The first SentiMETAL Gathering of the year saw around 150 cars descend on the Cars.co.za HQ in Bedfordview on Sunday, February 16th. Here's what went down...
Photos by Roarke Bouffe
It was a perfect Sunday morning for a cars and coffee meet, and Johannesburg's petrolheads did not disappoint, showing up in big numbers at the first SentiMETAL Gathering of the year.
Held at the Cars.co.za head office in Bedfordview, gates opened at 8am and very quickly it became clear that this would be a big one... First car to arrive, of course, was our very own Alfa Romeo GTV6 3.0, revealed to the world for the first time at the recent Cars.co.za Consumer Awards - Powered by WesBank, and on Sunday for the first time displayed out in the open. We think she was the star of the day, but then again we are biased!
The famous Italian marque wasn't only represented by our freshly restored GTV6 3.0, shimmering in the Gauteng sunlight, but a number of other Alfanatics also arrived. One of the rarest Alfa Romeos in South Africa is a Giulia 2000 Rally, and the car that showed up in Bedfordview is in pristine, restored condition. It is also believed to be one of only 6 remaining on our roads.
Other Alfa Romeos in attendance included a stunning GTV6 2.5, Spider, three 156 GTAs, a 159i and a 155. Fiat was also represented, with 2 immaculate Uno Turbos joined by 2 variants of the classic Fiat 500.
On the more exotic end of the scale, the very rare Ferrari 550 Barchetta and a 348 caught the eye and for Maserati fans there was a 222 SE.
As ever, the BMW brigade showed up in full force and on display was a staggering variety of iconic Bimmers. Joining a number of 2002s at the event were various E30 3 Series models, including a rare and pristine 333i, as well as a 325iS "Gusheshe" (or 3). The rapidly appreciating E36 M3 was also represented, by 2 stunning examples, one in white, and the other looking menacing in black. A lone M635CSi had many a camera pointed at it during the course of the day.
It's rare to see the '90s 8 series in the metal in South Africa, but visitors had the opportunity to ogle two beautiful examples of this rare beast on Sunday. A crisp-looking light-metallic blue E28 M5 made many a visitor swoon, and the appreciation for BMW's modern classic, the 1M, was very evident. Also turning many a head were 2 examples of the "clown shoe", the BMW M Coupe, a pristine E39 M5 and a striking E92 M3.
For Porshe fans there were plenty derivatives of the iconic 911 to drool over, including a classic Targa variant, a 930 Turbo, a 964 Turbo, 996 GT3 (looking splendid in red) as well as a 996 Turbo S Convertible (very rare in South Africa. Also in attendance were 2 Cayman Rs, a Cayman GT4 and a 928.
"As ever, we're thrilled with the diversity of the vehicles that showed up. There was something for everyone," says Hannes Oosthuizen, SentiMETAL project manager. "This was our last SentiMETAL Gathering at our Head Office, simply because the event now needs larger premises."
American muscle cars are always a crowd favourite, and there were plenty of those at the event on Sunday. A brutal-looking Camaro Z28 with a massive hood "hump", 2 gorgeous Pontiac GTOs, a Pontiac Trans Am and a pair of lovely Corvette C4s caused a lot of "rumble". On the Ford side, people could get up close to a beautifully turned-out GT40 replica and a brawny Roush Mustang.
More modern, "future classics" were also welcomed. Nissan's R35 GT-R always causes a lot of swooning, and a BMW M2 Black Shadow Edition looked menacing as it lurked in the shadows. A muscular Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG also had future collectible written all over it...
And then there were the Brits, represented by a cream-coloured Jaguar E-Type Coupe, a Noble M400 (a crowd favourite), MGB GT and 2 Lotus Elise/Exiges, one being a very rare John Player Special Edition. A Triumph TR6 joined the party nearer the end of the day.
Team Opel was represented by no fewer than 3 Kadett Superbosses, but 3 other examples of the "Blitz" also caused some commotion. One was an immaculate Monza 200 CD (when did you last see one of those!), joined by a similarly pristine Astra 200t S and a stunning red Calibra.
For the Veedub fans, a number of modified Golfs and Jettas arrived, but there were also some very neat, original versions of the Golf I and II GTI, as well as the Golf III and Jetta VR6. Jacob Moshokoa's beautifully original blue CitiGolf made a grand entrance, and of course, what would a classic car meet be without a Beetle or 2? And then there was a Variant station wagon, kitted out to look like a Ghostbusters van. As we said... diversity!
An Audi that stole many hearts on the day was a very pretty 100 GL in white (with a brown vinyl roof). Joining the four-ringed brigade was a first-generation R8, an S4 Avant, first-generation TT and even a Q7... You may wonder what the significance could be of a big modern SUV in attendance, but this was no ordinary Q7, it was the V12 TDI!
Other notable cars included a very neat W126 500SE, an achingly beautiful W123 Coupe and a very rare Toyota MR-2 GT-S.
The next SentiMETAL Gathering is scheduled to take place in Cape Town on Sunday, March 15th.