Our June newsletter featuring the following articles: Glory in the gloom, Champion surprise, Model donation, Classics at NASREC, Collection in action – R, National concours, A boxer turns 50, Eddie Keizan rip and more.
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In the days leading up to the increasingly popular annual Father’s Day celebration at the Franschhoek Motor Museum, the appropriate words in a Barbra Streisand song from the 1964 movie Funny Girl often sprang to mind – “Don’t bring around a cloud to rain on my parade”. Sadly, the weather gods were not of the same mind set as the forecasts in the build-up to Sunday 19 June steadily got worse and, on the day, proved, for once, to be accurate. It did not rain – it poured, relentlessly, all day. But the inclement conditions failed to dampen the spirits of the visitors as they (excuse the pun) poured through the museum’s gates in their hundreds to celebrate Father’s Day. Dads entered for free. 
Despite the gloomy conditions, a staggering 1642 tickets were sold including on-the-day visitors. The rain, which began the night before in the Franschhoek Valley, brought out all manner of protective clothing and umbrellas as visitors made their way from the car parks to the reception area and the display halls. Nevertheless, everyone was in good spirits and determined to enjoy the outing regardless of the conditions.
In the days before the event, the museum’s workshop staff had been busy preparing no less than 47 vehicles, to be paraded around the museum’s quadrant area in five-minute demonstration runs. Drivers Lorenzo Farella, Deon de Waal, Donnie Tarental, Shawn Botha, Dickon Daggitt and Derek Hulse took turns in driving the vehicles in what were adverse conditions, especially when in the open-topped and sports/racing cars. The vehicles ranged from a 1909 Le Zebra to a 2010 Ferrari 599 GTO but with a surprise inclusion of the mammoth new tri-axle all-wheel drive Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6. Sensibly, the ex-Jody Scheckter Tyrrell 007/1 Formula One car was not driven around, but the engine was started and throttle-blipped, the noise booming around the display hall to the unbridled delight of everyone around. Heavy mist and even stronger rainfall forced a shortened afternoon driving session but more engine fire-ups took place, bringing broad smiles to everyone’s faces. Museum curator Wayne Harley was hoping to ride a few motorcycles around the quadrant but conditions were too treacherous.
In-between visiting the four display halls, visitors sought refuge under the giant marquee at the end of the quadrant where food and refreshments were being served on a non-stop basis and the vehicles could best be seen driving around.  FMM’s famed Deli was busy in the reception area serving hot beverages. Wine-tasting was also on offer. Apart from the cars, fine art prints by famous UK motoring artist Nicholas Watts were on view and for sale. A planned model aircraft flying demonstration had to be cancelled, but the planes were on display.
While the weather affected the demonstrations and hampered freedom of movement for all the visitors, the FMM Father’s Day Special was extremely well attended in the circumstances and the overall proceedings enjoyed by everyone. Hopefully next year the weather gods will listen to Barbra’s lyrics... MM  


Earlier in June, FMM had an unexpected visit from ex-SA Driver Champion Neville Lederle and his wife, Norma. Born in Theunissen in the Free State, Neville, now 77, had a short but notably successful racing career including taking part in the 9th SA Grand Prix held at East London on 29 December 1962. Despite a broken steering wheel and a cracked engine block, Neville finished sixth in his privately entered Lotus 21, was the first four-cylinder car home, and gained a World Championship point for his efforts, which made him an F1 graded driver for 1963. Legendary British driver Stirling Moss described Neville as “the most promising young driver of the year”. However, Neville stayed in SA and concentrated on local events, including the Springbok Series races where his finishing record – six overall victories in seven events – led him to the 1963 SA Drivers’ Championship title. However, later in the year the death of his father meant he had to take over the family business. Following this, a broken leg in a practice accident for the 1963 Nine Hour took a long time to heal, the combination leading to his retirement.
A surprise was in store at FMM for Neville and Norma when they saw on display the 1936 Rolls-Royce Phantom II that then owner and close friend Waldie Greyvensteyn had lent them for their wedding car. A photo opportunity not to be missed. MM  


FMM was honoured to receive a collection of scale model cars and Dinky Toys accumulated by Wilhelm Johannes Lochner of Moorreesburg in the Western Cape, who passed away a short while ago. Wilhelm enjoyed visiting the museum with his family on a number of occasions, and so Annemarie and her husband, Gerhard de Beer, have bequeathed the collection to FMM in memory of Wilhelm’s passion for cars and models.
Looking at the impressive assortment of models, it is obvious that Wilhelm had a love for American cars of the ’50s and ’60s, but the collection also includes a number of British and European makes. However, it is the Dinkys that really catch the eye, some dating back to the late-1940s and all with a great ‘sand pit patina’. Annemarie recalls even being allowed to play with one or two of them when she was a child.
“Although the Dinkys form only a part of the assortment, from an outsider’s perspective it is evident that they form the roots of his collection and some may even have been his own toys as a child,” observed museum curator Wayne Harley, who travelled to Moorreesburg to take delivery. “FMM is honoured to accept the collection,” says Wayne. MM


The Classic Car Show, hosted by ClassicCars.co.za and restoration experts Rolling Thunder will take place at the NASREC Expo Centre – located south of Johannesburg just off the N1 – on July 3. Muscle cars from many different genres will be a dominant theme of the show, with the V8-engined classics including classic Corvettes, Cobras, Mustangs, Camaros, Firebirds, Chargers and Challengers from the ’60s and ’70s rubbing wheelarches custom American pick-ups. There will also be a host of American street rods, as well as traditional classics from Britain and Europe such as Mk.1 Cortinas, Capris, Mini Coopers and early Volkswagens and Kombis. For the biking brigade, a special Harley-Davidson display is sure to appeal. Live rock bands will form a musical back-drop to the one-day event. 
The Show runs from 08h00 to 17h00. Admission prices at the gate are adults R80, children 11-and-under R20. Spectators should enter NASREC through Gate 5. Owners of classic cars must enter through Gate 2. Drivers of special-interest cars will be admitted free of charge. MM


An alphabetical series of short driving impressions of some of the museum’s car collection. This month we symbolize R with one of America’s most extrovert coupés.
For most of us the name Riviera is synonymous sun kissed coastlines and the good life and in 1949 the glamour of the title appealed to conservative automaker Buick, who adopted the name for a “stunningly smart” derivative of its Roadmaster model line-up. The name then lasted as a spec level on various models until 1963 when GM needed a ‘personal luxury car’ to challenge the sales success of Ford’s Thunderbird, and the Riviera finally became a model line in its own right, but only after Buick fended off challenges from rival GM subsidiaries Pontiac and Oldsmobile.
Cadillac had presented an XP-715 concept car but the company’s management was not really interested in putting it into production so the rest of the GM stable was invited to pitch for the design. Buick was struggling and, with the aid of the McCann-Erickson advertising agency, managed to beat off its stablemates to earn the rights to production, and so on 4 October 1962 the virtually unchanged design became the first-generation Buick Riviera.
The car broke new ground because, unusually for badge-engineering conscious GM, the Riviera boasted a unique bodyshell – it was not to be shared with other brands in the corporation. And it was an instant success, the T’bird’s first serious challenger, and during its three-year production life it sold a respectable 112 244 units.
The second-generation Riviera was in production from 1966 to 1970. The redesign incorporated a longer, wider, more rounded body style and modernised the ‘sweepspear’- inspired belt line introduced in the previous generation. This Riviera shared its cruciform frame, powertrain and brakes platform with the Oldsmobile Toronado and, later, the Cadillac Eldorado but, unlike the other two, retained rear-wheel drive. Despite the fact that 1970 sales dropped to 37 366, the five-year total was 227 669 units.
Although having always been a stylish design, the introduction of the third-generation Riviera in 1971 certainly rocked the establishment. The boat-tail design was a revelation, the tapered and curved rear screen an evolution of the split-screen look of the 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray. The overall shapoe featured a distinctive central bumper-to-bumper thin ridge line running right through the grille, along the bonnet, over the roof and down the pointed tail, its subtle enhancement best appreciated when viewed from above. The muscular ‘raised hips’ rear fenders and pillarless glasshouse make for a striking profile.
FMM’s example is a 1972 model that differed marginally by having a different, thrusting ‘egg-crate grille’, vinyl side mouldings that accentuate the ‘Coke bottle’ bodyside swage line but without the ill-fated Full-Flo ventilation system’s louvres on the boot lid. Innovation does not always work out... It is a BIG car – 5 545 mm long, 2 032 mm wide, 1 372 mm high with a 3 099 mm wheelbase. Nominally it seats five, although the asymmetrically-split cloth-upholstered front seat could take a middle passenger without too much of a squeeze. The driver’s portion boasts electric adjustment via a joy-stick located in the door armrest, but even at its furthest setting, legroom is far from generous and the plastic three-spoke steering wheel sits close. Access to the rear is reasonable and headroom all round is good but, overall, cabin length is surprisingly short. Comfort is a given, and with all four panes of side glass electrically retracted, no matter where you sit it is a bit like sitting in a convertible with a peaked cap on. Cool...
Hydraulic dampers support the gazebo-sized bonnet under which sits GM’s Big Block 455ci (7 456 cm3) V8. Fed by a four-barrel Rochester carburettor and running a modest 8,5:1 compression ratio (in line with the USA’s EPA’s new emissions legislation), it pumps out 187 kW at a stress-free 4 000 r/min and  a locomotive-like 509 N.m of torque at an equally lazy 2 800. Transmission is GM’s Turbo Hydramatic 400 three-speed with a column shift and together they propel the 2 040 kg Riviera to a claimed 0-100 km/h time of 9,4 seconds and a theoretical top speed of 202 km/h. Average combined fuel consumption is given at  (gulp) 21,2 litres/100 km. Put your foot down and the popular belief that “there ain’t no substitoot fer cubic inches” springs to mind as the V8 rises to the occasion and emits that characteristic basso profundo rumble from its twin exhausts.
Manoeuvrability is hardly a strongpoint but the Riviera is built for cruising, not shopping. The power-assisted steering is light and it takes a little while to get used to gauging the right amount of input required to guide the Riviera through the twisties, although the view ahead is unhindered. With independent suspension up front and a self-levelling set-up at the rear, progress is surprisingly steady, devoid of the expected float typical of American cars of the era. Brisk cornering understandably brings about some body roll, but nothing excessive and not enough to tarnish what is the epitome of a boulevard ride. Attractive stylised rims are fitted with 225/75R15 whitewall tyres. Period road tests praised the disc/drum braking system, as well as the standard MaxTrac anti-wheelspin control.
Despite costing way under the T’bird’s sticker price, sadly the third-generation Riviera failed to turn around the company’s fortunes. Yearly sales continued to fall, which led management to believe that the boat-tail design was too radical for most customers' tastes, so in 1973 it was blunted and made slightly shorter, which did lead to a marginal increase in sales. But the model was replaced by the fourth-generation Riviera in 1974. Built on the same platform and mechanicals – even with some carryover body panels – the distinctive boat-tail design gave way to what is described as the ‘Colonnade’ treatment, and the car became a pillared coupé with fixed quarter windows. Four more generations were to follow, none of which captured the imagination of the buying public in the way that the first three had done, and the Riviera name was dropped in 1999.
The first two iterations of the Riviera set a styling trend that captured the imagination of the American public. But when the dramatic boat-tail version appeared they inexplicably shied away, leaving in their wake one of the most stylish, charismatic and distinctive personal luxury cars of its time. It was one that got away. MM


From Model T Fords to the latest Ferrari 488 Spiders, there will be a galaxy of motoring delights awaiting entrants and visitors alike when Concours South Africa.2016 is hosted at Sun City on September 9-11. The event is a first for South Africa and interest has been huge since the first media announcement was made in May. just over a fortnight ago. “This is an event that will become the premier specialist car attraction on the annual calendar,” says Ross Crichton, one of the chief organisers. “We plan to see it rival some of the world’s great concours events in the years ahead. The Sun City venue is the perfect backdrop to create a unique blend of garden-party charm and glamour.”
“We are also hosting a special motorsport category, and the cherry on top here will be the appearance of the ex-Michael Schumacher Benetton B193,” says co-organiser Paul Kennard. This car was raced by the seven-time World Champion as he was establishing himself as a Formula One star, and is extremely important in terms of its significance in the history of Formula One as a whole. We will be starting this car up at various times over the weekend to keep crowd interest at a peak.”
Apart from the concours competition there will also be a Show-n-Shine event, run adjacent to the Concours on the spectacular Sun City lawns bordering the golf course and the tennis courts. For the two events, the organisers have catered for approximately 160 entrants. For Car Clubs who wish to make the trip to Sun City as a unique club outing, special parking areas will be allocated for club displays and individual specialist cars outside the hotel in the general parking area. The following categories have been identified for the inaugural

Concours South Africa and Show-n-Shine events:
  • Leisure & Utility pre-1980
  • Leisure & Utility post-1980
  • Sports cars pre-1980
  • Sports cars post-1980
  • Luxury saloons pre-1980
  • Luxury saloons post-1980
  • American Muscle
  • Supercars pre-1980
  • Supercars post-1980

For more information on Concours SA and how to enter your car, go to www.concourssa.co.za.  
Entries close on 31 July 2016. MM


While most of us are aware that Porsches have been powered by horizontally-opposed – flat – engines for nearly 60 years, it is easy to overlook the fact that Subarus also feature this configuration and this year the company celebrates 50 years of their usage. Since it was first introduced in the Subaru 1000 in 1966, total global production of the boxer motor over the past half-century tops 16 million units. Today, every vehicle sold by Subaru in South Africa is fitted with a Boxer engine and together with Porsche, remain the only two car manufacturers who equip vehicles with such engines. MM


Earlier this year, celebrated South African racing driver and founder of Tiger Wheel & Tyre, Eddie Keizan, passed away at the age of 71 after battling with cancer. Eddie was SA Production Car Campion in 1969, 1970, 1977 and 1978. He was also a champion in the 1972 SA Formula 5000 series in and won the Roof of Africa Rally twice, the Wynns 1000 endurance race and took part in three SA Grands Prix. Eddie was a member of the Franschhoek Motor Museum Legends Trust and all at FMM would like to extend their sincere condolences to Eddie’s wife Hilary and children Natasha and Gary. MM


In the July issue of TopCar magazine (already on sale) there is a feature story on FMM’s Toyota Mega Cruiser. In the upcoming July issue of Classic Car Africa magazine – which has now gone monthly – there will be an extended feature on FMM’s 1972 Buick Riviera featured in this newsletter.


Jul 2: Historics Tour, Phakisa Raceway
Jul 2/3: Des Gutzeit Invitational, Dezzi Raceway, Port Shepstone
Jul 3: Classic Car Show, NASREC, Johannesburg
Jul 9: Power Series Round 5, Killarney Raceway
Jul 9: Extreme Festival Round 7, East London
Jul 16: Inland Championship Round 5, Zwartkops Raceway
Jul 17: Scottburgh Classic Car Show, Scottburgh Country Club
Jul 23: Africa Endurance Series Round 3, East London
Jul 30: Historics Tour Round 3/Regional Round 5, Scribante Raceway, PLZ
Jul 31: POMC Cars in the Park, Zwartkops Raceway
Aug 6: Power Series Round 6, Killarney Raceway
Aug 6: Historics Tour Round 4, Kyalami
Aug 7: POMC Cars in the Park, Zwartkops Raceway
Aug 9: Extreme Festival Round 8, Zwartkops Raceway
Aug 12: Motoring Festival, Scribante Raceway, PLZ
Aug 31-Sep: 4SA Festival of Motoring, Kyalami Convention Centre, Midrand

(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.