Soccer-mad foursome bring new life to old Beetles

2010-02-27 00:00

A FOOTBALL-mad foursome in Pretoria is giving old VW Beetles new life by transforming them into bright World Cup-themed stretch-Beetles.

Auto electrician Wynand Viljoen, mechanic Chris Neuwenhuizen and panel beaters Tinashe Zivovo and Wellington Mugocha are the brains behind the operation.

“I started building the first one for the fun of it and it has just taken off. I’ve had inquiries from a number of people,” said Viljoen.

Two cars are used to create one stretch-Beetle — two-thirds of each are welded together. The new “stretched-out” car is then carefully decorated and themed.

The team are working on their third stretch-Beetle, which at this stage is just a shell.

The first car is white with a huge fibreglass football attached to the roof. The second, a red Beetle, boasts a four-metre vuvuzela, which is wired to the sound system — and also functions as the car’s hooter.

“It took us about three months to build the first one,” said Mugocha. “The red one has a number of improvements on the white one, so our third car will be the best yet.”

Each vehicle is fit to drive on South African roads, has passed stringent roadworthiness tests and can seat six passengers comfortably. They still use the reliable 1600cc VW Beetle engine.

“We are 150% behind football and Bafana Bafana,” Mugocha said. And it shows — each car’s exterior is painted with the national flag and the words “Bafana Bafana”.

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