Cars in the Park 2012, POMC, Chevrolet

Cars in the Park 2012

Sunday morning and a tsunami of cars roll in, spectators and relics all heading in the same direction, like migrating birds. The single digit temperature is no deterrent for these show pieces, or their enthusiastic drivers.
History coming alive once more, transforming the empty Zwartkops racetrack into a vista of—Cars in the Park.

Slowly we strolled down the cold tarmac on the lookout for a coffee stand; Martine and I had to pre-heat before we could embrace this momentous occasion with both arms. Eventually we found the coffee spot, aroma bubbling out into the cool morning air, displacing race fuel memories normally associated with days like these. After a sip of the flavourful dark blend, we were ready to record history.

Our first stop was in Studebaker lane. These timeless classics proudly negotiated the South African roads, once. Snorting in a fresher kind of air, proudly and confidently raking up the miles in simpler times—just to end up here, again. A Studebaker Power Hawk, Studebaker Silver Hawk and a Studebaker Golden Hawk, filled the front row (of the Zwartkops pit straight) in almost perfect condition as if time and Karma had no effect on them. The proud automobile owners shared animated discussions of yester year, while their silver hair fluttered in the wind.

At another point on the racetrack a man, short in stature, passionately explained to eager ears how a Mercedes SL300 Gullwing was restored, standing next to it with a solemn look on his face. For a moment I could smell his diligent efforts of sandpaper, paint and new leather...

At the opposite end of that discussion an Alfa Romeo aficionado seized the moment to share his thoughts on this historic day... Tonight after this windy, dusty affair (all the featured classic cars had this red dust coat slightly covering their true colours) his red Alfa 156 GTA will be back in the garage, pampered back to its old ostentatious state, the owner standing next to it, caressing the polished roof and dreaming of days to come.

The whole day went by so quickly, another day belonging to history. Today you are here, and next year if Karma grants you another chance you will be back again, proudly projecting your evanescent beautification to an eager world. •

Words & Photos: Adriaan & Martine Venter (Cars in the Park 2012, POMC, Zwartkops Raceway, 2012/08/05, 99 images)