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Count down to Cars in the Park on August 4, 2024

Source: Motorpress /Stuart Johnston Communications

Count down to Cars in the Park on August 4, 2024

The count-down to South Africa’s biggest classic car event has begun in earnest. On August 4, 2024, the 42nd Cars in the Park will take place at the Zwartkops Raceway near Pretoria, and the signs are that once again the event will be bigger and better than ever.

The count-down to South Africa’s biggest classic car event has begun in earnest.
“The Cars in the Park for 2024 is just over two months away, and it’s all systems go for another wonderful event,” says Frik Kraamwinkel, the chief organiser of this event which is once again being run by the Pretoria Old Motor Club.

“As usual, we will be catering for over 2 500 classic and special-interest vehicles at Zwartkops, and we are again expecting upwards of 10 000 visitors. There will be a number of special-interest events that we will be celebrating in the classic car world, and our annual show will high light many of these,” says Kraamwinkel.

For many classic car lovers, the standout feature of the 2024 Cars in the Park will be the 60th celebration of the Ford Mustang. The Mustang legend keeps growing every year, and at Zwartkops on August 4, visitors can expect to see examples of all the iconic models that have made the Mustang such a legend in South Africa over the past six decades.

The first Mustang went on sale in America during April 1964 and became the fastest-selling new car in history. It was launched globally as a 1965 model, and in that year South Africans were able to see the first examples of Ford’s pony car, which was only available in left-hand-drive, as a special import. The first right-hand-drive Mustangs only became available half a century later and since then Mustang fever has been sky-high in this country. Many left-hand-drive models were privately imported here, and some very special models, such as the Shelby examples from the late 1960s are expected at Zwartkops on August 4.

A number of other marques are celebrating special anniversaries this year, notably Porsche with its equally-iconic 911 series. Porsche first showed the original car in Frankfurt, Germany, badged as a 901 model in 1963, but it went on sale in 1964 as a 911. A small number of South African enthusiasts were able to purchase specially-imported examples of this stand-out sports car, so fans can look forward to a full sweep of classic Porsche 911 models at this year’s Cars in the Park.

Fiat is one of the oldest car brands in the world, and this year the famous Italian brand celebrates 125 years since the company was formed in 1899 by Giovanni Agnelli. Fiats have long enjoyed a special place in the hearts of South African enthusiasts, and Fiat club members are organising some very special models from the company’s history for August 4.

In the pit area at Zwartkops, the Pretoria Old Motor Club traditionally assembles a display of special interest vehicles, under the guidance of long-standing POMC member Emil Kuschke. This year, says Kuschke, the focus will be on Pre-World War Two cars, dating back from the late 1930s to the vintage era. Several fascinating examples of these older cars will line up in the Zwartkops pits focussing on the rounded shapes that became popular in the mid-to-late 1930s. These shapes also extended through to the late 1940s, as most manufacturers continued with existing pre-war models well after World War Two ended in 1945.

The Pretoria Old Motor Club’s membership has a strong focus on earlier cars in South Africa’s motoring history, and it will be fascinating for visitors to see motorcars from America, England and Europe dating back over 100 years, and comparing them with modern supercars, which will also be on display at Zwartkops.

“We have once again received requests from over 100 cars clubs for specific display areas, and the fascinating aspect of the clubs’ displays is that they showcase members’ cars which are often very old, sometime dating back to the 1920s and earlier, right through to the modern era. A good example of this is the Mercedes-Benz Club.”, says Frik Kraamwinkel.

“The motor clubs have always shown tremendous support for our show, and we are very aware of their importance to the old car movement.”

However, the unique aspect of Cars in the Park is that ordinary, non-club-affiliated owners of classic cars built more than 30 years ago are also invited to showcase their cars on August 4. Drivers of classic cars and one passenger will be admitted free of charge to the show and traditionally this policy by the club has seen all sorts of weird and wonderful classic cars turning up at the event – some immaculate, others in a delightfully-scruffy state of presentation.

“Every year we see cars that have been recently unearthed in an old barn or garage and brought out specially for Cars in the Park. So even regular visitors to our annual show over the past forty-something years can look forward to seeing newly-discovered classics they have never seen before.”

Over the years, Cars in the Park has grown to be a wonderful family-day of entertainment, even for people who are new to the classic car scene. This year there will be close to 140 stalls selling everything from full-sized motorcars to model cars, clothing, books, tools, and novelties. There will also be live music, special children entertainment, and plenty of food and drink on offer.

A highlight of this year’s show will also be a special rally stage run on the Zwartkops karting circuit in the heart of the show area.

The grounds at Zwartkops Raceway, located on the R55 route near Laudium, west of Pretoria, will be open to receive classic cars from 6 am on Sunday, August 4, 2024, and enthusiasts wanting to show their genuine classics are advised to have their cars on show by 8.30 am. Drivers of classic cars, plus one passenger, will be admitted free of charge before 8.30 am.

The gates for the general public open at 8.30 am, and this year tickets for the show will be available from iTickets at R120 for adults, while children under 12 will be admitted free of charge. Adult tickets at the gate will cost R140.
On August 4, 2024, the 42nd Cars in the Park will take place at the Zwartkops Raceway near Pretoria
Pretoria Old Motor Club.

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