Franschhoek Motor Museum | Desember & Januarie Nuusbrief

Ons Desembe r& Januarie Nuusbrief praat oor die volgende artiekels: Heidelberg closure anniversary, Madiba BMW on view, Queen’s Plate, Gunston tribute at Zwartkops, Festive season wishes, Exhaust blips, Dates to diarise, FMM General Info

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It is worth recalling that 10 years ago – on the 31st of December 2003 – the Heidelberg Motor Museum closed its doors for good. So why is that event important to us Franschhoek residents? Allow me to take you back and take a brief look at just how FMM came about…Dr Anton Rupert and the Simon van der Stel Institute felt it was important to restore the Heidelberg (NZASM) station as a national monument for the people of Heidelberg and South Africa. This red sandstone building was built in 1896 and was officially opened by Paul Kruger. It survived the Anglo-Boer war and later was visited by Mahatma Gandhi while he had set about his Satyagraha (passive resistance) against the Transvaal and, later, the British Union.

It was officially opened as the Heidelberg Motor Museum on the 22 November 1974 by Dr Anton Rupert. In 1996 it was visited by the then state president Nelson Mandela. Control of the museum was passed on to the British American Tobacco Company in November 1999 but by 2003 it had been decided to close the museum.

This led to the Dr Anton’s vehicles being sold to his son Johann, owner of L’Ormarins, and the collection relocated to the estate situated in the heart of the Franschhoek Valley.

Although it was sad to see the Heidelberg museum close, it is heart-warming to see that the motoring heritage assembled by Dr Anton has not only been preserved but enhanced in bright, modern and majestic surroundings. The exhibits are continually rotated so regular visitors always have something different to view. From Heidelberg to Franschhoek, this world class collection of automobiles remains a star attraction. WH


In remembrance and celebration of Nelson Mandela’s life and all that he did for South Africans and humanity in general, the BMW 760Li Security Edition that was Madiba’s official transport during his HIV/Aids campaign undertaken between 2004 and 2009 is back on display at FMM. The presidential office returned the car to BMW South Africa at the end of its service life – it has less than 50 000 km on the odo – where it was fully checked over before being donated to the 46664 Mandela Day School Library project. It was purchased by the museum and the proceeds went towards supplying fully-stocked container libraries to disadvantaged schools.The car can be seen at FMM together with some background information on the campaign and the car itself, which was featured in an article in the February 2013 edition of CAR magazine.

The museum was closed on 15 December as a show of respect on the day of Madiba’s funeral in Qunu, Eastern Cape. MM


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It is time for the museum to get ready for our display at the horse racing world’s premier event of the year, the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate. FMM is always honoured to receive an invitation to display some of our cars at this fine event, even though we take a back seat to horse power of a different kind. This year the featured cars will be BMWs, which will be on view in a different scenario to the norm. The L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate takes place at Cape Town’s Kenilworth race course on 11 January 2014. WH


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FMM has been approached by local classic car racing impresario Peter Du Toit to support the ‘Passion for Speed’ event at the Zwartkops on 31 January/1 February 2014, at which there will be a tribute to Team Gunston, the oldest branded racing team in the world. We will be taking our Team Gunston Chevron B25 for display at the Gauteng circuit and are looking forward to meeting all the folks from the area in what will be FMM’s first visit to Zwartkops. WH


The Franschhoek Motor Museum wishes each and every one a wonderful festive season and a happy New Year. Please drive safely and enjoy the holidays.


For those of you who have not already seen it, in the December/January edition of Classic & Performance Car Africa magazine there is a feature on FMM’s very original and ‘Oily Rag’ eligible 1926 Talbot 14/45.


January 18-19: Classic Car & Bike Show, Timour Hall, Plumstead, Cape Town

Jan 31/Feb 1: Passion for Speed, Zwartkops

February 7-8: Passion for Speed, Killarney

February 7-8: Midas George Old Car Show

March 1: Woester Wiele Fees, Distillery Way, Langerug, Worcester

April 12-21: Stars of Sandstone steam heritage festival, Ficksberg

May 4: Buick Cadillac Oldsmobile Concours d’Elegance, Country Club, Auckland Park, Johannesburg

May 11: Knysna Motor Show

May 16-18: Knysna Hillclimb

(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 Sunday 10h00 to 18h00 (last admittance 17h00) until 28 February 2014. Please note the museum will be closed on Christmas day ( 25th December 2013).

Admission prices are R60 adults, R50 pensioners, R30 children. An on-site delicatessen offers refreshments and and A Rupert Wines can be enjoyed.


Newsletter text by Mike Monk.Copyright © *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.


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