Stoep Stories No 20
Tuesday, 20th May 2014
OLD CARS IN THE KAROO
STOEP STORIES - TALES FROM THE KAROO
Published by the Graaff-Reinet Heritage Society
By Bob Saddler
The frequent question asked by the interested few of “where have all the old cars gone” could be answered to a small degree by the recovering of the proverbial baker’s dozen on Graaff – Reinet farms and in the district.
This recovery occurred during the 1970s when combined with my SPCA cases these often sadly vandalised models of yester year were found and transported to vintage car club circles around the country with keen members to be restored to their former glory in years to come.
Truly a labour of love!
I hasten to add that I was no dealer of “smous”. If the cars were not free for the taking then the price asked was paid and the vehicle passed to the new owner with no profit to me!
In New Bethesda village lay the body of a Ford Model T “Tourer” made in the late twenties and the man renting the house where it was rusting was willing to sell it for one rand! An enthusiast in Sandton wanted just such a body and having paid the railage he received it safely.
Behind the disused closed up old garage were dumped numerous assorted parts mostly from Maxwells of those same years. They were all loaded in my van plus an old petrol sign and eventually went to Port Elizabeth.
At the farm “Gannaleegte” on the Murraysburg road there lay in the “beeskraal” a 1928 Model a Ford “Phaeton”. Each of the four doors had a neat circle cut out of it. This interested me greatly and old “oom” told me that it was the finest material to fit into his wheelbarrows”. Hendry Ford would have enjoyed that!
Up in the Camdeboo was a 1929 Dodge Bros sedan this time with the door panels cut out in squares. Active members of the Piston Ring Club in Johannesburg took this body shell together with a 1930 Studebaker from “Riversdal” on the Middelburg road.
To the same club went a very complete 1933 Buick sedan that stood with a tree entwining itself through it next to a humble dwelling on the dust road leading into Kendrew. The price was forty rand and the twin spare wheels in the mudguards plus the luggage carrier behind were still in place.
Also a 1934 Terraplane sedan from Kendrew went to a collector in Grahamstown a 1934 Ford V8 coupe from the Luckhoff farm near the landing strip to Cape Town and a 1946 Chevrolet sedan that was running in town was loaded in the early morning hours on a big railway truck from the ramp at the station.
The only motorcycle found was discovered in the black location it was completely in pieces. All parts were found either under the bed or on the roof and even in the toilet. It was a 1948 BSA and after the new owner had put it all together it ran beautifully!