JIMS returns in October

Jo’burg has an unrelenting pace that many of us struggle to keep up with. Sometimes I wonder what I’m doing here, when I could be living a less stressful life in Durban, or eating peaches in the Mother City.

Still, for petrol-heads like me Johannesburg is a pretty good place to be. For the past few years we’ve been treated to Top Gear’s MPHBMW 6 Convertible show at our Northgate Dome – the latest instalment is to be held at the Kyalami circuit, also the venue of many other exciting motorsport events, including 23 South African Grand Prix races between 1962 and 1993. We’ve also got some pretty cool dealerships in Egoli: there’s the famous Investment Cars in Bryanston for example. This purveyor of Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Hummers and an array of other exotic marques cater for Jozi’s affluent car-lovers. But also for less well-off dreamers like me, who stare wistfully at those beauties on the showroom floor in the hope they might end up in the garage at home one day.

And then we’ve got one of the most important events on the motoring calendar: the Johannesburg International Motor Show. Back in the day it was known as Auto Africa. As a Jo’burger, I must say it’s pretty cool that the name change puts the “world class African city” on the automotive map.

It’s usually held every two years, and the last one was in 2008. But it didn’t come around in 2010 – the ostensible reason being organisers’ fears that the soccer world cup would have stolen the event’s shine.

According to the press release, they’re promising to bring through motoring machinery from the Frankfurt Motor Show, which is set to end days before the Johannesburg International Motor Show begins.

MiniLand Rover’s posh Evoque – which Victoria Beckham had a hand in designing – will be making an appearance. It’s also confirmed that MINI’s dainty new Coupe model will be gracing stands, as well as BMW’s new 6-Series, which isn’t totally new – as it was recently unveiled to media in Cape Town. Environmentally conscious motorists can check out products like Nissan’s electric Leaf, which also garnered the European Car of the Year title. Okay, I concede: while these cars seem pretty cool, they aren’t really going to amaze as much as, say a Bugatti Veyron would. But I’m certain there will be a number of supercars on display – albeit in see-but-don’t-touch enclosures that might deny revellers that close and personal experience.

I was lucky enough to have attended JIMS – or Auto Africa as it was then known, in 2004 and 2006. And it really didn’t disappoint, there was plenty to see and do. I remember BMW had set up an outdoor and gave attendees a wild ride in their 3-Series models, on a slippery skidpan and slalom course. In 2004 Audi displayed their model that Will Smith drove in the film iRobot – a shape that inspired the current R8. It was a pity that we were not allowed to touch or get into this German beauty of Hollywood fame.

If you “like to truck” like Dr. Victor, the Johannesburg Truck and Bus Show will be held concurrently at the Expo Centre. The Centre has undergone refurbishments to the tune of R30 million – so this one’s probably going to be pretty special.

“The show promises to be bigger and better than ever and with the latest cars from around the world finding their way to Expo Centre, it is set to be the highlight of the year,” said SA Shows managing director, Pula Dippenaar.

JIMS kicks off at the Expo Centre on the 6th of October and it ends on the 16th. The public will be able to purchase tickets from Computicket in September.

You can check out www.joburgmotorshow.co.za for additional information.

Brenwin Naidu
Photo Credit: Quickpic

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