The Lazarus Motor Group, the largest and arguably one of the best dealers in Tshwane, used its sponsorship of the very popular Cars in the Park festival as part of the programme to celebrate the company’s 60-year history, with fourth generation family members now in the business, which is highly unusual in a successful company like Lazarus.
Reggie Lazarus founded the company in Bronkhorstspruit, with his son Gerry, in December 1957 and it was aptly named R. Lazarus and Son. Initially it was granted a Mercedes-Benz franchise but this agency was relinquished in 1961 in favour of the Ford franchise. Colin Lazarus, the current CEO of the Lazarus Motor Group, joined his father in the business in 1979 and moved it to Centurion in 1991. Now his sons Ross and Dean work alongside their father as the fourth generation of the family.
Lazarus Motor Group, situated in Centurion alongside the N1 highway, is nowadays a huge, multi-franchise operation, but Ford was the brand under the spotlight at Zwartkops Raceway on August 6. The Ford brand is ideal for such an event as it offers an excellent walk through the various eras of global automotive development.
On this occasion, it started at the beginning with a replica of the Quadricycle on display. This was the first car built by Henry Ford in 1893. The model on show was built by apprentices at the Ford factory in Port Elizabeth in 1974.
The impressive, Lazarus-inspired Ford display at Zwartkops went through T, N, and B models to several of the latest Mustangs. As usual there were scores of other Ford models on display around the track, from an immaculate Prefect to Cortina’s, Anglia’s, Escorts, and lots of American Fords.
As usual the Pretoria Old Motor Club’s annual Cars in the Park brought together an amazing collection of more than 2 000 cars from 100 clubs which were displayed around the track. This was the 38th CITP organised by the POMC and again attracted many thousands of enthusiasts and showed that South Africa’s love affair with the motor vehicle is alive and very well.
What was strange was the attraction of the various rat rods that use decrepit bits of junk welded or chained onto rusty cars or bakkies. These creations drew crowds of onlookers while alongside them were beautifully restored or customised cars with high tech engines painted and chromed so they gleamed in the sun but often attracted few passers-by. Different strokes for different folks!
Once again there seemed to be a drop off in the number of true classics like Lotus Cortina’s, Capri Perana’s the like as well as pre-WW2 models and with the fear that many of these models are being shipped overseas where there is big money and a strong demand waiting.
A special tribute must be paid to chief organiser Frik Kraamwinkel and his team from the Pretoria Old Motor Club who put on such a great event year after year. It is a mammoth task and runs smoothly.