The new DS3, customise every feature to suit your style
They called it the Day of the Champions, and they weren't kidding as eight times World champion Phil Read, on a (very early) Suzuki RG500 and former British champion and Isle of Man TT winner, Mick Grant ( on a later version of the same bike) battled it out with local stars Les van Breda (Suzuki TR750) and Peter Labuschagne (replica Arter Matchless 500 Wagon Wheels) at the head of a field of 20 - each a National or World champion in his own right.
The Legends of the TT races attracted even bigger fields, with many historic machines in action, attracting a horde of visitors to the pits to see them up close.
Local magazine publisher Ian Groat fielded no fewer than seven classic machines, mainly British classics - Norton, Matchless and AJS - but also including a Ducati and a howling 250cc four-cylinder Honda for six times World Champion Jim Redman.
But one of the most dominant displays of rider and machine performance came from the managing director of Honda Southern Africa, Yoshiaki Nakamura - a works Honda GP rider in his day - who disappeared into the distance in the final Legends of the TT race on his ex-factory Honda 250 cc two-stroke twin, showing he'd lost none of his skills since swopping racing leathers for a corporate suit.
One of the highlights of the meeting was the SA Classic Tourist Trophy, which is run over three meetings - one each at Port Elizabeth's Aldo Scribante circuit, Zwartkop and then a final race at Killarney on February 4.
The machines are classified according to age and winners at Zwartkop were: Etienne Louw (1975 Kawasaki Z900), Leon van den Berg (1984 Suzuki GSX-R750), James Barson (1990 Yamaha TZR 250) and Scot Robert Burns (1969 Suzuki XR1000). The winner of the three-race series will be presented with the original SA TT trophy, which dates back to 1922.
Sadly, the day was marred by the death of reigning Thunderbike Class B champion Wim Pretorius, following a crash in Turn 5 during the first Thunderbikes race.
Pretorius, 37, was a relative latecomer to motorcycle racing; he entered the sport in 2009 and finished the season ninth overall in the Thunderbikes series despite competing in only eight of the 22 races.
In 2010 he competed in only four races, of which he won two and finished second in the other two, and in 2011 he won Class B of the Zwartkop Thunderbikes championship.