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George Car Show 2005
Part 2

Broadcast dates : 27th February 2005
3rd March 2005

The progress in automobile design in the next few decades was exponential. From the carriage concept, cars embraced the saloon concept, where driver and passenger could be cocooned in luxury.

South Africa was fortunate in sourcing cars from all over the world – America, Germany and England being the big suppliers, hence our rich motoring history.

Styling became an art form and this is best evidenced by the 1930s and the immediate post-war years, when the lines became more flowing and radiator grills were intricate artwork.

Some of the best styles came from mass producers like Ford and Chevrolet.

Engineering progress was dramatic too, especially following World War Two. By the late 1950s and early ‘60s, production cars like Jaguars were capable of two-hundred kilometres-per-hour, and more in the case of the E-Type.
Britain was the home of sports cars and names like Sunbeam, Austin Healey and Triumph were every schoolboy’s dream machines.

They were modestly fast but loads of fun and affordable to the average man or woman.
So different was America’s idea of a sports car. The Chevrolet Corvette of this same period was dripping with chrome and lavished with styling features from the jet age.

It was also about twice as big as its British counterparts, even though it was considered tiny by the Americans.

By the late 1950s, Corvettes came with potent V8 power and this fuel-injection model will accelerate to a hundred kilometres-per-hour in around eight seconds and top out at over two-hundred hundred kilometres-per-hour if the driver is brave enough.
American machinery was always popular in South Africa, especially amongst farmers, who loved the rugged trucks and pick-ups issuing from Detroit.

International Harvester is a name that has largely disappeared from our roads now, but in the 1950s these six- and eight-cylinder pick-ups were regarded with some reverence, fast and strong in their day.

Willem Esterhuizen, a Karoo farmer, has owned this 1955 International three-quarter-tonner from new.
American cars are somewhat maligned in terms of their aesthetics. But who could deny the grace and elegance of these Virgil Exner designs of the late 1950s, exhibited by this pair of Chrysler New Yorkers? Fins and the ‘50s were intertwined forever.

The muscle car era of the ‘60s and ‘70s had about as much grace as rap music. In your face was the theme of Pontiac Firebirds, Mercury Cougars and the Chev Impala SS. It’s party-time, baby.
Boris Kozhanow owns this 1970 Dodge Charger, a recognized muscle classic. Concealed headlights, fast-back-styling, four-hundred-and-forty cubes of wedge-head V8, and a pedigree from the television series The Dukes of Hazard. Whee Hah!
A polar opposite to a muscle car is this 1921 Benz Tourer, a show-piece at the Mercedes-Benz camp in George.

The 1920s were extravagant years for the automobile as the interior of lavish leather and quality fittings shows.

The Mercedes club had probably the strongest presence of all at the show, with cars ranging from the conservative but classy 180 S and 220 S of the 1950s, to the more extravagant Adenauer 300 S and the sexy 190 SL sports cars.

Timeless is not the word that comes to mind here. "Outasight", maybe, or "Bling on Wheels".

At one stage of its life this was a Toyota Hilux.

Maxwell, Ford, Triumph, Willys…. quite literally, Cars for Africa.

And for those running out of garage space, there are a couple of souvenirs to take home from the George Show

Quite simply the best car show in the country at the moment. And the organizers have already started planning the 2006 event.

Click here to see the George Motor Show part 1

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