The Franschhoek Motor Museum is a world-class facility situated on the L’Ormarins Estate in the majestic Franschhoek Valley, which is a 1 hour/75 kilometres drive from central Cape Town. The museum’s Cape Dutch architecture reflects the area’s origins and the exhibition space covers 2 700 m2. Set amongst some expansive lawns, four spacious display halls are de-humidified to preserve the aging machinery and each holds around 20 vehicles at any one time, all mounted on individual plinths that allow clear viewing. Collectively, the halls offer visitors a special opportunity to take a luxury ride down memory lane looking at almost 120 years of motoring history through regularly changing themed displays of vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, and memorabilia.
The birth of the museum’s collection took place in 1974 with the establishment of a transport museum at the Heidelberg railway station in Gauteng. Initiated and backed by local entrepreneur and conservationist Dr. Anton Rupert, his enthusiasm and appreciation of the automobile led to an ongoing acquisition of a large number of vehicles both individually and from other collections, which ultimately led to a decision in 2004 to relocate the museum’s contents to the family’s estate in Franschhoek. Dr. Rupert passed away in 2006, shortly before the new museum was opened on 7 May 2007, but his equally auto-enthusiast son Johann has continued to develop the museum’s eminence.
From the rare to the exotic, from the innovative to the commercial, this superb 300+ collection of vehicles, most of which are in show condition, have been brought together not only from within South Africa but from around the globe. The oldest is an 1898 Beeston motor tricycle – a 1903 Ford Model A is the oldest four-wheeler. Among the unique models are examples of South Africa’s only two totally home-grown marques, the GSM Dart/Flamingo and the Protea.
The Franschhoek Motor Museum’s ever-expanding inventory rivals that of most similar private collections around the world and represents a living tribute to one family’s passion for the automobile. For video and photo galleries of the collection, monthly newsletters, and any other information about the museum, log on to www.fmm.co.za.