Dear Stuart, further to the mention of the Hanning Jaguar in March 2019, the sports car body on the Hanning Jaguar (the car was originally a single seater which raced at the East London Grand Prix in 1960) came from GSM’s Bob van Niekerk.
In 1962, I wrote to Bob van Niekerk (I was just out of school) enquiring about buying a Dart body for a Ford Special I was building. Bob was very kind and replied that they did not sell Dart bodies but complete cars. He did however add that they had a fibreglass sports car body based on an Austin-Healey template which I could have for £100 (R200 then). This was too expensive for me, and how would I get this body from Cape Town to Johannesburg? I believe it is this body which John Hanning bought and fitted to his by then obsolete Hanning Jaguar. South Africa changed to the 1.5-litre National single seaters in 1962. Interesting, a one-off super special with a great history.
As an aside, when I was in high school there was a very attractive young girl who virtually promised me the world if I would take her to the school matric dance (Roosevelt High) in a white Volvo 544! Well, that never happened. I was a part-time chicken farmer in Fairlands and made £30 per year. With £115 in my Post Office account, just where would I find the £700 or so to buy a white Volvo 544? I did not even have a driver’s licence – not that it really mattered; Fairlands and the greater part of Northcliff was very rural. This imaginative request shows that 60 years ago the Volvo had romantic appeal.
Peter du Toit
Hi Peter, she clearly had good taste and was up to date on fashionable performance motoring. Thank you for adding to the Hanning story, it is one that we will be following up with an article as soon as the restoration is complete. I have managed to find images of the car in both single seater and sports car body format – in both guises it is an extremely good-looking machine. I am trying to get as much information as possible on the car, so please could any readers with images, information or memories email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.