The Classic Car Show at Nasrec is back

This one-day show on July 3 is not to be missed.

This is the first show since 2019 and owners of many old-timers, hot Golfs, BMWs, Honda Civics, Toyota Corolla TRDs and the like, Germany versus Japan display for “young-timer” classics, will be there for your delight.

“We decided to separate the two groups on display as far as entering the arena is concerned, to avoid any build-up of traffic when the exhibitors enter early on Sunday morning,” said organiser Paulo Calisto. “The show became so popular in the past that we were blocking off huge sections of Rand Show Road from 06:30! This time around, my marshals will direct the two groups of car to their appropriate entrances.

“Oh, and even better news, the forecast for Sunday is bright and sunny, which will be an added bonus for families wanting to get out and enjoy the fresh air, after a couple of miserable weekends, weather-wise. Also along the family-friendly theme, tickets cost only R80 for adults and kids under 12 pay R20. And adult tickets are even cheaper if booked through Computicket, at R60!”

A 1970s Holden Monaro was General Motors’ V8 muscle car offering here.

From the classic perspective, there will be a wide range of cars on display. But as in the past, it is expected that machines from the Muscle Car genre will be the dominant force. In previous shows, many serious muscle car builders have used the Classic Car Show to debut their latest creations, and with a three-year hiatus for this show, due to Covid-19 restrictions, a whole bunch of newly reminted Mustangs, Camaros, Chargers, Barracudas, Challengers and Pontiac GTOs are expected to take pride of place on the Nasrec paving.

In addition to the muscle cars, which are recognised as having been built in America from 1964 to the mid-1970s, there will be dozens of larger American sedans and convertibles on show and these date from the mid-1950s through to the mid-1970s. The cars you should look out for here will be the classics from the so-called Tri-Chevy years – 1955 to 1957 – that many hot-rodders reckon was the zenith for Chevrolet production. Interestingly, the Chevies of this period changed quite dramatically in appearance every year, although closer examination reveals that they all had the same basic body structure, and the stylists simply added different grilles, different chrome side-flashes and larger tail fins.

Fairmont GT from the early 1970s, a home-grown South African muscle car.

From 1961 onwards, American designers tended to drop the tail fins, but the massive land yachts were no less dramatic in terms of the impression they made. In this day and age one can only marvel at the idea of little old ladies in giant Ford, Dodges and Chevrolet Impalas executing parallel parking manoeuvres in these cars, which were almost six metres long!

Since the mid-1930s, American pick-up trucks have been hugely popular, and in the past decade, a whole pick-up-truck movement has been growing in South Africa. The pick-ups are sometimes presented in completely original form, while others have been radically hot-rodded with huge wheels and even bigger V8s crammed beneath their bonnets. The great thing about building a classic pick-up truck is that they not only look good, but because they are simple with minimal trim, they are easier to build than a classic car of the same period. What’s more, if you happen to need a fridge that needs transporting or a load of wood, you can carefully place a tarpaulin on the pristine load bed to avoid scratches, and put your classic pick-up to work!

South African car freaks are indeed fortunate due to the fact that we have had a vast variety of manufacturers doing business in this country over the past century. So at Nasrec on Sunday you are likely to see Austin, Morris, Jaguar and Vauxhall nameplates from England, Volkswagen and DKW and Opel badges from Germany, Italian Alfa Romeos and Fiats, and French Renaults and Peugeots.

You may well see some South African-specific cars too, such as the Ranger assembled here by General Motors specifically for our market in the late 1960s, or the much-loved GSM Dart sports cars that were built by a bunch of enthusiasts in Cape Town in the 1960s. As for other South African built cars, it is important to realise that most of the Cobra sports cars you will see are in fact South African-built kits, replicating the famous V8 sports machines created by Texan Carroll Shelby in the 1960s.

Expect very strong displays from the owners of Ford Cortinas and Ford Escorts. In recent years the Ford Escort 1600 Sport and Escort RS2000 models have become extremely collectable and valuable, mainly because of the demand for rust-free examples of these cars in the UK. The ones that have remained here are prized indeed! The same goes for larger Fairmont GTs and Holden Monaros, which are sought after by Austrian buyers, as these cars had their roots in Australia when they were assembled here in South Africa in the early 1970s.

By 1961 American cars had lost their tail fins. This smooth, clean beauty is a 1965 Cadillac Coupe de Ville.

In the Germany versus Japan display, the accent will be on much more modern Volkswagen Golfs, BMW 3-Series, Honda Civics, Toyota Corollas, and dozens of customised Citi Golfs. These cars have all achieved cult-like status among the boy-racer brigade, who pride themselves on radical paint jobs, booming sound systems, suspensions that see the cars lowered almost to the pavement, and engines often massaged with giant turbochargers. Look out, too, for very special Nissan 1400 pick-ups with radical engine transplants lurking beneath their bonnets.

For more information, contact Paulo Calisto on 060 524 3767 or visit

Source: MotorPress

Matthys Ferreira

Served in SAPS for 22 years - specialised in forensic and crime scene investigation and forensic photography. A stint in photographic sales and management followed. Been the motoring editor at Lowveld Media since 2007. "A petrol head I am not but I am good at what I do".
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