Some of the rarest (and quirkiest) cars in Johannesburg journeyed to the Cars.co.za offices in Bedfordview this past Sunday to enjoy a morning of petrolheaded fun. As ever, this SentiMETAL meet delivered a number of surprise attendees!
Photos by Vaughn Humphreys and Hannes Oosthuizen
Following the recent record meet in Cape Town, which saw more than 120 cars come together, much was expected of the second Johannesburg SentiMETAL meet and it didn't disappoint. The company's HQ was the designated meeting spot and the more than 100 parking bays quickly filled with a staggeringly diverse selection of cars. The SentiMETAL Opel Kadett Superboss and Porsche Cayman R were there to receive to guests, and first to arrive was none other than the Opel's old-time foe, a beautiful white BMW (E30) 325iS (Gusheshe). Ultimately no fewer than 4 Superbosses and 3 Gusheshes participated in the event, illustrating once again the rising cult following of these cars.
Older cars started making their appearance too, with a beautiful Alfa Romeo GT Junior followed by a baby-blue Porsche 356 driven by former CAR Magazine editor, John Bentley. Porsche was well represented, with numerous examples of its 911 (including a stunning 930 Carrera 3.2 and a 964 Turbo), but the transaxle generation was there too, in the shapes of a neat 924 and 928.
Centre of attention - this immaculate BMW (E28) M5 caused many a heart to flutter. Photo by Vaughn Humphreys
But the brand with the biggest presence was undoubtedly BMW. The Bimmer enthusiasts arrived in their droves, in anything from 2002 ti's, to various E30 variants, E36 M3s, a stunning silver E46 M3 and very rare M5 Tourings (E34 and E61). A classic red E24 6 Series and an immaculate E28 M5 also turned many heads.
Speaking of rare German metal... an elegantly attired family showed up in a Mercedes-Benz (W124) E36 AMG Convertible, a car we had never seen in the metal before. Parked not far from the E36, were 3 Italian cars from the '80s that you are unlikely to ever see on South African roads – a Lancia Thema 8.32, Gamma Berlina 2500ie and a Maserati Quattroporte from 1984. The Thema 8.32 was quite a hyped car back in the day, as one of the first genuine supersaloons it featured a V8 engine borrowed from the Ferrari 308 and a rear wing which deployed automatically (unheard of at the time of its launch).
Icons wherever you look - a Lamborghini Diablo flanks a Ford Mustang fastback. Photo by Vaughn Humphreys
But that's not all that Team Italy had to offer... A silver Lamborghini Diablo rolled in, causing many a guest to choke on their croissants. Following soon after was an immaculate Alfa Romeo GTV6 2.5, rare Alfa Romeo 159i and a cute little Fiat 500 Giardiniera (station wagon), the latter with a beautifully presented picnic basket in the boot. Oh, and then there was a race-ready-looking replica of a Fiat 131 Abarth, as well as 2 Maserati GranSports.
Those with an interest in American muscle were drawn to a brutal-looking Chevrolet Camaro Z28 with a massive bonnet bulge, bright-orange Pontiac GTO and a stunning candy-apple red Camaro. And for the fans of British? Well, an Ariel Atom is always a crowd-puller, and Gavin Spiller's racing Rover SD1 also drew plenty of attention.
Cute wagon pairing - Austin Mini and a Fiat 500 Giardiniera. Photo by Vaughn Humphreys
Inbetween ogling the machines on display, guests could visit the Cars.co.za coffee shop for refreshments, to catch up on the Rugby or Moto GP and peruse some of the SentiMETAL series of merchandise. Those participants keen to stretch their cars' legs departed at 11 o'clock for a leisurely drive to Muldersdrift and lunch.
"We want to be a home for the South African car lover, so to see guys show up with the families, and enjoy the day together was very gratifying," said Cars.co.za's Hannes Oosthuizen, SentiMETAL project manager. "In a way these meets are similar to what you'll see at RadWood car meets in the US, and more recently in the UK. It's relaxed, without pretence or politics and just focused on the shared passion for cars," Oosthuizen said. "That's why, as at this SentiMETAL meet, you're likely to see something like a Diablo or Porsche 356 parked within spitting distance of a tastefully modded Datsun 280 ZX and a Japanese cult icon, the Toyota AE86 Trueno."
The next SentiMETAL Meet & OutRun is scheduled for Cape Town in mid-November.