The Cobra Club of South Africa will host its annual Concourse Day at Emperors Palace, Kempton Park, on Sunday, August 20, and the organisers are aiming for a landmark 100 car entry for this event, the pinnacle of Cobra Club activity in 2017.
“The annual concourse event goes back over 30 years, and it’s always been central to raising the standard of our cars here in far-flung South Africa,” says Cobra Club Chairman, Paul de Klerk.
“We’ve had a huge resurgence in club interest in the past two years, which is remarkable, given that the economic climate has been difficult to say the least. I think it proves the adage that, When the Going Gets Tough, The Cobra Club Gets Going,” says De Klerk.
The Concourse event this year will be held at The Red Roman Shed, near the main entrance of the sprawling Emperors Palace gaming complex in Jones Rd, Kempton Park, adjacent to the OR Tambo International Airport. The Red Roman shed is a funky, old-school structure at the Palace, ideally suited to the retro mood inspired by 100 Cobras, boasting a collective horsepower total of close to 500 000!
“We are going to make that place Rock!” says De Klerk. “Or at least rumble. A highlight of the day’s programme will be at 12 noon, when we will have a mass start-up of all the cars present, and I guess those corrugated iron walls of the Red Roman Shed will be put to their most serious test structural-strength on August 20!”
The Cobras in South Africa are replicas of the famous original AC Cobra created by the legendary Carrol Shelby in 1962, when he fitted a small-block Ford V8 into an English AC Ace sports car, which was already considered outdated at the dawn of the 1960s. The result of this happy confluence was a car that shook General Motors to its roots as it instantly out-paced the then-all-conquering Chevrolet Corvettes in American SCCA racing. Soon 289 cubic-inch and then 427 cubic inch (seven litre) versions were introduced, and a Daytona Coupe version Cobra ended up winning its category in the 1965 World Sports Car Championship, beating Ferrari!
“In honour of that event, we are inviting owners of Daytona Coupes, as built here in South Africa by Hi-Tech Industries, to also take part in this year’s Cobra Club Concours, as well as Ford GT40 replicas. “Those were the golden years for Ford Motorsport, the 1960s, but no other Ford achieved the iconic status that the Cobra did, with its unique mix of classic British styling and American excess, thanks to that gaping snout of a radiator grille, and huge wheel arches, not to mention side-winder exhaust pipes.”
The enthusiasm De Klerk has for Cobras extends to all the club’s members. Recently the club chartered a bus to travel to Sun City, where they cheered on long-time member Willem Stieler, who had entered his 427 SC Cobra replica in the prestigious Concourse South Africa event, an occasion populated by some of the best and most expensive collectible cars in the country.
“It was an amazing boost for all of us when Willem’s Cobra won the Concourse South Africa Retro Mod category,” says De Klerk. “Initially judges thought the car was actually brand new and bought as a built-up model. It was only after they chatted to him that they realised it was a 1994 Superformance car, which he had built up from a wreck over a period of a decade!”
Visitors to the Emperors Palace complex will have to pay the nominal fee to gain entry to the car park on Sunday, August 20, but entry to the Cobra Club Concourse is free of charge. Refreshments will be on sale at The Red Roman Shed.
The event will run from 10 am to 4 pm.
For more information, contact Cobra Club Chairman Paul de Klerk on 083 3299 263 Or visit the club www.cobraclub.co.za or https://web.facebook.com/Cobra-Club-Of-South-Africa-170577553007648/.
This media release prepared for the Cobra Club of South Africa by Stuart Johnston