AVCMC Fanmail
August 2016

From The Driver's Seat

By Joe Janssens

The club’s AGM was the main function for this month and was once again well attended by members from Grahamstown, Kenton and Port Alfred .

I want to congratulate the winners of the various trophies:

-   The Restorer of the year trophy was awarded to Bill Martin for his 1943 Morris 8
-   The Clubman of the year was George Armstrong
-   The Chairman’s Trophy was awarded to Mike Legg, Bruce Yendall and Rob Houston for their contributions to refurbishing the club house driveway.

Two of our senior members have been awarded the Honorary Member accreditations. Congratulations to Pat Lee and Des Hill for this well deserved achievement.

I want to welcome Roger Darkes and Peter Viner to the club’s 2016 – 2017 committee.

Thank you to the retiring committee members Dave Hawkins and Bill Martin for their valuable contributions and commitments that they made by organising the numerous past successful events .

Rob Wallis has accepted the position of events co-ordinator. Members suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

The outing to Derek and Jeanette Bowker’s farm was very well attended, over 20 members and partners including 4 members from Grahamstown. Many thanks to Dave for making arrangements.



Through The Windscreen

This is what lies ahead

Wednesday 3 August - Local Govt Elections

Thursday 11 Aug - 5 to 8pm - Motoring DVD at the Noggin
Joe Janssens presents a motoring DVD

Thursday 18 Aug - 5 to 8pm - Supper night
Bring and Braai

Sunday 21 Aug - Lunch?
Probably Bathurst but as yet to be decided and notified by email / sms. The idea is to take your old car out and blow some cobwebs. Go to church first - so no excuses.

Saturday 27 Aug - 9 to 12noon - AVCMC Museum
Bring your friends and old cars

Monday 12 Sept - 12h30
The MG Club from Johannesburg will be visiting our museum as part of their tour de East Cape. Go if you would like to meet them and / or have a look at their cars.

Birthday Congratulations - August

4  Eden Bradfield
4  Dave McNeill
10  Don Johnston
14  Bill Martin
16  Norbert Drager
24  Len Whittal

Kowie Brake & Clutch

Kowie Brake and Clutch still caters for all your braking, hydraulic and clutch requirements.
We now also have an engineering workshop in which we can manufacture a range of to spec items. We also build trailers, bowling green polishers and cricket pitch rollers.
For these latest products visit www.facebook.com/protearollers
Contact us on: 046 636 1156 kowiebrake@telkomsa.net

Motoring Column

by Ron Gush

It must be obvious by now that I am not a fundi on cars old or new. Yes, I enjoy my old cars and appreciate other cars and I have a reasonable idea of how a distributor and coil works and I can write a bit of rubbish now and again. But I have to admit that I know very little about Formula 1 racing or vintage Bentleys and so on and my general knowledge of the industry is rather sketchy. OK so you knew that already. Here is the point:

Would anyone like to write a "motoring column" for Fanmail? You could do it monthly, or take on a few months trial or whatever. Please contact me if you would like to discuss anything. 

The Dashboard

(This is going on right now)

Thoughts For The Day

Everything happens in it's own good time, the windmill does not seek the wind.    
-  (Noted on a poster in a farmstall, liked it and translated it from the original Afrikaans. Ron)

"A custom loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs, and in the black, stinking fume thereof, nearest resembling the horrible Stygian smoke of the pit that is bottomless."    
-  James VI of Scotland and I of England in 'A Counterblaste to Tobacco' - he died in 1625

The Rear View Mirror

(Past Events)

Outing To Derek and Jeanette Bowker's farm Alstonfield

by Ron Gush

The weather report for Bedford was 1ºC now (feeling like -) and max of 13ºC. So out came the winter woolies and we left home feeling like stuffed polar bears. Had to stop near Grahamstown to remove a layer, as it was warm in the unheated Spitfire. It turned out a lovely sunny winter day - with a mean chill in the wind.

The drive up to Alstonfield was like a game drive. Dassie, springbuck, steenbuck, blesbuck, grey mongoose, baboon, vervet monkey (playing on the electrified wires of a game fence - which must have been switched off!) and lots of warthog on the road side of the fences. We travelled in convoy with Daphne McNeill going via Salem - Dave was playing bowls. The Port Alfred contingent had set off from the museum and drove directly to Grahamstown. They caught up to us somewhere near Fish River. I pulled off at the flat rock on Fish River Rand. The entire convoy of now 7 or 8 vehicles also pulled off. What's wrong, they asked. Coffee I replied, brandishing a flask and mugs. I got this bewildered stare and all but Daphne set off for Alstonfield - they had a point as they knew what a fine spread awaited them. I stopped for 2 reasons: Firstly because I can. Part of a road trip is stopping to enjoy the view and just take a break. It was also not necessary to ask directions to the bathroom immediately after saying hello and how are you at Alstonfield. Secondly, to recall the time I travelled this road with Des Hill. Last time the club went to Alstonfield, Des rode with me in the Austin. We stopped at the flat rock. Trevor Hoole pulled up in his truck and we all had a chat and cup of coffee. We missed Des on this trip.

There were only 5 old cars. There should have been more. Isn't the point of an old car outing to take the old cars out? But there was a good turn out of old bodies. Nearly 40 visitors. Good to see several folk from Grahamstown and to welcome Peter Fulton, visiting from PE.

Derek and Jeanette welcomed us and had once again excelled themselves with a wonderful spread of eats to go with the tea / coffee. 

When we could eat no more - there was food left over - we wandered up to look at Derek's collection of cars. Nine on display plus Dave Pohl's immaculately restored Chev pickup. Old "Hop & Skip" was providing background music, puffing away entertainingly. This is a 1904 Novo stationary engine. Speed is controlled by the governor lifting the exhaust valve. Fuel economy was not an issue in 1904.

Always the star attraction was the 1911 Austin. Not running today due to a bad leak at the water pump. Derek pointed out a few interesting features: The Austin is British yet has American headlights - carbide gas lights. English cars of that time had either paraffin running lights (like a horse drawn carriage? But then the horse knew where it was going....) or no headlights. So if you wanted headlights you specified such and got American lights. On the left head light, Derek pointed out a small dent, where his father's tooth had hit the lamp when the engine backfired while cranking it. It looks like pretty solid brass so he must have klapped it quite hard - and didn't break the tooth, says Derek. Well, they don't make teeth like that anymore.

A stroll around other sheds on the farm revealed a number of most interesting restoration projects. Some underway and some awaiting attention. Derek's workshop deserves comment. It is a veritable museum of working equipment. One small lathe must be older than the model recently purchased for our museum from the Inggs family! Derek says that it is still capable of turning screw threads. The old line shaft is still there, although not apparently in use. A fascinating workshop indeed.

A new feature on the farm is the 46 wind turbines that have been erected since our last visit. More about that in Tailpipe.

Lunch bring and braai was enjoyed in a sheltered spot behind the house. Folk enjoying the sun like dassies. Joe thanked Derek and Jeanette for a lovely day and especially the spread of eats for tea. Derek replied that they always enjoy our visits and asked us to convey his best wishes to Des and Joy Hill. 
Top left: Old "Hop and Skip" puffing away
Top right: Derek Bowker, Bill Martin, Trevor Hoole, Daphne McNeill. The hanging empty bags are intended to deter bats. The bats have learned to ignore them
Lower left: Myrna Pellew, Shirley Martin, George Armstrong, Charles Pellew - enjoying the sunshine
Lower right: Derek in his workshop
Below: Austin headlamp. Note the well fingered tooth mark!

In The Boot

(Useful Baggage and Tools that we need for the trip)

Non-genuine Not Necessarily No Good

Sent in by Joe Jansssens

According to Les McMaster, chairman of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), not knowing of better-value alternatives to OEM or genuine parts could cost motorists a fortune.


A car is a big investment so obviously we want to know we’re getting the best possible quality when it comes to parts, which is why many motorists are duped into believing their vehicle should have nothing less than OEM or genuine parts. We’ve seen recent adverts on television which try and reinforce this myth, but the truth is, in some cases, aftermarket parts are an improvement on OEM parts,” he explains.

According to MIWA, market research indicates that the quality of aftermarket parts has increased over the past decade, raising confidence amongst workshop owners, service technicians and motorists alike.

McMaster believes that the use of the term “aftermarket parts” versus “genuine” is confusing.

OEMs do not manufacture their own parts and up to 80% of the parts that are used in the manufacture of the motor vehicle are manufactured by outside suppliers. These suppliers provide those exact parts to the independent aftermarket, yet the OEMs tend to stigmatise these as non-genuine, inferior aftermarket parts.

Aftermarket parts are a good option, especially if your car is three to four years old. Of course there are inferior parts out there but by sticking with brands you know and those recommended by a reputable, accredited workshop that knows your vehicle and uses the right products and parts, you can get the same performance out of aftermarket parts versus OEM and genuine parts, at a lower cost,” says McMaster.”

The reason aftermarket parts often out-perform OEM parts, he explains, is that aftermarket companies analyse weaknesses in OEM parts and through a process of reverse-engineering, they are able to eradicate weaknesses and flaws.

Another plus for motorists is that there are many companies that make aftermarket parts.

More variety means a better price range for the independent workshop owner when sourcing parts. And, with such a big supplier pool, the parts are readily available.

McMaster concludes that the new-car market in South Africa unfortunately still burdens consumers with warranties which dictate the use of genuine parts. “In many first-world countries, this is a thing of the past and consumers are free to use aftermarket parts in their vehicles without affecting the warranty. This is the kind of change we desperately need in South Africa and which is why MIWA is at the forefront of lobbying for change and legislating the Right to Repair initiative in South Africa.

Right to Repair has been advocated and legislated in first-world countries around the world since the early 80s. It promotes consumers having the right to choose where their vehicles are serviced, maintained and repaired at competitive prices in the workshop of their choice.”

Genuine: A part that was originally put in the vehicle when it was new. While it may come in a box with the car manufacturer’s logo on it, the part was actually made by

another company. This is the most expensive type of part, primarily because you’re paying for the logo on the box.

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM): A part made by the company which

manufactured it for the car company. It is exactly the same as the genuine part

but doesn’t carry the car company’s logo. OEM parts are much better value than

genuine parts.

Aftermarket: A part made by a company other than the original manufacturer.

Aftermarket companies buy the rights to produce these parts.These parts are made to fit and perform as well as, and in some cases, better than the original and cost less.

Repairs to Starters and Generators

Keith Schroeder is an expert on starter motors, generators, regulators and alternators and is offering to help members with any problems they may have.
Contact him on  082 412 3778.

Car Magazines

Dave Hawkins has several boxes of old Car Magazines. Any member interested can collect them from Dave - otherwise they will be advertised for sale.
here to email Dave or phone him on 082 453 2618.                                      1/3

1934 Dodge/Plymouth engine wanted

to complete the restoration of my Dodge DR.
Please contact Tom Manser on his cell - 072 554 5316                                       2/3
or email

Wire Wheels Wanted

Mike Leisegang is looking for 3-4 1929 Chevrolet wire wheels                                2/3
Please c
ontact Mike on 082 857 8733
or click here to send him an email

Parts for a 1936 Morris offered

Complete engine, gearbox and diff. Don't know condition.
Also various suspension parts as only the body will be used to build a Radrod.
 Contact owner directly on 0823769708, Gerrie.                                   2/3


Chairman:                                 Joe Janssens      083 235 1101                        
Secretary / Treasurer:               Shirley Martin      071 675 4570
Grahamstown Rep:                   Norbert Drager    046 622 6282 or 072 765 6448
Events Co-ordinator:                 Rob Wallis           082 334 0354
OD Inggs Co-ordinator:             George Armstrong 072 347 0924
Fanmail Editor:                          Ron Gush            046 648 3186 or 083 272 1961
Members:                                  Keith Schroeder  046 624 4114 or 082 412 3778

                                                  Roger Darkes      046 624 2874 or 082 373 8181
                                                  Peter Viner          046 624 3552 or 082 831 5769

Other portfolio holders:
SAVVA rep and Vehicle Dating: Des Hill               083 228 6774
assisted by:                                Dave Hawkins    046 624 2215 or 082 453 2618
Webmaster:                               John Austin Williams

Classic & Sports Car Insurance Placements
“We Drive Classic Cars”
We insure them with Great Care.
Tel: 031 701 0226 l Cell: 082 781 4410
Email: pat@smythebros.com
A Division of Smythe Financial Services cc Authorised FSP No. 16054

Tailpipe - 

by Ron Gush

What do you think about wind farms? There seem to be 3 groups of people - those who love them, those who hate them and those who haven't got a clue. Perhaps there are really only 2 groups....

Personally I like them. They are peaceful, reminiscent of the peace sign of the sixties, quiet, clean and harvest free energy which we all demand. Those who hate them? Well turbines do kill birds although I suspect that birds are quite clever and will learn to avoid them. Bats are a problem - their lungs collapse if they fly through the sudden air pressure change just behind the turbine blade. Developers say that they are careful to study the problem and do not establish wind farms in areas frequented by bats. Once again, I suspect that bats are cleverer than we give them credit for. Studies of bat and bird kills on wind farms seem to indicate a very low kill rate. But if you listen to the Greenies, you would expect the ground around a wind turbine to be knee deep in carcasses. I don't see that. How many birds, rabbits, duikers, bushbucks, kudu and monkeys are killed on our roads every day? I do see evidence of that! Are there also objections to cars? And aircraft which also kill the occasional bird. Say hello to bicycles and shoe leather!

One has to consider the alternatives. Some years ago I wrote in this newsletter that coal fired power spews out over 150 tons of sulphur per hour per power station. It goes up as sulphur, combines with water vapour and comes down as battery acid - sulphuric acid. Not to mention the carbon emissions. Nuclear energy is clean and, if managed correctly, safe. Big if. Most of the power generated in France, and sold to neighbouring countries, is nuclear. We hear of no catastrophes there. So for base power supply we have to choose one of those two. Yes, hydro-electric and geothermal power are wonderful but we are limited in this country. If wind and solar energy can supply some of our energy needs, then I like it.

If you don't like it, try turning off your electricity supply at the mains for a week, and then maybe you'll reconsider......

The above is entirely my own opinion based on what I see and hear.

Our contact details are:
Email: club@avcmc.co.za
Website: www.avcmc.co.za
PO Box 2057, Port Alfred 6170


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Albany Vintage and Classic Motor Club · PO Box 291 · Kenton-on-Sea, EC 6191 · South Africa

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