George, Garden Route (January 2024) – When catching up with Philip Kuschke shortly after 6am on Friday morning, he was preparing his Model T car and venerable company for hitting the road from Barrydale to Wellington in their preamble to Vet Tour 2024, generously supported by Skribs Benzeum and Apprentice. It is the 18th occasion of this special roadtrip, involving a handful of old-car enthusiasts and select automobile clubs.
President of the South African Veteran & Vintage Association, Kuschke is the founder of the Vet Tour and also a long-time member of the Southern Cape Old Car Club (SCOCC) – organisers of the annual George Old Car Show, this year presented on February 10 and 11 at Eden Technical College in the Garden Route capital.
The Vet Tour was initiated to serve as mobile marketing tool for the George Old Car Show, and plays an important part in creating public awareness of the GOCS. Kuschke explains that their “Rondomtalie Tour”, which kicked off in George on Thursday February 1, actually consists of three parts.
“We are spending the weekend in Cape Town, where all five local Vet Tour participants will take part in an event hosted by the Historic Grand Prix Cars Association at Killarney raceway. On Sunday, we will join the Crankhandle Club for their drive to Kalk Bay, and on Monday start making our way back, slowly, to George,” he says.
Vet Tour 2024 officially starts on Thursday February 8, when members of the Crankhandle and other Cape clubs will join their Southern Cape colleagues to drive to George on the eve of the 27th Old Car Show. This unmissable fleet on the province’s highways and byways invariably attracts the attention of car-enthusiasts encountered en route, many of whom then visit the show.
Likewise, the event at Killarney on Saturday is sure to create awareness among a fresh crowd of petrolheads, when Kuschke and his Southern Cape compatriots will participate in a parade of Model Ts and their peers. “We’re looking forward to the international heritage races, comparing notes with overseas owners, and enjoying the display of Grand Prix cars from the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s,” he beams.
Setting Vet Tour cars apart from other classic and vintage models is that they have been manufactured without a front braking system – a clear cut-off point in auto production during the previous millennium.
But there’s no reason to worry about these old ladies crashing and burning for a lack of front brakes: the oldest car in the Vet Tour fleet is a 1908 Model S Ford – which will also be the oldest car on display at the George Old Car Show. With a top speed of 40km per hour, the drive is elegant and leisurely indeed.
What’s more, behind the steering wheel is lady owner Ali van Jaarsveld, who annually joins the tour from Gauteng in her beautifully conserved Model S. Look out for her and the rest of the Vet Tourers and friends on the road from Cape Town to George next week. Visit
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