Said city spokesman Nthatisi Modingoane: “Not only is it a haven for petrolheads, but history lovers will be enthralled by the evolution of the automobile.”
Established in 1964 by James Hall, it “has stood the test of time” and currently showcases thematic exhibitions of vintage cars, animal-drawn carriages, antique bicycles and motorcycles, buses and coaches, fire engines and equipment, as well as trams and trolley buses.
It also has an assortment of souvenirs, relics and distinct, curiosity cars that are considered priceless, such as the "Outspan Orange" and the 1900 Clement-Panhard, which is the oldest car at the museum.
The museum, in alliance with its support group, The Friends of the James Hall Museum, also hosts interactive and live tours that offer a first-hand experience that includes rides on vintage cars, enabling local and international tourists, as well as car fanatics, to explore the long journey that transportation has travelled.
One of the most interesting rides is hopping on the red London bus, which “offers an element of nostalgia and allows passengers to reminiscence about the perfect love story where people met their loved ones on a bus and not on Facebook,” Modingoane added.
Joburgers can relate to how transport has been depicted and commemorated through popular culture and music. Mbongeni Ngema’s Stimela sase-Zola narrates the poetic story of the lengths to which young men went to meet their loved ones using classic coal-fired steam trains.
The James Hall Museum currently houses more than 2500 exhibits, including the Joule, an electric five-seat passenger car made by Optimal Energy, a South African company based in Cape Town; it's among the biggest transport museums in Africa - and it also has a picnic area and a gift shop.
Other events on the museum calendar include International Museum Day, held annually on 18 May, and the upcoming Eco-Mobility Exhibition, which will be launched in June.
The museum is located at Pioneer Park, Rosettenville Road, La Rochelle. It's closed on Mondays.