Car show steams ahead 33 years on

2009-05-17 00:00

FEATURING a fusion of old and new, a television crew and a car that runs on water, this year’s Cars in the Park held at Alexandra Park in Pietermaritzburg yesterday certainly wasn’t short of quality entertainment.

“This is the 33rd edition of the event and we’re still going strong,” said event organiser Ty Terblanche.

He added that the show is evolving to include more modern and modified cars in addition to the traditional classic cars that one expects to see at the event.

“A case in point is the Weekend Witness-sponsored Shine and Show competition, which saw built-up cars being a popular attraction,” he said.

But the older cars still took the centre stage, when an arrival by the Car Quest crew in the latest Bentley Continental GT saw the presenters, backed by technical adviser and Weekend Witness columnist Alex Parker, take some of the original classics for a spin around the Oval.

Driving the oldest car in KwaZulu-Natal — the 1904 Cadillac of Ty Terblanche — presenter Adam Ford described the experience as mind-boggling.

“We have the opportunity to drive the latest vehicles before the general public even gets to see them, and I can tell you that this was more exciting than driving the latest Ferrari,” he said.

“It was so challenging to drive because the brakes, gear stick and clutch aren’t where they’re supposed to be, and you bounce all over the road.

“But it’s amazing to think that this is like the original 1900’s mid-engine vehicle — and all from a time when there weren’t even any roads. This car is twice as old as I am and it still runs better than I do.”

Co-presenter Sagie Moodley took a turn in the 1928 Bentley Replica Speed Six Le Mans Team Car of Nigel Atherstone, and was clocked at nine kilometres an hour by the Transport Department speed camera.

“It can go much faster, but it was scary driving a car that has had so many man-hours, love and attention put into it.

“It’s from another era — another time, and I think it’s so important not to lose sight of the journey cars have made,” Moodley said.

The ultra-rare Stanley Steamer EX was also fired up for a lap around the Oval, going full steam ahead — all with the ability to be fuelled from a river or dam.

It was the first time that the group from Car Quest had visited Cars in the Park, with the first impression very positive.

“There was a great mix of old-school and new technology, and I think events like this are very important in the motoring industry,” explained Ford.

“It’s great to see variety like this because people need to remember that the youngsters with the souped-up cars here today are the classic-car owners of the future.”

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