George – The 23rd George Old Car Show, proudly supported by Oakhurst Insurance Company, took place at PW Botha College in York Street for the last time on Saturday and Sunday 9 and 10 February and will move to a new venue after 19 years at the current venue.
Charlotte Clarke executive deputy mayor of George, officially opened the show. “This is truly an amazing event with many very unique and rare vehicles,” she eloquently captured the main theme of the show. She was accompanied by clr Lisa Stroebel, junior municipal manager Ehsanul-Lee Booyens and junior speaker Justin Yawe.
Japie Beyers, chairperson of the Southern Cape Old Car Club committee, welcomed exhibitors and visitors from all corners of the country for their presence and for sharing their stories. More than 11000 visitors attended the show to enjoy an exhibition of 900 cars, tractors, motorcycles and stationary engines. He also thanked main sponsors Oakhurst Insurance Company and George Municipality, as well as other sponsors, such as Midas George and media sponsor Group Editors, for their continuous support. “The George Old Car Show will not be possible without our loyal sponsors,” he said.
Gerhard Sonnekus of Oakhurst in turn thanked exhibitors for the passion with which they restore old cars for everybody to enjoy. “The owners of these vehicles don’t regard a pile of spare parts as junk, but instead visualize the fully restored vehicle!”
Besides 600 job opportunities, Oakhurst is also involved in restoring historical buildings in the city, as well as providing support to the community following disasters, such as the recent fires. “We regard ourselves as part of the community and we would like to continue our involvement with events such as the George Old Car Show.
As usual, the drive-past by vehicles belonging to particular eras was much enjoyed by the crowd. A 1901 Benz Ideal belonging to the Crankhandle Club in Cape Town, a 1912 EMF and a 1928 Austin – the precursor of the Austin Mini, were among the unique and rare vehicles on display this year.
The Veteran Tour which forms part of the show took place on Friday 8 February from Klaarstroom to the venue. “It was extremely hot with temperatures soaring above 40 degrees in the Klein Karoo, but all went well,” said Philip Kuschke, who organized the tour. “Three veteran motorcycles took part for the first time. We appreciate it that all the old vehicles that were so lovingly restored, are still on the road and not on display somewhere in a museum.”
Foxy Lady, a bright green VW Beetle, also caused a stir. Unlike the other meticulously restored Beetles at AutoPavilion’s exhibition, this beauty was enhanced to contain a music centre complete with microphones to facilitate the public’s participation in karaoke.
The classrooms housing literally thousands of model cars on display and for sale also buzzed with enthusiasm from young and old. If you can’t (yet) own the real thing, the next best thing is a miniature to lovingly admire.
Stalls selling food and drinks and a large range of goods did brisk business, while the SAB Beer tent was packed with thirsty visitors seeking shelter against the February sun.
The 24th George Old Car Show will take place on 8 and 9 February at Glenwood House School in Knysna Road.