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The incredible automotive excesses of the ‘50s and ‘60s will dazzle visitors to the winter edition of The Classic Car Show at Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec on Sunday, July 7.
“There is something about the absolute limitless of these cars’ designs that pushes buttons in people,” says organiser Paulo Calisto, who has promoted some of the most successful classic car events ever seen in the Gauteng area in the past 12 months. Calisto’s Classiccars.co.za organisation is promoting the show, as in past events, in conjunction with Rolling Thunder, the Robertsham classic restoration business specialising in V8 “muscle”.
“Talking about pushing buttons, if you look inside these cars, they are fitted with an array of knobs and buttons and levers in gleaming chrome and stainless steel that you simply don’t see on modern cars,” he adds.
The real muscle car revolution in fact began in the 1950s and there will be plenty of Chevrolets from the famous tri-Chevy years on display, the cars from 1955 through 1957. This was the heyday of chrome mouldings down the long flanks of American cars, and tail fins that simply seemed to get bigger every year.
Then there is the factor of what’s under the bonnet. The most-produced engine of all time is the famous small-block Chevy V8, which made its debut in 1955 in the Chevrolet Corvette and the myriad versions of the ’55 Chevy sedan. That term “small-block” is a matter of a frame of reference.
When the small, light Chevrolet V8 first appeared it was indeed only 4.3 litres in size, but the small block was subsequently produced by Chevrolet themselves in sizes up to six litres, and many aftermarket hot rodders punched it out to seven litres.
Of course, there were other famous V8s too, such as the Ford Thunderbird and the famous Chrysler Hemis, which were the most powerful of all.
Big V8s were still the order of the day in the ‘70s when the fast-car movement focussed on the so-called pony cars, such as the Ford Mustang, the Chevrolet Camaro and the Pontiac Firebird. These cars, known also as muscle cars today, are the most collectible of all classics at the moment, with even a scruffy Ford Mustang fetching upwards of R300 000.
Paulo Calisto is keen to point out, however, that there is much more to the Winter Edition of The Classic Car Show than American muscle.
“We have enjoyed incredible support from the marque clubs in the past few shows, with cars like British Triumphs, Swedish Volvos, and English Ford Cortina’s turning out in their droves. We’ve also had amazing support from individual car builders such as the awesome Mercedes C11 recreation built on the East Rand, and the Subaru-engined Pumas, also built by a private enthusiast. These Pumas were in fact VW Beetle-engined kit cars in the early 1970s, although they were built as fully-built up sports cars in Brazil.”
A highlight of this winter show for serious buyers, as well as casual viewers, will be a Classic Car Auction.
As in previous shows, there will be plenty of entertainment for the kids, including a section of the amusement park at Nasrec opened up for the day, Helicopter Rides, a Flea Market catering to all interest, a “Swap Meet” as well as wall-to-wall rock music from the awesomely talented Kieran Rennie and the sexy Ashley. There will also be an Elvis impersonator, and the amazing sound-impersonator, Morgan Beat Box, who is internationally acclaimed for his ability to produce up to 10 sounds from his mouth all at once.
The Classic Car Show will open its doors at the Nasrec Expo Centre, south west of Johannesburg, at 8 am to petrolheads on Sunday July 7 2013. Exhibitors who want to bring their special show cars the night before will be catered for with special parking and security.
Admission for the show will be at Gate Five. Admission prices on July 7 will be R60 for adults, while children under 12 will have free entry. Anyone driving a classic car will also be admitted free as well as one adult passenger, but additional adult passengers will have to pay the full admission fee.
The Nasrec Expo Centre is located to the east of the N1 Highway, close to Soccer City, on Rand Show Road, Nasrec. (GPS – S26° 14.810’ E27° 58.695’).
For further information contact Paulo Calisto on 082 7791679 (011) 432-0463 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org