The Rola Group is a highly respected name in the automotive trade in the Western Cape, retailing cars from no fewer than 13 brands. Now, a new Luxury Collection dealer has opened in Stellenbosch focusing on cars for enthusiasts.
Words and pictures: Wilhelm Lutjeharms
The market for classic, modern classic, sports and luxury cars is truly alive and kicking. With more specialist dealers opening, auctions held and storage facilities built, it is clear that the enthusiasm for special cars is indeed very healthy in South Africa.
Rola Group, which is based in the Helderberg region but with a greater Western Cape footprint, is the latest company to open a dealership that will specialise in luxury, sports, performance and classic cars. The Rola Group is known for offering 13 brands in their stable but their Luxury Collection dealership in Stellenbosch will not be limited to any specific brand.
During the opening evening the company’s CEO, Marius Claassen explained that they had been planning to enter the Stellenbosch market for a while. After they set up a Haval dealership in the Eikestad, a dealership that would focus on luxury cars was the logical next step.
He further highlighted the fact that 2023 would mark Rola's 60th year in automotive retail. As a family, they have themselves also collected some cars over the years and are also true petrolheads.
There was a healthy mix of exotic cars on display during the opening evening. Some of the cars were recently sold by Rola and even the Franschhoek Motor Museum was in attendance, having brought a very beautiful pre-war Mercedes-Benz Cabriolet.
Some of the cars that drew the most attention was the modern classic Dakar Yellow BMW E36 M3 Coupé, a 991 Porsche 911 GT3, an Aston Martin DBS and a Porsche Cayman R. Possibly the rarest car of all those parked on the floor was the stylish Lamborghini Espada, freshly restored in Cape Town by Dave Bryant and his team, and painted in Cepheus Blue Pearl.
Marius admitted that keeping the floor stocked would be challenge, but Rola Luxury Collection’s manager, Corrie van Rensburg, has a number of decades of experience in the field and will undoubtedly be able to lure potential buyers to the showroom and acquire the right vehicles for the target market.
This will also not just be a standard showroom, but visitors will be able to sit down and have a cup of coffee and just enjoy the environment.
Apart from the sports, GT, classic and performance cars on offer, it was made clear that the demand for luxury and performance SUVs is quite high, and that these types of cars will also be offered through the Luxury Collection.
The Claassen family has an extensive history in the car industry. Their father, Mr. Laurie Claassen built up the Rola Group over several decades, and him and his sons have a deep passion for cars, both new and old.
This was evident with what is one of only three Honda NSX models in South Africa that was also parked on the floor – however, this car is not for sale.
Another service Rola Luxury Collection will over for clients will be a detailing facility where cars will receive pampering by experts.
Have a look at Rola’s Luxury Collection's stock by following this link.