More than 1 000 car enthusiasts and people curious about the motor industry attended the second edition of Moto Mech, hosted at Newton Technical High School in Port Elizabeth on 22 February.
This represents an increase of 50% on last year’s attendance figures, according to event organiser Bridget Finn of Finn Auto Repairs – and many more would have visited the show, had they not been deterred by strong winds and inclement weather.
Those who braved the gales were rewarded with an experience that garnered outstanding feedback. Finn reveals that comments included “Congratulations on an excellent show which was a huge success. The growth compared to the first show last year was excellent”; “Was an awesome show” and “It was amazing”. One of the exhibitors said, “We thoroughly enjoyed the show and it definitely brought feet through the doors at the shop.” Motor Mech raised R7 000 for Newton Technical High School through ticket sales.
“There was something for everyone, with highlights including the classic, custom and dealer cars. There were even quad bikes, motor bikes and tractors and an electric car on display. There was also a huge variety of exhibitors from all different sectors of the motor industry – parts and tool suppliers, parts manufacturers, MIWA workshops and Motor Health, among others,” says Bridget.
The competitions drew an enormous amount of interest, too, with guests flocking to see the school and qualified mechanics in action. Prizes were sponsored by MISA, GUD Filters, Motor Health, MerSeta and various parts suppliers.
For Peter van Mosseveld, who also played a pivotal role in organising Motor Mech, the school competition stood out because, for the first time, a female student mechanic took part. “We’d love to see more women in the industry, taking on roles besides service advisor – and the participation of Christine Hancock is definitely an encouraging sign,” he comments.
Peter also applauded the showcase for highlighting different aspects of the industry. “It was fantastic to be able to shed a spotlight on hobbies associated with the motor industry, and we intend to grow this area in the future,” he says. He was equally enthusiastic about the inclusivity of the show: “For example, we were visited by an unemployed gentleman who makes wire cars. He was able to make over R1 000 by selling his cars at Motor Mech. We found that extremely heartening.”
He’s looking forward to the show’s next instalment, which takes place at Port Rex High School in East London (date to be confirmed). “Our goal is to grow Motor Mech every year, so that we can show people just how multi-faceted and exciting this industry is.”
The appearance of Craig Pannell, an avid collector of miniatures and other rare collectables, was a definite draw card at the event. He now has more than 30 000 items in his collection, many of which are extremely rare. “The obsession grabbed me when my mother was throwing out some of my old toys back in 1992. I love to collect things and my collection is now big enough to fill a museum,” Pannell says. He has 8 000-9 000 model cars at home and 6 000 comics, in amongst other collector items. Key pieces include a very rare Meccano No 10 Outfit, dating back to 1959, as well as a workable Meccano piston engine.