Franschhoek Motor Museum | Januarie Nuusbrief

Sien ons Januarie nuusbrief hier onder, indien u dit nog nie via epos ontvang het nie, TEKEN IN om nie die volgende uitgawe te mis nie. Ons Januarie nuusbrief berig oor die volgende artikels : L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate, Record visits, Website videos, Exhaust blips, FMM General Info


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As an integral part of the L’Ormarins estate, each year the Franschhoek Motor Museum actively supports the annual L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate, the Cape’s most prestigious horse racing event and one of South Africa’s most important calendar affairs. The weight-for-age race sees the best 16 thoroughbred horses in the country accepted according to their merit ratings. This year’s running was held at the Kenilworth Racecourse in Cape Town on 12 January when equestrian contenders competed for the R1 million purse and race-goers were looking to land best-dressed honours. In addition, attendees were able to view some horsepower of a different kind with some of the latest Mercedes-Benz automobiles displayed with a number of classic, rare examples courtesy of the Franschhoek Motor Museum.

It was 1861 when the legendary Queen’s Plate race first thundered on African soil, with a prize of a silver plate and 500 sovereigns donated to the winner by Queen Victoria. The race signalled a meeting of racing excellence, style and grace that has continued unsurpassed in the history of South African horse racing. The occasion is marked with blue-and-white themed fashions, world-class entertainment and a variety of hospitality and culinary offerings.

Sponsored by L’Ormarins since 2005, the Queen’s Plate has become one of the Cape’s acclaimed social gatherings where art and passion are captured not only in equestrian endeavours but also in the ancient wine-making skills evident in the Antonij Rupert Wines on offer – and not to forget the Three-pointed Star cars.

The eighth race on the race day’s programme, the 2013 L’Ormarins Queens Plate had a dramatic start – well, non-start actually – when a couple of horses left the starting gate before the flag dropped, causing a delay while the breakaway animals were brought back. The second start was clean and the field stayed together throughout the classic mile race but it was the 2012 Equus Champion and favourite for the event, Variety Club, ridden by Anton Marcus, that moved into the lead and crossed the line first to loud cheers and great applause from the packed spectator areas.

Apart from earning the winner’s purse of R625 000, Variety Club could receive automatic entry into the lucrative $26 million Breeder’s Cup Mile in the USA later in the year. This comes after negotiations between L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate marketing head Jonathon Snaith and Breeders’ Cup Director of Racing Jonathan Christian led to a proposal to incorporate the Queen’s Plate into the Breeders’ Cup Challenge ‘Win and You’re In’ series. “The L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate has been positioned as not only the most celebrated weight-for-age South African equestrian championship, but also South Africa’s first international horse race. Any partnership formed with the Breeders’ Cup will enhance its status on the world stage,” said Snaith.

In glorious sunny – and not too windy – conditions, the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate race day lasted from 11h00 to 23h00 and was truly a festive affair with celebrities including the reigning Miss South Africa, Marilyn Ramos, revelling in the party atmosphere. The three Mercedes-Benz displays added appreciable style to the occasion with FMM’s 1929 S-Type providing a stark contrast with the 1955 300SL Gullwing and 1957 300SL Roadster displayed alongside the new SLS-based equivalents. On another stand, the museum’s 1938 540K was partnered with the latest CLS63 AMG and the all-new Shooting Brake. On the lawn in front of the main stand just before the finishing post the 1971 280SE Cabriolet, 1980 450SEL 6,9 saloon and 2003 DTM Coupé lined up with other new Mercedes models in an impressive display of mechanical horsepower set against the backdrop of some of the country’s finest race horses competing for the sport’s coveted Queen’s Plate. Altogether a star-studded occasion.


Attendance figures to the Franschhoek Motor Museum for December 2012 broke all previous records. Although closed for two of the 31 days, a total of 7 904 people visited the museum during the month with no less than 903 people walking through and admiring the displays on a single day – the 27th. The museum’s tour guides, deli and wine-tasting staff had a bumper month to remember – and at the time of going to print, the figures for January are similarly impressive. The display theme of 70 years of Fords, which included a 110-year-old Model A, has proven very popular, but the collections in the other three halls have been similarly admired.

By way of comparison, when the museum opened in May 2007 the first full year’s attendance was 16 519, a figure now been achieved during the museum’s December/January season…


Pictures with descriptions of 20 of the museum’s most prestigious cars were recently added to this new-look website, but the exciting news is that complementary 90-second video clips of these same cars will be uploaded onto the site very soon, adding sights and sounds to these breathtaking cars.


Look out for the February/March issue of Classic &Performance Car Africa for a feature on FMM’s 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible.

January 20 Timour Hall Classic Car Show, Plumstead, Cape Town

February 1-3 12th Passion for Speed, Zwartkops

February 3 Crankhandle Club Kalk Bay Veteran Run, Cape Town

February 5-7 SAVVA National Edwardian & Veteran Tour, George

February 8-9 12th Passion for Speed, Kyalami

February 9-10 Midas George Old Car Show, George

February 16 Regional racing, Killarney

March 7-9 JD Motor Cycle rally

March 16 Super Series racing, Killarney

April 5-7 MG Triple-M gathering, Franschhoek

April 6 Regional racing, Killarney



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.


Newsletter text by Mike Monk.

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