Franschhoek Motor Museum | August Newsletter

Our August newsletter featuring the following articles: Uncorked and on show, A Peugeot reborn, Exhaust blips, FMM General Info.

Forward to Friend


In mid-August FMM hosted a Winter Wines Festival at which more than 600 guests visited the museum. Cape Town’s Citroën club took advantage of the Gallic nature of L’Ormarins to put on a display of its member’s cars. Estate wines complemented some great food on offer as rides in some of the classics took place to the background of live music.
In a busy period for celebrations at FMM, the annual Uncorked Weekend takes place over 14/15 September and amongst this year’s special happenings will be free rides to ticket holders on the museum’s 1953 Merryweather fire engine. As is the norm on such occasions, a number of other vehicles will be demonstrated around the circle between the display halls so visitors can experience the sounds and smells as well as the sights of some FMM’s classic machinery.
Helping to celebrate 90 years of Le Mans, two very special LMP1 sports racing cars have been loaned to the museum for display by Capetonian Alan Dike – his Mazda 767B that competed at the Circuit de la Sarthe in 1989 (finished 7th overall and 1st in the GTP class) and 1990 (20th overall and again 1st GTP). A similar car won Le Mans in 1991 – the only rotary-engined and only Japanese car to have ever won the classic race. Alan’s other car is a Toyota 94LM originally run by the Trust Racing Team with South African George Fouche as one of the team’s drivers. The car raced at Le Mans in 1992 (5th overall and 1st Category turbo car), 1993 (6th overall and 2nd Category 2) and 1994 (4th overall and 2nd LMP1 car). The Toyota also participated in the 1992 All-Japan Sports Prototype Championship.
Simply Red – not a pop group revival but a display of red convertibles (dating from 1909 to 1961) is a new concept for the museum and something not be missed. And scheduled for a visit on 11 September is one of SA’s most talented race drivers, Gugu Zulu, ‘The fastest Brother in Africa’. WH


A few months ago we gave you a progress report on the 1939 Peugeot Hillclimb special. Well, time has really moved quickly and the good news from our restorers is that we can expect to be firing her up soon. It’s been an interesting and educating project – not only has Steven and Graham Mesecke surpassed all expectations with their astounding restoration but they were also instrumental in uncovering some hidden secrets of this wonderful piece of Africana. Now that we are days away from starting her again its fantastic  to know just what has gone into this wonderful car. Here are some of the interesting facts discovered along the way…
The chassis has been three different colours in its lifetime, starting out as grey then yellow and finally black. It was also determined that the car had started out with a red body and only later did it become the French racing blue it is today. At first the rear fenders were part of the main bodywork and the cycle-type mudguards that are now on the car were fitted much later. But what we found most interesting was once we got engine open that there was very little Peugeot remaining!
Don Tout, the brain who built the car, had obviously used a lot of what he had at his disposal or what gave him the most bang for his buck. The pistons were of British make, possibly from a Triumph, and Ronnie from Bastics (our engine rebuilders) had a tough time matching them. Then the cam had been modified to drive a Lucas distributor and the oil pump, that we never quite determined the true heritage of, bore a similarity to that of a Bedford. The overhead valve rockers and adjusters are British, Whitworth Fine threads and all, and there’s an Austin starter, Riley steering, Austin 7 seats, Dodge brakes, Jaguar radiator – but best of all is the supercharger that came from a Mosquito WWII aircraft and equipped with two 1½-inch SU carburettors!
When you look at the neat engine-turned dashboard with all its gauges – oil pressure, boost pressure, oil temp and water temp – you realise this is no backyard racing car. The all-aluminum hand-made body with its long, louvered bonnet and twin aero screens all helped define the car’s single purpose – to climb hills very quickly. The project is almost completed now and the car will be ‘launched’ at the museum’s Heritage Day celebrations on 24 September. Why not come along and share the moment with us?  WH



August 31: National Super Series, Zwartkops (

September 7-11: Kalahari Eco Speed Week. Hakskeenpan (
September 14-15: Uncorked weekend, FMM (
September 15: Piston Ring National Swop Meet, Modderfontein
September 14-23: Kalahari Desert Speed Week, Hakskeenpan (
September 20-24: Jaguar Jamboree, Plettenberg Bay (
September 21: Whales and Wheels, Hermanus (
September 24: FMM Heritage Day celebrations
September 26-28: SAVVA National Tour, Fouriesberg (

October 5: National Super Series, Killarney  (
October 16-27: Johannesburg International Motor Show, NASREC (

(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