This early South African 500 was built by the well known motorcyclist Billy Kay and AJ Trebble. “K” for Kay and “T” for Trebble. “S” for Special. It ran in club events and local club race meetings in Cape Town. The Its first outing would appear to be the November 1950 Camps Bay Hillclimb where Trebble finished 2nd in the ‘Up to 1100 cc” class with a time of 59.8 seconds. The FTD was set by Stanley Reed’s supercharged rear engined 1.9 litre Citroen Special in a sizzling 50.0 secs.

On 2nd January 1951 Trebble drove it in the Van Riebeeck Trophy at Gunners Circle but failed to finish. His fastest lap was 57.4 m/hr compared to John Ratcliff’s 3700 cc Studebaker Special which did 77.9 m/hr. Ratcliff was to win the race on scratch from the Reed Citroen.

In March and July Trebble participated in the Signal Hill Hillclimb and AARC Speed Trial and managed 3rd and 2nd, respectively, in the ‘up to 1100cc’ class. On October 1st the KTS was placed 2nd on handicap in a 5-lap event organized by the CPMCC averaging 51.0 m/hr. and later in the month, with Kay at the wheel, the car placed 2nd on handicap in a 10 lap event on the AARC (Amateur Automobile Racing Club) meeting. On 17th November 1951 at Camps Bay the 500 cc KTS scored its first victory when Trebble roared up the hill in 58 secs dead to win the 750 cc class. Reed’s unblown Citroen set FTD with 51.5 secs. And in January 1952 there was more success when Kay won a 7-lap handicap race at Killarney in the Metropolitan Club meeting.


By 1952 the KTS was attracting attention with its megaphone exhausts

The last known outing for the KTS was the Van Riebeeck Trophy at the Eerste Rivier Circuit in March 1952. Kay ran as high as 4th place for a while but retired the car after 16 of the 30 laps at Gunner’s Circle but his fastest lap of 65.3 m/hr was as quick as those achieved by the 1250 MG TC’s and compared favourably with the speed of 69.5 m/hr set by the handicap winner CL Rushby in a 1250 cc MG Special.

Words and photos courtesy of Rob Young.

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