Franschhoek Motor Museum | March Newsletter

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NB: Please nate a date change on the “EXHAUST BLIPS” section:
May 19: Cars in the Park, Pietermaritzburg

Our March newsletter featuring the following articles: New displays, Back Seat Driver, Workshop manager change, Dave Charlton RIP, Knysna Hillclimb cancelled, JD’s Centenary, Exhaust blips, FMM General Info

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Four new displays have been set up in the museum’s halls. In anticipation of the upcoming Triple-M register’s gathering in Franschhoek from April 5-7 on view is a 1932 J2, a 1953 TD, a 1954 TF, a late-’50s A 1500 and a 1969 C roadster. Note that the Triple-M cars will be on display in the museum’s grounds on the Sunday, April 7. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the launch of the DKW Sonderklasse and a rare Six Club Coupe model is the star of a display of Deeks and Auto-Unions that includes a 1959 100S, a 1960 F91/4 Munga, a 1936 F7 Meisterklasse and a 1938 F7 Meisterklasse Sport Roadster. Then there’s a line-up of Studebakers featuring a 1936 Dictator, a 1955 President, a 1956 Champion sedan, a 1958 Silver Hawk and a 1964 Avanti.There are a couple of significant Ford celebrations taking place this year, and as a build-up to the first of them, Henry Ford’s 150th birthday, a handful of early Fords is on view: a 1903 Model A, a 1911 Model T roadster, a 1915 T woody wagon, a 1922 T panel van and a 1926 T convertible that collectively nicely illustrate Henry’s pioneering days of automobile manufacture.

These displays will soon be joined by a collection of Aston Martins to celebrate 100 years of the marque. MM


Reviving the series of pen pictures of FMM’s behind-the-scenes staff.
This month we feature newcomer; Donny Tarentaal.
Donny joined the museum’s workshop team a couple of months ago after spending the previous three years working in L’Ormarins’ wine tasting department, which shares a facility with the museum’s reception area, deli, offices and boardroom.Donny is the brother of front-of-house manager Pedro and they share the same winning smile. He reports to the workshop manager and his job involves servicing, routine repairs and exercising the cars.

Donny is single but has been courting a young lady for some time. His favourite car in the museum is the Ford Capri Perana developed by South African Basil Green. His favourite meal is a braai and if he won R1 million on the Lotto, he would “buy a nice house. And a Capri Perana…” MM


From left to right: Gary Baker, Lorenzo Farella
Just settling in to his new position as FMM’s workshop manager is Lorenzo Farella. Over March and April Lorenzo will progressively take over the reins from Gary Baker who is taking over as Maintenance Manager on the L’Ormarins Estate.Gary has been in charge of the workshop since 2009 and has seen the museum’s collection grow to over 300 cars of which some 180 are in running order. FMM wishes Gary ‘vasbyt’ in his new career move. A profile of Lorenzo will appear in the next newsletter. MM


Dave Charlton, one of South Africa’s most successful and respected racing drivers, died in Johannesburg on February 24. He was 76. He won the first race he ever competed in (appropriately at the historic East London grand prix circuit in 1960) and also won his last (a charity celebrity race at Zwartkops Raceway in 1990). He competed in 13 World Championship Formula One Grands Prix and was South

Africa’s champion driver for six successive years, from 1970 to 1975.David William Charlton – or Charlie, as he was affectionately known by his friends – was born in Yorkshire, England and emigrated to South Africa with his parents when he was 10. He was brought up in Springs, a town he was proud to associate himself with, although he did not have fond memories of his schooling there. “I hated school. I don’t like being told what to do. Still don’t!” he once said. Charlie was known for his definite opinions, no nonsense approach to life and a famous fastidiousness that used to know no boundaries. He loved cats, at one time owning as many as 21.

He won his first race at the age of 24, a late start for a racing driver, at the wheel of his own Austin-Healey 100/6 in a supporting race for the 1960 South African Grand Prix at East London. He went on to take over from his great rival, Rhodesian John Love, as South African champion racing driver in the days when the championship was contested by Formula One cars. He won the first of his six successive titles (emulating Love’s performance between 1963 and 1969) in an ex-Jo Bonnier Lotus 49C. The same year he finished 12th in the SA GP at Kyalami in the same car.

His first world championship GP (he is one of 20 South Africans to race in Formula One) was at the wheel of an Ecurie Tomahawk Lotus 20 in SA in 1965 and thereafter he competed in the SA round of the world championship on another six occasions in an ex-Jack Brabham Brabham BT11 (1967/8), the Lotus 49C (1970), a works Brabham BT33 (1971) and the Scuderia Scribante Lotus 72D (1972/3) and McLaren M23 (1974/5). He also competed in the British GP in 1971 in the ex-Reine Wissell works Lotus 72D, which was subsequently bought by his patron, Aldo Scribante, for him to race. It was in the Scribante Lotus 72D, sponsored by Lucky Strike and Sasol (the oil company’s first venture into motor sport), that Charlie, as the reigning South African champion, contested the French, German and British rounds of the 1972 F1 World Championship.

A mysterious inner ear infection prevented him from performing at his best, but he will always be remembered for not only bringing his own car to Europe, but also his own petrol (44-gallon drums of Sasol from Sasolburg flown over by South African Airways) as well as his own mechanics and media officers (Peter Burroughes and Robin Emslie). Such was his dominance at Kyalami that the famous Rand Daily Mail cartoonist, Bob Connolly, penned one of his topical Breakfast Quips on a Monday morning after yet another Charlton win the previous weekend, referring to Kyalami as the “Charlton Centre”.

On his 70th birthday he was asked what made the top drivers different? “Their brain is properly connected to their arms and legs,” he replied. “They understand and feel what the car is doing. The top drivers just have an inherent skill and ability.”

He is survived by his daughters, Amanda Vermaak and Michelle Charlton, and a month-old grand-daughter, Anna Vermaak. Peter Burroughes


Too late to preview in this newsletter, the JD Centenary Run will have taken place.  This great event is for motor cycles built up to 1936 and honours those great riders who braved heat, rain, hail and even snow in a race from Durban to the old Transvaal interior along dirt roads though farm gates and over mountain passes in times that today you are only likely to match in a modern car. So congratulations to the organisers and participants both past and present for keeping the JD/DJ alive and we hope there may be many more runnings of this classic event. WH



March 9: Maluti Car Show, Bethlehem Airport
March 9: Extreme Festival, Zwartkops (
March 10: Any Dam Wheels Day, Krugersdorp
March 16: Super Series racing, Killarney (
March 16: Historic racing, Kyalami, (
March 17: Cape Jaguar Club Concours d’état, Killarney (
March 21-24: Garden Route HOG. Rally, The Dunes, Plettenberg Bay  (
March 22-24: Buffalo Rally, Mossel Bay (
March 24: 10th Annual British Sports Car Run (
March 24: 7th Century Motorcycle Run, Century City (

April 1: Gariep Dam Borgward meeting, Gariep Dam
April 5-7: MG Triple-M gathering, Franschhoek
April 6: Super Series, Scribante (
April 6: Regional racing, Killarney (
April 13: Historic Tour, Zwartkops (
April 19-22: Crankhandle Club Tour & Swartland Rally, Riebeek Kasteel(

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

(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


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