Franschhoek Motor Museum | April Newsletter

View our latest newsletter and if you are not registered yet, SIGN UP NOW to catch the next issue. Our April newsletter featuring the following articles: Triple M-agic, What a load of Bull-nose, Back Seat Driver, Pony pride, Exhaust blips, FMM General Info. View this email in your browser, Like, Tweet, Forward to Friend.

Forward to Friend


A group of MG Triple-M owners gathered together in Franschhoek in early April to celebrate their pre-war classics that were built between 1929 and 1936. The Triple M moniker derives from the three main MG model classifications of the time: Midget, Magna and Magnette. These are little cars with small-capacity engines but have big hearts and could punch way above their weight. And much the same can be said about the men and women who drive them. They sure can put together a weekend’s outing!
On Friday 5 April all the owners arrived at the museum for registration, snacks, a glass of AR’s finest wines and a good old tyre-kicking session. Everyone also received a commemorative badge for their cars and whole bunch of goodies including a book of MMM short stories written by Ralph Clarke, which was the most interesting item for me. The following day the cars went on a run from the local Protea Hotel where the participants were accommodated to Zorgvliet Estate near Stellenbosch for wine tasting and a picnic. The Saturday evening was one of the highlights of the event in the form of a formal dinner at the Protea when again wonderful stories were shared by all with many gifts and awards presented.
The Franschhoek Motor Museum was the venue for Sunday’s vehicle display to the public with more than 20 cars on show with the infamous Hoodoo putting in an appearance. This little racing car has an international race pedigree as long as your arm and a reputation for flipping or crashing – hence the nick-name. It was campaigned by the late Phillip Costa, to whom the occasion was tribute. The oldest car on view was a 1929 P-type owned by Louis van der Merwe who had travelled all the way from White River. FMM put out its own 1932 J2 on the day. After lunch, all the owners fired up their little brutes and treated the spectators to an honour parade around the museum’s grounds.
In honour of these proud MGs, still on display at FMM are the 1932 J2, a 1953 TD, a 1954 TF, a late-’50s A 1500 and a 1969 C roadster. WH


This year marks the centenary of the William Morris’ first car the Oxford, named after the English town in which it was built but more commonly referred to as the Bullnose because of its distinctive round-topped radiator. It was a small, two-seat tourer (there was a van version too) with virtually all components bought-in and assembled by Morris, and was fitted with a White and Poppe 1 018 cm3 four-cylinder side-valve engine with fixed cylinder head. With just on 1 300 examples built, World War One interrupted production but it recommenced in 1919 in both Oxford and cheaper Cowley (a suburb of Oxford)derivatives with a greater number of body options including four-seat versions. The 1 548 cm3 engine was basically a Hotchkiss design that was enlarged to 1 802 cm3 in 1923 – three years before the Bullnose was replaced.
From a purely personal perspective, the significance of the Bullnose’s centenary lies in a photograph unearthed during my wife’s family ancestry research. The picture shows my maternal great great grandfather Samuel Fripp and his wife Sarah seated in a four-seat Bullnose that has been identified as a 1919 Cowley, and is one of a number of family photos that convinces me that this is the ancestral line from which I have inherited a passion for cars. Happy 100, Bullnose! MM


Reviving the series of pen pictures of FMM’s behind-the-scenes staff. This month we feature an important new member to the team, workshop manager  Lorenzo Farella.

Previewed in last month’s newsletter, Lorenzo has just taken over FMM’s workshop manager position from Gary Baker. Looking after FMM’s collection of more than 300 vehicles – some two-thirds of which are runners – is a daunting task for the workshop team but Lorenzo is already relishing the challenge and has quickly established a fine rapport with his team.
After leaving school and serving two years in the Army, Lorenzo wanted to be a chef or a fashion designer but finances dictated that he turned to building and racing inflatable boats! (Life works in mysterious ways sometimes…) This lasted for 10 years during which time he also tinkered with cars and raced at Killarney in an Alfa Romeo Giulia GTAm replica – he’s a devoted alfista. He then turned to building and racing cars while also working for film crews doing transportation, tracking and even stunt driving. He also undertook vehicle restoration that stood him in good stead with his application to join FMM. Clearly a man of many talents – and lots of stories – the jovial Lorenzo buzzes with energy and has quickly taken up the reins of the workshop’s busy schedule. Oh, early days yet, but Lorenzo’s favourite car at FMM is the offbeat Alfa RZ, which kind of sums up his character. MM


With the Mustang club celebrating the 49th anniversary of Ford’s pony car this month, a quartet of Muzzies is on display in the museum. On show are a 1965 Ford Mustang Convertible, 1968 Ford Mustang Convertible, 1968 Shelby 350 GT and 1969 Shelby 500 GT. MM


Read all about it: See the April/May issue of Classic & Performance Car Africa magazine for a feature on FMM’s 1953 Bristol 403.


April 13: Midas Historic Tour, Zwartkops (
April 14: Ford Mustang 49th Anniv gathering,
Camps Bay Sports Grounds (
April 19-22: Crankhandle Club Tour & Swartland Rally,
Riebeek Kasteel (
April 20-21: Langebaan Classic Car Weekend
April 26-29: Africa Bike Week, Margate (
April 28-30: Asphalt Speed Week, Upington   (

May 4: Knysna Motor Show (Peter Pretorius,
May 4: Super Series, Zwartkops (
May 4-12: Sandstone Steam Heritage Festival, Ficksburg (
May 5: Buick concours d’elegance, Johannesburg Country Club
May 19: Cars in the Park, Pietermaritzburg (
May 25: Tafelberg School Car Show & Fun Day,
Bothasig, Cape Town (

June 1-2: Gauteng Motor Show, Zwartkops (
June 9-13: Milligan Vintage Time Trial, Port Elizabeth/Knysna/George (
June 15: Vryheid Old Car Show, Lucas Meyer Primary School, KZN    
June 15-16: Top Gear Festival, Durban (
(Clubs are invited to send details of upcoming events to for inclusion in Exhaust Blips.)


The Franschhoek Motor Museum is situated on the L’Ormarins Estate along the R45 in the Franschhoek Valley in the Western Cape. The opening hours are:
Monday to Friday 10h00 to 17h00 (last admittance 16h00),
Saturday and Sunday 10h00 to 16h00 (last admittance 15h00),

and the museum is open on most public holidays.

Admission prices are R60 adults, R50 pensioners, R30 children. An on-site delicatessen offers refreshments and tasting of L’Ormarins estate wines is also available. MM