The Southern Cape Old Car Club Heritage Tour 2019 pays tribute to the partaking Borgward
GEORGE – The annual Heritage Tour of the Southern Cape Old Car Club (SCOCC), proudly supported by ReCollection Rides, takes place on 20 to 24 September.
SCOCC members hail from George, Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn, but also has members and representatives as far as Beaufort West and Victoria West.
Japie and Willie van Rooyen acquired their Borgward Isabella on 30 August 2004 and have been very happy with it since.
Dr Carel Borgward was one of the last independent manufacturers who realised his dream of creating his own vehicles. The company was founded in 1890 and existed until it was controversially declared insolvent in 1961.
The brand was revived in the 21st century, with the Stuttgart-based Borgward Group AG designing and marketing cars manufactured in China.
Borgward was based in Bremen, Germany. Although the factory was bombed to the ground during World War 2, it was rebuilt largely due to the owner’s single-minded determined.
The Company built vehicles of four brands; Hansa, Goliath, Lloyd and Borgward’s Isabella named after the Spanish version of the owner’s wife’s name, Elizabeth.
Production of the Borgward Isabella Coupé began in 1954 and the car made its commercial debut in 1957. This low, short-roofed coupé is generally considered to be Borgward’s masterpiece. Four models were hand-built, one of which was a gift to his wife who drove it well into her eighties.
The company made a foray into motor-racing with a line of 16-valve, 1500 cc sports cars in the late 1950’s. These engines were successfully used by some Formula One privateers until 1961.
Although the company pioneered a number of technical innovations like automatic transmissions and air suspension, it had trouble competing with the rising mega-companies like Opel and Volkswagen. Borgward never paid much attention to cost-cutting measures and when they began experiencing quality problems, the writing was on the wall.
For example, the Lloyd Arabella was a water-cooled boxer engine with front wheel drive, innovative for its time; but it suffered from water-leakage issues and gearbox glitches even though it was more expensive that its competitors.
The company was forced into liquidation by its creditors in 1961. Until his death in 1963, Dr Carl Borgward insisted that the company had been solvent, accusing his competitors of a corporate hit job orchestrated through the press.
This assertion was given credence by the fact that all his creditors were paid in full and that there was in excess of 4.5 million Marks left in the business at his death.
Visit the Heritage Tour page on the SCOCC website at www.SCOCC.co.za or contact Pierre Olivier at 082 8726456 for more information.