1937 Lancia Astura 3Liter
cars were launched as open cars and a removable hardtop only followed later.
The Flamingo was a further development and differed in many respects.
A good number of these cars have survived in South Africa, as well as in the UK,
USA and Canada!
This Ford engined sports car
made its first official appearance at the Spring Motor
Show at Milner Park Johannesburg in 1957. The car was conceived and developed
by John Myers, Robert Hudson and Dr Alan Roy.
During the 1970’s, a Cape Town firm called InterMotorMakers (IMM) became
known for the assembly of Lamborghini and Lotus cars from CKD kits.
The main driving force behind IMM was an archtect named Gerrie Steenkamp
who, together with well-known National Rally driver Nic de Waal (an Engineer
who today practises as a naval architect) set about to create a two-seater sports
car. This is known today as the Caracal.
The car is built on a VW Golf GTi 16V platform and uses VW mecanicals. An
interesting fact is that the Caracal is built “back-to-front” – i.e. the Caracal’s rear
end was the Golf’s front end before the “conversion” – resulting in a mid-engined
lay-out. The cabin is also done with the Golf’s interior (seats, dashboard, etc)
resulting in a truly professional, market-ready product.
I believe that some 4 of these beautiful cars were made: one was destruction-
tested by Volkswagen, one was sent off to VW Germany, one was destroyed in
an accident and the “show-model” survived.
When I bought the Caracal, it was in a fairly good, road-going condition. Because
of the car’s huge importance to South Africa’s motoring history however, I decided
to put the car through a complete restoration. This, regrettably, turned sour and
I have to re-do almost the entire job! Currently, I’m hoping to get the restoration
done soon – and properly this time!
Old Car definitions
Antique Cars - Built before 31st December 1904
Veteran Cars - Built between 1st Jan 1905 & 31st Dec 1918
Vintage Cars - Built between 1st Jan 1919 & 31st Dec 1930
Post-Vintage Cars - Built between 1st Jan 1931 & 31st Dec 1945
Post-45 Cars - Built between 1st Jan 1946 & 31st Dec 1960
Post-60 Cars - Built after 1st Jan 1961
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