Cars in the Park: More than just some a random show

Pretoria - For 364 days of the year Zwartkops Raceway outside Pretoria plays host to racing, testing and corporate events, but for the past 39 years there has been that one eagerly anticipated day on the calendar when motoring fans flock to the arena-style circuit just to see absolute nothing move at all.

This day is of course Cars In The Park; one of South Africa’s biggest open-air exhibitions of classic and some not-so-classic cars. The 2017 edition of this event on Sunday, August 6 certainly lived up to everyone’s expectations.

Cars In The Park is an initiative by the Pretoria Old Motor Club. Chairman Frik Kraamwinkel along with his passionate team always ensures that the pinnacle event of their own calendar offers something for everyone in attendance.

GALLERY: Cars in the Park 2017

The recent addition featured amongst other a century of Fords to honour the 60th anniversary of the Lazarus Motor Company, a display by more than 100 car clubs and a tribute to various racing cars from yesteryear right up to current Extreme Festival entries.

With many commercial exhibitors and stalls available you could easily find everything you need for your mancave or hobby room.

The VIP guest line-up certainly didn’t play second fiddle either with Miss Eco South Africa Temieke Steicher and singer Lance James making an appearance at the event.

Making a bit more than an appearance was the mayor of the City of Tshwane, Solly Msimanga. Not only did put his own classic Ford on display, but until late the afternoon you could find him wandering around the circuit in appreciation of the cars. There’s nothing better than a politician who’s a true petrolhead.

Image: Racepics

The rustic-but-neat look has become very popular in recent years and was a theme for various of the cars on display. Chris Dale’s 5 star suite in the back of a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van also drew a lot of attention along with various muscle-cars, first editions and the BMW Car Club Gauteng display.

Aspirant racers wanting to join the on-track activities in the region could get some sound advice on how to get started from the Extreme Festival and Formula M single-seater stands. Those who’d rather prefer to live their dreams through television could find themselves up close and personal with Herbie, KITT and American police replicas.

Image: Racepics

With various food and drink vendors available you could keep yourself refreshed on the warm and sunny day. Those who really wanted to take a break to relax over a drink or quick meal found themselves a comfy spot at the ever-popular Aces Café in the pit complex with some live music. 

My report might sound as near as what can be to a description of heaven for the car enthusiast; what could I possibly find to criticize about an event which resulted in backed-up traffic throughout the day on the M22.

Image: Racepics

Well, I did find something: The name Cars In The Park is to me a bit deceptive. You see this is not your average Sunday park-off on some primary school rugby field. Considering that there were more than 2500 vehicles on display and that taking a look at everything would require you to walk more than 15km; this is indeed quite a spectacular show of some magnitude. 

We all know that saying of “You can’t call yourself a true petrolhead if you’ve never owned an Alfa”. This event is on that scale. It’s not a glamorous motor show hosted over a week in some ultra-modern exhibition centre, yet you can’t call yourself a true South African automotive enthusiast if you’ve never spent a Sunday at Cars In The Park.