A superb collection of classic and vintage cars, representing some of the finest restorations in South Africa, will grace the lawns of the Sun City Hotel this weekend, with about vehicles vying for top honours in Concours South Africa 2017.
They include a 1913 Buick, the oldest Volkswagen Beetle in South Africa (built in 1949), a late 1980s Ferrari F40, a 1970 Lamborghini Miura, and many other extremely rare classics of all ages and genres.
Organizer Paul Kennard said: “We hosted the first Concours South Africa here at Sun City only 11 months ago and we're gratified that the numbers have increased to over 80 cars this year, some of them representing marques that are rarely seen outside private collections anywhere in the world.”
The winning car of the 2016 Concours, a mid-1980s De Tomaso Pantera GT5, will also be on display.
One intriguing entry is an SS 100 from 1939 - the first sports-car from William Lyons' Swallow Side Car Company. After the Second World War, the SS name had nasty connotations, so Lyons reformed the company as Jaguar Cars Limited, in Coventry, England, after first politely checking with Armstrong Siddeley that its 14-cylinder air-cooled radial Jaguar aircraft engine was indeed out of production.
There will be several examples competing for the overall Concours prize of the iconic E-Type Jaguar, which was touted as “sex on wheels” in the Swinging Sixties, and was famously described as “the most beautiful car I have ever seen” by no less an expert than Enzo Ferrari. Other famous British marques being judged on the Saturday and Sunday will include a pair of Austin Healeys, one of which is said to already boast a World Austin Healey Concours prize in its portfolio.
“In addition to the bigger entry, up 60 percent for only our second Concours, we're delighted that we're already attracting international personalities to Sun City this glamourous event,” said Kennard. “We have South African Robert Coucher, now UK-based, the founding Editor of Octane magazine, as one of the judges, and he'll be joined by Chris Routledge, the head of international auction house Coys of Kensington
“Dietrich Hatlapa, founder of the Historic Automobile Group International, will be addressing our conference on international classic car values, which will open the Concours weekend on Friday morning at Sun City. Other famous personalities at this conference will include economist and political analyst JP Landman, and racing drivers Sarel van der Merwe and Ian Scheckter.
The cars will assemble at the Sun City parking lot adjacent to the main entrance at noon on Friday, 4 August, and between 2.30 and 3.00pm will form up for the Grand Parade, which will see them drive up to the lawns outside the main hotel, to their allotted parking spaces, where they will be protected from grubby fingers by picket fencing for the duration; visitors to Sun City are, however, welcome to view the cars from behind the fences.
The categories for cars competing at Concours South Africa range from cars built before 1920 to cars built until 1995. The exception to this age cut-off is in category for modified vehicles, which will include some more modern renditions. As always, the emphasis will be on attention to detail.
Other cars of interest will include a 1959 Cadillac convertible (yes, it's 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 and the classic 911 format.
The final judging will be completed by noon on Sunday, and, after being verified by the auditors, the results will be announced at the prize-giving on the Sun City lawns from 2.30pm.