Old Harrismith Cars

A post for you, if you’re A. Ancient; B. A Harrismith, Vrystaat okie; and C. A nerd or a petrolhead.

Who drove What cars When, back in the day. And: WHAT COLOUR were they? Also, for extra points, can you recall their number plates?

Old bullets – and those of us who spoke to dear-departed old bullets – remember that Harrismith was OI before it was OHS – Oh, Aye! It was indeed. Here’s a picnic on the slopes of the mountain back in those days.

– 1939 2-door Chev like this one, I wonder? –

Vic Crawley bought Sep de Beer’s 2-door Chev 1939 number plate OI 1

Abe Sparks, the Mayor of Swinburne – silver? Rolls Royce pickup conversion (Abe with stetson hat, cowboy boots and string tie with a semi-precious stone clasp; Lulu looking swish next to him)

Beno Sammel – big Packard, according to Dad

– Dr Leo Hoenigsberger

Dr Leo Hoenigsberger drove ‘a big old German Sperber’ according to his grandson Leo Caskie Wade. Sperber means sparrowhawk

Pikkie Loots’ grandad’s ‘lovely old blue Desoto Suburban – probably late 1940s model – OHS 555 ‘State Express’ (remember the State Express 555 cigarettes – they came in a tin?).

Pikkie also added: What about the Herringtons, Charlie and George? They had a few cars between them. At least one Karmann Ghia if I remember. At van Niekerk (Dries’ brother) – a Porsche. Ronnie (Hector) Pienaar’s Alpha Romeo. Abel Caixinha’s uncle’s beige station wagon. Hoender’s (Gerrit – Ritger? – Kock) Volvo B16?

Annie Bland – beige Chevrolet Fleetline 1948 OHS 974

– I put a milk can in the back so it would like the Simpsons –

Joan & Vera Simpson – grey Morris Minor pickup, milk cans on the back

Martha McDonald & Carrie Friday – British racing green 1938 Buick Roadster coupe. See the feature pic above of their actual car, lovingly restored by Ty Terreblanche in PMB.

Charlie Crawley & Michael Hasting’s ‘s flatbed truck – dark green, wooden bed Chev (1934 – 35 according to Dad);

JN ‘Koos’ de Witt – big black (de Soto?)

Alet de Witt – VW Karmann Ghia


Max Ntshingila (Max Express bus fleet owner) . He drove a sleek yank tank and I thought I’d never get to know what it was. Then I met his son Thembinkosi, and he told me: A gold Chev Biscayne

– Parisienne – the Canadian Pontiac –

Hec & Stel Fyvie – a white Pontiac Parisienne and a lang slap off-white Merc 220S that Tabs drove; Tabs’ red Datsun 1600 (was it a SSS?) with the round rear lights that the girls at NTC in PMB called a Ferrari; Then Tabs had a green Datsun 1800 SSS which Geoff Leslie called his ‘Triple Ess Ess Ess’

Patrick Shannon – Chevrolet El Camino pickup (I saw him using it as a pick-up, too!)

Other farmers’ cars: I remember Bertie van Niekerk getting out of a huge car wearing a huge hat, but details are missing. Someone will know; I also have a mental picture of him wearing a huge hat and coattails sitting astride a horse and looking down at the admiring throng . . by die skou, I suppose. I remember Chev Kommandos, one driven by an Odendaal, one by Hertzog van Wyk

Ronnie van Tubergh – Ford Ranchero pickup

Piet Steyn – grey Borgward

Chev sedan – Fleetmaster? 1948?

Gretel Reitz – black VW Karmann Ghia; Dr Frank Reitz – big old black Chev OHS 71, seen here parked in the shade of the big old trees on the banks of the Tugela river on The Bend.

Dad Swanepoel – beige Morris Isis OHS 154 – dark blue VW Kombi OHS 153 – light blue Holden station wagon – white Holden station wagon – white V8 Ford Econoline, all OHS 154

Mary Swanepoel – green & black Ford Prefect – light blue VW 1200 Beetle OHS 155

Jannie Jan Bal du Plessis – green Datsun 300C

Jes Hansen – Harrismith’s first Hino pickup; small and grey, I seem to remember;

Charles Ryder – lime green Volvo 122S – whattacar!

Teachers’ cars: Bruce Humphries – new white Ford Cortina; Heilige Giel du Toit – old black Mercedes 190; Ben Marais – blue VW beetle; Ou Rot Malherbe – little green Fiat 500; Ou Eier Meyer – something with wings – a Zephyr? Daan Smuts – white VW beetle;

Cappie Joubert – green Ford Zephyr 6 with wings; gold ‘stompgat’ Zephyr 6