The MPH Phenomenon

Welcome everybody to the best time of the year! That’s right; once again our presence is graced with the people who have the best jobs in the entire world, the Top Gear presenters.

Ok I may have come off gushing like a 13yr old girl about to meet the Johnnas Brothers, but in my defense these are the guys who finally gave my love for the automobile the fun outlet it deserved – which is I am sure the same for many of you.

For those of you who are unaware of the MPH phenomenon, it has become an annual event which automobile enthusiasts frantically scribble in their diaries, draft appointments into Outlook, set reminders on their phones and have their secretary’s put down as being more important than remembering to send their partners flowers on Valentine’s day. What it is is an automobile show with a big difference. It stands out from everything else. Now granted I have only ever attended one car show in my life, and it certainly wasn’t one of the big international ones that get huge media coverage. However from my limited personal experience, combined with various other media (whether it be film or written), I can safely say that they are pretty much all the same. Sticking to the same formula year in year out, neither challenging any preconceptions nor one another.

 Your basic auto show is full of motor company stands, each promoting the same cars you see in the showroom every day, as commonplace and mundane as your drive to work on a Tuesday morning. The only outstanding feature being either a concept car or new model, and if you’re really feeling lucky well then just maybe you’ll get to feast your greedy eyes on both! As for a show, well now you’d certainly be in for a treat, being able to witness the freshest of promotional material on display, each booth designed specifically to catch your eye, draw you in. Innovation is the name of the game here. Yes that’s right you’d undoubtedly get to see firsthand the creative genius that is, “The car on a spinning platform,” which is technical name for it I believe, and something I am sure will wow the crowds for the umpteenth year.

Yes all in all an auto show is somewhat of a bland and predictable thing. Don’t get me wrong I’ll still be drawn in again and again like a retarded moth to a flame. All the while knowing it is just a Hanstle and Gretal situation, being enticed with the prospect of all the delights conjured by our imagination. Luckily with MPH here to stay, there is still hope for us yearning for something different. This year’s show promises to have more explosions, thrills and spills than ever before. Yes indeed this is certainly no ordinary auto show.  

So what are the facts of MPH? What can we expect exactly? Well there is plenty for us to feast our eyes upon to be sure. There will be performance demos from car manufacturers such as Mitsubishi, Mercedes Benz, Ferrari, GM and Audi. The MPH Gallery will be chock full of supercar erotica, undoubtedly enough to satisfy even the most hardcore of petrolheads. Add to this more stunt men than a Hollywood film trying to outdo the car chase sequence in the original Italian Job – chief of whom is none other than The Stig, who will no doubt make his presence felt with actions rather than words. Speaking of which, the ever verbose Clarkson and co will be making numerous appearances, the highlight of which is the presentation of what essentially amounts to a live episode of Top Gear, appearing under the title of Top Gear Live Theatre. Something which I’m sure is not to be missed.

Let us not forget the all important details. Clarkson, Hammond and May will all be at the Cape Town show, however only Clarkson and May will be attending the Johannesburg show.

Tickets can be booked at and are as follows:

  • Top Tier R450 (includes premium cushioned seat, 1 x beer or glass of wine at the MPH Bar)
  • Premium Tickets R350,
  • Standard Tickets R250,
  • Children under 12 R150

Exhibition Times Are:
Thursday 4th February
16h00 to 23h30

Friday 5th February
16h00 to 23h30

Saturday 6th February
12h00 to 23h00

Sunday 7th February
09h00 to 20h00

Live Motoring Theatre Dates and Times:
Thursday 4th February
6pm, 08h30pm

Friday 5th February
6pm, 08h30pm

Saturday 6th February
2pm, 5pm, 8pm
11am, 2pm, 5pm

Nick Hodgson

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