HARRISMITH, South Africa — Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa helped locals in the picturesque town of Harrismith relive the long-forgotten drive-in movie experience when it hosted Ford Night at the Movies.
Ford joined with Dries Auto, the local Ford dealer for 47 years in the Harrismith area, to hold the event, with 140 young and old members of the Ford community coming along to catch the double movie feature at the Freestate sports ground.
“Drive-ins are a thing of the past,” explained Dries van Niekerk, owner of Dries Auto. “Indeed in this part of the world, over a decade ago even the cinema 50kms away closed down, so it is a great privilege to be able to provide our loyal customers with a once-in-a-lifetime experience like the Ford Night at the Movies in such a picturesque setting.”
Families and couples cuddled together on the grass, on picnic blankets and in their cars. The event was open to anyone as long as they arrived in a Ford, with more than 62 Ford vehicles on site. Refreshments, sweets and popcorn hampers were provided to attendees free of charge while a dedicated group from the local community served up more than 450 pancakes and boerewors rolls.
“Drivers of other brands were stopping outside the sports grounds and hitching lifts into the venue just to be a part of the Ford family,” explains van Niekerk. “And we’re sure the camaraderie that they saw will have them in Ford vehicles soon enough.”
Kevin Casey, a local farmer in Harrismith and collector of vintage Ford vehicles, showed off his nearly 100 year-old Ford Model T sedan, 1928 Ford Model A sedan and 1948 Ford F-3 pickup. Casey has a further two Model T Fords and a classic 60’s Mustang, which remained behind on his farm.
“We have some of the most passionate Ford fans in this part of South Africa, from artisans to farmers like our Woman Famer of the Year for 2012, Judy Stuart, to the local doctor; Ford transcends professions, culture and race and brings people together. This event simply provides us with proof of that,” said van Niekerk.
A Ford family gets ready for a night of fun.