On the road again…
One of the Eastern Cape’s premier motoring events, the Continental Milligan Vintage Trial and Tour, is set to begin on Sunday 9 June in Port Elizabeth, and has a dazzling line-up of 30 entries representing 18 marques and 11 clubs.
This is the 44th running of the legendary Milligan, and the 14th consecutive year with Continental Tyre South Africa (CTSA) as the title sponsor. The event is hosted and organised each year by the Eastern Province Veteran Car Club (EPVCC).
“The Continental Milligan Vintage Trial is regarded as one of the best events on the motoring calendar, and is always a popular attraction for the Eastern Cape,” says Gishma Johnson, corporate communications manager for CTSA.
“It embodies a fantastic spirit and exceptional enthusiasm for our motoring history, and it’s great to see so many of these beautiful veteran and vintage cars out in action.”
The event kicks off on Sunday 9 June with registration and scrutineering from 9 am at the Protea Marine Hotel in Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth, where the vehicles will be on display throughout most of the day.
As usual, the official send-off will be a grand affair, and the first vehicle will depart the hotel at 8 am on Monday 10 June. Thereafter the competitors head to Jeffreys Bay, Humansdorp and Kareedouw for tea, before making their way via Storms River and Plettenberg Bay through to the overnight stop in Knysna.
The following two days will be spent traversing the scenic mountain routes around George, using the King George Hotel as the overnight venue. The final leg, on Thursday 13 June, ends at Brenton-on-Sea near Knysna. The proceedings will be wrapped up that night with a gala dinner and awards ceremony at the Protea Hotel Knysna Quays. Spectators are welcome and encouraged to view the cars along the route, at the tea stops and at the various hotels.
According to EPVCC chairman Hannes Geyer, last year’s winners, Colin and Anne Meyer from Border Vintage Car Club will be defending their title in a 1963 Mercedes-Benz 220 CE Coupe’. The oldest competitor is 78-year-old Ernest Littleford, who will be competing with his son-in-law Peter Bolze, driving a 1956 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud.
Two of the oldest vehicles will be Arthur and Bernice Galway’s 1927 Austin Clifton, as well as Danie and Gwen Gerber’s 1930 Ford Model A Phaeton. Kathy and Angelo Zenios will be competing in their beautiful 1964 Jaguar E-type, and a wide range of other marques will be represented, including Alfa, Austin, Fargo, Ferrari, MG, Peugeot, Rolls-Royce and Valiant.
There is also one overseas entrant from Germany – none other than former CTSA managing director Dr Thorsten Reece, who is competing in his fourth Milligan.
The event featured a great additional attraction last year – the Continental Milligan Vintage Tour, which affords participants the opportunity to follow the Milligan route and festivities, but without competing in the main trial.
Stalwarts Piet “Prok” Coetzee and his wife Poppie from Cradock will continue their remarkable legacy of participating in every Milligan held to date, and will follow the Tour as they did last year.
The Milligan Vintage Trial was originally a one-day event held between Port Elizabeth and East London. The first running took place on 22 August 1970 in memory of the late Bill Milligan, founding member of the EPVCC.
In line with its status as a regularity rally, the car’s odometer and speedometer are sealed. Competitors have to complete each section within the organisers’ stipulated time, which is determined according to various classes that accommodate the wide range and age of vehicles. Penalty points are allocated for arriving at a check point early or late, right down to the second – and the winning team is the one with the fewest penalties.
The route summary is:
Day 1 (Monday 10 June): First car departs Protea Marine Hotel Summerstrand at 08:00, travels via Jeffreys Bay and Humansdorp to the tea stop at Assegaai Bosch Country Lodge (11:00 to 12:00). Then on to Kareedouw, Storms River, Plettenberg Bay and overnight at Protea Hotel Knysna Quays
Day 2 (Tuesday 11 June): The Milligan sets off from Knysna at 09:30, travelling through Sedgefield, Wilderness, Great Brak River and ending at the King George Hotel in George
Day 3 (Wednesday 12 June): From George the group drives through Oudtshoorn toward the Cango Caves and back to the King George Hotel via Oudtshoorn
Day 4 (Thursday 13 June): On the final day the Milligan leaves George and travels to Knysna via Wilderness and Sedgefield, visiting Karatara and ending in Brenton-on-Sea. The last night is once again spent at the Protea Hotel Knysna Quays.