PETROLHEADS and motorsport aficionados around the globe were aghast on Monday morning as video clips and stills of a vehicle carrier in flames on the side of the N2 started flooding social media sites.
The fire was reported around 10:30am on May 8 as the truck with its cargo of six cars, all of them having participated at last week’s Knysna Speed Festival, continued burning on the side of the national road between Sedgefield and Buffalo Bay.
Firefighters finally extinguished the blaze - but not before six priceless cars were partially or fully destroyed.
Among these count four V8 Masters Roush Mustangs, one of which was pulled off the carrier in an effort to save if from complete destruction.
This particular car gained second spot in the Modified Saloon Cars class on Sunday with double SA rally champ Enzo Kuun behind the steering wheel. Another of Kuun’s cars - a Datsun parked right in the front of the carrier - was also ruined in the fire.
King of the Hill champion Charles Arton owned another of the Mustangs and his 1979 March Formula Atlantic 79B, estimated to be worth millions, was also burnt beyond recognition. Anton Rollino’s 1969 MG B GT, which he had inherited from his late father, was another priceless loss.
MD of the Knysna Speed Festival Ian Shrosbree, who is also founder and organiser of the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb, released a statement later that day to express his dismay.
“After the resounding success of the last three days where each of the participating vehicles becomes part of the essence of the competition, this disaster impacts on us all. The loss of complete vehicles - some of them one-of-a-kind and literally irreplaceable - and the damage to others cannot be quantified.
“It is much, much more than just the value of what has gone up in flames,” said Shrosbree.
The cause of the fire had not been confirmed by going to print, and exact value of the affected vehicles was yet to be determined.