The first owner of this elegant 1915 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost was the British Admiralty. Picture: Dave Abrahams
The first owner of this elegant 1915 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost was the British Admiralty. Picture: Dave Abrahams
Polished brass fittings and wooden wheels epitomise Edwardian motoring. Picture: Dave Abrahams
Polished brass fittings and wooden wheels epitomise Edwardian motoring. Picture: Dave Abrahams
Three-litre 1929 Sunbeam 20.9 Special shows exquisite attention to detail... Picture: Dave Abrahams
Three-litre 1929 Sunbeam 20.9 Special shows exquisite attention to detail... Picture: Dave Abrahams
...Not least the the hand-polished copper fuel tank. Picture: Dave Abrahams
...Not least the the hand-polished copper fuel tank. Picture: Dave Abrahams
Pre-war Americana lined up for inspection: Buick, Chevrolet and Packard. Picture: Dave Abrahams
Pre-war Americana lined up for inspection: Buick, Chevrolet and Packard. Picture: Dave Abrahams
One look at this line-up tells you why the Morris Minor is affectionately known as the 'Jelly Mould'. Picture: Dave Abrahams
One look at this line-up tells you why the Morris Minor is affectionately known as the 'Jelly Mould'. Picture: Dave Abrahams
Superb 1950s Mercedes-Benz 190SL Roadster attracted a lot of favourable comment. Picture: Dave Abrahams
Superb 1950s Mercedes-Benz 190SL Roadster attracted a lot of favourable comment. Picture: Dave Abrahams
The Jaguar E-Type was described by Enzo Ferrari as the world's most beautiful car. Picture: Dave Abrahams
The Jaguar E-Type was described by Enzo Ferrari as the world's most beautiful car. Picture: Dave Abrahams
The Ford Mustang achieved classic status the day it was released in April 1964. This is a 1966 convertible. Picture: Dave Abrahams
The Ford Mustang achieved classic status the day it was released in April 1964. This is a 1966 convertible. Picture: Dave Abrahams
Four-cylinder motorcycles are nothing new: FN built them a century ago. Picture: Dave Abrahams
Four-cylinder motorcycles are nothing new: FN built them a century ago. Picture: Dave Abrahams
In 1917 the Indian PowerPlus was the state of the art, with a kick-starter and suspension at both ends. Picture: Dave Abrahams
In 1917 the Indian PowerPlus was the state of the art, with a kick-starter and suspension at both ends. Picture: Dave Abrahams
Late 1930s Triumph wears modern rubber - a practical classic. Picture: Dave Abrahams
Late 1930s Triumph wears modern rubber - a practical classic. Picture: Dave Abrahams
Alfred Angas Scott patented his Squirrel water-cooled two-stroke twin in 1908 and the company he founded was still making them in 1947. Picture: Dave Abrahams
Alfred Angas Scott patented his Squirrel water-cooled two-stroke twin in 1908 and the company he founded was still making them in 1947. Picture: Dave Abrahams
Compact Garelli sportster was every schoolboy's dream in the early 1960s. Picture: Dave Abrahams
Compact Garelli sportster was every schoolboy's dream in the early 1960s. Picture: Dave Abrahams
Aprilia, Cagiva, Ducati - names to conjure with, then and now. Picture: Dave Abrahams
Aprilia, Cagiva, Ducati - names to conjure with, then and now. Picture: Dave Abrahams
Contemporary Moto Guzzis retain the signature transverse V-twin architecture: Picture: Dave Abrahams
Contemporary Moto Guzzis retain the signature transverse V-twin architecture: Picture: Dave Abrahams
We're not sure whether this one-off Enfield-based custom is a classic, but it certainly is distinctive. Picture: Dave Abrahams
We're not sure whether this one-off Enfield-based custom is a classic, but it certainly is distinctive. Picture: Dave Abrahams

Cape Town – Neither scorching heat nor drought-borne dust kept petrolheads from as far away as Michigan in the United States away from the 18th annual IPA Classic Car and Bike show at Timour Hall Villa in Plumstead at the weekend.

Both exhibitor and visitor numbers were up over the previous two years, including a number of rare and unusual vehicles not seen before at Timour Hall.

They ranged from a couple of old school custom-built motorcycles, one based on a Royal Enfield Bullet, but with a style all its own, to vintage military vehicles on the Heritage Group stand (including an ex-Wehrmacht field kitchen nicknamed the Goulash Cannon that was serving delicious German sausage rolls) to a perfect running replica of a 1967 Ferrari P4 endurance racing car.

Notable rarities 

Other notable rarities included the world’s one and only right-hand drive Lancia Thema 8.32, the only known example of a Vootrekker motorcycle (hand-built in Pretoria in 1916), and a 1917 Indian PowerPlus which, when the owner started it, idled evenly with a very un-vintage-like absence of mechanical clatter.

It was the first time that I had attended the show as an exhibitor, and I was surprised at how important the social aspect was; in addition to hundreds of enthusiasts who were there to visit old friends both human and mechanical (“I had one of those, back in the day…”) there were children of all sizes, peering into the old cars, asking unexpectedly pertinent questions and showing enormous interest in how their grandparents got from A to B.

Future cars may well drive themselves, and be powered by fuel cells, but a ride on a 1901 Benz Ideal, quietly chuffing uphill with two adults and a child aboard, will teach that child far more about the history of transport, and why today’s cars are built the way they are, than any website could.

IOL Motoring