Page 1


Eye Candy

The Tale of the Cobra

Stolen Car Serge Brave Bertha’s story Damseaux

Lessons from a Winner

also women’s influence / know-how / gadgets to get / lifestyle


Welcome Welcome to this amazing edition of the Dealer Club Magazine which is once again crammed with great info, including the story of the outstanding Bertha Benz who stole her hubby’s vehicle to show him a thing or two!

It has been wonderful to see how our member dealers are knuckling down and engaging in such meaningful ways within their local communities. It has warmed me from within to see how these independent dealerships have such massive hearts as they support the schools and small businesses in their areas. It’s these amazing folk that we have the privilege of working with, and it’s these dealerships that have the same attitude towards those fortunate enough to be their customers. The costs of running a vehicle are wonderfully impacted by our member dealers and their caring workshop teams, whose priority is to keep you safe and on the road without the worry that you are spending your valuable cash on unnecessary repairs. These things were important to a ‘gal’ like Bertha and it’s what makes The Dealer Club group of dealers the rock stars of South African motoring. As I sign off, I leave you with this Chinese proverb: ‘‘Unless we change direction, we will end up where we are headed.’’




The Dealer Club is a network of top performing new car dealerships representing every make and model of new vehicles available in South Africa, offering regionally selected exclusivity.

ADRIENNE WESTMAN National Sales and Marketing

MARK DE JONGH Head Online Operations

KIMBERLEIGH YEOMANS Graphic Design & Social Media

JADE LEIGH KRÄMER Account Manager - South 021 801 4871

MARC SCOTT Head Group Strategy

RICHARD BARRY GM Special Projects


ERIN JACKSON Account Manager - North

26 Broadway Blvd, Strand, 7140 Western Cape, South Africa Tel: 021 853 0135 Fax: 021 853 0310

Use our online platform to:

Like us on Facebook

1. Locate

2. Compare

3. Search

4. Contact

a new model you like

makes, models and prices

for pre-owned models too

a selected dealer


What’s inside

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Adrienne Westman



DESIGN Louise Edgar

DESIGN ASSISTANT Kimberleigh Yeomans

04 Lessons from a winner Serge Damseaux

06 She stole his car


The story of brave Bertha...

Account Manager Willie Grobbelaar General Manager, Digital Division Tertius van Eeden

08 Eye candy

10 New Technology


05 Global flavour 12 Lifestyle

The Tale of the Cobra

DC Magazine is the print and e-mag media outlet of The Dealer Club SA. We cover global motoring trends; industry news including women and motoring; technology and gadgets; features on green advancements; know-how on all car topics; scenic drives and everything else that is of interest to car owners across the spectrum.

Top-tech must haves

13 Know-how

14 Scenic drive



The Dealer Club’s digital platforms are powered by Vehicle Traders Online. Contact Richard Barry at or 021 853 0135. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is strictly prohibited. All information is correct at the time of going to print, but is subject to change.






Race Days

Serge jokingly says, ‘‘Breakfast was never a good idea early in the morning and before a race!’’ He describes how the best preparation one can do before a big race is to prepare ones mind. “Thinking, planning and going over every possible aspect of the race, as well as keeping physically fit.”

An early love for cars One of eight children, born in the Congo, Serge moved to SA when he was 10. Surrounding himself with friends who loved motorsport, as soon as he could drive, he joined a club, established a small workshop and started learning to prepare cars for races. He always knew that cars would be his profession.

Retired and living the quiet life now, but still a legend in the industry,

The Dealer Club sat down with veteran racer Serge Damseaux to learn a little more about his life and achievements.



His ‘magic formula’ for winning? Serge says, ‘‘Sheer determination, wanting a win, setting targets and going for it!’’ Humble by nature and not one for the limelight, Serge is soft-spoken about his career achievements, but quick to point out the fact that his two long-standing Navigators (Vito Bonafede and, later, Robert Paisley) were always there to help him. A staggering 74 overall race wins spanning his racing career, including 10 South African Championship titles, is no small feat, and Serge certainly has a few interesting stories to tell: ‘‘Back in the day our Navigators worked off drawings,’’ Serge says, ‘‘these days the teams are given a set of ‘pacenotes’ with every 50 metres having a detailed instruction.’’ He explains further, ‘‘The young people coming up really do go at great speeds relying heavily on these ‘pacenotes’. Exact angles are worked out for them and they can almost ‘blindly’ take corners. Back in my day, we didn’t have such accurate readings and

had to rely more on our own experience of the track and our driving skill.’’

What do you think of women in the rallying industry? ‘‘A couple of years back, it was difficult for them to get involved, but as the sport grew there were definitely a lot more ladies on the scene, especially on the Navigation side,’’ he explains, ‘‘I see a trend going that way and have noticed more corporate backing for women, which is great.’’ If you could change one rule in racing what would it be? ‘‘A ‘one-make vehicle’ for young people to start off with will be a good thing in Rallying,’’ Serge explains. ‘‘Without financial backing, it is difficult to get into the industry with a good car. If there was a one-make, standardised production car, that would level the playing fields to driving skill and not so much about what money can buy.’’ Will a GPS system ever replace a Navigator? ‘‘GPS is used these days, but it is not accurate enough as it can’t take measurements and angles of corners. Most importantly though, a GPS can’t replace a Navigator’s tone of voice, which is what a driver listens very carefully to, especially when things get tight.’’ These days, Serge restores old motor cars. He enjoys going on camping trips in his motorhome and has three grandchildren. He plays squash twice a week, enjoys Italian food and follows most sports especially the World Rally Championships, Formula One, Rugby and Tennis. Serge also helps his son who owns a small workshop and is a Rally driver in his own right too... Another legend in the making? Let’s watch this space!



Once again, as we start 2014, we look forward to all of its challenges with excitement. Although the memories of 2013 will fade fast, I would like to briefly reflect on what was both a challenging and rewarding year for Thorp Motor Group. We celebrated our 10th and 20th birthdays at Paarl and Plumstead respectively and generally consolidated our position as one of the top dealers in the Cape Town Metropolitan area. Our dealerships continued to grow and provide excellent sales, service and parts back up to our customers. We plan to continue this trend in 2014 and look forward to excellent growth in the New Year. Another highlight was the awarding of a large parcel of business by the City of Cape Town in its annual vehicle tender. We are very proud to be associated as a supplier to this world class city and look forward to continuing our relationship in the future. We are also proud to be associated with our supplier General Motors who ensures our product line up is kept fresh with ongoing new models and facelifts, competing on all fronts in the market. Our Chevrolet, Opel and Isuzu ranges of passenger cars, LCV’s as well as medium and heavy commercial vehicles are truly world class and fill the requirements of all customers. GM continuously adds new and exciting products to the range and we look forward to consolidating these offerings in the future and welcoming new products which will be launched in 2014. 2013 was very successful from a sales point of view with a total of 650 000 units being sold into the South African market. This is the 3rd highest retail sales of all time in South Africa. Other notable changes within the group have been the moves in senior management at Plumstead and Claremont, with myself taking a more overall management position where I can guide and mentor staff in the branches. Robert and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support over the past year and wish you an exciting and fruitful 2014 as we continue to grow our company.

Nicky For more information on the Thorp Motor Group and their products, visit our website at

Message from Dirk Burger Dealer Principal Thorp Paarl: Thorp Paarl is dankbaar om terug te kan kyk op 2013 en werklik ons seeninge te kan tel. Ons mense kapitaal, kontroles en prosesse en GMSA ondersteuning het optimaal kombineer om 2013 die hoogtepunt te maak van ons 10 jarige bestaan. Ons kon ons 10 de verjaarsdag vier by Ashanti saam met kliente en vriende wat regtig n spesiale geleentheid was en n “Thorp Paarl memory" wat lank onthou sal word. Ons se dankie aan elke klient wat ons verkies het as hul diensverskaffer en sal deurgaans poog om te groei sodat ons ons kliente se diensverwagtinge sal bly oorskrei. Dankie dus weereens vir die ondersteuning in 2013, hoop julle het baie lekker gerus en sien net so baie soos on suit na die uitdagings van 2014. Aan my span: jul bly die beste. Bly kreatief dink oor klientediens dan sal 2014 nog n meer geseende jaar as 2013 wees. Laat ons Madiba Magic as deel van ons besigheidstrategie bly uitleef.

GMSA Announces the Appointment of New Vehicle Sales Service and Marketing Vice President General Motors South Africa announced the appointment of Brian Olson (43 years old) into the position of Vice President of Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing (VSSM) for the company’s operations in South Africa. He takes over from Malcolm Gauld who has worked at the company for over 26 years, with the bulk of his time spent in the parts and accessories and vehicle sales, service and marketing areas of the business. Brian Olson, who was previously Retail Network Development Manager for Chevrolet Europe, will report directly to Ian Nicholls, Vice President of GM South Africa Operations.


At the recent Johannesburg Motor Show General Motors showed off a number of new models that will be launched shortly in South Africa...

CHEVROLET UNWRAPS NEW SONIC RS Due for South African release in this quarter, the Sonic RS adds performance flavour to the Sonic range, the five-door hatchback featuring a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine with 103 kW of power. Coupled to uprated suspension, the Sonic RS also features improved handling to match the boosted performance. A number of special detail changes inside and out separate the Sonic RS from its siblings, highlights of which include a sportier exterior look, dark-painted alloy wheels, red interior detailing and the Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system, which makes its South African debut in the Sonic RS.

Chevrolet Brand Manager, Tim Hendon, comments: “The RS badge forms the first level of performance-oriented nomenclature within the model naming hierarchy at Chevrolet, making the Sonic RS a very special car indeed. It will certainly add some interesting flavour to the Sonic product portfolio in South Africa next year.”

The RS badge within the global Chevrolet stable stands for a sport iteration of an existing model. Typically with sporty exterior and interior design detailing, the RS model in the range tends to offer unique styling with an uprated powertrain.

TURBO POWER FOR CHEVROLET CRUZE The Chevrolet Cruze Hatch and Sedan ranges in South Africa have been given new life with the addition of turbocharged derivatives of both body styles. Marking the first time turbocharged Chevrolets have been available in South Africa, the new turbo models also usher in minor detail upgrades and a refreshed model line-up. Forming part of General Motors’ global powertrain portfolio, the 1.4-litre turbocharged ECOTEC petrol engine now makes its way into Cruze models after proven use in other GM products the world over. Producing 103 kW between 4 900 and 6 000 rpm along with 200 Nm of torque between 1 850 ad 4 900 rpm, the smooth engine not only provides for an enhanced driving experience in both Cruze body styles, but also benefits in the fuel efficiency and carbon emissions stakes. Featuring standard start/stop technology, the four-cylinder unit has a dual overhead camshaft with variable valve timing and a multi-point injection fuel system.

Featured in the new Chevrolet Cruze 1.4T LS Sedan and Cruze 1.4T LS Hatch models, the new powertrain returns average combined fuel economy of 5.8-litres per 100 km, with corresponding CO2 emissions of 135 g/km each. Both models also come standard with a six-speed manual gearbox with gear ratios perfectly matched to the turbocharged engine, further ensuring optimal efficiency. This engine delivers performance comparable to units of a larger displacement while requiring less fuel and producing a smaller carbon footprint.

All Chevrolet Cruze derivatives are sold inclusive of a 5-year / 120 000 km warranty and a 3-year / 60 000 km service plan.



Tianmen in China TAKE A TURN ON

99 sharp bends makes this historical drive not for the faint-hearted!


he Tianmen Mountain Road is an 11km road with many hairpin bends and twists that eventually reaches the top of the Tianmen Mountain in Hunan, China. Tianmen translated means ‘Heavenly Gate’ and is called this because of a huge 131.5 metre natural hole that occurs halfway up the summit. The mountain’s highest peak is around 5000 ft above sea level and the site forms part of the Tianmen National Park which is home to many rare species of plants. At an altitude of 1519 metres, the Tianmen Mountain Road dramatically ascends along steep cliffs and crevasses and took eight years to construct.

MOTOR EVENTS LINE-UP JANUARY w European Motor Show w North American Internat’l Auto Show (NAIAS) FEBRUARY w Canadian International Auto Show w Super Series, Kyalami Raceway, SA MARCH w International Geneva Motor Show uAustralian Grand Prix uMalaysian Grand Prix w Cross Country National Championships, Tarlton Raceway, SA w Super Series, Killarney Raceway, SA APRIL w Beijing International Automotive Exhibition w New York International Auto Show uChinese Grand Prix u Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix MAY uSpanish Grand Prix uMonaco Grand Prix JUNE uCanadian Grand Prix uBritish Grand Prix w SEFAC Ferrari Track Day, Kyalami, SA

JULY uDutch Grand Prix uHungarian Grand Prix w Midas Historic Tour, Zwartskops, SA AUGUST uBelgian Grand Prix w Extreme Supercars, Zwartskops, SA

MAJOR ATTRACTIONS Tianmen Cave A natural water-eroded hole in the mountain big enough for a light aircraft to fly through (as was done at an air show in 1999). Glass-bottom Skywalk An Indiana-Jones style glass walkway located on sheer rock face. Tianmen Mountain Cableway At 7200 meters long, it’s the longest passenger cable-way in the world. Tianmen Mountain Temple Dating back to the Tang Dynasty era.

Unique Car Museums

Going to the US? Here’s our pick of ‘interesting’ museums to visit.


SEPTEMBER w Frankfurt Motor Show w Paris Motor Show uItalian Grand Prix uSingapore Grand Prix w Extreme Supercars, Kyalami w SA National Rally Champ’ships, Stellenberg, SA w SA National Drag Racing Championships, Tarlton Raceway, SA w SA National Karting, Zwartkops, SA OCTOBER w J’burg Internat’l Motor Show uKorean Grand Prix uJapanese Grand Prix uIndian Grand Prix NOVEMBER w Tokyo Motor Show w L.A. Auto Show uAbu Dhabi Grand Prix uUS Grand Prix uBrazilian Grand Prix DECEMBER w Saudi Internat’l Motor Show

The International Monster Truck Museum, Indiana


The museum archives the history of monster trucks and also showcases some of the very first Bigfoot 4WD pick-ups.


02 03


National Museum of Funeral History, Texas


Cooter’s Place, Tennessee

Lane Motor Museum, Tennessee Showing some of the quirkiest car collections from countries like Austria, Czechoslovakia and the Netherlands.

The Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing, Florida Named after the American racing legend, this museum features drag racing cars like ‘Swamp Rat’ 1 through 34.

A little bit weird, but very unique. The museum shows collections of ‘Historical Hearses,’ some the very same cars used to transport Presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford’s bodies.

This museum is for the fans of The Dukes of Hazzard, an American television series that aired on the CBS television network from 1979 to 1985. Catch the vehicles here that made the show famous!





She stole his car! THE STORY OF BRAVE BERTHA…

In 1888 a proactive woman ‘stole’ her husband’s hand-built Motorwagon and took it for a twoday 242km round-trip in Germany, putting the car through its paces. Hers was the world’s first recorded long-distance drive by a woman! 06


ty lit i i l b i b a i a l i e l r e r y t y i t l i i l b i uq ality dependa CHOICE quality dependab CHOICE q ST ST n U U R R T T y y t t i i l l i i b b a a li e reli r l y i t i b l i a b d a n e d p n e e d p e y d t i l ty a i l u q a u q E C E I C O I H O C CH T S U T S R T U y R t i T l i b y t a i i l l i b re IS THAT a i l e r lity FACT y t i l i b a d FOR WHATEVER PHASE OF LIFE YOU’RE ed pendAT,abiTHE en p e d y y t t i i l l a a u u q q E E C C I I CARS ARE BEING BUILT HEAVILY AROUND CONSUMER CHO AND WITH ity TRUST CHO TNEEDS S U R T l i b il THE BUYING POWER OF THE FAIRER-SEX ON THE RISE, THESElityDAYS b a i a l i e l r e r y t i i l b i b a d a en PITY IT quality depend WOMEN CAN ACTUALLY FIND THEIR NEARqPERFECT uality depCAR… E C I I O O H H C C T T DOESN’T ALWAYS APPLY TO FINDING THE PERFECT MAN! S S U U R R T y t i l i b a i l e reliability T r y t li i b a n e d p n e e d p e y d t i l y t a i l u q a u q Index CE I O H According to aCrecent C HOICUSE Auto T S U R T y R t i T l poll, 85% of women say they haveelthe i b y t a i i l i b r a i l y t e i r l y t i l i most influencedon ndabi vehicle DID b echoosing a p d e n e p YOU KNOW? e d ty Femme Safety ality depen i l a u options in their family. Representing q E C I O Le u q CH Giving it ‘Street Cred’ meant everything $80 billion in car sales T T S S annually, U U R R T T y t changed ili further data from shows ility reliab T y t i l b i b a d a i n l e e p r e y d t that when considering li i itaynew car, b l a a d u n q e p e d y t i women’s “must-haves" include qualityE qual q E C C I I O O H H C C T and dependability, safety T seat S Sfeatures, U U R R T T y t i l i ab i comfort, ride comfort, and handling. l e r y t i ty l i i l b i b a d a d n e n p e e p 86% of women list reliability as very d e d y t y i lit a qual u q E C I significant, with the second most O H C T S ST U U R R T T significant factor being vehicle safety. y y t t i i l l i i b b a a li e reli r y t i l i b a d n e 1888 until now, a lot has epFrom d t i l y t a i l u q a u Looking at these stats and with the q E Some ‘womanly’ advice C E I changed... But let’s put ourselves C O H OI being C CHfeatures T S U choice of cars and their R in a modern day Bertha’s shoes T y t i l i b a i l e r for a minute and consider a list ofreliabili y so vast these days, could it be that t i l i b y t a i l d i bhave given a pen the improvements d n descratched she could e p e manufacturers have just d y t i l a u toqCarl: I O proverbial ‘tip of the iceberg’? T CHOICE H C T S S U U R T TR y t i l i b a i l e r ty i l i b b a What is it that women really do want d a d n e n p e e p d e d y t y i t l i l a quTRUST - the ua q from their cars? Could it be E Then and now C I O H C same thing a woman wants in all her TRUST R T y y t t i i l l i i b b a a i i l l e e relationships? And CHOICE,ra lot of yr t i l i b a d n e p e d choices? It’s true woman are influenced uality q E C Eq I O H OICvery C by their emotions, but they are CHalso T S U R T y t i l i b a functional and practical in their buying i l e r y t el i r l i b y t a i l d i n b e a p d decisions. n de e p e d y t i l a u q E C I O H C C T T S S U U Give a woman the experience she R R T T y t i il b a i l e r y desires and you will earn her loyalty. Car t i l i b a pe e d y t manufacturers hold a great opportunity i l ality depend u a q u q E C I O H C here to spend the time and resources T S U ty i l i b to engage and understand the female a iability TR i l l e e r r y t i l i b a d n e consumer better. To ignore her could be p e d y t i l a de to their detriment, potentially missing ICE qu y t O i l H a C u q E C I O out on their share of $20 trillion of H C T S U R T i overall spending dominated by women l ility i b b a a i i l l e e r r y t i l i b a d consumers globally. n e p e d y t i l O H C CHOICE quaDC MAGAZINE T S 07 U R T y t i l i b a i l e r y dabilit


wo years prior, her husband, Dr. Carl Benz, had invented and patented the first twostroke engine, gear shift and water radiator Motorwagon - but nobody wanted to buy it!

Motivated by her desire to help her husband realise his dream, as well as her inherent need to feed and clothe her five children, brave Bertha took matters into her own hands. She left before dawn, before her husband could stop her. Her aim: To prove that his horseless carriage was perfectly suitable for daily use - even for a woman! Her little ‘escapade’ made the morning papers and most definitely helped change public perception of automobiles at the time.

Bertha kept a diary of her travels and later offered Carl feedback on how he could improve on his invention. She recorded how she had to use her hat-pin to clear the fuel line; that she thought a brake liner would prevent the car’s brakes from future failure; and that he should add a gear for climbing hills.

Bertha’s input set the stage for women’s footprints throughout the automotive industry, but she wasn’t the only woman to make her automotive mark. There have been a plethora of feminine contributions throughout the years with over 173 automotive inventions by women being recorded by 1923.

Carl’s three-wheeled Motorwagon

In 1914, Florence Lawrence, a popular silent film actress, developed two of the most important safety inventions still with us today: The turn signal and the brake signal.

The Eco Queen Supergreen, (great mileage; low emissions). Parts made of recycled materials, even better! The People-Mover Size matters, slide-able fold-able seats, easy manoeuvrability. The High-Tech Helper Built-in gadgets, advanced but practical technology. The Sweetheart No guilt, fun car. Adorable and cute from every angle. The Genius Interior Clutter-free, intuitive and simple. The Babysitter Excellent back seat entertainment system. The Dressing Room Good interior lighting, a good size mirror, a sunshade that lights up, tinted glass. The Relationship Saver Memory settings for two drivers please – non negotiable!






Carroll Shelby, a winner of the 1959 LeMans race (driving for Aston Martin), made it one of his life’s ambitions to build a successful brand of racing cars that, today, boast great achievements and are made of the stuff of living legends within the international racing community.




What do you get when you combine an ambitious man with sports car scene forever? You get a Chicken Farmer turned car builder: Carroll Shelby and his original, one-of-a-kind


he Cobra CSX 2000 came about as a result of an Anglo-American fairytale. Back in 1961, retired racing driver Carroll Shelby struck a deal with AC Cars of England to modify their ageing but strong lightweight ladder-frame roadster ‘Ace’ chassis. This he married to an allAmerican small-block 221-cubic-inch V8 engine. The name Cobra” appeared to Shelby in a dream and the first ever built Cobra CSX 2000 came to fruition early in 1962.

The Cobra made its big début in April 1962 at the New York Motor Show painted pearlescent yellow. Once Shelby had drummed up enough interest and financial backing, the old Cobra CSX 2000 had done its job with ‘Cobra fever’ catching on everywhere. The rest, as they say, was history. The CSX 2001 and the CSX 2002 quickly followed, together with a bunch of other versions, all courtesy of Carroll Shelby and his dream team. We can safely say that were it not for the original

This is his Cobra car’s


MARCH 1963




Cobra’s achieve first and second place at Riverside Racetrack, beating Corvette Stingrays.

Shelby American enters four cars at the Sebring FIA race. The cars set the fastest GT lap time, but Ferrari is overall victorious.

Race driver Dan Gurney drives a Cobra and wins at Bridgehampton becoming the first American driver to win an FIA race in an American car.

The Cobra wins the SCCA A-production National Championships.


a car that was destined to change the American race driver, 1959 LeMans winner turned sports Cobra CSX 2000. CSX 2000, there would be no Shelby Cobras period! No 260s, 289s, 427s, nor Daytona Coupes, Shelby Mustangs or otherwise! The original car, which can still be found within the Carroll family’s possession, is rumoured to be worth over 5 million dollars and will always be remembered as the benchmark that started the revival and refinement of the all-American muscle car.

THEN and NOW... In January 2011, Shelby American released a special edition CSX 8000 Cobra in celebration of almost 50 years of the Cobra. Only 50 vehicles were produced with exclusive serial numbers being reserved from 8950 through 8999. The memory of the iconic CSX 2000 is honoured in this latest Shelby Cobra offering which truly is a priceless addition to an already spellbinding collection.

Legend says the original Cobra CSX 2000 was re-painted several times over to create the impression of more than one CSX 2000 in existence


MARCH 1964

JUNE 1964


EARLY 1965

The Cobra wins the United States Road Racing Championships.

Shelby American enters a 427 Cobra, CSX 2166, at Sebring and for the first time beats Ferrari GTOs.

Cobras win the GT class at the 24 Hours of Le Man race in France, defeating Ferrari once again.

The 289 Cobra wins the SCCA A-production National Championship.

Cobra is FIA World Champion.




Become Tech Savvy...

Technology and gadgets tailored to help us multi-task, achieve more and go faster. Stay ahead of the times with these top-tech must-haves.


...and chat and chat!

Vehicle Traders

A new social communications app, WeChat, already has over 400 million registered users world-wide and is set to compete with Africa’s largest mobile social network, Mxit, and globally with the likes of WhatsApp, Google Hangout, BlackBerry Messenger and Facebook Mobile. Developed by the Chinese internet firm Tencent and backed locally by Naspers, not only is WeChat fun to use but it’s also free. Heading the platform’s operations in South Africa and Africa, WeChat SA managing director, Brett Loubser (a former Samsung exec) says, ‘‘We have seen a really encouraging response to WeChat in South Africa since its launch. One of the most popular features, hold-to-talk, has really shifted people’s experience by making it easier and faster to send a friend or a group of friends a spoken message. The animated emoticons or smileys have also been really popular and make communication fun and fast.’’ The WeChat app is available on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Symbian, and BlackBerry OS smart devices.


Startmonkey Jump starter

Startmonkey is the world’s smallest portable jump starter system for car batteries. Thanks to its High Energy Polymer Battery, a fully charged Startmonkey can restart a standard 12V car battery up to 20 times. Startmonkey is small enough to fit into a car’s cubby hole. To use, simply connect Startmonkey to the terminals of your car battery, leave for a few seconds and then start your car. A DC output socket means that Startmonkey can also charge portable gadgets like phones, iPods and handheld games. It can be re-charged up to 500 times, either via its in-car charger, any AC mains or via a solar powered facility called the ‘solargorilla’. If left unused for over a year, the Startmonkey will still hold up to 75% of its power.



:-) :-( DID YOU KNOW? Emoticons

Emoticons were first used in 1982 by Scott Fahlman, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University. He created a happy face and a sad face with a colon, a hyphen and parentheses.

2 Go Beauty... Hey ladies, here’s a smartphone app that saves you both time and money. GoBeauty lets you book instant appointments at salons and spas last-minute and on the go! The app cuts the hassle out of conventional booking procedures and gives you access to often discounted last-minute beauty appointments with just the touch of your mobile screen. Customers are able to browse and find beauty treatments that fit into their busy schedules and at a place near to them. The GoBeauty app is available for free on iPhone, Android and Blackberry. Simply request your appointment, get a confirmation sms and then go beauty!

Technology from 4 5 the future Head-Up Display

Think fighter jet head-up displays and you’ve got an idea of what Pioneer’s new NavGate HUD is offering motorists. The NavGate HUD combines augmented reality with smartphone connectivity to provide a virtual ‘line-of-sight’ 30-inch display giving motorists visual access to anything from call information to weather reports to mobile navigation apps as well as all car dashboard essentials like clock, the current speed and speed limits, red light and camera warnings as well as the distance to destinations. The NavGate HUD attaches to your sun visor and projects info in full colour.

Goodyear’s Self-inflating tyre As soon as the pressure in these futuristic Goodyear tyres gets too low, they know it and ‘fix it’ without the driver even realising anything was wrong to start with! Simply explained, an internal pressure regulator opens to allow air to flow into a pumping tube and, as the wheel turns, the weight of the car helps squeeze air from the tube through an inlet valve into the tyre. Once the air pressure hits an optimal level, the regulator closes. All components are fully contained within the tyre and the guys at Goodyear’s Air Maintenance Technology (AMT) unit say stopping at the petrol station to check tyre pressure could one day become a thing of the past for motorists.





SA’s busiest holiday roads Watch out for the N1 between Johannesburg and Beit Bridge, the N1 from Musina to Cape Town, N4 from Nelspruit to Mozambique and N3 from Johannesburg to Durban. All SA coastal roads are busy too.


‘Ralstonia eutropha’ is the name of a genetically-altered soil bacteria that could potentially reduce the world’s reliance on fossil fuels in the future as well as lessen the amount of carbon dioxide released into our atmosphere.



oo kF




res In Th


Fee ll




nk •


c k st ar i n


e Dark •

Cars t The

nigh tio





s Ro

bin Th

icke & Pharrell William

ho s•W

’s G


Turn up the volume and make traffic problems melt away as you listen to and sing along to some sweet tunes. Here’s some top choices.




e To




ro ea

r On


Traffic Jams

g Eve

Sources: MIT, LiveScience, JBEI. Lawrence Berkeley Lab

Clean your car’s interior with disinfectant wipes regularly.

Best Son

Unlike other biofuels, which are based on extracting fermentable sugars from green plants (which require solar energy and photosynthesis) to produce carbon atoms, ‘Ralstonia

If Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the US Department of Energy (DOE)’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) are correct, there may come a time where carbon dioxide emitted from natural gas or coal-burning power plants is harvested and used to produce clean, green and renewable fuel. The very culprits accused of warming our atmosphere and exacerbating global climate change could become the source of CO2 fuel needed to feed this little super biofuel-producing bacteria.

What can be done?

Use a sealed ‘trash bag’ in your car. But before ‘Ralstonia When you fill up with petrol, throw this eutropha’ changes the world, rubbish in the bins provided. Scientists need to first get Keep a liquid-free disinfectant hand it out of the lab, scaled to cleanser in your car and use it regularly. industrial production levels Avoid eating in your car, but if you have to, and functioning in the real vacuum your car often. world. Let’s hope they can Create a strict rule: make it happen! ’ O n i n v i A L P rayer B what you take een • on J ce Qu a o R into the car, v i• le Eno icyc B you take la G • s r a out. y te

• Get Lucky Daft Pu


So, you have your house cleaned regularly, but when last did you really clean the inside of your car?

Gear levers house about 356 different germs, cup holders have 228 percent more bacteria than toilet seats, while your boot (where you normally place your groceries) has a whopping 850 bacteria!


eutropha’ bacteria naturally uses hydrogen rather than sunlight as an energy source to convert carbon to isobutanol. The isobutanol can then be used directly as it does not require refining.


According to a study from Aston University in Birmingham, an average car has 283 different bacteria lurking around in every square centimetre.

Biofuel update

his lab-produced bacteria, which feeds on carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas, is reportedly able to convert carbon into isobutanol (also known as diesel-range methyl ketones), a type of alcohol that could eventually replace petrol, diesel and jet fuels.

Filthy interiors


D nna



OPEL ASTRA SEDAN REBOOTED OPEL RANGE AND WARRANTIES: All models in the new Opel Astra range come standard with a 5-year/ 120 000 km warranty and a 5-year/ 90 000 km service plan with service intervals of 15 000 km. The four-model range is as follows: Astra 1.6 Essentia sedan Astra 1.4 Turbo Essentia sedan Astra 1.4 Turbo Essentia AT sedan Astra 1.6 Turbo Cosmo sedan The all-new Opel Astra sedan has been released in South Africa, marking the return of Opel’s sedan and the addition of four new models to complete the Opel Astra range in South Africa. The new sedan, which is based on the Opel Astra hatchback, arrives on South African shores with guns blazing and a sculptural design which is set to attract the style-conscious minds and eyes of compact sedan buyers. The new Astra sedan follows the more upmarket and contemporary design cues first seen on the refreshed Opel Astra hatch earlier in 2013. Featuring the same suave front end, the new Astra sedan builds on the design success of the range with the same sleek, smooth lines beginning at the nose, where a premium look and feel which begins with chrome details in the grille and air dams converges into strong character lines which escalate sharply into the steeplyraked A-pillars.

The clean, fuss-free flanks of the vehicle exhibit a contemporary air, the gradual shoulder line rising subtly from the side indicator adding a muscular sense, which is complemented by the signature Opel design swathe above the side sills. The slim side window profile joins these design elements in emphasising the length and sleekness of the new Astra sedan – interrupted only by stylish alloy wheels on all models. By far however, the new Astra sedan’s best attribute is its new boot which integrates well into the overall design without looking bulky or out of place. Crafted according to Opel’s latest design language and featuring prominent tail lights, an integrated boot spoiler and a smart,chrome-plated exhaust outlet, thea dditional metalwork has been expertly integrated into the existing Astra shape, which is now 230 mm longer in sedan form. Fulfilling their visual appeal requirements brilliantly, the tail lights in particular emphasise class

and quality with underlying safety benefits as well, where large elements and bright lighting contribute to enhanced visibility, besides giving the Astra sedan a completely unique rear look, especially at night. The new Opel Astra arrives in South Africa with a four-model range which encompasses three different petrol engines and three transmissions for a broad spectrum of choice and value. All three engines are importantly part of Opel’s ECOTEC® engine family and all subscribe to Euro 5 emissions regulations.


The Motor Industry experienced a somewhat muted end to 2013 with December sales just 95 units, or 0,2% up on the same month in 2012. However sales momentum built up in the early part of the year carried the industry through to a total of 650620 vehicles for 2013, an increase in sales of 3,2% (plus 20001 units) over the previous year.

This number was just 1,8% up on the previous year. The light commercial sector lagged initially but improved through the year to record growth of 5,7% with a total of 169 234 LCV deliveries for the 12 months. The medium truck sector was the star performer with growth of 14,8% for the year, albeit from a small base, as an indicator of underlying commercial and infrastructural activity in the market place. Heavy, extra heavy vehicles and commercial buses grew their Brian Olson, Vice President of Sales, Service and Marketing at General market by 9,1%, again hinting at underlying support from commercial Motors South Africa (GMSA) said 2013 lived up to the expectation and infrastructural activity. of continued growth in motor vehicle sales, perhaps not as high as initially hoped for, but still enough to ensure the fourth year in succession of incremental year-on-year sales and this is a positive The past year provided an opportunity for GMSA to expand its model for the industry in what was a challenging year for new vehicle sales. representation with a number of exciting new models presented to This was the third best sales achievement in the history of the South buyers across the Chevrolet, Opel and Isuzu brands. The Chevrolet African motor industry following 2006 sales volumes of more than Trailblazer, our new SUV, was well received by buyers as was the all 714 000 units and 2007 when more than 675 000 units were sold new Isuzu range which grew its sales by 6,8%. Marginal increases in the country. “The industry experienced a massively competitive in sales were felt by key GMSA products including the Opel Astra market place during the year with incentives offered at an aggressive and Isuzu KB, which despite curbing a general decline in sales aided level to sustain buyer interest and assist in diluting the impact of a in GMSA retaining an 11.1% dealer market share, and a 9.6% overall weakening currency and increasing vehicle and motoring costs in a market share in December. slowing economy," Olson added. Looking ahead for the coming 12 months we see a market which Passenger vehicles accounted for 450 440 sales during the year will remain challenging and relatively flat due to tough economic with support primarily from the private sector through the dealer conditions. channel.


Wedding Bells

William Billett, General Manager at the Thorp Claremont branch, got married to Lauren Holt in November. William and Lauren, who is from Fish Hoek, met when William was the manager at the Fish Hoek branch. The two got married at a glittering outdoor ceremony on the banks of the Mofam Dam near Grabouw. All of us at Thorp wish you both the very best for the future.


Judith Afghan has joined Thorp Claremont as the receptionist. Previously, Judith held positions at Auric Auto as Customer Liaison Officer and workshop reception. She is married with 3 children, and enjoys reading and the outdoors. Judith is also a volunteer for victim support with the SAPS.

Reyno Engels has been appointed as Used Car Manager at Thorp Fish Hoek. Reyno previously held positions at Autohaus Engel and Birchmores before joining Thorp. He is married to Annie and has two daughters. Reyno is a keen mountain biker and enjoys restoring old vehicles.

Moosa Toffer has taken over the Service Manager position at Thorp Fish Hoek. Moosa spent time as a technician at both Reeds and Audi Claremont before joining Thorp. He is married to Farooz and has 4 sons. He enjoys rugby and motorsport, especially drag racing and stock cars


Liezl Wilson has joined Thorp Fish Hoek as the receptionist. She went to Steenberg High and has worked at a number of Cape Town based companies including Sizanane, Longain Realty and Tech-Sure Finance. The light of Liezl’s life are her two children; Tyler (8) and Emily (2).




Recent crime and vehicle tracking statistics show that car hijackings are still at unacceptable levels in South Africa. Bakkies, entry-level sedans, luxury vehicles and 4x4s are all at risk. HERE’S HOW TO SURVIVE

Stay calm


Fighting back may cause more violence. Possessions can be replaced, a life cannot. If a gun is involved, raise both hands and keep them where the hijacker can see them. Never reach for your handbag or any luggage if you’ve been ordered out of your car.

Listen carefully to their instructions and do what you are told. Don’t appear threatening in any way! They may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol which will make their actions even more unpredictable.

Avoid eye contact Make mental notes & be honest If they ask about items like wallets, laptops and cellphones, tell them what you have. Finding out or suspecting you have lied to them could lead to more aggression.

Try to concentrate on the possibility of later identifying the hijackers. How many there are, what they are wearing, their ages and any facial or physical characteristics. Do this surreptitiously; do not stare at them.

Other passengers Taken to a second location Hijackers may not notice a sleeping baby in the back seat. In this case tell them and point out that the child is not a threat and will make things more difficult for them. Never move to release the child without them saying you may.

The hijackers may drive off with you or you may be ordered to drive for them. Do so responsibly, do not try anything out of the ordinary. Remain quiet unless you need to reply to a question or clarify an order.

WHEN IT’S OVER Once you’ve been released or if you’re ordered to lie down on the ground outside, do so with your head down. Stay still until you’re sure they’ve left. Get Help - Statistically the police have a greater chance of catching them while they’re still on the move in your car, so report the incident immediately. Seek professional counselling - Hijack trauma can manifest in may different ways, soon or even long after the event.

10 tips



Hijacked Victim Support Crimeline Trauma Counselling






Get rid of trunk junk

Move it!

Tyre Pressure

Be a smooth operator

Weight decreases mileage, the heavier your car is the more fuel it needs. Keep your boot as empty as possible.

Move briskly through your gears to the highest gear asap. Revving the engine in a lower gear actually labours the engine.

Check the side panel of your car door for ideal pressure figure. Under-inflated tyres create more rolling resistance.

Research shows driving techniques influence car fuel efficiency by 30%. Always drive smoothly and at a reasonable speed.

Air conditioners consume extra fuel. Once your desired cabin temperature has been reached, turn it off for a period.






Pressing the clutch continuously leads to extra fuel consumption, so use your handbrake on hills. Apply the same principle at red robots.

Stay in your lane To all those ‘weavers’ out there, constantly changing lanes in and out of traffic will use more petrol.

Bigger isn’t always better

The drag effect

For the ladies…

Constantly re-evaluate how much car you really need. Smaller cars are more fuel efficient, and these days, roomier than ever before.

Take roof boxes and bike racks off when you’re not using them. They add aerodynamic drag to your car, burning more fuel.

Wear thin-soles when driving to gain better control of acceleration and braking. This improves fuel economy and safety.

Cool it baby!

Use your handbrake


013 13





S29.681549 E29.485308 GPS SUMMIT S29.584960 E29.286738 AVE GRADIENT 1:20 MAX GRADIENT 1:6 ELEVATION START 1544m ELEVATION SUMMIT 2876m DISTANCE 26.9km (town to town) SURFACE Mostly gravel TIME REQUIRED 2 Hours (for experienced 4x4 drivers)


Self limiting

4X4 ENTHUSIASTS CALL IT THE ‘MOTHER OF ALL SOUTH AFRICAN MOUNTAIN PASSES’ AS IT OUT-DISTANCES, OUTCLIMBS AND OUT-PERFORMS ALL OTHERS IN SOUTH AFRICA. This drive is one for the ‘bucket list’. Connecting the KZN town of Underberg with Mokhotlong in Lesotho, the gravel pass is a challenging drive in any 4x4 vehicle and requires experience and expertise.


he summit has an altitude of 2876m above sea level (bear in mind that at 3048m above sea level, aeroplanes need pressurised cabins)! It is about 26.9 km in length from town to town, and offers adventurers all the drama, bad weather, scenery and treacherous conditions expected of a mountain pass. Sani’s average gradient is only 1:20, thanks to the easy foothills of the Drakensberg, but certain sections are as steep as 1:60 and it is on these sections that most drivers can struggle. The pass holds the remains of vehicles that have not succeeded in navigating its steep gradients and there are a number of frightening stories told by locals of failed attempts at ascending the pass in years gone by. In 1948, Godfrey Edmonds (an ex RAF Spitfire pilot) was the first person to drive the Sani Pass in a vehicle. It took him five and a half hours to reach the summit and he was assisted by local tribesmen with mules, ropes and other equipment.



The South African border post, which is located at the bottom of the pass on the KZN side, will not allow ‘unsuitable’ vehicles to proceed at all. You will also be required to show your passport, which must be valid for a further six months, as well as proof of vehicle ownership and insurance. Allow a good two hours (even more if you’re going to stop and take photos) to complete the pass and bear in mind that the border post between the two countries closes at 18h00 every day. It is also a good idea to check weather forecasts when planning your trip as the pass is often closed for extended periods in winter due to heavy snowfall. Sani is home to over 386 different species of Fauna and Flora and transects the uKhlamba Drakensberg Park World Heritage site. On a clear day the view from the top is truly spectacular and this, together with the achievement of successfully completing such a challenging drive, makes every true 4x4 enthusiast’s heart skip a beat!

on the move?

visit our mobile site for the latest deals Whether you’re in the market or looking to sell, we have a wide range of new and used vehicles to suit your needs.

FIND YOUR NEXT CAR HERE Mobisite | Website | Facebook |

We roll out the red carpets for our customers!

Thorp Plumstead Estee Lauder Event

Thorp Plumstead DC Mag Issue 3  

The Dealer Club Magazine Issue 3 for Thorp Plumstead. The official magazine of SA's Top Car Dealerships.