Attention: You are using an outdated browser, device or you do not have the latest version of JavaScript downloaded and so this website may not work as expected. Please download the latest software or switch device to avoid further issues.

News > Passing of friends > Andre Loubser (1957O) | 1940 – 2020

Andre Loubser (1957O) | 1940 – 2020

Andre Hugo Loubser (1957O) passed away on 25 October 2020. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. Andre's good friend, Graeme Hurst has written Andre's obituary.

Andre Loubser (1957O) | 1940 – 2020

Like many automotive journalists, André Hugo Loubser’s love of cars began at an early age when he started collecting Dinky cars. By the age of just seven, he moved onto the real thing when he took his father’s Morris 10 for a drive’. The Dinky soon gave way to another all-too-common passion: collecting car brochures from local dealerships. André would later joke that his school satchel was usually 80% brochures and 20% school books!

The son of an English teacher, André was schooled at Cape Town’s prestigious Diocesan College (known as Bishops) and was by all accounts a prolific reader who spent much of his teenage years following the local and overseas race scene through various publications. He also enjoyed a flair for sketching, often frustrating his teachers by using school notebooks to bring to life his thoughts on ‘improving’ the lines of production sports cars such as the Mercedes 190 and 300 SLs.

After leaving school in 1957, he worked for an oil company before taking up a position as a PA and salesmen with a motor dealership in the provincial town of George, some 275 miles east of Cape Town.

It was a rather far-flung location but his responsibilities there would pay a fruitful dividend towards his dream of working abroad for a German car manufacturer after he was asked to host Porsche works boss Baron Huschke von Hanstein and driver Jo Bonnier, who was visiting the area en route to the East London Grand Prix. The association led to an offer of a position with Porsche’s Sales and Export division in Stuttgart, which André took up in 1962.

It was an exciting time to be at the famous company which was on the cusp of launching the iconic 911. And the dream-come-true job delivered a further surprise when, as the salesman responsible for orders from VIPs, André received an enquiry for a Porsche 904 GTS from none other than Stirling Moss - one of Andre’s boyhood heroes.

The negotiations with the great hotshoe, whose SMART race team featured two South African mechanics, led to an offer to head up the implementation of Stirling’s Paint-a-Car franchise across the UK and parts of Europe. And a life-long friendship with Stirling, something André was enormously proud of.

In late 1966 André married his English wife Gillian, who was secretary to the Sales Manager of the Rootes Group. The couple lived in London and, for the next few years, André turned his hand to automotive design, establishing Dynamic Designs which offed a Kamm-tail boot extension for BMC’s 1100 sedan, among other products.

André was also involved with the production of the Enfield electric city car before using his experience with Stirling Moss to go into the business back in South Africa with motorcycle racer Mike Hailwood. The pair founded Autospray, which – much like the Paint-a-Car system – offered a rapid, on-demand, respray service. André oversaw the opening of 17 branches across the country over the next three years.

It was his friendship with the two-wheel race that put him in touch with the country’s colourful international racing scene and he developed a deep passion for the South African 9-Hour Sports Car series and the annual F1 Grand Prix.

For the remainder of his career, André was involved in various car design projects, including the design and launch of the CAV GT40, a South African replica of the famous sports car racer. He also increasingly turned his hand to writing for a living, publishing numerous articles, including a comprehensive account of South Africa’s pre-war Grand Prix era which featured the likes of von Delius and Rosemeyer in their mighty V16 Auto-Unions.

It was his passion and unrivalled knowledge of the racing scene – along with his many treasured friendships with some big racing names – that led to André fulfilling another dream: to document the history of the country’s famous Kyalami race track.

Some 25 years in the making, his 400-plus page 2011 book Kyalami is a comprehensive and arguably unrivalled summary of one of the most colourful and eventful periods of motorsport at a much-loved international circuit.

With a foreword from 1979 F1 Champion Jody Scheckter and input from a raft of top drivers, including the likes of Denny Hulme and Jackie Stewart, this meticulously researched work is a fabulous legacy to one of South Africa’s most passionate and knowledgeable motoring and racing enthusiasts.

GOMW president Nick Mason said: "We are very saddened to lose such an enthusiast. André was always very committed to keeping us up to speed in his world. We really need that sort of commitment and he will be sorely missed."

RIP André, you will be missed and our condolences to your wife Gill during this difficult time.

Graeme Hurst – fellow Guild member of Motoring Writers and only other South African member.

Andre (right) presenting presented a complimentary copy of his book ‘Kyalami’ to his lifetime friend Sir Stirling Moss.

Similar stories

Michael Watermeyer (1945O) 1928 - 2021

Former ODU Patron, Michael Watermeyer passed away on Wednesday 28th July at the age of 93. More...

Lynn (Len) Ward (1954G) | 1936 to 2021

Lynn (Len) Ward passed away on 11 July 2021 after a short illness. More...

Peter Gird (1954F) | 1936 to 2021

We regret to report the sad passing of Peter Gird (1954F) in a George nursing home on 11th July 2021. More...

Chris Douglas (1958G) | 1940 to 2021

Chris died in Knysna of Covid on 5th July, 3 days before his 81st birthday. More...

Charles Koster (1983F) | 1964 - 2021

Charles sadly passed away on the 6th July 2021 after a long and brave battle with dreaded cancer.   More...

Most read

Call for applications for the role as the honorary treasurer of the OD Union

The OD Union calls upon its members to submit applications for the position of Honorary Treasurer of the Union. More...

Dayaan (2017W) and Mustapha Cassiem (Grade 11) both represented South Africa indoor hockey.
Cassiem brothers star for South Africa

Dayaan (2017W) and Mustapha Cassiem (grade 11) represented the South African men's indoor hockey team between the 10th and 16th of November, in a 6-ma… More...

Top: Brian Arton & Peter Bowles with the Rolls that they assembled.
Brian Arton - Engineer extraordinaire

Brian Arton (OD) from young displayed a passion for engineering. He is seen in the photo on the chassis at his farm Glen Bawm, before he assembled wh… More...

Have your say

This website is powered by