Karoo heat and hospitality makes for a tough but enjoyable Heritage Tour

(George, Garden Route) – The eighth Heritage Tour, undertaken by the Southern Cape Old Car Club (SCOCC) and proudly supported by ReCollection Rides took place from Friday 20 to Tuesday 24 September 2019 along a circular route from George to Graaff-Reinet to Jeffrey’s Bay and back to George.

Day 1 began at Halfway Toyota in George, where local enthusiasts could view these beautifully and loving restored treasures dating back over 100 years. As the tour threaded its way through the charming Karoo towns of Uniondale, Willowmore and Aberdeen, the rising heat (which peaked at 40°C) tested the cars to the limit but they all arrived safely in Graaff-Reinet. A stop at the Apple Crate Farmstall, a bright little farmstall located where the R62 joins the N9, certainly helped vehicles and drivers brave the heat.

Fortunately the weather was bearable on Day 2, when the Tour took part in the annual Car Show hosted by the Midland’s Car Club. The drivers and support crew were delighted to be joined by the management of one the tour’s main sponsors, Halfway Toyota, for a day of good company and food.

On display were Veteran (pre 1918), Antique (1919 – 1925) and Classic cars (post WW2 and no longer in production with a cut-off date at December 1975). The show was another opportunity for members to display their beloved vehicles, rebuilt and sometimes in a better conditions than the day they rolled off the production line.

After a sumptuous breakfast sponsored by Recollection Rides during a visit to The Village and The ReCollection Rides Museum, the tour set off for New Bethesda home of the famous Owl House the next morning. Just outside the village is Tot Hier Toe Padstal where the participants were treated to farm-style lunch consisting of a spit-braai and curry, rounded off by that all-time South African favourite, malva pudding. With full tanks, the tour returned to Graaff-Reinet just in time for a Sunday afternoon nap.

An early start on Monday morning saw the tour depart for Jeffrey’s Bay (for a prize giving and gala dinner). Stops at the Kleinpoort Pompstal and the Cheetah Sanctuary near Kirkwood kept the tourists fuelled up for the journey.

The Gala Dinner was enjoyed, after which an enjoyable evening of wining, dining, fellowship, and dancing was had by all.

Tuesday saw the tour take a leisurely drive back to George, bringing to an end another hugely successful Recolletion Rides Heritage Tour.

The love for these old cars is passed on from generation to generation.

Nonetheless, Chris van Staden, George Marx, and Pierre Olivier have now completed all eight tours, all in the same car. Kobus Halliday and Pierre Conradie have also completed all eight tours, albeit in different vehicles.

Mike and Susan Alexander drove away with the prize for the most originally and appropriately dressed at the Gala Dinner.

For more information, either visit the SCOCC website, or contact Pierre Olivier on 082 8726456.

In parting, Olivier summed up the sentiment of all concerned; “when an elderly man stops you along the route and tells you that he once had such a vehicle – it’s a wonderful feeling. What better way to celebrate Heritage Day.”

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