A German theme for the George Old Car Show 2024, on February 10 and 11

by Tia

This year The George Old Car Show has adapted a special German theme for the 27th running of the event which takes place on February 10-11 at its traditional venue at the Eden Technical College in the heart of this beautiful Garden Route City.

* The show runs from 8 am to 6 pm on Saturday, February 10, and from 8 am to 2 pm on Sunday, February 11.

* The organisers have stressed that it is highly advisable to book through iTickets using the following link https://itickets.co.za/events/475607 while also reassuring show-goers that a number of new ticket sales points have been established for 2024, at the venue.

*All cars on show have pre-entered, and no late entries of classic cars will be accepted by the organisers.

* Reduced prices are available for the second show day on Sunday, February 11, and this has been designated as a Family Day, with special entertainment striking a Germanic chord, laid on by the International Oompah Band. The prices for the various days are listed at the end of this media release.

The German Link

The local link between Germany and the motorcar dates back right to the first motorcar seen in South Africa in early 1897, when a Benz Velo, manufactured by Carl Benz in Manheim,  was demonstrated at the Berea Park sports field in Pretoria. People were charged an entrance fee for their first glimpse of this motorized “horseless carriage” and one of the invited dignitaries was none other than President Paul Kruger.

When Oom Paul was offered a ride in the car he declined and his quirky refusal has to go down as the first motorised joke ever cracked in South Africa: “No thank you,” said the gruff Boer President: “Just now a dog might bark, and this thing might run away with me in it!”

There are some seriously significant cars lining up at George Old Car Show 2024, representing a timeline from the dawn of motoring in South Africa to the present day. And fittingly, many of these motoring pioneers are of German origin. The oldest original car on show will be a 1901 Benz Ideal, entered by Cape Town’s Crankhandle Club, and this is indeed the oldest known motorcar in the country. Another very early Benz is the 1913 Tourer owned by Waldo Scribante, Chairman of the show’s organising club, The Southern Cape Old Car Club.

From 1926 the cars built by Daimler Benz became known as Mercedes-Benz models, and early examples of these in George will be a 1935 Mercedes-Benz W23 130H which was the world’s first rear-engined production car (pre-dating the Volkswagen Beetle) and a gracious front-engined 1938 Type 320 Tourer. These old-timers will be part of a magnificent line up extending to modern mouth-watering Mercs, such the AMG GT and SLS supercars.  In addition, no less than eight original 300SL sports cars from the 1950s and ‘60s will take centre-stage, along with a replica of the world’s very first petrol-fuelled motor car. This is the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, as conceived by Carl Benz in 1886, and the replica is being provided for the show by Mercedes-Benz South Africa from their museum.

BMW’s early history revolved around aircraft and motorcycles. Nevertheless a very early BMW four-wheeler, known as the 319/2, will fly the old-timers’ flag for the Bavarian marque. This is an intriguing upright saloon-shaped BMW dating back to 1936, and unexpectedly played a big part in South Africa’s motorsport history. It was the first car raced by Ewold van Bergen of Pretoria, who went on to win multiple South African rally championships, notably in a Datsun and compete in the Monte Carlo Rally.

Leonard Schneider’s gorgeous 1926 Hupmobile will travel to George from Cape Town.

This 319/2 has been faithfully restored over a long period by Cape Town’s Nick Middelmann, right down to the original supercharger that Van Bergen fitted to give the old BMW such a remarkable turn of speed in the late 1950s!

For most South Africans, BMWs have always been strongly associated with speed, and younger petrol-heads will be keen to see some iconic latter day examples at the show, including the famous 333i sedan from 1985, the 325iS from the early 1990s, the M3 from the mid-1990s and a number of mouth-watering M5 examples.

Opel is another German marque that made motorsport history here in the late 1980s and 1990s, but its history here goes way back. A couple of Kadett GSis, including a 16V model that made motorsport history as the “Superboss” will be on the show. Visitors with a sense of history will be interested in a boxy 1962 model Opel Kadett, as well as an early large Kapitan sedan from the 1950s, built when Opel had a very conservative image here.

A German car much loved by conservative motorists and young would-be-racers alike was the DKW. A number of these will on the field at 2024, and they offered a unique blend of economy and high performance. This was thanks to their two-stroke engines and front-wheel-drive. Even today, owners of these cars talk of 145 km/h top speed capability in 1 000 cc cars that went out of production here around 1965! The DKW brand was one of four-manufacturers grouped in a joint venture known as Auto Union. Another of those companies was Audi, and today Audi still wears the four-rings symbol that was also common to the grilles of many DKW models. Interestingly, the great Sarel van der Merwe began his motor racing career in his mother’s DKW F12.

A cherished German saloon that ceased production in the very early 1960s was the Borgward, sold here from the mid-1950s until 1961. These cars were family-sized 1,5-litre four-cylinder Isabellas, noted for their ability to run all-day at very high-speeds in the 145 km/h plus region. A number of variants will be at the show, as a large number of SCOCC members own them. Also built by Borgward was the intriguing front-wheel-drive Lloyd Alexander, and two of these little twin-cylinder cars have been entered.

And any show with Germany as a backdrop theme would not be complete without a line-up of Volkswagens! The much-loved original Beetle was assembled here from 1951 at the VWSA factory in Uitenhage, and the first Beetles used tiny 1100 cc engines good for just 18,6 kW. The early models produced before mid-1953 were the famous split-window examples and at least one of these, a 1952 model that resides in George, has been entered.  From late 1953 to the end of 1957 the oval window models were built and after that all Beetles had a larger one-piece rear window.

The Beetle was launched in Germany just before World War II but only a handful were produced pre-war. After the war the British Army managed the plant in Wolfsburg, Germany, and after handing over to German management, by 1955 the one-millionth VW Beetle had been produced.

Other early VW derivatives are the much loved Kombis in bus, transporter and pick-up form, and the svelte Karmann Ghia models with Italian styling. Nearly 22-million original-shaped Beetles were built world-wide before production finally ceased in the early 2000s. South African production of the Beetle saw the Beetle top the best-seller lists here for many years, and finally ceased in early 1979, when the Golf took over the baton. Today the VW Polo is a top selling passenger car in South Africa.

A number of Porsches will also be on display, including many modern derivatives to entice the younger car-focussed fraternity.

Classic cars from all over the world!

Of course, the German component of this old-car extravaganza  is only part of the story of motoring in South Africa, and on the show days on February 10 and 11,  2024,  there will be marques originating from the UK, the USA, Australia, Italy, France, Japan, Sweden, Canada, and Brazil.

The USA and Canada will be strongly represented in the collection of Vintage and Veteran cars, comprising many Ford Model T and Model A variants and including a rare Ford Model S example that pre-dated the first Model T by one year in 1907. The earliest Model T example at the show dates from 1910, while later versions date to 1926, shortly before production ended in 1927 and gave way to the Model A.

There will be a host of other American cars, pick-ups and trucks on display from the likes of Chevrolet, Plymouth, Studebaker, De Soto, Willys, Hudson, AMC and Hupmobile, while sporty models include Ford Mustangs, Corvettes and Cobras.

The classic marques originating from the UK include a very large contingent of MG sports cars dating from the early 1950s until the early 2000s, Triumphs, Jaguars, Morris Minors, Minis, and British Fords such as Cortinas, Anglias and Zephyrs. Many of these cars were assembled here in South Africa.  Italian models that caught the eye on the entry lists naturally include some tasty Alfa Romeo examples, including the comparatively rare Giulia and 1750 Berlina models from the 1960s and early 1970s. Oh, and there is one Ferrari 512 Testarossa!

Other notables include some early Citroens from France and a few desirable Volvos from Sweden, including a much-prized 1800S sports coupe. And there will be a number of displays of motorcycles, including early models from the 1920s and 1930s, superbikes from the 1980s, classic 50 ccc buzz bikes and Vespa scooters. As is traditional at this George event, there will also be a number of interesting tractors and stationary engines for this with agricultural leanings. What’s more, a number of new-car motor dealerships will be displaying up-to-date models, bringing the timeline of the motorcar, that began way back in 1886, right up to date!

Plenty of food and drink will be on offer, and there will be stalls selling various items including a wide range of model cars, for which the George Old Car Show is famous. Another famous component of the George Old Car Show is that visitors will be kept entertained all day by the drive-bys on the main field, as numerous club members show off their cars in action!

*The George Old Car Show 2024 takes place on February 10 – 11, 2024 at the Eden Technical High School, Union Street George. The show runs from 8 am to 6 pm on Saturday, February 10 and from 8 am to 2 pm on Sunday, February 11.

*The organisers, the Southern Cape Old Car Club, are expecting upwards of 1 000 classic cars for this year’s event.

*Tickets are now available through iTickets. Log on to the iTickets website using this link: https://itickets.co.za/events/475607

*DISCOUNTED ON-LINE TICKET PRICES for Saturday February 10 are R100 for adults, R80 for pensioners R50 for high school scholars, while children under 12 are free. Sunday February 11 ticket prices are R80 for adults, R50 for pensioners, and R50 for high school scholars.

*TICKET PRICES AT THE GATE for Saturday February 10 are R120 for adults, R100 for pensioners R70 for high school scholars, while children under 12 are free. Sunday February 11 ticket prices are R100 for adults, R70 for pensioners, and R70 for high school scholars.

*The organisers strongly recommend buying tickets on-line to avoid queueing at the gate for this highly popular event. On-line tickets are purchased at a discounted rate.

For more information, visit www.scocc.co.za

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