By Dave Abrahams
Cape Town – In many ways the IPA Classic Car and Motorcycle Show, held on the third weekend of each year at Timour Hall Villa in Plumstead, is a social history platform.
Letting a car-struck 12-year-old peer into the cabin of a car just like the one Grandad rode in with his father, with its unmistakeable smell of hot oil and old leather, hearing its fast clattery idle and the “Ah-Ooh-Gah” of its hooter makes a far deeper impression than any photo album or YouTube video.
Because he simply won’t grasp how big a 1930 Bentley Speed Six or a 1940 Packard is – or how small an 1937 Austin 7 – until he stands next to one. And any young motocross or short-circuit rider who’s helped prepare his state-of-the art race bike will take one look at a 1914 Douglas and understand how little basic motorcycle architecture has changed over the past century.
So it was gratifying to see how many children, from toddlers to teens, were dragging their parents – or grandparents - from display to display, demanding answers to often very insightful questions, which the proud owners of the cars and bikes on display were only too happy to supply if their parents couldn’t.