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Born  in South West Africa in 1933, I matriculated at the Hottentots Holland High School, Somerset West in 1950.

Although I was always interested in cars, I embarked on a career in pharmacy. I served my apprenticeship ay Wynberg Pharmacy in Wynberg, Cape Town.

Living in Mowbray and working in Wynberg, helped me to persuade my Father that he needed transport and should have a car. Dad relented and not only provided a car, but allowed me to buy myself a MG TC.

That first car, an iconic sports car car in those days, probably irrevocably shaped my future life and interest. Soon I befriended other MG owners and joined the Metropolitan Car Club. This lead to attending races at Killarney and the bug bit.

My Dad died in 1954, my Mom moved to Bellville from SWA and I went to stay at home. Driving down Durban Road, early 1957, I noticed strange happenings at Oliviers Transport in Durban Road, near the N1. I had to go investigate, and there I met Bob van Niekerk, Sidney Ehrenreich and Willie Meissner, who were building a car they designed and were going to develop. That was the first two Darts that firstt saw the light of day. Now I was really hooked, soon test driving the first chassis, before it had a body. Testing leasd to driving Bob van Niekerk’s Peugeot Special at the Eerste River Race Track and eventually sharing the Peugeot Dart in long distance races at Killarney. Bob and I won the two hour race in a Dart and the next year in a Flamingo and I become one of the works drivers. When they started to sell production Darts, they sold prototype 1 to me. This was a Willment engine Dart which I then raced privately for a few years. This car I developed with Tony Kotze into an Alfa Dart, with Alfa wheels and brakes and Alfa four speed box. The lightweight Golden Flamingo with Twincam Lotus motor was built for me to drive. Co-driving with me,Donald Philip and I was placed second in the Pietermaritzburg six hour race, with Peter Gough and Dennis Joubert third in the V8 Flamingo. A few weeks later I drove it to victory in the Cape Three Hour.

I was transferred to Johannesburg for Metlife in 1974 and came back to Cape Town in 1987. Since about 1999 I have been involved with the GSM Club and Peanuts. Last race in a Dart was at Zwartkops in 2006 when Peter du Toit invited me to drive one of his Alfa Darts there.

I enjoy being involved with present GSM Club and it’s affairs.

FORWARD

By President and Chairman

Of The GSM Motor Club of SA

Piet van Niekerk (President)

MG-TC

Peanuts Fouché (Chairman)

The Chairman


Our club, The GSM Car Club of SA is a club like any other club. Yes, like any other club it has a constitution, an executive committee, a secretary, a treasurer, that keeps a complete set of books and all financial details and a bank account. All pretty ordinary, but that is where it stops.


The club was started in Johannesburg by Dr Con Joubert, in September 1976. By this time, the GSM factory in Paarden Eiland, Cape Town had been closed, all the moulds had been sold at an auction and the Glassport Motor Co no longer existed.


The original movers and shakers were no longer involved, each doing their own thing. Only Willie Meissner was still involved in the motor industry, running his own service station and his Meissner racing Team, but not connected to GSM in any way. GSM cars were still racing and winning all over the country. Con Jouberts GSM Cub in Johannesburg grew phenomenally and a smaller club sprang up in Cape Town. Both these clubs kept themselves busy with fun runs and shows, keeping the GSM flag flying. Bob van Niekerk was designing racing power boats, while Verster de Wit worked for the SA Bureau of Standards. Time does not stand still, and without new cars being developed and sold, the GSM marquee waned and so did club activities, naturally as there was no outside stimulation. Fate and developments in his family life, saw Piet van Niekerk after a 14 year stint in the Transvaal back in CapeTown. He started looking up old friends and acquaintances and met up with me, Peanuts Fouché. I was very active in the Cape Hell Drivers Club, and multiple Midget SA Champion in 1993 and 1994. Piet didn’t realize that I was actually Klerkie Fouché he knew as a very enthusiastic eight year old boy, son of “Fuch” the welder at GSM factory, when the GSM factory was at Bottelary. I had an engineering business in Parow. I had not lost any of my enthusiasm and fondly remembered growing up in the shade of the GSM factory and the characters around the GSM legend I knew so well as a small boy.


One visit with Piet to Bob van Niekerk home in Hout Bay saw me come away from Bob’s home as the new Chairman of the GSM Club, with Piet the secretary.


This new development proved successful; as all of a sudden the GSM Club had a chairman, with a complete office infrastructure, telephones, computers, staff and many more facilities it ever dreamt of having at anytime in its existence before. People could contact me, leave messages, be called back and a real professional set up developed slowly involving my whole family. My wife Rose became the secretary, and with hundreds of calls after hours, the GSM Club, Cape Town Chapters soon took over the rest of the country and became THE GSM CAR CLUB OF SA. At this stage you will understand why this is no ordinary club, because while we have all the necessary structures, Rose and I are passionate about the GSM Club, and have been for the past decade or longer. We hold annual AGM’s every July.


Presently we enjoy fun runs, meeting and breakfast runs with about fifty active members and their wives and children. The club started with three of four rather ropey Darts and one or two slightly nicer Flamingos. Now we can bring together probably thirty beautiful Darts, restored to a better condition than when they left the factory as brand new. The same can be said for probably twenty Flamingo’s.


The main “side-effects” of this new club is that the condition of cars owned by members have improved beyond recognition, resulting in a Dart Jubilee in 2007, and a Flamingo Jubilee in 2012, together with the obvious increase in value of the restored cars. A Very Strict register is being drawn up by myself, with as much history as I can find regarding each car that has a number or chassis plate, and as only about 300 GSM’s were built, cars without numbers should slowly fall into place fairly accurately.


Spares are not easy to find, but we have traced original parts list for Dart and Flamingo. Various parts and window and door rubbers can be bought from the club.


Peanuts Fouché