Money can buy you Batmobile’s cousin

2012-03-24 14:17

Natural beauty doesn’t need heavy eye make-up or layers of foundation. A little lip gloss, eye-liner and some rosy cheeks can go a long way. Car fanatics feel the same way about their wheels. They can’t resist the urge to add their personal touch to enhance what they already have.

If you can afford it, you can turn an ordinary city slicker into a superhero’s dream machine.

Lambo-styled doors, thumping sound systems and other modifications are always in demand. There’s always something missing no matter how many extras car makers add as standard niceties.

Ebrahim Patel owns Creative Rides in Florida, Roodepoort. They specialise in audio installations, leather interiors and vinyl wrapping.

“Any youngster loves bass so that their cars can vibrate. Most of them are between 25 and 35.”

There’s a black 2008 Audi A3 Sportback model parked in the workshop, worth about R300 000. Patel is in the process of installing a R100 000 sound system. Items include a top-of-the range JVC touch screen DVD player, and a 12-layer fibreglass custom set-up to accommodate the two 15-inch Power subwoofers and three amplifiers.

To feed power to this ear-drum bashing system and to keep the car running, the price includes a R4 500 Kinetic battery.

Patel says he once had a customer install a R60 000 sound system in a Hyundai Getz.

“This young man’s parents had allocated a budget of about R150 000 to buy him a new car. He asked his mother if he could buy her Getz for R79 000 and used the rest of the money for sound.”

Big Boss Auto in Alberton, east of Joburg, is the car lovers’ version of a fashion boutique and spa.

Here you can have anything you dream of done?– a bar fridge, Lambo doors, a cellphone display for a promotion company, a custom spray job, or even have a race car built. The company, which is owned by brothers Justin and Wayne Robertson, has been pimping rides for 17 years.

Justin says the biggest trend right now is vinyl wrapping because it’s more affordable than a custom spray job. To have your car wrapped in a basic colour, will set you back R10 000. Add some carbon fibre and prints or colours and you could be R25 000 poorer.

“The very first thing most people buy to modify their car is a performance air filter. It makes the car more fuel efficient, gives it a little aggressive sound and improves the performance ever so slightly,” he says.

Outside the workshop there are two white VW Sciroccos. The one is a father’s gift to his 25-year-old son and it’s getting R45 000 worth of pimping. It includes a black vinyl roof; limo black tinted windows, custom white interior lashings, wheels and dropped suspension, along with a body kit.

The other one belongs to a 40-year-old man who is spending R200 000, including Lambo styled doors worth R32 000, imported Italian eta beta wheels for R50 000 and a full body kit worth R35 000.

“Just like someone would have a unique outfit designed to have something different, customers walk in here with the same principle in mind,” says Justin.

“I know guys who used to come in here when they were 17 years old buying a little R10 item for their hand-me-down VW Golf, now they’re grown up and they’re spending big money on their BMWs and GTIs.”

» Follow me on Twitter @speedqueen

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