Pic of the Week: South African Specials

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This week's POTW has been unashamedly pinched from the latest edition of Classic and Sports Car, and shows a 1972 Ford Capri Perana and a 1973 Chevrolet Firenza Can-Am in a cracking 'rolling pose' on a country lane.

During the 1960s and early '70s South Africa saw somewhat of a hey-day for saloon car racing, with many would-be racers converting family cars into racing specials. As these two cars demonstrate, some of the results were pretty awesome, and often impressed the manufacturers themselves. Both of these cars had full factory endorsement, and 100 of each were built of each to pass homologation regulations.

These V8 saloons will both exceed 140mph and hit 60 in around six seconds (just 5.4 in the case of the Firenza), and we can only wince in jealousy at the thought of the noise these two were making during the photo shoot that brought us this great wallpaper.

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Comments (38) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Morningside 01 Nov 2009

    pozi said:
    I never thought I would see the day that a Firenza would grace Pistonheads !!

    The 1.3 Viva E Coupe was my first car and I followed it up with a 1.8 Firenza then a 2.3 Magnum Coupe, all the same shape but alas I never did work up to the V8 !!
    Lucky bugger. My first car was a Firenza. I always wanted the Magnum but they all vanished by the time I got round to one. frown

    Did drive a Blackwatch. Well, borrowed it from a nice lady at work smile That was quite fun.


    Back in the 1990's our local doctor used a Sierra XR8 as the emergency response vehicle - Could hear the thing from miles away.


    Edited by Morningside on Sunday 1st November 15:02

  • LS6wetdream 28 Oct 2009

    Chipchap said:
    I very nearly bought a Chevvy Can-Am in 1975/6 for 3000 SA Rand ! [about £1200 then] but instead I bought a newer Mazda RX-2 Capella Rs Coupe' another homologation special. It was only 1700 Rand taken as a px against a new Mini 1275 GTS as fuel had just gone mad over there.

    What a misssed opportunity.

    Made up for it later though with:

    Ford Mustang Mach 1 351 Cleveland
    Lotus Europa
    Ford Fairmont Gt 351 Cleveland. I think it was a Falcon GT in Aus.

    Among many others, then I found bikes with a Kawasaki Z1000 A2 in 1977/8


    I'd have any of em, what a pity i haven't seen any RX2's in this country, saw an RX3 in a breakers yard minus its rotary power, and it had a 4 pot in it :S

    your right about the fairmont biggrin i own a later 74 model GT hardtop, you've had some nice cars


    CC

  • Alfanatic 28 Oct 2009

    pmaurice said:
    Great to read about these cars - I grew up in SA and remember the saloon car races at Kyalami - involving all sorts of local specials. BMW created the 333i, an E34 model with a 3.2 straight six; Ford produced a Sierra XR8 as already mentioned in this thread - and an XR6 Interceptor based on the Mk5 Cortina; Alfa produced a lovely GTV6 3.0 (bonnet bulge was the giveaway); and we brought back to the UK another local car - a Mk1 Golf GTI 5 door which I subsequently came across at a GTI International event. Pick up trucks were also popular with big engines - the Golf Caddy came as a GTI version, and Ford's Cortina-based pick up also had the 3.0 V6 at one point. All good fun...
    Yep, and don't forget about the E12 M535i, the E23 745i (had the M5 engine in SA rather than the turbo, and was raced), the Opel Kadett GSi 16V "Superboss" and turbocharged 200tS...

  • pmaurice 27 Oct 2009

    Great to read about these cars - I grew up in SA and remember the saloon car races at Kyalami - involving all sorts of local specials. BMW created the 333i, an E34 model with a 3.2 straight six; Ford produced a Sierra XR8 as already mentioned in this thread - and an XR6 Interceptor based on the Mk5 Cortina; Alfa produced a lovely GTV6 3.0 (bonnet bulge was the giveaway); and we brought back to the UK another local car - a Mk1 Golf GTI 5 door which I subsequently came across at a GTI International event. Pick up trucks were also popular with big engines - the Golf Caddy came as a GTI version, and Ford's Cortina-based pick up also had the 3.0 V6 at one point. All good fun...

  • Dr G 26 Oct 2009

    POTW bang back on form! I'm off out for a C+SC too smile

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