If you love your motor history (or just motor cars in general), and find yourself in the beautiful Western Cape of South Africa, then you simply HAVE to take the trip out to the picturesque Franschhoek to visit Johann Rupert’s sublime Franschhoek Motor Museum situated on the stunning L’Ormarins wine estate.
As Franschhoek Motor Museum puts it:
“Across the length and breadth of Southern Africa, only one place can adequately portray the evolution of the automobile, The Franschhoek Motor Museum. The museum’s collection exceeds 220 vehicles – ranging from a 1898 Beeston motor tricycle to a 2003 Ferrari Enzo supercar – and more than 80 exhibits will be on view at any one time, displayed in four de-humidified halls with a total floor area of 2700 m².”
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All of the vehicles belong to Johann Rupert, and the sheer monetary and historic value of the collection is simply put, staggering, when you consider just how rare most of the exhibits actually are! All brands and ages are representing in this one of a kind collection, from your antique, veteran and vintage rides, all the way through to your post-45, post-60 and of course, modern motors.
Classic Bugatti, Ferrari, Mclaren, Bentley, Ford, Alpha Romeo, Mercedes Benz, BMW – well you get the picture – make a showing, and needless to say, there is no way you can step away from this without a massive grin on your face!
As mentioned, only a portion of the collection is on display at one time, with regular rotation meaning that you can visit the museum more than once and come away with something different each and every time. There are four custom built barns, and each showroom barn is then usually set up to follow some sort of theme.
On our recent (and first ever) visit, the four displays were as follows.
First up was the classic elegance theme, which saw beauties that included rarities like the 1904 Oldsmobile Curved Dash, 1905 Mars Carette, 1914 Humberette, 1922 AC Royal, 1931 Bugatti Type 49, and a 1936 Auburn Supercharge Eight amongst others!
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Building 2 housed a homage to Ford, with classic Ford Model A (1903), Ford Model T (1911), Ford Model A Roadster (1931), Ford Convertible Club Cabriolet (1937) amongst those making a showing.
Of course more recent Ford vehicles were on display as well, like the Ford GT40 (1967), Ford Mustang (1968), Ford Fairlane (1970) and the 1971 Ford Capri Perana.
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Barn number 3 housed the Italians in the form of Alpha Romeos, and the Germans in the form of Mercedes Benz.
So, so many fine European specimens.
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Finally, Building 4 played host to the speed demons, some circuit racers included. Porsche, Jaguar, Aston Martin, Maserati, Austin Healey, and of course the bright red of Ferrari are all front and present, and anyone with even the slightest love of fast cars is guaranteed to walk out of this particular showroom in total seventh heaven bliss!
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The Motor Museum does of course have a small little eatery attached in which you can enjoy something to eat, but more importantly, you can actually book a tour guide for the visit – which is exactly what did. This adds a lot more to the visit, and more importantly, allows you to get a little more up close and personal with the cars than what the general public is allowed.
And the icing on the cake? You can actually also organise a trip around the estate in a classic car (they have a list to choose from). This isn’t a heavily advertised feature, but it is certainly worth doing – which is exactly what we did in a classic 1959 Cadillac Series 62 convertible!
In other words, if you are in Franschhoek then you should definitely not miss visiting this extraordinary shrine to automobiles.
Related Link: Franschhoek Motor Museum