessman, philanthropist and conservationist Anton Rupert. In 1985, he imported a 4,2 model and for some time it was his personal transport. Sadly, in 2001, 49-year-old Anthonij died in a motor accident while in another car, but the Maserati stayed in the family and it now resides in his memory at FMM. 
The left-hand drive car has not been refurbished since new and surprisingly, the maroon paintwork is still in good condition. Quad headlamps and an evolution of the traditional Maserati grille complement the Quattroporte’s overall square lines. It remains an imposing vehicle and never fails to attract onlookers. By today’s standards, the car looks a little under-wheeled on its silver 15-inch Campagnolo alloys, but 30 years ago they were de rigueur for sporty cars.
Inside the cabin, trim materials include fashionable light beige leather and briar wood. A plethora of individual switches electrically activate pretty much everything and the instrument cluster offers no less than eight gauges and stacks of warning lights. It is easy to get comfortable behind the wheel and the seats are sumptuous and supportive. Despite the car’s width, the rear seat is styled for two; the actual seats near identical in shape to the fronts. A padded armrest separates both sets of seats.
On the move, the engine exhibits a slightly gruff tone while the autobox performed its duties with typical period American autobox slur. Designed to whisk four occupants in style and comfort along endless autostrada, the Quattroporte does not disappoint. The spring and damper rates have been tuned to provide a firm but supple ride, the emphasis being on grand touring rather than outright sportiness. Given such weight and size, the car’s handling traits are what you would expect, a degree of roll and slight understeer, but in context nothing to complain about.
During the Quattroporte III’s 11-year life cycle, which ended in 1990, an impressive total of 2 155 units were sold. Three more generations have been built, all of which have offered an air of exclusivity to go with Italian style and performance. Quattroporte – the queen of super saloons? MM (A more comprehensive version of this story will appear in the June/July issue of Classic Car Africa magazine.)


The beginning of May was a busy time in Knysna, with the annual motor show taking place on the 1st and the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb on 6th to the 8th. The show, organised by the Garden Route Motor Club, was as popular as ever with a superb array of 400 cars and motorcycles laid out on the high school sports fields. Adding to the quality of the invited exhibits were a selection of cars from the Parnell Bruce collection including Brian Bruce’s recently acquired Ferrari 365 GT, a display of HiTech Automotive’s recreation Cobras and Zagato Peranas, and a quartet of Peter Lindenberg’s race cars including his Shelby-franchise demo car. In addition, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University put a number of ‘advanced mobility’ machines on view, and the show hosted part of the Triumph Club’s national gathering schedule. John Dalton had many Nicholas Watts prints on sale, and local artist Johan Rabe’s impressive paintings also attracted much attention.
Of the various awards, Lawrence Kropf won the Concours d’Elegance trophy with his 1967 Mercedes-Benz 250SL W113 Pagoda and the Meilleur Vieux Voiture trophy went to the Kevin Casey’s 1911 Ford Model T Runabout, both awards sponsored by Classic Car Africa magazine and Protea Hotels. The Autoglym/Fancourt Style et Luxe trophy went to the Sunbeam Sports Car Club and the public voted Gerard Roelofs’ 1946 Sunbeam S7 as winner of the Allsound Security trophy for the most appealing motorcycle.
More than 5000 people attended this year’s show, which continues to evolve and is fast becoming a must attend event on the classic calendar. A friendly atmosphere, a superb setting and an eclectic mix of vehicles characterise the event’s popularity, the proceeds of which are donated to local charities. For a video report of the show, logon to https://youtu.be/gUfAeG206X4.
The following weekend the annual Jaguar Simola Hillclimb took place in the Garden Route town and began with Classic Car Friday. Damp conditions early in the day caused some scary moments, especially for Brian Bruce, whose Ford GT40 replica crashed during practice. Fortunately, the 1,7km stretch of road soon dried out allowing the 50 competitors to give their all. In the Top 10 shootout, the Classic Conqueror title went to 2014 winner Franco Scribante in his Chevron B19 with a record climb of 41,432 seconds. Brent Watts was second in his Porsche 911 RSR and Clive Corder third in his Lola T70 Mk.3B replica. Rodney Green won his class in his 1929 Bugatti Tipo 35B and also received the inaugural Spirit of Dave Charlton Award, recognising the SA champion racer’s ‘spirit of impeccable attention to detail, meticulous preparation and commendable performance’.
The Saturday and Sunday were taken up with the King of the Hill event for more modern machinery, and Scribante was again triumphant, this time in his Chevron B26 that he took to the top in a staggering outright record time of 38,646 seconds. Last year’s winner Des Gutzeit was second in his highly modified 1500hp Nissan GT-R, and Anton Cronje third in his modified Subaru WRX. Check DStv’s SuperSport channels programming between June 2-8 for recorded highlights. MM


On May 15 Ralph Clarke, MG Car Club and Crankhandle Club member and former leading personality in the local motor industry, passed away after battling with cancer. His passion for MGs, MMMs in particular, is renowned and he was always actively involved in events to celebrate the marque.
On May 20, his memorial service held at the Anglican Church of the Configuration in Bellville was filled with family and friends from the many walks of life he had been actively associated with during his 88 years. Ralph, a true gentleman, respected engineer, car enthusiast and devoted family man, will be deeply missed but not forgotten. He is survived by his ever-loving and supportive wife Hilda, son Robin and daughter Ann and their respective families, to whom FMM extends its sincere condolences. MM


In the June/July issue of Classic Car Africa magazine there will be a feature on FMM’s fascinating 1911 Lorraine Dietrich as well as an extended version of the Maserati Quattroporte story.


Jun 4: Extreme Festival Round 4 & GTC Africa Round 1, Scribante Raceway, Port Elizabeth
Jun 4: Historic Tour Round 4, Dezzi Rceway, Port Shepstone
Jun 4: Regional races, East London
Jun 4: POMC Mampoer Rally
Jun 11: Vryheid Old Car Show, Lucas Meyer Primary School
Jun 12: V&V Car and Bike Day, POMC clubhouse
Jun 12-16: Milligan Run
Jun 18: Power Series Round 4, Killarney Raceway
Jun 18: Extreme Festival Round 6 & GTC Africa Round 2, Kyalami
Jul 2: Historic Tour, Dezzi Raceway, Port Shepstone
Jul 9: GTC Africa Round 3, East London
Jul 10: European Classic Car & Bike Day, POMC clubhouse
Jul 17: Scottburgh Classic car Show, Scottburgh
Jul 23: Africa Endurance Series Round 3, East London
Jul 24: VVC Parkhurst Street Scene, Parkhurst
Jul 31: POMC Cars in the Park, Zwartkops Raceway

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