Rare cars, vintage and classic vehicles competing for honours at Concours South Africa 2017

Concours South Africa 2017 at Sun City runs from Friday August 4 to Sunday August 6. The event opens with the HAGI (Historic Automobile Group International) conference on Value in the classic car market (www.vccm.co.za) on Friday morning.

Brian Joss – A tantalising variety of classic and vintage cars, representing some of the finest restorations in South Africa, will grace the lawns of the Sun City Hotel. It is expected that some 80 top vintage and classic cars will be vying for top honours in Concours South Africa 2017.

The cars entered include a 1913 Buick, a 1949 Volkswagen Beetle (the oldest in SA), a late 1980s Ferrari F40, a 1970 Lamborghini Miura, and many other extremely rare classics of all ages and genres.

The 2016 winner, a De Tomaso Pantera GT5 with owner-restorer Carols de Abreu. This car may well be a late entrant to defend its title this year. Picture: Motorpress

“We hosted the first Concours South Africa in September 2016 at Sun City and it was an unqualified success,” says co-organiser Paul Kennard. “This year we are gratified that the numbers have increased to over 80 cars, and some of them represent marques that are rarely seen outside private collections anywhere in the world.”

The winning car of the 2016 event, a mid-1980s De Tomaso Pantera GT5, will also be on display.

An intriguing car will be an SS 100 from 1939. As aficionados will be aware, this sports machine from the immediate pre-World War II era represents the first sports offering of what later became Jaguar. After WW II, the SS name had nasty connotations regarding the elite Nazi squad of the same name,  SS, and so company founder William Lyons – who had established the Swallow Side Car Company in the 1920s,  then founded Jaguar Cars Limited, in Coventry, England.

Talking of Jaguars, there will be a few examples competing for the overall Concours prize of the famous E-Type Jaguar, which was touted as “sex on wheels” in the swinging 60s. The E-Type was also quoted as, “The most beautiful car I have ever seen” by the late Enzo Ferrari. Other famous British marques being judged on the Saturday and Sunday will include a pair of Austin Healeys, one of which boasts a World Austin Healey Concours prize in its portfolio.

“Apart from the increased entry, which is some 60 per cent up for only our second Concours, we are delighted that we are already attracting international personalities to this glamourous event,” says Kennard. “We have Robert Coucher, South African, but now UK-based, founding editor of Octane magazine, as one of the judges, and he will be joined in this respect by Chris Routledge, the CEO of international auction house, Coys of Kensington.

 “We also have Dietrich Hatlapa, the founder of HAGI (Historic Automobile Group  International), who will be addressing our conference on international classic car values, which kicks off the Concours weekend on Friday morning at Sun City. Other famous personalities at this conference will include economist and political analyst JP Landman.” Racing drivers Sarel van der Merwe and Ian Scheckter will also be among the invited guests.

The cars will assemble at the Sun City parking lot adjacent to the main entrance at noon on Friday August 4, and between 2.30 and 3.00pm will line up for the Concours South Africa 2017 Grand Parade, which will see them drive up to the lawns outside the main hotel, to their allotted parking spaces.

The parked cars will all be contained by picket fencing for the duration of the event, so there will be no indiscriminate touching of the cars by the public. Visitors to Sun City are however, welcome to view the cars from behind the fences.

A number of hospitality packages have been sold to guests for the weekend, although Kennard says there are few remaining hospitality tickets on offer.

“We have already established this event as extremely glamorous, which is not surprising given the level of exotic machinery on display. Our hospitality packages will give entrants and guests the chance to interact with some really famous people in the South African and international  motor industry as well as from other walks of life, such as high-level commerce.

“We have guests coming from New York, the UK and Germany, and the atmosphere will be genteel, but with a typical brand of good-old South African hospitality.”

There are various categories for the cars competing for Concours South Africa, and these range from cars built before 1920 to cars built until 1995. The exception to this age cut-off will be in the modified category for vehicles, which will include some more modern renditions. In this category, as with the un-restored and restored classics, the emphasis will be on attention to detail.

Other cars entered that will cause a stir include a 1959 Cadillac convertible (yes, it is pink!), a freshly-restored Dino 246 GTB (the Ferrari that was never badged as a Ferrari) and a number of Porsches, both in early

356 form and in the classic 911 form.

The final judging will be completed by noon on Sunday, and, after the auditors have verified them, the results will be announced at a prize-giving on the Sun City lawns, between 2.30pm and 3.30 pm.

For more information on  how to enter your car in Concours South Africa 2017, how to sign up for the HAGI conference or to book the deluxe hospitality packages on offer at the Sun City event, visit www.concourssa.co.za or contact co-organiser, Paul Kennard:

paul@concourssa.co.za or phone 082 851 3300

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