George – The Oakhurst George Old Car Show, driven by Oakhurst Insurance Ltd, celebrated its 21st year of existence on 11 and 12 February this year.
“We are thrilled that the show attracted more than the 2016 record number of people with a total attendance of over 12800 people for the weekend. A total of 1070 cars, tractors, motorcycles and stationary engines was registered for this year,” said Phillip Rosser, chair of the committee that organised this year’s Old Car Show.
“We are proud of what we have put together,” Rosser said, welcoming participants who drove long distances from as far afield as Pietermaritzburg Pretoria and Springbok, among other places, to share their passion with visitors to the show. “The exhibition also showcases cars from an early era of which some are of the rarest and most valuable in the country.”
The Southern Cape Old Car Club held the first George Old Car Show on the farm of Paul Fick near Victoria Bay, who passed away in April 2016 and who was honoured with a moment of silence before George Executive Mayor Melvin Naik officially opened the show.
Naik extended a warm welcome to visitors, enthusiasts, participants, exhibitors and collectors, as well as Melissa Vorster, junior mayor, and Bianca Aucamp, deputy junior mayor of the Junior City Council.
“The virtue of this show is to be a feast to the eyes as it links the collectors’ and exhibitors’ minds with that of the attendees,” Naik said. “We all stand in awe amidst the marvels of design, engineering and craftsmanship of the cars of yesteryear.”
Naik said the show had grown rapidly, thereby proving itself as indispensible and synonymous with the city. “The show has reached maturity because the organisers and participants put aside individual achievements for the sake of long term values. The show demonstrates the vibrancy of the city and I thank everybody for keeping this dream alive.”
He also lauded the organisers for raising awareness of the culture of these old cars with the Thembalethu and Pacaltsdorp Drive-Thru. “We deeply value these outreaches,” he said.
Peter Grindlay, managing director of Oakhurst Insurance Company Ltd, who was on board as headline sponsor for the second consecutive year, said Oakhurst was proud to be associated with the George Old Car Show. “We are very keen on all things family and motor vehicle related and we are proud to be associated with such a fantastic event in our beautiful Garden Route city.”
Oakhurst launched its new Classic Car Insurance in partnership with Vantage at the show. “We believe the insurance will be of great service to many old car owners and enthusiasts. It is a market deserving attention,” said Grindlay. “It is a specialised field and we are fortunate to have Adriaan Louw from Vantage as a partner.”
Grindlay said when Oakhurst first came to George, they wanted to integrate into the community, not only to grow the business, but also to have a long-lasting footprint and play a role in the community. “Look at these magnificent motor vehicles and see how it is bringing people – who are nostalgic about what they see – together from all over the country and even overseas.
He said bringing people together on a positive note provided the community of George an opportunity to showcase what they have in the region – not only the beautiful setting, but also the ability of a community to put together something like the show together. “We are glad to play a small role in it.” He lauded Rosser and his committee for organising the show, saying: “It is deserving of the highest praise.”
Arthur Gillis, former managing director of Protea Hotels, which was sold to Mariott in April 2014, said he regarded the George Old Car Show as one of the best in the country. “Our group bring at least 30 cars to the show every year because we enjoy it so much. The show is an opportunity to talk to members of all the car clubs who attend, as we can offer clubs on tour accommodation throughout the country.”
He said the Protea Hotel King George by Marriot is fully booked a year in advance by enthusiasts visiting the George Old Car Show. “We are trying hard not to be merely a nett taker, but also a nett giver.”
The show’s coming of age was celebrated in style with an exhibition of vintage and classic cars of German manufacture in the Ring of Fame. The 1886 Benz Patent Motorwagen, one of only 10 replicas worldwide, was without doubt the crowning glory of the show. An exhibition of miniature models also reflecting vehicles of German origin echoed the theme.
Veteran tractors, which for the first time led the procession in the main arena, were met with much enthusiasm. They were followed by the different categories of vintage and classic cars.
Despite a threatening thunder storm and intermittent showers of rain, a festive atmosphere prevailed. Business was brisk at the SAB Beer Tent and numerous stalls selling food and soft drinks as well as a variety of merchandise, including vehicle-related goods.
The House of Classic and Sports Cars sold about half of the vehicles offered at auction. The highest prices were paid for a Valiant (R180 000) and a Renault Caravelle 110 GT (R150 000).
Rosser thanked the sponsors Oakhurst Insurance Company Ltd, Protea Hotel King George by Marriott and Protea Hotel by Marriott Outeniqua who also sponsored the announcer and the Ignition Television crew’s accommodation, SAB, The House of Classic and Sports Cars, who presented the auction, as well as numerous other sponsors for their valuable contribution to the show.
“We had such an overwhelming reaction that we had to turn away a number of people because we ran out of exhibition space,” Rosser said.
The show host, The Southern Cape Old Car Club will be making a substantial donation to deserving local charities in addition to percentage of the entrance fees that the venue host, PW Botha College, will receive.
Next year’s show will be presented on 10 & 11 February 2018.