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There are motor shows with prettier settings and shows that concentrate more intensely on one or two aspects of the classic-car movement but, for sheer variety and numbers, no car show can hold a candle to Cars in the Park organised in Pretoria in August each year by the Pretoria Old Motor Club.
Last year more than 3000 special-interest vehicles were on display and for this, the 31st edition on Sunday 5 August, the convenors are expecting even more cars, bikes, tractors, trucks and machinery of all types.
Show committee chairman Theo Stander says that for 2012 the emphasis will be on so-called 'loose-light' cars - those with headlights mounted on the mudguards, rather than enclosed in more streamlined fashion to become part of the bodywork.
In general this means cars that were built before the Second World War, although there are many exceptions on both sides of this timeline, such as the Cord 810/812 which had retractable headlights in the front wings as far back as 1936 and Citroen Light 15, which retained its stand-alone headlights until 1957.
BOTH ENDS OF THE SCALE
Other special-interest groups featured this year will be micro-cars such as Isetta, Messerschmitt and Goggomobil, and, at the other end of the scale, huge examples of American Iron, ranging from the extravagantly finned and chrome-laden land yachts of the 1950s to muscle-cars of the late '60s and early '70s.
More than 100 car clubs will be represented, from Vintage and Veteran groups to contemporary marque enthusiasts such as the Datsun Club.
There will also be a huge flea market, a craft market, live music, a Red Carpet auction of high-end cars, ranging from supercars to extremely valuable classics and karting for kids on the ultra-safe Zwartkop kart track, as well as drifting demonstrations on this tight
GET THERE EARLY
The gates will open at 6.30am for exhibitor vehicles and 7am for spectators who arrive in modern cars, for whom special parking has been arranged.
Improvements to the main access road to the circuit, the R55, will make access and exit much easier than previously - but you still need to get there early, to have to time to see all fascinating machinery on display at what is thought to be the biggest car show of any type in South Africa.
For more information contact organiser Theo Stander on 082 421 3899, or Jan Nel on 082 442 3480.