History as Concours SA 2018 attracts first international bid
The Concours SA event showcased some iconic automobiles at Steyn City recently
With cars ranging from a 1902 curved dash Oldsmobile, through humble Volkswagen Beetles and Ford Escorts, to the latest Ferrari supercars, organisers of Concours SA say that the event held recently was an unforgettable experience at Steyn City.
"A feature of this year’s event was the gratifying diversity of entries which embraced Concours SA 2018," says organiser and co-founder Paul Kennard.
"What made this event so special was also the intimacy provided by the unique Steyn City venue, which enabled visitors and exhibitors alike to mingle among the cars on the banks of the Steyn City Creek. Simply drinking in these monuments to motoring excellence through the past century was an experience to savour.
IN THE FINAL ANALYSIS A FEW HUNDREDTHS OF PERCENTAGE POINTS SEPARATED THE TOP THREE CARS.
"And adding the final touch to an unsurpassed motoring experience was the standard of entries, which has risen exponentially since we launched Concours SA, a new concept in the classic car arena in this country, a mere two years ago."
The judges had an exacting job in picking a winner in 2018, and in the final analysis a few hundredths of percentage points separated the top three cars. In the end, the winning car was a hugely popular choice, and so was its owner.
Charming Ferrari enthusiast Zia Wort saw her pristine, low-mileage rosso corsa 1989 Ferrari 328 GTS announced as the overall winner. The diminutive Ferrari has only 13,000km on the clock and it was presented in absolutely factory-fresh form at the event to widespread applause from the gathering of discerning classic enthusiasts.
Second overall was another Ferrari, an extremely authentic-looking 1969 light metallic blue Daytona 365 GTB/4, owned by Cape Town enthusiast Stuart Mackay-Davidson. In third, an equally lauded choice, was an Irish Green Porsche 911S, a 1970 model, jointly owned by Tim Abbot and Michelle Hambly.
A popular category winner among the public was a 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II, owned by Johannesburg neurosurgeon Dr Frank Snyckers. It is a huge aristocratic machine that travelled all around the world before taking up permanent residence in SA some years ago.
Other popular category winners were Chad Wentzel’s 1958 Chevrolet Corvette "hybrid" with modern Corvette mechanicals and a pristine 1959 Corvette presented in original trim specification and restored by Wynand Strydom for an anonymous owner.
Ferraris and Porsches were well represented, reflecting the enthusiasm these thoroughbreds engender at the top end of the South African classic car fraternity. A notable early Porsche winner was a blue 356A, owned by Kirsten Venter, who drove her car for the first time en route to the lawns at the venue.
The event was notable for an assembly of six Ferrari Daytonas, organised by arch Ferrari specialists Pablo Clark.
The range of cars entered for this year’s event extended to many examples from the 1960s and 1970s, but also ran through to the 1980s and 1990s. A notable category winner was Marek Letowt with his 1991 Glacier Blue BMW M5. Letowt also entered another M5 and there were two striking E36 BMW M3s entered, parked alongside each other.
Interesting category winners included an authentic 1963 Chevrolet Impala convertible in pale metallic green and another metallic green car, a 1960 Volkswagen Beetle — with 1958 detailing that was a crossover production feature of this particular Uitenhage-built VW.
Extremely easy on the eye was a pair of perfectly rendered Alfa Romeo classics from the golden age of performance cars in SA: a 1965 Giulia Sprint GT 1600 and a 1975 Berlina. For enthusiasts of Group N racing in the 1990s, it would have been gratifying to see an immaculate road-going Opel Kadett GSi 16V S (Superboss) take second place in its period category.
Coys of Kensington, the UK-based auction house that conducted the international Concours SA auction at the event, chose a quirky William Townes-penned 1984 Aston Martin Lagonda as its special choice, a car owned by event supporter Roger Martin.
It was the first time that international bidding was received for a South African classic car auction. The top bid for a 1992 Porsche 964 N/GT factory-built racer for the road was R3.9m, while a bid of R2.5m was received for a 1968 Shelby Mustang GT500 in absolutely original condition.
The weekend kicked off with another auction, this one for charity in aid of the Quad Para Association of SA (QASA). At the same function legendary Formula One designer Rory Byrne was inducted into the South African Hall of Fame.
"Concours SA is about passion, about discreet glamour in the finest sense, and about having a good time, above all," said MC and Concours SA partner Greg Marucchi.