A sunny Sunday morning and some tasty performance metal… It doesn’t sound half bad, does it?
SentiMETAL was created in 2017 by Cars.co.za, initially as a platform to showcase some incredible South African nostalgic, collectable and high performance machinery and their passionate owners through nicely crafted videos. Due to its popularity, it quickly expanded to include an online shop selling prints and other awesome automotive-themed merchandise, which led to the next logical step: a meet-up.
The first SentiMETAL run took place in Cape Town, with over 120 cars in attendance. This past weekend it was Johannesburg’s turn to host the event, and it didn’t disappoint.
Cars.co.za HQ provided the location, and as I arrived so too did the first batch of performance cars. In this group were two BMW E30s, one being the amazing 325is.
A Porsche clan followed, bringing a 930 Turbo, 997, 993, 928 and also a neat 924 to the party.
You can always count on American muscle car fans to bring the noise, and on this occasion it included two Pontiac GTOs, three Camaros – one being a tasty IROC-Z – and a lone Mustang.
This candy red Camaro was heard long before it was seen, and every time the owner revved the engine the whole body shook. A big block under the hood makes for a very desirable ride.
The grey GTO also tickled my fancy. It would make for a great daily driver, but I don’t own a fuel station so let’s scratch that idea.
The variety of cars at this get-together was truly amazing. Some of these oldies probably get driven quite often, but I’m sure many of them only get taken out on rare occasions, so it was quite a privilege to see all of them in the wild.
I never even knew the Mercedes-Benz (W124) E36 AMG convertible existed, but it looks like a pretty rad car.
There was one brand represented more than any other at SentiMETAL Johannesburg, and that was BMW. The range spanned many models, but two of the most special were an E28 M5 and an E61 M5 wagon.
But my favorite was this E34 M5 wagon. I’d never seen one before – they’re quite rare after all – and this prime example was a recent import still sporting its foreign plates.
Speaking of rare, and in this case slightly odd, here’s three old cars most people will likely never see in person – a Lancia Thema 8.32, Lancia Gamma Berlina 2500ie, and Maserati Quattroporte.
For me, the standout of the trio was the Thema 8.32, which can be considered one of the first genuine production super saloons. It holstered a V8 engine borrowed from the Ferrari 308 along with a radical rear wing which deployed automatically.
Now feels like a pretty good time for me to stop talking and just show you some more of the beautiful machinery that SentiMETAL brought out. There’s one more car from this event that I definitely need to tell you about, but I’ll get to that now now (a South African term for soon, in case you need an explanation).
More Maseratis, Fiats, Alfas, an ex-featured Nissan 1400 and even a modified Rover – SentiMETAL had both the spectacular and the quirky.
To this day one of the best poster cars ever. Am I right, or am I right?
Now now has become right now and the car, or if you want to be technical, cars I was talking about is the legendary Opel Kadett GSI 16V S ‘Superboss’. This model, just like the BMW 333i I recently featured, was another South Africa-only special.
The Superboss was developed with a singular purpose – to dethrone the iconic BMW 325iS in local Group N racing. It has become quite the local legend with good examples becoming more and more desirable as time goes on, so seeing three of these all together was pretty cool. I’ll be doing a feature on one of these soon, so keep an eye out.
This might’ve only been the second SentiMETAL event, but judging by the awesome turnout paired with the super laid back atmosphere, I’ll definitely be back for the next one.