18 February 2012 by Chris Marais

Down @ the Cadillac Shack

For petrol-heads and nostalgia freaks – it’s all about fast cars, classy dames and old time rock’n'roll.

The little village of Storms River is tucked away in the Tsitsikamma Forest at the top end of the Garden Route in the Eastern Cape.

It’s big on its canopy-swinging, because Storms River Adventures have made it their home. But here you’ll also find the quirky Cadillac Shack, and so much the better if you’re into fast old cars, Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe. Thank you, Mr President, and all that.

This sleek collection of Caddies and cool cars, ranging from the Sedan de Ville to the Eldorado Seville to the bubbletop Chevrolet Impala Sports Coupe, is a national treasure for petrol-heads and nostalgia freaks. I’m one of them.

Owner of the Cadillac Shack Jan du Randt had a serious problem. What was he going to do with his fleet of cool cars?

I remember back in 2005, when we were on a book trip along the coast and staying temporarily in Storms River, that a massive forest fire threatened to take out the village. Everyone was rushing in from the neighbouring plots and townships, people were rescuing children and animals and there was a general sense of panic about the little place.

Owner of the Cadillac Shack, Jan du Randt, had a serious problem. What was he going to do with his fleet of cool cars? First he rushed them off to the petro-port at the nearby bridge over the Storms River. Then he thought better of that and had them moved back into the village showroom. At one stage he was stalking about the place, utterly distraught at the prospect of losing his Caddies. And why not? It had taken him years and loads of cash to bring that lot together.

Luckily, neither the village of Storms River nor the Cadillac Shack burned down that day. And later, Jan had a brilliant idea for a local festival. Needless to say, it was all about fast cars, classy dames and old time rock'n'roll…

Category: Culture & History, Events

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