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The car with a Plexiglas body

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Club eMag July 2012


In This Issue

Page 3.............................................................Committee Contacts Page 4.............................................................Chairman’s Desk Page 6..................................................................Editor’s Desk Page 7……………………………………………………………………….Forthcoming Events Page 8 & 9……………………………………………………………………….Outings – VCCCK outing to John Sawers’s House Page 10 - 12………………………………………International Article – The Plexiglas Pontiac Page 13 & 14…….............Sokoni Page 15 - 17….....’Hapa Kwetu’ – The Rhino Charge Page 19………………………….Chill Out Corner Page 20…………………………Club Page

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Committee Contacts Chairman – Raju Chaggar

Vice Chairman – Nitin Pandit

chairman@vccck.org 020 – 552854 PO Box 18381 – 00500 Nairobi

vicechair@vccck.org 020 – 4440772 PO Box 20497 – 00200 Nairobi

Treasurer – Monte Singh

Membership – John Sawers

treasurer@vccck.org 020 – 555692 PO Box 72283 – 00200 Nairobi

membership@vccck.org 0737 - 030527

Secretary – J.J. Goudsbloem

Editor - James Dyson

secretary@vccck.org 0720 - 389932

editor@vccck.org + 44 7889 125 782 4 Caxton House, Oxted Surrey, RH8 0TE

Merchandise – Brian Nicol

Events – Val D’Souza

merchandise@vccck.org 0729 – 984376 PO Box 15184 – 00509 Nairobi

events@vccck.org 0733 - 246633

Reciprocating Clubs Vintage and Classic Club Of Matabeleland Vintage and Veteran Club

Old Auto Club Border Vintage Club

Club Sponsors Chequered Flag Ltd Nanak Car Parts Ltd Unifilters (K) Ltd Domaine Kenya Ltd Arun’s Auto Ltd

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Davis and Shirtliff Ltd Westlands Secretarial Services Ltd Nimrod (A) Ltd

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Chairman’s desk: Dear Members, Last week’s outing to John Sawers’s house was a huge success. There was a great turnout of members, the venue was good and the idea of getting together and watching motor related videos was very enjoyable. I look forward to repeating a similar event in the future. This issue there is an article on the history of the Rhino Charge in the local content section. I took part in this year’s Rhino Charge only a few weeks ago. It was very enjoyable and I encourage all members to participate or simply to try and come and watch. This month the Chairman’s Breakfast is taking place on the 22nd of July at the Kakuzi estate. The road is the all new Thika Super Highway so please bring out your Vintage and Classic cars. The newsflash for the outing will be sent out soon along with the menu and prices. Looking forward to seeing you all at the outing,

Raju

Please be aware that the contents of this magazine reflect the opinions and experiences of members of the Vintage and Classic Car Club of Kenya and are not to be used as legal advice. Whilst we attempt to ensure the enclosed information is as reliable as possible all matters relating to motoring law, or any other legal / official matters should be pursued with the relevant legal authorities. We cannot accept any liability for loss or damage based on of the following advice as it is given in good faith only.

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Editor’s desk: Dear Members, Welcome to the July issue of the VCCCK eMag. In this month’s eMag, there is the outing to John Sawers’s house involving watching motor related videos and movies, an article on the history of the Rhino Charge and how the Charge came about and lastly, there is an article on the 1939 Pontiac Deluxe Six ‘Ghost Car’ which is the world’s first Plexiglas car. Recently auctioned in Michigan for $308,000, it is the only one known to exist as only 2 were built and the other’s whereabouts are unknown. There’s also a new ‘test yourself’ question so please test your car knowledge and guess the car and model. Unfortunately, last month there were no correct answers and hence no winners. Looking forward to seeing you all at the next outing which is the Chairman’s Breakfast and is taking place on the 22nd of July. Take care,

Karann karann_kalsey@yahoo.co.uk

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Forthcoming Events Save These dates…

Sunday 22nd July 2012 – Chairman’s Breakfast at the Kakuzi Estate Sunday 12th August 2012 – Gymkhana September 2012 – Social ‘Koroga’ October 2012 – Annual Run

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Outings This month’s outing took place on Sunday 24th June at John Sawers’s residence in Muthaiga.

Members relax and enjoy the movies as they wait for lunch to be served

The outing involved a delicious lunch prepared by Diane Sawers whilst watching old motoring videos kindly provided by Brian Stutchbury and John Sawers. The videos included movies of Kenya in the 1960s taken by Brian Stutchbury as well as videos of the Goodwood festival and classic motor racing.

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The event was well attended with around 20 members attending. The videos were great and a big thank-you to Mr and Mrs Sawers for hosting the event at their house and providing the lunch.

Above: John Sawer’s Triumph TR4 and Dr Adalja’s Riley RM 1951 which is currently for sale in the ‘Sokoni’ section of the eMag Right: Robert Poole’s Mercedes 450 SLC

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1939 Pontiac Deluxe Six ‘Ghost Car’ The 1939 Pontiac Deluxe Six "Ghost Car," first displayed at the New York World's Fair and later at the Smithsonian Institution, was sold at an auction in Michigan for $308,000.

Originally built for $25,000, the car with a Plexiglas body was the first transparent car built in America. Another was built the following year, but its whereabouts are unknown. "This is the only one known to exist," said Alain Squindo, a car specialist for RM Auctions, which held the auction for the "Ghost Car" and other specialty vehicles in Plymouth , Mich. "It's a very original car." The Ghost Car was first displayed at the 1939/1940 New York World's Fair, Squindo said. It toured a number of dealerships, and then was at the Smithsonian in Washington , D.C. for a number of years. It has been owned by the same family since the 1980s. "They were rather sad to see their beloved car go," Squindo said. He could not disclose the name of the buyer. The car has 86 miles on it, picked up by being driven in and out of dealerships for displays. It was a collaboration between GM and Rohm & Haas chemical company, which made the Plexiglas.

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Structural metal underneath was given a copper wash and all hardware, including the dashboard, was chromeplated.

which

has

a

three-speed

manual

Billed as a vision of the future, it was made for the 1939-40 New York World's Fair, where it became a sensation at General Motors' 'Highways and Horizons" pavilion; and it continues to cause a stir today. Just two were ever made and this model, transmission, is the last of its kind.

Transparent: Wires and a spare wheel can be seen through the trunk of the car. A spokesman for RM Auctions said: "The car is in a remarkable state of preservation. It's a testament to the longevity of Plexiglas in an era when automotive plastics tended to selfdestruct within a few years." Although it has acquired a few chips and cracks, it is structurally sound and cosmetically clear, showing off the Ghost Car's innards as it did in 1939. This motor still turns heads as much as it ever did. It is not, obviously, suited for touring but as a unique artifact from automotive and cultural history."

Turning back the clock: The dial on the 1939 car shows the wear of its 72 years.

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Mechanics The model has an L-head six-cylinder engine, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes.

Rohm & Haas used drawings for the Pontiac four-door Touring Sedan to create an exact replica body out of the transparent acrylic. It was completed with structural metal underneath, which was given a copper wash, and chromeplated hardware. Sensation: Billed as a vision of the future, the car was made for the 193940 New York World's Fair in San Francisco. Following a dealership tour, it went on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. and was reportedly there until 1947. It was later owned by a succession of Pennsylvania Pontiac dealers. It appeared at the first annual meet of the new Pontiac-Oakland Club International in 1973 and was purchased by Don Barlup of New Cumberland , Pennsylvania . Barlup commissioned a partial restoration from S&H Pontiac of Harrisburg and sold it to collector Leo Gephart in 1979. The current owner’s father purchased it from Gephart in the early 1980s, and ithas remained in the same family ever since. Not surprisingly, it has no conventional vehicle identification number; even the machined boss for the engine number is blank.

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Sokoni For sale 1) Price: 450,000/= For more details call 0723-6056888 Email: angiekimani@yahoo.com

2) 1967 MGB GT For more details call 0722-513177 or 0733-513177

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3) 1951 Riley RM Excellent condition. Owned since restoration in 1988. Driven regularly. Price: 1.75M For more details contact Dr M. Adalja. Tel: 020-4443154 or 0722-809066 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) 10) 11) 12) 13)

To advertise for any parts or cars for sale or wanted, please email the product as well as a picture to karann_kalsey@yahoo.co.uk

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‘Hapa Kwetu’ – History of The Rhino Charge The Rhino Charge is an annual off road motorsport competition that has been held in Kenya since 1989. It is a unique and exciting competition that requires bravery and a high level of skill in off-road driving and navigation. The event, organized by The Rhino Ark Charitable Trust, is held to raise funds for a very noble cause – conservation of Kenya’s Aberdare Ecosystem. In December 2010 Rhino Ark announced its formal commitment to support conservation of other critical ecosystems, starting with Mau, Mt. Eburu and Mt. Kenya. Funds raised by the Rhino Charge will now also play an important role in this. Overview The Rhino Charge is an off-road event in which competitors are required to visit 13 points scattered over approximately 100 square kms of rough terrain within a 10 hour period. Competitors are supplied with a 1:50,000 scale map of the venue, co-ordinates of the 13 Control Points and their Start position (at one of the Controls). Each competitor must plot the Control Points on the map and decide his/her route. Navigation is by compass/GPS and the winner is the competitor who visits the most controls in the shortest distance (GPS measured). To negate environmental damage entries to the Charge are limited to less than 60 vehicles. The popularity of the Charge is such that the organisers have introduced a preferential entry strategy favouring high value fund raisers because would-be entrants far exceed available places in the event. How it Began The Rhino Charge was conceived on the verandah of the Members Bar at Muthaiga Country Club. Rhino Ark founder Ken Kuhle, asked Rally Enthusiast Rob Coombes whether he would organise a motorsport event to help raise funds for the “Rhino Ark Charitable Trust” that he had recently formed. The trust was committed to saving the Aberdare National Park’s dwindling Rhino population.

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The concept discussed was to hold an “Off Road” competition whereby the winner would drive a vehicle to the highest altitude on Mt Kenya. Rob then discussed the idea with Brian Haworth who was enthusiastic and agreed to join Rob in organising it. Rob and Brian both shared a passion for the Kenyan Bush and Camping. Presentations to KWS quickly determined that the permission to hold the event on Mt Kenya would not be granted and the concept went back to the drawing board. Some years prior to this, Brian had recced a route around Mt Longonot for an off road event at the request of Derek Gates (Safari Rally organiser). It never took place as they decided to hold a mini event at Hells Gate instead. Brian’s concept was to use distance, rather than speed as the deciding factor, this was to prove the basis for what would become the Rhino Charge. Based on this experience and after much discussion, Rob and Brian decided to attempt an event to drive over Mt Suswa in the Rift Valley. Two controls would be sited on either side of the Volcano and whoever did it in the shortest distance would be the winner. One Sunday morning in early 1989 the two set off, with motor bikes, headed for the southern slopes of Mt Suswa. After an exhausting day mostly “carrying” the bikes, and still only half way up Suswa they had to head back to base, the idea wasn’t going to work! They sat looking across the Suswa plains with Lake Magadi in the distance, several small hills and large luggas in the foreground. Why not put a control on the top of each hill and one at the bottom of the escarpment? The competitors would have to find their way across the luggas to get to the hills!!! This was a much better idea and far less exhausting for the organisers! The following weekend, prepared with camping gear, motor bikes and their families, they spent two days driving and riding around the area setting out what eventually became the venue for the first ever Rhino Charge.

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The rest, as they say is history... 31 competing vehicles entered the 4th February 1989 event won by Travers Allison in a Suzuki Jeep. Distance was measured with the vehicle’s standard odometer. These pioneers probably had no idea of the huge interest this small event would attract in the years to come.

Rhino Charge 2012 Rhino Charge 2012 held on June 2 in Ngwesi, Laikipia North District raised Ksh 84,627,119.33. This beats last year’s figure of Ksh 77.3 million adding another Ksh 7.3million to secure another alltime record. The event was won by Terry Childs (Braeburn Seven Squared) in car 49 with a distance of 47.6km. The course’s straight line distance was just less than 30 km.

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Chill out Corner

A man was driving down a country road in the middle of dairy farm country when his car stalled inexplicably. He got out and raised the hood to see if he could find out what had happened. A brown and white cow slowly lumbered from the field she had been grazing in over to the car and stuck her head under the hood beside the man. After a moment the cow looked at the man and said, "Looks like a bad carburetor to me." Then she walked back into the field and began grazing again. Amazed, the man walked back to the farmhouse he had just passed, where he met a farmer. "Hey, mister, is that your cow in the field?" he asked. The farmer replied, "The brown and white one? Yep, that's old Bessie." The man then said, "Well my car's broken down, and she just said, 'Looks like a bad carburetor to me.'" The farmer shook his head and said, "Don't mind old Bessie, son. She doesn't know a thing about cars."

Last month’s answer: Dusenberg SJN

Guess the car and stand a chance to win a VCCCK Polo Shirt. Answers can be emailed to karann_kalsey@yahoo.co.uk

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Club Page

Item

Kshs

Tee – Shirts Lapel Badges Polo Shirts – White (Small) Polo Shirts – White (Medium) Polo Shirts – Green (Medium) Polo Shirts – Green (Large) Polo Shirts – Green (X Large) Polo Shirts – Green (XX Large) Polo Shirts – Green (XXXL) Shirts – (Green Medium) Baseball Caps Key Rings Pens Engraved Plates Engraved Mugs Car Badges

200/50/300/300/300/300/800/800/800/750/700/100/100/700/700/800/-

New Car Badges arrived!

Ad Size

Price

1/4 Page

4500/-

1/2 Page

9000/-

Full Page

15000/*per annum rates

Please support the club and your business by advertising in the VCCCK magazine.

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VCCCK eMag - July 2012