Doctor Rory Byrne, former Chief Designer and now consultant to Ferrari, has officially opened the Munster Motor Museum

Doctor Rory Byrne, former Chief Designer and now consultant to Ferrari, has officially opened the Munster Motor Museum.

Rod Kinsey, who has together with Con Engelbrecht and Ken Sink, managed the iconic Classic Cars and Motorcycles in Margate for 4 years, has built a motor museum in a specially constructed barn on his family estate to give the vintage cars a new home that reflects his family’s lifelong passion and contribution to cars and motor racing.

The Kinsey family collectively has over 150 years engineering and motoring experience. Rod’s great grandfather William Barnes Kinsey, who received an acknowledgement from the London Patents Office in February 1867 for “improvements in gas engines” was also the engineer in charge of building Port Shepstone harbour in 1898. Rod’s grandfather, father and himself have followed in William’s footsteps by following a life of engineering and motoring.

The Munster Motor Museum gives an interactive display of antique cars from restoration in the workshop to final display and will continuously revolve its collection to showcase between 10 and 20 classic cars at any one time.

Providing a loving home for these classic beauties, the museum also features motorcycles; a quirky fold-up cycle from yesteryear; motor engines and models showing the inner workings of steam, diesel, petrol and electric engines; a large and enviable range of model planes, ships & automobiles; motor related artefacts from shipping, motoring and flying.

Dr. Byrne, who was born in Pretoria and is most famous for being the Chief Designer at the Benetton and especially the Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 teams from 1996-2006, received Doctorates in Engineering from both Wits University and Trento University in Italy. He remains a consultant to Ferrari, having designed cars for them that won 99 Grand Prix, 7 constructors’ titles and 7 drivers’ titles and is reputed to be its third most successful F1 designer of all time. 

Dr. Byrne said at the opening of the Munster Motor Museum, where he was guest speaker that, for the past 35 yearshe has known Rod for his passion for and great interest in F1. He wished him well with the Museum.

Rod, who has a long history of racing and racing car maintenance and repair on the tracks and as part of the team at Classic Cars & Motorcycles, has shared some of his family’s special memorabilia on the walls of the museum, including photos and newspaper clippings of his racing days.

The museum is situated on the beautiful 12ha Sithela Country Estate, which has been in the family since 1936, with part of it having been declared a nature reserve. You are sure to spot bushbuck, Grey Duiker, “Xamu”, the isiZulu word for water monitors, chameleons and a host of birdlife from guinea fowl, hadedas, Mallard Ducks, Herons, Pied Kingfisher, Loeries, Fish Eagles, Starlings and more on various trails.

The Munster Motor Museum welcomes visitors, locals and groups. Entrance will cost between R5 and R20 with special rates for pensioners, scholars, groups and frequent customers.