National motoring museum
By Donna Collins
The Old Wheelers Club Windhoek (OWC) is building the first museum of its kind in Namibia, to display old automotive relics and preserve Namibia’s priceless motoring classic car heritage for generations to come.
Currently the OWC boasts one of the most outstanding collection of pristine vintage cars and pick-up’s in the world, and arguably the envy of every car loving enthusiast out there.
The OWC is hosting the ‘Museum Roof Wetting’ ceremony together with a ‘Bonnets Up’ display on 14 July, at the club house in Olympia, where dozens of pristine old timers will be on display. This will be used as a major fundraising push, in the hopes of reaching the target of around N$3-million to complete the sizeable 100 sq metre building situated on the clubhouse premises.
According to Steve Hirst, (OWC Chairperson and founder member) he likened the event to a mini version of the Day of the Old Wheeler. It will be open to the public, with bar, music and of course the finest old timers, all parked with their bonnets up.
The club has an active monthly event calendar, and just last week-end they were involved in a huge gathering of classic cars which participated in the Omaruru ‘Show Run’, hosted by Land Rover Owners Namibia (LRON).
“Our fund raising efforts are going well for the completion of an Old Wheeler National Motoring Museum, and should be able to complete the project without stopping,” said Hirst, adding. “We’ve had generous sponsors of building materials, other contributory cost saving means, as well as help from members and non members.”
Hirst said that that the museum is shooting up, and should be hopefully finished before the end of the OWC financial year, with the roof already on. In addition the floor still has to be laid at a huge cost, plus all finishes and fittings installed, before they can declare the doors officially open.
The Museum plans to exhibit the motoring heritage of Namibia, such as an 1890’s Ox Wagon, some old machinery and of course vintage models, which will be a revolving display showcasing the club’s unique range of timeless beauties.
“We have over 300 vehicles registered in the OWC, with the oldest a 1927 Dodge restored to mint conditions, as well as a Buick which is one of a few left in the world,” he explained, adding some members have a collection of up to 20 old timers in their possession.
“Our club has rare and immaculately restored classic cars which are being closely guarded, as they are often “poached” by international collectors who see Namibia’s old wheelers as an easy target, because of the attractive exchange rates..
The club is linked to three affiliated clubs such as HOG (Harley-Davidson Owners Group Namibia) BMW Motorcycle Club and Land Rover Owners Club Namibia who share offices on the club premises.
The Old Wheelers Club, which was established in 1986 with ten still active members of the 500 hundred strong membership. You can find anything from a 1962 Jaguar Mk2, 1974 Buick Sedanet, 1949 MG TC, 1959 Beetle, 1946 Ford Coupe, 1947 Chevrolet Fleetline, and so many more classic beauties in the Old Wheeler Club vintage collection.
The Old Wheelers Club is the official Namibian representatives of FIVA (Federation International Vehicles Ancient). And members of The Museums Association of Namibia (MAN). firstname.lastname@example.org.
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