George Car Show ready to get motors revving on Valentine’s

CLASSIC CAR: One of the vintage cars that will be on show at the George Old Car Show next weekend
CLASSIC CAR: One of the vintage cars that will be on show at the George Old Car Show next weekend

The George Old Car Show, which takes place on February 14 and 15, represents a broad spectrum of cars manufactured since the early 1900s to the present day.

Fittingly, the theme for this year’s show is Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. As the dates coincide with Valentine’s Day, the theme is extended to include old and new cars in romantic red.

The George Old Car Show has grown from the first exhibition of 85 veteran and classic cars in 1997, to the largest and most prestigious car show with more than 1 000 entries and more than 11 000 old car enthusiasts visiting the show from all over the country.

Yesterday:

The first exhibition was held on Paul Fick’s farm Blackwood near Victoria Bay, outside George. He has had a keen interest in old cars since he was a young man and restored most of the cars he acquired while they were still living in Ermelo.

By the time the family moved to George in 1979, he had 26 vintage cars. Besides a homestead for the couple and their children, a museum was built to house the old cars. His firm favourite remains a French manufactured 1920 Voisin, which he drove in rallies in France and which is still on the family’s farm in France.

Although his health is failing, Paul and his wife Leonora will be attending the George Old Car show. “We will drive around in one of the golf cars which are provided for the convenience of the elderly who cannot move around so easily anymore,” Leonora said.

Today:

Dr Waldo Scribante of George, a member of the Southern Cape Old Car Club, owns a collection of no less than 50 different Mercedes models.

He has a fond early memory of travelling with his family in his dad’s 1960 Mercedes towing a caravan along the Prince Alfred pass when he was two years old.

The image stuck, because he has since then had a keen interest in repairing and restoring vintage and classic Mercedes vehicles. “When I was still at school I always looked for old cars to repair and restore.”

The first car he bought after he finished his studies as a radiologist was a 1965 Mercedes 300, which he has kept in immaculate condition. The second car he bought was a 1963 Mercedes Coupé.

His all-time favourite, however, is a 1913 Benz, which was bought at an auction in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal in 2000.

In fact, he could not attend the auction so he sent someone with a cheque in his stead. “It turned out the car was even rarer than I had thought . . . ”

He loves driving this car on rallies and tours, like the annual Veteran Tour that precedes the George Old Car Show. Waldo’s collection includes an ambulance and a taxi which he bought on eBay and imported from Germany. Every one of his vehicles is driven at least once a month.

At least 10 of the 50 Mercedes models in his collection will be exhibited at the George Old Car show. “The S-class sedans on show mostly date from the early 50s, 60s and 70’s. Some consecutive models – all in red – will be displayed in the Valentine’s Circle.”

Tomorrow:

Charles Lloyd is a young Southern Cape Old Car Club (SCOCC) member with aspirations of becoming a restorer and collector of old cars.

“I have been interested in old cars from an early stage, but only recently came into possession of an old car,” the 24-year-old said. He actually “married into old cars”, as his father-in-law Mike van den Steen is a keen SCOCC member. He got his first classic car, a 1961 Ford Anglia, through the club. “The Anglia will unfortunately not be ready for this year’s George Old Car Show,” he said.

“The gearbox has been giving trouble, and I’m still working on the body.”

  • For information on the George Old Car Show contact Chris van Staden on (082) 491-5254. To register an old car for the show, visit www.scocc.co.za and complete the online registration form.

-Tisha Steyn

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