Classic Car Show, Nasrec, December 7, 2014

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Gauteng’s biggest classic car show is about to get bigger, with American pick-ups a major trend.

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“There has never been more interest in classic cars. That’s why I am expecting our December show to be even bigger than our July event, which was the biggest one to date!”

So says Paulo Calisto, organiser of The Classic Car Show, which on Sunday, December 7 at The Johannesburg Expo Centre at  Nasrec will also be incorporating a hot VW show and a Motorcycle show.

And Calisto has good reason to be optimistic. Not only did his previous show at Nasrec in July attract well over 1 000 classics and modified vehicles, but the number of spectators it attracted was huge.

“I guess, located as we are on the southern side of Jo’burg, our show is all about muscle. Muscle  Cars, and V8-engined pick-ups, that’s the trend I’ve been spotting.

At the December 7 edition of The Classic Car Show, the biggest trend is expected towards hot-rodded American pick-ups, which most classic  watchers in South Africa agree is the fastest growing sub-genre in the classic-customising movement.

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The biggest move is to pick-ups in the 1948 to 1965 era, and there are a number of reasons for this.

South Africa had a wealth of these pick-ups lying around on farms and in the ubiquitous “barns” that classic car owners like to talk about. And whereas big sedans of the era are beautiful in their art-décor splendour, they are difficult and costly to restore. Pick-ups are very simple, as there is basically a cab, a plain steel dashboard with one instrument pod, and a bench seat. On the exterior, trim items such as bumpers and grilles can be painted rather than chromed. And there are no costly side flashings and few badges that need restoring.

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“With the pick-ups you have two options,” says Calisto, who owns a mid-1960s Chevy pick-up fitted with a 350 cubic inch Chevy V8 engine.

“You can go the classic restored route, which means retaining originality and sticking to a six-cylinder Chevy motor, or a V8 in the case of some Fords. Or you can go radical, lower the vehicle, re-do the interior with bucket seats, do chrome on the grille, and a wild paint-job. Both schools are growing in South Africa, which is why I expect the Classic Car Show on December 4 to be something of a Pick-up Fest.”

Apart from classic and hot-rodded pick-ups, expect to see a huge variety of cars ranging from pure classics such as Jaguars, MGs and the like, through Ford Cortinas and Minis, to VW Beetles and Kombis, Mustangs, Camaros and the classic 1955-1957 Chevrolets.

There will be a special kiddies, section with various entertainments laid on, making The Classic Car Show a Family affair, including some tasteful rock music. And plenty to eat and drink.

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