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2013-11-04 12:08

CHAIN GANG DELUXE: Dave Brown’s glorious Frazer Nash had motoring ‘anoraks’ confused… How does it work?!


Finding a rare beauty at a motoring event is hardly something new, but DAVE FALL was mesmerised by a show-stopper or two at the Cape Classic Car Show.

The Cape Classic Car Show must have given the organisers quite a headache during the show’s build-up as the decidedly lousy weather earlier in the week gave way to brilliant sunshine for the thousands of car and motorcycle enthusiasts who turned out for the Parow extravaganza.

It was officially opened by the Western Cape transport minister, Robin Carlisle.

View the Cape Classics image gallery

A festival atmosphere stayed with the show for the whole day as visitors checked out examples of their favourite marque, motoring club or motorcycles – or perhaps something from the superb assortment of model cars, most of which were for sale to eager collectors.

There were about 800 exhibits and it never ceases to amaze that there’s always a car or coupe one has never set eyes on before. For me, the Mazda Cosmo was a first, as was the superbly restored, two-tone blue 1928 Cadillac convertible, bought initially for spare parts until the astute owner managed to locate parts far and wide within South Africa to rebuild the car in its entirety – taking almost three years with the job.


Coming back to that Mazda Cosmo, the radical red handsome coupe on show was a Series One car from the early 1970s, powered by one of the manufacturer’s two-rotor motors – a peculiar engine design in which the brand still dabbles today. With a licence agreement from NSU to produce the motors, the Japanese manufacturer Mazda managed to make them reliable, win races with them, albeit with the type of engine that was not the most economical around!

Another car I’d only come across back in the UK was a 1931 chain-drive Frazer Nash owned by Dave Brown, more usually seen driving his Ford V6 around Killarney race track. The Frazer Nash, having been in the Brown family for more than 40 years, attracted huge attention and Brown gladly opened it up to reveal the rare Meadows 1.5-litre engine under the bonnet and the chain-drive gearbox found in the rear of the car.

Prize-giving, always an eagerly attended component at a show of this kind, saw the Renault Car Club take honours in the Best Stand; a Model ‘T Ford took the Best Car on Show and Brian van Eyk cornered the motorcycle 2013 accolade with his bevy of Italian bikes; the highly recommended BMW combination made by Stoye of Germany.

A lively component at this year’s show was to the car-auction corner. Several cars changed hands, among them a very original and desirable MG Magnette that went for R72 000 – why don’t those Lotto numbers come up for me!

Read more on:    western cape  |  classic cars

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