Our June newsletter featuring the following articles: Father’s day at FMM, Endurance Support, Collection in action – F, Exhaust blips.
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FATHER’S DAY AT FMM






Celebrating Father’s Day has been on FMM’s programme ever since 2008 and has been growing in popularity ever since. With families looking to go out and spoil their dads, on 21 June no less than 1 923 people – more than twice last year’s attendance – made the trip to the museum on what must have been one of best winter’s days so far this year. Visitors started queuing before the gates opened and the stream of cars continued for the first three hours or so. For the first time, FMM ran some radio ads on Smile 90,4fm, which appears to have paid dividends.   
 
The museum displayed some of its very special cars that even the rest of the world does not often get a chance to see, especially with ‘bonnets up’, offering fantastic photo opportunities. Amongst the cars on view were the Maserati 250F, Maserati 6CM and Bugatti Type 35B historic grand prix cars, the unique and recently restored Peugeot hill climb special, plus the Ferrari Enzo and Porsche Carrera GT ‘exotics’. Other great cars on parade included the Alfa Romeo SZ, Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette and Cadillac. Two-wheeler fans had the Norton Manx 500 to admire.
 
A few car clubs also turned up for the day, including  regular supporters GSM with its great collection of Darts and Flamingos, while the Early Ford Car Club put in an appearance and displayed some really neat cars. Apart from the usual demonstration runs and engine’ run-ups’, there were also classic car drives available for the public to enjoy a quick spin around the L'Ormarins estate. And for those who wanted to know how difficult a Ferrari Enzo is to drive, we had two simulators available to test driver skills and young Cody Alberts achieved the fastest time of the day to win an FMM food and wine hamper. Danie Naude was the lucky father to have his name drawn out of the hat to win a day’s full hospitality at FMM.
 
Kurt Bester and his crew came out from Somerset West and put on a flying display with their radio controlled planes, and believe me these little machines look and fly very realistically. In closing, I would like to thank everyone who came out to FMM and help us honour the fathers in our lives.
 
FMM’s annual celebration is fast becoming an event not to miss – mark it on your calendar for next year! WH
 

ENDURANCE SUPPORT

The Killarney Raceway round of the African Endurance Series took place on June 6 and attracted a large crowd to the Cape Town circuit. Amongst the many family oriented side attractions to the racing were several vehicle displays including an FMM stand that included the Peugeot hillclimb special, the LM-spec Austin-Healey 100M and the Manx Norton motorcycle, which attracted lots of keen attention. MM

COLLECTION IN ACTION – F




An alphabetical series of short driving impressions of some of the museum’s car collection. This month we go revive the Roaring ’20s in a classic Ford model A.

 
As motoring pioneers go, Ol’ Henry Ford ranks as one of the finest, not for having any superior engineering or ground-breaking design achievements, but more for his business and manufacturing acumen – and a desire to create affordable cars for the masses. The mass-produced Model T set standards that the automotive world was only too glad to emulate. So when his next ‘people’s car’ emerged late in 1927, everyone expected something special. It was named the Model A but, a little confusingly perhaps, it was not the first with this moniker. The previous Model A was Ford’s first-ever car, built in 1903/04, and while subsequent models were identified alphabetically, the follow-up to the T reverted to Model A because the new car was such a departure from the old that Henry wanted to start over again.
 
The motoring public were certainly not disappointed. The second Model A boasted a water-cooled 200,5ci (3 285 cm3) four-cylinder L-head engine developing 40 hp (30 kW) at 2 200 r/min. Fuel was gravity-fed from a cowl-mounted tank and the compression ratio was a mere 4,22:1. The drivetrain comprised a conventional non-synchronised three-speed-plus-reverse, sliding gear manual gearbox, a multi-plate dry clutch, and shaft drive to the live rear axle with its final drive ratio of 3,77:1. Four-wheel mechanical (internal expanding) drum brakes were used.
 
In cooler climates, owners could purchase a cast iron cover for the exhaust manifold that provided heat to the cab via a small vent. Other highlights included a safety glass all round, a contemporary battery and ignition system, and the paintwork was highlighted with contrasting colours and pin-striping.  A rear-view mirror was amongst the list of optional extras.
 
Chassis-wise, the Model A had a 103,5-inch (2 629 mm) wheelbase and rode on semi-elliptic leaf springs front and rear but with Houdaille double-action hydraulic shock absorbers. Tyres were 4.50x21 on wire spoke wheels. The Model A was the first Ford to use the standard set of driver controls with conventional clutch, brake and (centrally placed) accelerator pedals.
 
This model was the cheapest in the range and sold for $460. Climbing aboard the sky blue A requires some wriggling if, like me, you are of above average height. Once seated – it is cramped – there is a terrific, elevated view through the flat screen and out of the open sides. Turn the key, curl your left leg around the gearshift and depress the floor-mounted starter button and the motor chugs into life with a steady beat of a low-stressed big-capacity motor.
 
Engage first – left and back – and the Model A pulls away with some vigour. Max torque of 173 N.m arrives at just 1 000 r/min that that helps the 970 kg Phaeton to quickly get up to cruising speed and lug away contentedly. Which is just as well because once in the 2-3 plane to the right of the H-pattern gate, the gear knob sits in the crook of your left knee. But never mind the contortions; driving the Model is a grin-inducing experience. The ride is comfortable and the steering easy to manage thanks to the large, four-spoke wheel. It is easy to understand the car’s enduring popularity
 
Production began on 21 October 1927 when the engine was fitted to the first A to be assembled. Sales commenced on 2 December, so FMM’s 1928 four-door Phaeton is one of the earliest to be built. In that first year, nine different models were produced and by 4 February 1929, one million Model As had been sold. By 24 July the two-million mark was reached, and by March 1930 the figure was three million.  
 
When production ended in March 1932, a staggering 4 858 644 Model As had been made – one list shows 36 different body styles had been used over its model life. Some 124 024 Phaetons were produced. The Model A was a second huge success for Ford and carries a massive following to this day. That such a well engineered – and in some instances innovative – car built in an industry-leading flexible mass production manner with enviable quality and reliability is a lasting tribute to Ol’ Henry’s foresight. 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:

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
August 1: Power Series Round 5, Killarney Raceway
August 2: POMC Cars in the Park, Zwartkops
August 8: Extreme Festival Round 5, Zwartkops
August 9: FSVCC Cars in the Park, Bloemfontein
August 10: Women in Motorsport, Killarney
 
(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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