Motor show rolls in again

Bobby Cheetham

IT’S only four weeks to go before The Herald World of Wheels Nelson Mandela Bay Motor Fair. Hosted by the Eastern Province Veteran Car Club (EPVCC), the fair will be held on Saturday December 7.

The venue will be Newton Technical High School playing fields between Westview Drive and Mowbray Street, Westview, Port Elizabeth.

One of the cars on display is owned by Colin Skinner, who has restored a Lancia Flavia. It will be among the many displayed by club members.

For motoring clubs, the show is a means of showcasing their vehicles and interests to a wide range of the public in order to grow the interest, as well as providing them with a means of fundraising.

But back to the Lancia.

“The car is a 1963 Lancia Flavia Pininfarina coupe 1.8. It is a coach-built version of a four-door sedan which was the first series production front-wheel drive Italian car,” says Skinner.

“My particular example although manufactured by Pininfarina in 1963 was part of a consignment sent to SA in CKD (completely knocked down) form and assembled by SA Motor Assemblies in Durban.

“The assembly took place in 1965. The car was originally off white but was subsequently repainted red while it was undergoing restoration in Joburg,” says Skinner. “The restoration stalled and I bought the car plus a parts donor car some 15 years ago. Both cars were transported here by road.”

Skinner says he seriously considered bringing only the one car down as it appeared to be complete and to only need finishing off. “Fortunately I did not succumb to this temptation as the previous restorer had cut many corners and I had thousands of rand of essential parts from the donor car.

“The restoration really had to begin again and so I took the opportunity to change the colour from resale red to something more traditionally Lancia.

“It is in fact a Morris Minor colour which ties in with its assembly with Morrises in Durban. The job inevitably took far longer and cost far more than was initially contemplated. A particular problem was the wheel alignment which was caused by an undetectable piece of accident damage to the front subframe.”

Cue the donor car. The problem has now been solved but it took a lot of thought, time and money before it was right, he says. “The car has subsequently been used on a couple of tours around the Eastern, southern and Western Cape and it never fails to impress. It’s quiet, comfortable and indecently fast for a 50-year-old car. What impresses most is the ingenious engineering (the front drive shafts can be changed without even removing the front wheels) and Lancia’s obsession with quality.

“Quality, however, does not come cheap and the car was more expensive than an E-Type Jaguar when new. I look forward to many more years of pleasure from this now fast appreciating and rare car,” Skinner says proudly.

For further information about the fair– which promises to be the event of the year for motoring enthusiasts – contact Llewellyn Faifer on autohotbiodiesel@telkomsa.net or 082-555-4981.

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