Franschhoek Motor Museum | June Newsletter

View our latest newsletter and if you are not registered yet, SIGN UP NOW Our June newsletter featuring the following articles: FMM at Top Gear Festival, Fathers’ Day, Back Seat Driver, Exhaust blips, FMM General Info

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It was a long time in the planning but following on the success of last year’s FMM participation in the Top Gear Festival in Durban, this year the museum was invited back as part of the street circuit activity with the theme of celebrating 90 years of Le Mans. In what was quite a logistical challenge for the workshop team, no less than 14 cars were prepared and shipped to KZN to entertain the thousands of spectators who attended the festival.

The cars taken up were the 1928 Bugatti T35, Dickon Daggitt’s 1939 Lagonda, 1953 Austin-Healey 100M, 1955 Moretti 750, 1955 Aston Martin DB3S, 1956 Jaguar D-Type, 1956 Maserati 150S, Di Dugmore’s 1957 Lotus X1, 1961 Ferrari 250 Lusso, 1971 McLaren M6. Back-up vehicles were the 1964 Aston Martin DB4 GT and 1969 MG C hardtop. Johann Rupert’s 2005 Mercedes-Benz DTM was also given a run. To drive the cars, joining the FMM team of Wayne Harley, Lorenzo Farella and Deon de Waal were Chris Routledge, Dickon Daggitt, Fred Phillips, Derek Hulse, Dave Alexander, Di Dugmore and Mike Monk. In addition, Alan Dike joined the team with his spectacular Mazda 767B Group C sports prototype and to cap off the list, double Formula One World Champion Mika Häkkinen piloted the museum’s 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing. When not running, the cars were on display to the public who reacted with much interest.

Besides practice sessions on the Thursday and Friday to allow everyone to familiarise themselves with the very tight and demanding makeshift street circuit around the Moses Mabhida Stadium (where the Top Gear crew of Clarkson, May, Hammond and The Stig performed their show), the FMM team put on two shows each on the Saturday and Sunday to enthusiastic applause from the appreciative crowds who packed the grandstands. Apart from the Moretti that developed a misfire, all of the cars performed without any notable problems. The front brakes of the Gullwing had to be cleared of clogging dust after Mika’s first (very enthusiastic) driving stint and the Austin-Healey had a minor fuel pick-up glitch during one session.

As one of the star acts of the festival, the FMM Tribute to 90 Years of Le Mans was a great success and congratulations are due to all for making it happen. It is perhaps testament to the organisation that Mika took time out to join the team at the L’Ormarins hospitality unit and spent quite some time interacting with everyone and enjoying video clips of the Franschhoek estate. At the end of the show’s final run, Mika parked up the Gullwing and stood and applauded the rest of the cars into the paddock. Nuff said!  MM


Father’s Day advertisements: check. Scrumptious deli menu and coffee station: check. Good weather forecast: check. Everything was in place and the Fathers’ Day celebration at the museum turned out to be another successful day with a total of 773 guests enjoying the display of vehicles. Because of the lovely sunny weather, FMM pulled out an eclectic mix of cars for drives around the oval: 1953 BMW 502, 1954 Bentley R-type, 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible, 1958 Mercedes-Benz 220, 1959 Cadillac Series 62 Sedan, 1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Ti, 1965 Alfa Romeo 2600 Berlina, 1970 Cadillac Sedan de Ville, 1972 Buick Riviera, 1972 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow and the Madiba’s 46664 campaign BMW 750Li. The Ferrari Enzo too exchanged the florescent lights for sunlight for a while and was the perfect model for every camera, cellphone and iPad.

I would like to give a big thank you to each staff member and visitor for contributing to the success of this annual open-house day at the museum. KR


Another in the series of pen pictures of FMM’s behind-the-scenes staff. This month we feature a valued consultant to the workshop team, Dickon Daggitt

Expertise is priceless and when it comes to trouble-shooting problems with old cars – and they CAN give trouble! – FMM is fortunate to be able to call on Dickon Daggitt to help solve any sticky problems that arise. Now officially a consultant engineer to FMM, Dickon is very much into helping and encouraging younger and less experienced workshop personnel with hands-on tuition, an approach he carries out in his business interests too. He is a self-confessed stickler for an ‘if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right first time’ approach.

Born in Cape Town, Dickon’s spent his high school years in the then Rhodesia before returning to Cape Town to attend university where he earned his degree in mechanical engineering before moving to the UK to do his masters degree in naval architecture, a career he then pursued. His interest in cars came naturally and while overseas he began racing, initially in an MG TF before taking up an interest in single-seaters, taking part in Formula 500 and Formula Junior races as well as buying and selling such cars. He continued this involvement after moving to America before returning to Cape Town where he has resided ever since. His stature was such that back in the 1990s he was invited and took part in the first Monaco Historic GP and the first Goodwood Revival meetings with his Scorpion Formula Junior car, participating in both races for a couple more years afterwards.

Dickon currently owns a dozen classics all of which he maintains personally. Despite his mature years – albeit he was cited as bringing a youthful element to FMM’s Top Gear Festival representation! – Dickon can still ‘put foot’ and certainly looked the part at the wheel of the museum’s Bugatti on the Durban festival’s tight and demanding street circuit.

Oh, and the name Dickon? It’s a nickname borne out of the need to be readily identified amongst his family’s numerous other male members being called Richard (his true Christian name). Far from being simply made up, Dickon is a derivation of Richard and the name by which Britain’s King Richard III was known. MM


Read all about it: In the June/July issue of Classic & Performance Car Africa, as well as the regular FMM News page there is a feature on the museum’s 1955 Studebaker President. Also see the July issue of topCar magazine which features FMM’s 1934 Ford Roadster in a comparison with a ’34 street rod.


June 29 : Sylviavale Heritage Museum vehicle auction (

June 29 : ProTour, Kyalami (

June 29 : Super Series, East London (

July 13-14 : Nelspruit Motor Show

July 27 : Historic Tour, Zwartkops (

August 4 : Cars in the Park, Zwartkops  (

August 8 : Old Auto Club Cars in the Park, Welkom

August 8 : Free State Cars in the Park, Pasteur Ave, Bloemfontein

August 14-17 : SAVVA National Car & Bike Tour

August 17 : Historic racing, Kyalami (,.za)

(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


Newsletter text by Mike Monk.

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