This immaculate 1902 Oldsmobile is one of the oldest cars in South Africa. Picture: ROGER HOUGHTON
This immaculate 1902 Oldsmobile is one of the oldest cars in South Africa. Picture: ROGER HOUGHTON

The Cars in the Park motoring extravaganza, held at the Zwartkops Raceway, near Pretoria, had the biggest turnout of vehicles on show and spectators in its 39-year history

Frik Kraamwinkel, the Pretoria Old Motor Club’s chief organiser of the 2018 event, said the club estimated more than 15,000 people either had vehicles on show or came to Zwartkops as spectators.

"It is estimated that between 2,500 and 3,000 vehicles were on show, with paid attendance of almost 8,000 people, while we had 130 other exhibitors, food stalls and the like," said Kraamwinkel.

The event had the benefit of excellent weather and no significant clashing events. It underlined the growing number of people involved in securing SA’s motoring heritage, as most of the exhibitors were members of motor clubs. More than 120 clubs were represented.

This beautiful Buick is an excellent example of high quality restoration. Picture: ROGER HOUGHTON
This beautiful Buick is an excellent example of high quality restoration. Picture: ROGER HOUGHTON

Vehicles on display varied from one of the oldest motor vehicles in SA, a 1902 Oldsmobile, to some of the latest models, such as the 2018 Ford Mustangs displayed by Lazarus Ford, a long-time supporter of the event.

The Pretoria Old Motor Club, which was established in 1966, organised its first Cars in the Park in 1980 at its clubhouse on the Pioneer Museum property in Silverton, where club members displayed nine cars.

Change of venue

One-make clubs were invited to display their vehicles at the annual show from 1982. By 2005, more than 80 clubs were represented and members displayed about 2,000 cars which packed out the premises at Silverton.

The Pretoria Old Motor Club realised a change of venue was necessary to cater for further growth, so the event was moved to Zwartkops Raceway in 2006 and this has proved ideal.

Peter du Toit, owner of Zwartkops Raceway, also owns icons such as the Shelby Cobra coupe, D-Type Jaguar, and Lola T70 together with a locally built Ecosse sports racer. Picture: ROGER HOUGHTON
Peter du Toit, owner of Zwartkops Raceway, also owns icons such as the Shelby Cobra coupe, D-Type Jaguar, and Lola T70 together with a locally built Ecosse sports racer. Picture: ROGER HOUGHTON

Substantial changes have been made to the parking facilities and an additional access road was in operation for the 2018 event. The organisers say there were few complaints about access to the show. "Our commercial exhibitors were also happy," said Kraamwinkel.

First-time exhibitors include Partinform, a formal grouping of a number of major suppliers to the automotive aftermarket which has been in existence for more than 30 years.

Cars in the Park is the biggest motor show in SA in terms of vehicles on display, and also the largest event of the year at Zwartkops Raceway.

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