André Loubser

We are sad to report on the sudden death of one of the country’s top motoring historians, André Loubser, who was attending the Crankhandle Club’s Natter event at Timour Hall in Cape Town when he passed away. André was 80 years old and, incidentally, shared the same birth date as Enzo Ferrari. He spent many years working overseas including stints at Porsche and a lengthy period with Sir Stirling Moss “who helped shape my life”. André’s stories recounting the times he spent with the renowned British racing driver are legendary. Moss died in April this year.

Indicative of what made him special is ‘Kyalami’, the book he spent 26 years meticulously putting together recording the history of the original Johannesburg circuit. Colourful, factual, entertaining and full of behind-the-scenes stories and anecdotes, it is a remarkable piece of journalism. (See Between The Covers for a repeat review of this book.)

Following’s André’s collapse, the Crankhandle Club issued the following statement:
“It is with a sense of disbelief that we report that Loubser passed away today at the October Natter. Our long awaited return to Timour Hall had been planned out with care and thought, but focused on the threat of the ever-prevalent pandemic sweeping the globe. Then, at a couple of minutes before 11am, André reported to the circle of friends with whom he was sharing a yarn that he was not feeling so good. Before they could even get him a chair he had fallen to the ground, with what must be assumed to be a heart attack. Very quickly, all methods of CPR were attempted and very shortly after the paramedics arrived with their full kit, but were unable to revive him.

“The response to André’s collapse by the various people in attendance was amazing. Members stepped up to the plate in terms of first response, organising, communicating and getting the best care that could be given. Our hosts at Timour Hall were incredibly supportive and, needless to say, the trauma units that arrived were professional and sensitive to the dignity of the man.

“Amongst more than one hundred friends and fellow enthusiasts at the Natter, André passed away, doing what he enjoyed – talking about cars. We all will miss André’s quiet way and his stories about the many aspects of motoring that he encountered. Our thoughts are with his wife Gill in this time of shock and mourning.”

André’s knowledge and reputation is recognised around the world and the immediate and heartfelt response to his passing was received from his many friends spread across the globe, and FMM joins with extending its sincere sympathy to André’s wife Gill.