Our February newsletter featuring the following articles: Hot wheels haas das, Sun author still shining, A Brera joins the collection, Simply red, Sefac and A1, Collection in action – n, Peet Mans rip, Extended opening hours and more.
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Celebrated Afrikaans television personality and voice artist Riaan Cruywagen and his family paid a visit to FMM in February and made the most of their time at L’Ormarins. A guided tour of the exhibits included sitting at the wheel of the 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing. A legend in his own lifetime, Riaan, who has been associated with the South African Broadcasting Corporation since its first broadcasts occurred in 1975, made over 7 000 news broadcasts before signing-off on 26 November 2012. Perhaps the most famous of his voice-over roles was that of the title character in Haas Das se Nuuskas (Haas Das' News Box), a weekly short television show about a rabbit and a mouse running a news broadcast in Diere Land (Animal Country).
“What a true gentleman,” says FMM’s curator Wayne Harley. “Riaan thoroughly enjoyed his visit and willingly answered staff member’s questions. Naturally, he also amused everyone with a short Haas Das impersonation. What an honour to meet him.” WH


While on a short visit to Cape Town with his wife Jenny, another welcome visitor to FMM in February was Ken Stewart, co-author of the bible of SA’s early racing history Sun on the Grid, founding editor of Fine Cars and Classic Car Africa, world renowned Maserati aficionado as well as a leading authority on pre- and early post-war cars and motor sport in South Africa. The octogenarian’s memory has not dimmed, and his knowledge and personal recollections of many of the older cars shown to him by host Wayne Harley was impressive, and he happily signed the museum library’s copy of Sun on the Grid. Ken and his wife Jenny, who typed the manuscript for Sun on the Grid, live in Port Elizabeth where Ken continues to attend EPVCC functions.   


About a year ago Trevor Barnes made contact with FMM about donating his rare Alfa Romeo Brera to the museum, and in February Wayne Harley travelled to Trevor’s home in Witbank – coincidentally Wayne’s old home town – to collect the car. “He explained to me that the Brera had given him so much pleasure and he had taken really extra good care of it,” says Wayne, “Trevor didn’t want to sell the car to just anyone who would not appreciate it, and felt that donating it to the museum was the best way of sharing his joy with everyone else. He was also happy knowing the car will be looked after and that he can visit it whenever he pleases.”
After an emotional send off by Trevor and his two grandsons, who gave the Brera a loving hug before it left the driveway, Wayne went to Zwartkops to watch some classic racing before heading home with two passengers, Cape Town classic car enthusiasts Dave Alexander and Di Dugmore. A fuel feed ‘hiccup’ manifested itself when the tank was half empty but otherwise the 2007 Alfa “pulls like the steam train”, although the Brera’s 2+2 seating proved somewhat cramped for three adults. 
The Pininfarina-designed Brera coupé was designed by the legendary Giorgetto Giugiaro at Italdesign. The concept car appeared in 2002 and the production version was introduced in 2005 and lasted for five years during which 21 786 units were built. Of several versions offered, this car is the top-spec model powered by Alfa’s lusty 3,2-litre JTS V6 coupled with a Q4 Torsen four-wheel drive system with six ratios. Performance-wise, top speed was given as 240 km/h with 0-100 km/h taking 7 seconds, and the combined fuel consumption listed as 11,5 litres/100 km. 
The Franschhoek Motor Museum is indebted to Trevor for entrusting his Alfa Romeo Brera to the museum to be cared for and displayed for others to admire. WH


Red is somehow synonymous with both Valentine’s Day and sporty cars and in February a line-up of 20 of the museum’s sportiest red machines were put on show for visitors to admire. Oldest car in the display is the 1937 Maserati 6CM and the newest is the 2002 Ferrari Enzo, and these rare Italians are joined by six other Ferraris including both the F40 and F50, two more Maseratis, three Alfa Romeos and a single Moretti. Representing the UK are a Jaguar XK120, Aston Martin DB3S, Austin-Healey 100/4 and a McLaren M6 GTR. Completing the line-up are a Porsche 912 and Ford GT40. The display will be on view for the next couple of months. MM


Continuing the racing red theme, red was the dominant colour when local Ferrari club SEFAC invited owners on a tour that included a visit to FMM, lunch, a museum tour and an introduction to a proposed new SA single-seater racing series planned for SA. No less than 29 Cavallino Rampante (Prancing Horse – the symbol of Ferrari) from around the country were given an opportunity to exercise their thoroughbred nature on Die Plaaspad and the sights and sounds were impressive. Adding to the occasion were two (non-red) Ferraris from FMM’s classic collection, which were on static display.
As part of the proceedings, a special presentation at the gathering was made by Afrix Motorsport, a South African organisation that has acquired all the cars, parts, jigs etc of the international A1 Grand Prix racing series that took place between 2005 and 2010. The cars are effectively the 2004 Ferrari F1 car, which was designed by South African Rory Byrne. For the new series, they will be powered by a race-tuned version of the 4,5-litre Ferrari 458 engine. A number of races are being scheduled for November 2016 to March 2017 (the European off-season) and it is hoped the series will attract both local and overseas teams and drivers. At present, races have been pencilled-in for Kyalami and Phakisa with a street circuit in Port Elizabeth and events in Durban and Botswana also being discussed. MM


collection in action i
A little over a quarter of a century ago, Honda – at the time cementing its reputation for engineering integrity powering both Williams and McLaren to F1 manufacturers’ championship titles – took a shot at the supercar world with a New Sportscar eXperimental (NSX), with the Ferrari 328GTB firmly in the cross hairs. The project had begun in 1984 with the 2,0-litre V6 HP-X (Honda Pininfarina eXperimental) concept car, which was developed to challenge the V8 Ferraris of the time. Created by a team led by chief designer Masahito Nakano and executive chief engineer Shigeru Uehara, the NSX benefitted from advanced aerodynamics and styling inspired by an F-16 fighter jet cockpit and, in the closing stages of development, by input from the late F1 World Champion Ayrton Senna, who was then contracted to McLaren-Honda.
Launched at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show, the NSX went on sale the following year and was the world’s first mass-produced car to feature all-aluminium bodywork, said to have saved around 135 kg over a steel equivalent. Powering the NSX was an all-aluminium 3,0-litre V6 engine mounted transversely amidships. It featured Honda’s then still new but now famous VTEC (Variable valve Timing and lift Electronic Control) system, and with a compression ratio of 10,2:1, the fuel-injected  2 977 cm3 quad-cam 24-valve motor pumped out 201 kW at 7 300 r/min and 285 N.m of torque at 6 500 – the rev limit was 8 000. Transmission options were a five-speed manual and a four-speed SportsShift auto, taking drive to the rear wheels.       
Double wishbones, coils springs and an anti-roll bar suspended the car both front and rear, and all-round disc brakes had ABS. Rack-and-pinion steering operated on cast alloy road wheels, 15-inch with 205/50 tyres up front and 16-inch with 225/50s at the back.
Wind tunnel testing helped develop the car’s overall shape that featured a faired-in full-width wing at the rear. Apart from necessary engine air intakes in the flanks, the NSX’s shape is fuss free and smooth, which may have worked against it though, because while being airy, spacious (it even boasts a usable boot), solidly built and easy to drive – rarities in 1980s supercar attributes – it lacked the visual drama and, at the time, the cachet of a Ferrari or even Lamborghini. That it performed, rode and handled as well as, if not better than the (now 348) GTB did not have the marketing impact it should have. This was Honda’s first supercar, remember...
And Ferrari could not boast road car design input from an F1 champion as Honda could with Senna. In February 1989, a McLaren test session coincided with an NSX test and, after driving the car, the Brazilian master suggested that the car flexed too much so Honda’s engineers went away dialled-in 50% more torsional rigidity in a remarkably short time. In the run-up to production, Senna continued to help develop improvements to the car’s dynamics. 
Once on sale, the NSX received critical acclaim from all who drove it. Honda had pioneered the affordable, user-friendly supercar to the extent that Gordon Murray was said to have benchmarked the NSX when he was designing the McLaren F1 road car, while Ferrari quickly set about replacing the 348 with the F355. Today, it still looks good and FMM’s metallic purple Targa-topped example is quite stunning. With just under 18 000 km on the odo, it is as fresh as the day it was built.
Stepping down into the cockpit, it oozes solid build quality. The seats offer plenty of legroom even for my 1,86-metre frame and the ample glasshouse offers an all-round vista. Two control-laden arms protruding from the column seem a little at odds with the rest of the cabin layout, which is clearly labelled and easy to operate. Manual override of the SportsShift transmission is via a single small lever mounted just behind the steering wheel on the left (paddle shifters had yet to become the vogue) and it works crisply enough.
Typical of VTEC engines, the V6 thrives on revs and the NSX is no exception although the resultant bark from the twin exhausts is muted by supercar standards – it certainly does not penetrate the cabin – but is still crisp enough to be enjoyed. Performance-wise, the NSX was credited with a 0-100 km/h time of 6,0 seconds and a top speed of 270 km/h, and it delivers with admirable ease. Combined with a firm but not harsh ride, benign handling and solid, communicative steering, the NSX set a benchmark in user-friendly superformance that did not cost a fortune to experience.
Initially available as a coupé, a Type-R was made available in 1992, the targa-top version was introduced in 1995 and in 1997 the engine became a 3,2-litre V6 coupled with a six-speed gearbox. A facelift took place in 2002 but the model was discontinued in 2005. In America, the car was named the Acura NSX and marketed as the halo model for Honda’s fledgling Stateside brand. Yet total NSX sales were reported to be less than 20 000. This has to be one of performance motoring’s best kept secrets... MM  


It is with a very sad heart that we record yet another old friend of the Heidelberg Motor Museum, Peet Mans, passed away on Sunday 14 February. Peet was the last standing chairman of the ‘Friends of the Museum’ in Heidelberg and gave up almost every Wednesday afternoon to volunteer at the museum. During his association with Heidelberg he restored the little Messerschmitt KR200 in our current collection that was featured in the November 2015 newsletter. We are going to miss you “Oom Peet”. WH   


A final reminder that up to 31 March the museum will be open a little longer than usual. Check the ‘Where, What Times and How Much’ panel below for details. MM


In the February/March issue of Classic & Performance Car Africa Classic Car Africa magazine there is a feature on FMM’s Lincoln Zephyr V12.  


February 27: Africa Endurance Series 6-Hour, Welkom
March 5: Inland Championship racing, Zwartkops
March 5: Historic Tour regional races, East London
March 11-12: VVC Durban-Johannesburg Motorcycle Run (the DJ)
March 12: Historics Tour, Red Star Raceway
March 12: Regional races, Scribante Raceway, Port Elizabeth
March 19: Extreme Festival, Zwartkops
March 19: Power Series, Killarney Raceway
March 19-20: O D Inggs Memorial Run
March 20: 13th British Sports Car Tour, Cape Town to Paarl
March 25-April 3: Rand Show, NASREC, Johannesburg
April 2: Inland Championship & 2-Hour, Phakisa Raceway
April 3: Angela’s Picnic, Delta Park, Johannesburg
April 9: Historics Tour, Zwartkops
April 9: Regional races, Scribante Raceway, Port Elizabeth
April 16: Extreme Festival, Killarney Raceway
April 16: Regional races, East London
April 23: Extreme Festival, Phakisa
April 23: Crankhandle Swartland Rally
May 1: Knysna Motor Show
May 6-8: Jaguar Simola Hillclimb, Knysna
May 14: Africa Endurance Series 3-Hour, Dezzi Raceway, Port Shepstone
May 15: Cars in the Park, Alexander Park, Pietermaritzburg
(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.