Minis will be out in force to celebrate the iconic car’s 60th birthday. Picture: SUPPLIED
Minis will be out in force to celebrate the iconic car’s 60th birthday. Picture: SUPPLIED

This Sunday’s mid-winter rendition of the Classic Car Show at the Nasrec Expo Centre will see a number of important milestones and anniversaries celebrated among classic car fans.

Once again, over 1,000 classic cars, hot rods and muscle cars are expected, making this Gauteng’s biggest motor show.

The gates open for spectators at 8am at the Nasrec Expo complex, which is located just off the N1 highway, southwest of Johannesburg and just a wheel-spin away from Soccer City.

“This July we are extending a special invitation to owners of British classic cars to spend the day mixing it up with the American muscle and the other European classics,” says organiser Paulo Calisto.

“We are expecting a number of Triumphs, Austin Healeys, MGs, Jaguars and hopefully some Morgan sports cars too. American muscle cars have traditionally arrived at The Classic Car Show from all over Gauteng. This year we are targeting a large contingent of the traditional British sports cars, the idea being that variety is the spice of Classic Car life.”

The Mini turns 60 on August 24, and the Classic Car Show will give many Mini owners the opportunity to give their classic little Minis a dry run before their big birthday bash in Cullinan late in August.

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Mighty muscle cars

As has been the tradition at the show over the past seven years, many builders of serious American muscle from the ’60s and ’70s use the event to showcase their latest rides. Expect a strong presence of Mustangs from the 1960s and ’70s, Chevrolet Camaros, Oldsmobiles, Plymouths, Dodges and other larger cars that originated from the US.

A favourite ride as usual will be the classic Chevrolets from the so-called Tri-Chevy years of 1955 to 1957. These were the cars that were most popular among a whole generation of muscle car freaks inspired by the 1970s movie American Graffiti. The interesting thing about these Tri-Chevy models is that they were all based on the same bodyshell, but different grilles, chrome accents and wing treatment give them a look that is significantly different in each of the model years.

Hotrods and pick-up trucks

Hotrods and pick-up trucks will again form a huge part of the classic car turn-out. Of note will be the traditional Rolling Thunder display, which rolls to the show all the way from Pretoria and which traditionally sets up shop outside Hall 5 at Nasrec.

Hardcore hotrods such as this will share the stage with thoroughbred original classics. Picture: SUPPLIED
Hardcore hotrods such as this will share the stage with thoroughbred original classics. Picture: SUPPLIED

From a European perspective, DKW two-stroke cars have been enjoying a stronger presence each year at Nasrec, as well as other German brands, such as Taunus, Mercedes-Benz and Opel.

VW buses and Beetles

There seems to be no end to the popularity growth enjoyed by the Volkswagen bus and Beetle brigade. Kombis in both classic and custom form traditionally make the Classic Car Show scene each year, and the VW Beetle in models ranging from the 1950s to the late 1970s are expected to  show up in ever-increasing numbers.

Owners of classic cars, plus one passenger, will be admitted free on Sunday, while extra passengers and other show visitors will have to pay the admission fee of R60 through Computicket or R80 at the gate. Entrance for children under 12 is R20.

The show runs from 8am to 4pm and classic car owners can gain access to the display area from 7am.

There will be a full complement of entertainment, food and drink laid on by the organisers, with live rock music being a traditional feature of the show. There will be entertainment for children such as kiddies go-karts and jumping castles, and helicopter rides will also be on offer.

A prawn festival will be a feature of the event, and there will be a host of stalls selling car-related and lifestyle goods.