On 4 January 2016 Anton Vlok (Better known as Antz) opened the doors to the Vlokkengrot Motor Museum in Thesen Island Knysna.
Researching the achievements of his father, Willem Vlok, led to Antz giving up on his own desire to race and to concentrate on preserving the heritage of local motorsport in general.
Anton built a beautiful Ford Anglia to race, but the numbers did not match financially and it will now hopefully form part of the ever growing museum as it constantly runs out of space with donations arriving on a regular basis from all categories of motorsport.
Back in 1972 Jan Hettema and Willem Vlok won the Index of Performance during the Kyalami 9 Hour in their Ford Escort MkI and quite understandably this display takes pride of place as one enters the museum.
Once inside it becomes an overload in information as limited space have the literally thousands of irreplaceable items displayed side by side on every inch of available space. No less than 129 racing overalls makes a colourful backdrop as the big names of motorsport sponsorships become easy to recognise with many famous driver and navigator names keeping the brain busy.
His only regret being that he sold his prized collection of model cars to finance the building of his Ford Anglia, but the work of Clayton Cunningham is easy to spot and reading the autographs on many of these beautiful models make them even more desirable. Kobus Botma provided a great many photographs with the series of John Love coming close to decapitating himself in Clubhouse with the Team Gunston Surtees TS9 really showing what a close encounter it was.
Just around the corner from The Motorcycle Room (with more than 100 motorcycles on display) the presence of many sets of leathers and background on Jon Ekerold, Dave Petersen and of course the Binder family attracts more than a few minutes of attention.
Franco Scribante have lost a few (car) body parts in his career and many of that have found it’s way into the Vlokkengrot as have a supercharger tried on the Audi Quattro. Sarel van der Merwe and Franz Boshoff represented by their first helmets and Serge Damseaux popped up on an overall with a great many other rallying legends.
Sarel van der Merwe celebrated 50 years in South African motorsport at the Killarney International Raceway but the Ford poster, autographed by all present, is on display in Knysna. In1979 the Simba SA F1 GP was won by Gilles Villeneuve with his Ferrari teammate Jody Scheckter second. But, Jody would go on to win for Ferrari at Monza and claim the only World F1 title by a South African.
The ever-popular Hannes Grobler has his own display, the Vander Linde family can be found there as are the most successful Alfa Romeo racing driver in the world (at the time) Arnold Chatz. No museum would be complete without Tony Viana and an interesting cutting explains how a lifetime ban from motorsport for Johan Coetzee only lasted a week.
It takes a dedicated individual to become a circuit or rally marshal and just looking at the Post Chief hat speaks volumes whilst another very special hat could only have been owned by one person – are you old enough to know who?
Then there is the Champions Wall that have so many well known names to appreciate.
Anton Vlok and the Vlokkengrot Museum Knysna will gladly consider any donations and with a wealth of knowledge Anton will probably know about most interesting occurrences in the sport.
What is however a fact is that you will have to contact Anton Vlok and arrange a guided tour of the facility at your earliest convenience as the museum will likely have expanded by the time you go again – and you will want to return!
Contact Anton Vlok on +27 (0) 76 695 7232
Published by: Patrick Vermaak
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