Early in 1954 Dr Julian (Dick) Coller arrived back in the Union of South Africa, having spent some time in the U.K. advancing his education in Radiography. He brought with him a 1905 Mors with a Roi des Belges body and promptly had an article, with a picture of the car printed in the Daily News, inviting interested members of the public to meet at the Marine Hotel with the specific purpose of forming a Veteran Car Club here in Durban.
This was attended by a surprisingly large number of car enthusiasts. Everyone present was in favour of forming a club and four classes of membership were offered, namely Founder, Full, Associate and Country. The thirteen Founder Members were Bob Burnie, Roy Case, Colin Crooks, Michael Crooks, Mark Edwards, Gordon Gordon-Watson, Michael Hull, Michael Milner-Smythe, Stanley Murphy, Jock Simpson, George Stuart, Woody Woodford and Wilfred Wright, who together with the founder, Dr Coller formed the Club on 25th. May 1954. The original committee was chaired by Bob Burnie with Mike Milner-Smythe acting as secretary.
At this time, the inspirational film “Genevieve” was released worldwide and was the catalyst for the formation of nearly every Veteran Car Club in the world.
In November 1954, Bill Milligan, a fund raising member of the Port Elizabeth Red Cross saw the potential of a Veteran Car Rally as a fund raiser. He organised a successful five day rally from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth which was the start of the annual National Veteran and Vintage Rallies.
In December 1954, Dick penned the first club newsletter, a Roneoed sheet which was called “Veterantics”. Mark Edwards took over as editor and Veterantics continued to grow in popularity, eventually acquiring printed covers courtesy of Dunlop.
At the same time, Mark took on the organising of events and the monthly get together was inaugurated with a trip on the last Sunday of each month, down to the River Tea Gardens at Amanzimtoti. It was here that Mark coined the phrase “Bonnets Up” to encourage members to bring out their old cars and show them off. The name has since been adopted by every club in the country.
In February 1958, the Club hired garage space at Red Hill as a headquarters for the purpose of holding social gatherings, committee meetings and a place where restorations could be undertaken by members, and although this proved reasonably successful, it was not the ultimate answer.
We wanted our own property but this needed finance. Mark Edwards was responsible for fund raising over the next four years and George Huddlestone was the tireless motivator, looking for property which we could acquire for a Club House. In 1972 he found the “Village Service Station” in Kloof and at a Special General Meeting it was decided to proceed and negotiate with Mobil. On 17th. April 1973 we concluded an agreement with Mobil to purchase the site at 21A Village Road, Kloof for the sum of R18,000.00.
Jack Ferguson and George Huddlestone jointly owned a 1901 Toledo Steamer and when they sold it, George very generously donated his share to the Club, which coupled with what we had enabled us to pay for the property in full.
We had our own Club House. Originally a wood and asbestos building, it served us well until our present building was completed in February 1979.
The Veteran Car Club of South Africa keeps statistical, historical and technical records of classic vehicles as well as an up to date membership register reflecting veteran vehicles currently owned by members.
The Club organises and promotes competitions, trials and other events in which classic vehicles can participate.
An Annual General Meeting is held on the Saturday preceding the last Sunday in March.
Informative and entertaining Newsletters are sent to members on a monthly basis. The newsletters also contain a wanted/for-sale/swap section.
Membership of The Veteran Car Club of South Africa is open to all who share our love of Veteran, Vintage and Classic motor cars. Download the membership application form here.
Download the Constitution here.
The Club meets on the last Sunday of every month at 09h30 at their Clubhouse. See Location.
We look forward to meeting you and your friends.