Our January newsletter featuring the following articles: Queen’s Plate, Bumper season, Collection in Action – Passion for Speed, Valentine’s Day promotion, Vintage Obs Day, Exhaust blips.
Forward to Friend


The L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate is a perfect way to start any year and this year was no exception. 2015 marked the 154th running of this prestigious event and the 10th year that L’Ormarins has been involved as a sponsor. And following on from the success of last year’s collaboration, the Franschhoek Motor Museum and BMW put on a display of cars related to the BMW Group with the 1938 BMW 328 and McLaren F1 road car the pick of the show. BMW SA also put the new i8 on display and this too had many onlookers reaching phones/cameras to take a snap. I must admit that even as a diehard petrolhead I was impressed and this is one hybrid that I can see myself driving – in a distant future... Other museum cars on display included the 1953 BMW 503, the ex-Madiba 46664 charity 750iL and a 1926 Austin 7 the likes of which BMW sold under license as the Dixi, the company’s first car. It was a stellar day of great horse racing, top class wines, beautiful people, stunning fashions and awesome cars. WH


FMM’s major visitor period is traditionally from 1st-31st December and this year ‘the season’ attracted the best ever attendance since the museum opened. No less than 9329 people viewed the cars during the month, a massive 19,1% increase in people traffic over the previous year. Museum staff, the Deli and the Charabancs were certainly kept very busy – my thanks to everyone involved for a great effort. WH    


A reminder that the annual international Passion for Speed classic car racing series gets under way in January with the first round at Zwartkops on Friday 30 January to Sunday 1 February at Zwartkops. The programme includes the 14th Legends of the 9-Hour and for bike enthusiasts, the Castrol Day of the Champion. FMM will be taking up the collection’s ex-Sam Tingle LDS-Climax/Repco F1, the ex-Jody and Ian Scheckter Tyrrell 007-1 F1, the ex-Ian Scheckter March 78B-Ford BDA Formula Atlantic and the ex-Team Gunston Chevron B25-Ford FVC Formula 2 cars, all of which will perform demonstration runs on  the track at selected times during the racing schedule. The cars will also appear at the following weekend’s activities at Round 2 of the Passion for Speed series at Killarney. MM


On Saturday 14 February FMM will be having a Valentine’s Day ‘two for the price of one promotion’ – paying visitors to the museum can take their valentine in for free! Some of FMM’s cars – each, naturally, painted red – will be at hand to give rides around the quadrant – R30 per person, R60 per couple. The promotion is an opportunity not to be missed – maybe even a special occasion for a proposal... MM


Image from http://4c.alfaromeo.com/

Last year was the first Vintage Obs Day, which proved to be an unbelievable success thanks to all those who participated and the public who attended, and this year’s event to be held on Sunday 22 February looks set to be even bigger, better and more smoothly run. People with vehicles pre 1979 who wish to attend need to e-mail Hazel at hazel@starstruckautos.co.za well in advance to register so that I can ensure that sufficient parking and other amenities have been made available as well as necessary security. There will once again be two time slots – 10h00-13h00 and 13h00-16h00 – although people are more than welcome to stay for longer periods. Anyone who missed the 2014 Vintage Obs Day can check the piece that SABC3’s Expresso aired following the event – click here for a view. MM


Image from http://4c.alfaromeo.com/
The first in a new, alphabetical series of short driving impressions of some of the museum’s car collection, starting with the Alfa Romeo SZ.
It is red, it has Alfa’s charismatic 3,0-litre V6 under the bonnet and it has – let me try to be kind about this – distinctive thermoplastic injection composite moulded  bodywork. Unveiled as ES-30 (Experimental Sportscar 3.0) at the 1989 Geneva Motor Show as a Zagato prototype, the SZ – Sprint Zagato – as it was badged for production was built between 1989 and 1991 (just 1036 were manufactured) as a joint project between the respective Centro Stile departments of Zagato, Alfa Romeo and Fiat.
The underpinnings were Alfa Romeo 75 but with suspension taken from the 75 Group A/IMSA race car and incorporating a (rather slow operating) adjustable ride height for traversing speed humps and suchlike. Tyres are 205/55 ZR16 front and 225/50 ZR16 rear, and the car is able to sustain over 1.1g in cornering. Although the engine is mounted longitudinally, the front track is wider than the rear but there is no questioning the layout: the handling is reassuringly predictable. The only foible you have to overcome is the driving position: the SZ has the classic Italianate long arms/short legs relationship between the fixed-position steering wheel, the seat and the pedals – which are offset to the right (all SZ/RZs were left-hookers). The position is completely at odds with my 1,91-metre long-legged frame, but the compromise is worth any discomfort. After a while, I did not really notice...
The engine pumps out 154 kW at 6200 r/min and 245 N.m of torque at 4500. Mated with a five-speed gearbox, it spins easily with a sweet soundtrack and typically is a joy to play with. You can either activate the box to keep revs up near the red line or simply leave it in third or fourth and let the torque propel you from one bend to the next with elastic-like alacrity. Either way, it is a rewarding experience. Benchmark 0-100 km/h takes a little over 8 seconds and top speed is just over 220 km/h – nothing spectacular by today’s standards but quick enough by the standards of 25 years ago. 
Only one official colour scheme was available: red with a grey roof and a tan leather interior but the museum’s car was ordered by Alfa SA’s managing director Dr Vito Bianco and is the only example built with a black roof and black leather trim. The SZ was dubbed ‘Il Mostro’ because of its uncompromisingly menacing looks, but get behind the wheel and who cares? FMM’s workshop manager Lorenzo Farella is an unashamed Alfista and the SZ – along with its RZ roadster sibling – are his favourites. I can understand why... MM


In the February/March issue of Classic & Performance Car Africa magazine there will be features on FMM’s 1914 Humberette and 1964 Studebaker Avanti. In TopCar magazine’s series of articles on historic South African race tracks, the February issue covers Kimberley’s Alexanderfontein-Paardeberg and East London’s Esplanade circuits. MM


January 29: Speakers night at Crossley & Webb, Cape Town. Topic – pre-war cars/racing        info@crossley-webb.com
January 29-31: Passion for Speed international classic racing, Zwartkops

February 6-7: Passion for Speed international classic racing, Killarney www.wpmc.co.za
February 8: CMC Autumn Rally & Pre-DJ, CMC Johannesburg
February 14: Valentine’s Day 2 for1, FMM
February 14: Inland championship circuit racing, Midvaal Nino Venturi 082 774 4285
February 14: Circuit racing, Scribante Raceway, PE, Sparky Bright 082 340 0396
February 14: GT Supercup circuit racing, Phakisa, Afzal Moosa 083 786 1525
February 14-15: Midas George Old Car Show, George    www.scocc.co.za
February 21: Extreme Festival Round 1 – National Cars, Zwartkops, Elvene Coetzee 082 390 6016
February 21: Power Series, Killarney, Des Easom 021 557 1639           
February 22: Vintage Obs Day, Observatory, Cape Town, hazel@starstruckautos.co.za
February 22: Border Vintage Car Club Valentines Brunch to Shabanga, elmi.kobus@yahoo.com
February 27-28: SA Endurance Series Round 1, Phakisa, Roger Pearce 011 789 7127

March 5-7: D-J Commemorative Run, VVC Durban/Jhb
March 8: Any Dam Wheels Day, CCC Johannesburg
March 14: Maluti Midas Show, Maluti Bethlehem
March 19-22: MG TripleM gathering, Franschhoek
March 21/22: O D Inggs Albany Port Alfred

(Clubs 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.

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.
Newsletter text by Mike Monk.

Copyright © 2015 The Franschhoek Motor Museum, All rights reserved.
unsubscribe from this list   update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp