Concours South Africa 2018

This year’s Concours South Africa held on August 11-12 was once again a success that attracted some of the country’s finest automobiles including such diverse entries as a 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II, a 1960 VW Beetle, a 1984 Aston Martin Lagonda and a 1992 Opel Kadett Superboss. The previous two events were held at Sun City but this year Steyn City in Johannesburg’s Midrand was the venue and it attracted an excellent turn-out of entrants, displays, stalls and spectators.


Although chilly in the mornings and evenings, the event was held in sunshine on both days and the two groups of judges were hard pressed to assess the 60 cars entered in the seven categories. Head judges were Wayne Harley and Marius Malherbe who were supported by Dave Alexander, Tony Vaughn, Derek Hulse, Louis Coetzer, Stuart Grant and Mike Monk. Wayne is the curator of Franschhoek Motor Museum while Derek and Mike also have consultancy roles at the museum.


On the Saturday evening score sheets were tallied to determine the top 10 cars, which were then judged again on Sunday morning by all eight judges to establish the overall winner. Final results were announced on Sunday afternoon and third place went to the 1970 Porsche 911S entered by Michelle Hambly-Grobler and Tim Abbott, and in second spot was the 1968 Ferrari 365 GTB Daytona owned by Stuart Mackay-Davidson.


MC Greg Marucchi had everyone on edge before announcing the winner to be the 1989 Ferrari 328 GTS owned by Lizelia Wort. The car is in pristine, original condition and has only 13 000 km recorded on the odo. It was a very popular win that left Lizelia speechless as she acknowledged the warm and generous applause and congratulations. The scoring was so close that the three vehicles were separated by fractions of a point. At the trophy presentation, FMM curator and chief judge Wayne praised the car’s condition, presentation and, crucially, originality.


Also on view alongside the concours entries that were lined up alongside the Steyn City Creek were a 1902 Curved Dash Oldsmobile, a couple of superb vintage Rolls-Royces, the ex-John McNicol Formula 5000 single-seater, a Lamborghini Miura, Ferrari F40 and a superb display of no less than six Ferrari Daytona coupés.


The Concours SA weekend, which has Nedbank Private Wealth as its principal sponsor, kicked off with a charity auction in aid of the Quad Para Association of South Africa (QASA), where a substantial amount of money was raised. At the same function, legendary Formula One designer Rory Byrne was inducted into the South African Hall of Fame.


Footnote: Prior to his induction into the Hall of Fame, FMM’s Mike Monk caught up with Rory Byrne and showed him a copy of an article he had written about him for CAR magazine in September 1975. The two met when Rory was a director of Royale Racing in England and on a short visit to SA. He was helping Cape Town Formula Ford racer Jackie Watts set up his car and the interview took place at Jackie’s home. The two reminisced about the occasion and Rory signed Mike’s copy of the article and took another copy away with him, smiling at his long hair and wide sideburns…