Lew Baker's 1934 Aston Martin Mk II, a four-cylinder, 1500cc twin cam machine that still does160 km/h!
Lew Baker's 1934 Aston Martin Mk II, a four-cylinder, 1500cc twin cam machine that still does160 km/h!
Image: Supplied

Choosing a headline act at this year’s Knynsa Motor Show on April 28 will be all but impossible with so many examples of motoring’s great marques gracing Knysna High School sports fields.

The organisers, the Garden Route Motor Club and sponsors Sanlam Private Wealth, expect nearly 400 cars and classic motorcycles this year. Because this show is by invitation only, each and every one of them will be special. A feature of this year’s show is that there will be a large contingent of supercars sharing turf with  classic sports cars, vintage cars up to 100 years old and motorcycles.

So, no matter your age or motoring tastes, there will be something extra special for everyone.

Snapshot of what’s in store in Knysna on Sunday, April 28

Pagani Zonda 7.0 S: Yes, the only Pagani Zonda 7.0 S in SA, which should not be surprising, as only seven of them were built for global release. This example was built in 2002 and uses an AMG-massaged Mercedes-Benz V12 engine to deliver 405kW, a top speed of 335km/h, and a 0-100 km/h time in 3.7 seconds. It accelerates to 160km/h from standstill in 7.5 seconds, these being otherworldly performance figures for the year 2002!

The Pagani Zonda, brainchild of Italian Horacio Zonda, debuted in 1999. In an 18-year production run, only 140 Zondas of all configurations were built, making them one of the rarest of supercars.

Maserati A6GCS53 Berlinetta re-enactment: Just four Maserati A6GCS Berlinettas were built, the coupe versions of the A6GCCS roadsters that were well known in competition in the early 1950s. The closed Berlinettas were built on request by a Maserati dealer in Rome, who had the bodies crafted by famous styling house Pininfarina.

The car on show is a re-enactment, using tubular steel chassis and a 4.2l six-cylinder engine, along with a four-speed gearbox. It was built in the Cape after the owner acquired the original 3D plans for the car. He convinced a Cape-based window specialist to make the wooden buck, and a local coachbuilder to form the body in aluminium over the wooden buck, in the time-honoured manner of those days.

Lexus LFA: There are just three Lexus LFAs residing in SA. This is a dramatic supercar embodying all that is best about Japanese engineering precision with a dramatic styling flair not always associated with the Lexus brand. The engine is very special too, a 4.8l V10, built by Yamaha, which traditionally carries out much of the specialised high-performance engineering for parent company Toyota.

The car first debuted in 2010 and only 500 were built, making the LFA an instant classic. A power output of 412kW endows it with a top speed in the region of 325 km/h.

Alongside the golden oldies will be modern classics such as the limited-edition Lexus LFA, one of only three in SA. Picture: SUPPLIED
Alongside the golden oldies will be modern classics such as the limited-edition Lexus LFA, one of only three in SA. Picture: SUPPLIED

Lamborghini Aventador Roadster and Huracan: These are the two iconic Lamborghini supercars now in production. The Aventador is the big daddy, more powerful version with 515 kW from its V12 engine, and an engine note to curl your toes.

The Huracan is the baby brother, equally stunning in looks, with a V10 engine.

Mercedes-Benz 300 SL: It could be argued that this was the first volume-produced supercar. Together with its Gullwing coupe sibling, the 300 SL, produced between 1954 and 1963, totalled a production figure of some 3,400 cars, way more than anything achieved by the likes of Ferrari, Maserati or Aston Martin at that time. Today it has been known for restorers to spend far more than R10m in getting these cars into concours condition. The 300 SL will be joined by a range of other iconic SL models on the field in Knysna.

Aston Martin 1934, Mk 2: This is a very early Aston, although the marque has been in existence for more than a century. It is owned by Garden Route enthusiast Lew Baker, a former sports car racer and avid classic car collector. This car runs a 1500cc overhead cam four-cylinder motor in Ulster specification that sees it cruise easily at 120km/h and top out at about 160km/h. Exceedingly rapid for a car that is 75 years old!

Other famous marques

There will be a special Bentley Centenary celebration at Knysna, with some 20 Bentleys ranging from the early 1920s until the 1950s, forming a hugely impressive display. There will also be a modern presence from Bentley in SA, with cars such as the current Bentayga SUV and striking Continental  with W12 power likely to stop visitors in their tracks.

Morgan will be celebrating 110 years of this famous British company at Knysna, and expect to see renditions of the very early three-wheeler, as well as the Plus 4, Plus 8 and eye-boggling Aero models.

Everyone loves a Mini, and the Knysna Motor Show will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the car that changed the world in 1959 (see separate article).

There will be many pre-1945 cars, including Ford Model Ts and Model As, Chevrolet Phaetons and Rolls-Royces. And there will be a huge display of American classics from the 1950s.

Once again, there will be a large contingent of classic motorcycles, dating back to the 1920s and running through to the classic superbike era of the 1970s and 1980s.

The 2019 Knysna Motor Show is a one-day event, from 9am to 4pm on Sunday, April 28, at the Knysna High School sports grounds. Admission is R50 for adults, children 12 to 18 will be charged R10, and children under 12 get in free.

In co-operation with the Knysna Motor Show, special accommodation deals are in place for visitors to the show.

For more information, go to the Garden Route Motor Club’s website on www.grmc.co.za