FINDING NEW ROADS: Barney Marais with his 1928 Chevrolet. The classic Chev was built in Port Elizabeth in 1928. Image: Quickpic
GRAAFF-REINET, Easterrn Cape - A Middelburg farmer's original 1928 Chevrolet was one of many classic and vintage vehicles to compete in the June 2015 Milligan Vintage Trial in the Eastern Cape.
Barney Marais, at the wheel of his red Chevrolet, raced challenged 21 rivals through various locations over more than 500km over four days.
Marais' Chevrolet, assembled in Port Elizabeth, is still in its original condition despite its 87 years .
37 000KM ON THE CLOCK
Marais, a retired General Motors dealer from Joubertina in the Eastern Cape, said he first laid eyes on the vintage Chevrolet in 2010 in a GM showroom in Randburg, Gauteng. The car could not be sold to him, however, as it is part of the heritage of the Williams Hunt Group.
Instead, it was place in his care - where it has been loved ever since.
Marais said: "When I got the vehicle it had been standing for more than 20 years. She was a beauty with 37 000km on the clock."
Marais had the vehicle transported from Johannesburg to his farm. With just a few turns of the slinger its four-cylinder three-litre engine roared into life.
He said: "The vehicle still has its original engine, I was so excited. The oil pressure was fine so I cleaned the engine, fixed the brakes, added water and filled it with petrol.
"She was good to go!"
TAKING ON THE MILLIGAN RALLY
He ordered tyres from the US, changed the mats and polished the bodywork.
Marais and his Chev finished the Milligan seventh, without any mechanical issues along the route. "I knew I could rely on this vehicle, that it would not let me down during the event. The Chevrolet brand has a reputation for being reliable... it always has and it always will."
Also participating with an elderly General Motors were Herbert and Jean Dugmore, from Kimberley, in their 1957 Opel Kapitan.
The first Milligan Vintage Trial was a one-day event held between Port
Elizabeth and East London and took place on August 22 1970 in memory of the
late Bill Milligan, founder member of the EPVCC.
CLASSICS IN ACTION: Barney Marais and his navigator in the 1928 Chevrolet (left) lead the pack through the streets of Graaff-Reinet as they set off on the 46th Milligan Trial. Image: Quickpic