Our May newsletter featuring the following articles: Father’s day at FMM, Wayne taught a lesson, Legends day out, Collection in action – E, Fords to the fore, Knysna show and Hillclimb, Exhaust blips.
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FATHER’S DAY AT FMM




Father’s Day plans at FMM are even more attractive than before. This year’s celebration is on Sunday 21 June and, as usual, Dads get in for free. Providing the weather is good, there will be driving demos of some of the museum’s world-class collection, including for the first time a couple of early grand prix cars – something not to be missed. Supercars that will be circulating the quadrant will be the McLaren, Porsche Carrera GT and the Ferrari Enzo featured later in this newsletter.  FMM’s ex-presidential Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman Landaulet will make its first public appearance. We will again have the bonnets up so you can have a look at the fiddly bits. We are also going to display and demo run a few pre-war motorcycles. As a side attraction, there will be a model airplane flying display. The museum’s excellent Deli will be ready to serve hungry and thirsty visitors.

If you come in a classic you may display the car free on the day. There will be a lucky draw where one Dad is going to be invited back as our guest to spend a full day with us behind the scenes, get to ride in a number of different vehicles including one of our supercars, and have lunch served with our compliments.

To win it you have to be there! See you on the 21st... WH   

WAYNE TAUGHT A LESSON




Late in May I was fortunate to be able to spend a day with Pablo Clark Racing at the Zwartkops Raceway near Pretoria. The team offers individuals the opportunity to take to the track in a Ferrari 360 Challenge after receiving pointers on how to drive this race-spec supercar correctly and, most importantly, safely while having a little fun at the same time. On hand to offer instruction and a few hot laps are the father and son team of Ian and Jaki Scheckter.

Pablo Clark Racing puts on a great driving experience that includes full hospitality, briefings, helmets and race overalls etc. After filling out the mandatory indemnity forms and attending a short but expert briefing, it’s into your Nomex race suit and on with the helmet just like the professionals. (One is entitled to let one’s imagination go a little on a day like this...) I was thrilled to get my driving instruction from South African racing legend and national champion Ian Scheckter, and what an adrenaline rush it was to be taught how to drive this very capable race car quickly.

Well, that’s what I thought at the time. However, after a later hot lap outing with Jaki in a Ferrari F430 GT3, my bubble was properly burst as he drove this car like a demon and I quickly realised that being a professional racing driver demands bucket loads of practice coupled with a rare and special natural talent. Nevertheless, it was a fantastic day and one I will always remember. Well done and thank you, PCR! WH   

LEGENDS DAY OUT

Four of Cape Town’s ‘old school’ of racing drivers were recently entertained at the museum by workshop manager Lorenzo Farella. Peter Gough, Denis Joubert, Piet van Niekerk and Jan Driedyk arrived in the morning for a coffee and chat before taking a walk around the four exhibition halls where much interest and discussion took place around many of the cars, old and newer. Naturally, the more sporty models garnered the most comment and reminiscences began to flow around the ones that each had an association with during their careers. A visit to the museum’s workshop followed before a trip around L’Ormarins led to a late lunch provided by FMM’s popular delicatessen.
 
Gough began racing in 1961 and went on to win sportscar, saloon and Wesbank championships. Joubert began in 1959 and successfully raced in all manner of categories. He is a founder member of the Western Province Motor Club and was chairman from 1970 until 2006. Van Niekerk was another versatile racer and is best known for his association with the GSM Dart/Flamingo, cars that he is still very passionate about. Driedyk is best known for building, preparing and racing Alfa Romeos, which he continues to do.  MM

COLLECTION IN ACTION – E



An alphabetical series of short driving impressions of some of the museum’s car collection. This month we go behind the wheel in an Enzo Ferrari.
 
Enzo Ferrari. Millions of people around the world know the name. The man was a legend in his own lifetime, and is still revered by all manner of car enthusiasts.  Born in Modena in 1898, Enzo was destined to become one of the most powerful forces in road and race car history. Briefly, he started the Scuderia Ferrari racing team in 1929, was Alfa Romeo’s racing chief in 1938 but left after a year to run his own business mainly supplying parts to other racing teams before WWII broke out, during which his factory was bombed. When peace returned, Enzo relocated to Maranello and set up Ferrari SpA in 1947. The rest, as they say, is history.
 
Enzo – the man – died in 1988 but his legacy continues to this day. Enzo – the car – was born in 2002 to both honour il Commendatore and to celebrate the team’s first Formula 1 constructors’ and drivers’ championship titles of the new millennium (2000 with Michael Schumacher). The car is a mid-engined berlinetta supercar incorporating plenty of F1 technology of the time – Schumacher was deeply involved in the car’s development – as well as such niceties as traction and stability controls and active aerodynamics.
 
Painted in the more orange-hued Scuderia Red, the carbon fibre bodywork is an amalgam of F1 design cues at the front and Le Mans sportscar/supercar girth at the rear. It is 4 702 mm long, 2 035 mm wide, 1 147 mm high and weighs 1 255 kg. Purposeful it most certainly is, the smooth contours incorporating numerous vital air scoops to keep this powerhouse of a road car adequately fed and cooled. And with a V12, double overhead-cam, variable timing 48-valve Tipo 140B fuel-injected engine mounted amidships pumping out 485 kW at 7 800 r/min and a stonking 793 N.m of torque at 5 500, it needs to be catered to.   
 
Release the hidden lever and the scissor door rises to reveal a fairly spartan, somewhat messily laid-out cabin. Step over the sill and drop down into the firm and torso-hugging seat, fasten the harness and prepare to ignite. Hit the red start button and the instant bellow from behind is LOUD but the idle is rhythmic until everything warms up and the revs drop a little to a beat that is still raucous but mechanically tuneful. Typically, the drilled aluminium pedals are offset to the centre but the resulting slightly skew driving position is no handicap. Press the brake, release the fly-off handbrake, select first with the right-hand paddle – there is no gear lever – lean on the accelerator and Enzo pulls away with obvious pent-up energy.
 
The view forwards over the flat-topped power-assisted steering wheel is panoramic and as the blacktop begins to flash by underneath, winding up the revs and flipping the paddle as the redline approaches, every nuance of the driving experience is transmitted to the driver through the steering, pedals and seat. It roars in relentless fashion, each physical upshift of the six-speed sequential electrohydraulic transmission momentarily softening the drama until the revs (very quickly) rise again towards that near-8 000 limit – the faster you go, the faster the shift engages. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the all-ventilated 380 mm carbon-ceramic disc brakes are reassuringly grippy without the need for Schwarzenegger calf muscles. Downshifts with the left-hand paddle are accompanied by blips of the throttle, the level and fierceness commensurate with rate of retardation.
 
Performance claims are a top speed of 323 km/h and a 0-96 km/h time of 3,5 seconds. There is a modest wing that rises from the centre rear of the bodywork but only after a downforce of 7 600 Newtons is reached at about 300 km/h, such is the Enzo’s inherently excellent aerodynamics. Riding on aged and hard Bridgestone Potenza Scuderia tyres, I was not about to indulge in any heroics, but even with traction nannies engaged and the limited-slip diff helping the cause, the Enzo demands concentration even in a straight line: the steering is very sensitive. It is reported that Schumacher was no quicker around Ferrari’s Fiorano test track with the aids switched out that with them active.     
 
The Enzo was offered to existing owners of F40 and F50 Ferraris and the initial run of 349 cars was pre-sold. However, a further 50 were built and this car is one of those, carrying number 392. Like most limited-edition Ferraris, the Enzo offers something a little bit over and above the bread and butter models. It is a worthy tribute to a most influential individual. MM    
 

FORDS TO THE FORE

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Currently on view at FMM is a eclectic display of Fords including Model Ts, Model As, V8s, Anglia, Fairlane, GT40 and a road-going version of SA’s own Capri Perana.

KNYSNA SHOW AND HILLCLIMB



The annual Knysna Speed Festival featuring the Knysna Motor Show and the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb were both held in mild weather and each attracted record crowds. The motor show maintained its high standards of organisation and the classics on view including some exceptional vehicles. Sep Serfontein’s 1947 Packard, Brian Bruce’s 1952 Healey and Jan du Rand’s 1953 Chevrolet convertible won the major prizes.
 
The three-day Jaguar Simola Hillclimb was its usual competitive best with Charles Arton winning the Classic Conqueror title on the Friday in his ex-Derek Daly USA Formula Atlantic championship winning March 79B. The King of the Hill crown eventually fell to Dezzie Gutzeit in his 1 000 kW Nissan GT-R with a record-breaking 40,148-second climb of the 1,9km Simola Hill. This event is now firmly established on the national motorsport calendar and is not one to be missed. MM

EXHAUST BLIPS


In the June/July issue of Classic & Performance Car Africa magazine there will be a feature on FMM’s Chrysler Airflow and VW Beetle 1600L. In TopCar magazine’s series of articles on historic South African race circuits, the June issue features the tracks that were active in Rhodesia. MM

DATES TO DIARISE:

May 30: Mampoer Rally, POMC, Pretoria
June 6: Power Series 3 & Africa Endurance Series 3-hour, Killarney Raceway
June 6: Historics racing, Zwartkops Raceway
June 7: Buick Club, Cadillac and Oldsmobile Chapters concours, The Country Club, Auckland Park, JHB
June 13: Vryheid Vintage Car Show, KZN
June 13: Extreme Festival Round 3 and regional races, Scribante Raceway, PLZ
June 14: Cars in the Mall, Rustenburg
June 20: Inland Championship Round 4 races, Midvaal
June 21: Cape Jaguar Club fun run to Matjiesfontein
June 28: American Cars & Bikes, Piston Ring Club
July 4: Africa Endurance Series 1,5-Hour, Phakisa
July 4: Power Series Round 4,  Killarney Raceway
July 11: Extreme Festival Round 4, East London
July 12: Crankhandle Club 60th anniversary luncheon, Kelvin Grove
July 18: Motor racing, Phakisa
July 19: Scottburgh Classic Car Show, High School, Allen Street
July 25: Inland Championship Round 5 races, Zwartkops Raceway
 
(Clubs and organisations are invited to send details of upcoming events to mike4m@telkomsa.net for inclusion in Exhaust Blips.)

WHERE, WHAT TIMES
AND HOW MUCH

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.
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Newsletter text by Mike Monk.

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