If you're a car enthusiast in South Africa, your love for cars could fall within one of three popular categories; racers, show & shine lovers or sound freaks.
The latter is a big deal in South Africa and most won't realise the huge scale of local car-sound competitions. These have been running for decades and South Africa has some of the most ballistic sound installs you'll find in vehicles. It's a common sight at local car clubs and motoring events to feature "sound off" competitions.
Many young car owners spend thousands of Rands upgrading their sound systems. Sound is measured in decibels via a device which will be placed into a car with all the doors and windows tightly shut while you play your loudest music, to achieve a closed-pressured reading.
In my heyday, I used to own a VW Golf MK2 GTS and it used to be a really cool vehicle for my sound system. I managed to purchase two old-school 12" Pioneer IMPPs and my friends who had their own sound install shop built a box for the speakers and hooked them up to a JackHammer amp. There was an older 'uncle' at our church and on Sundays he'd chirp at me for arriving home at 5am and blasting music - he knew since he could hear it playing long before I reached home.
My proudest moment was entering a sound off and securing a reading of 158.4db, pretty loud but well off the measurement of 177.8db recorded by two avid sound enthusiasts in SA. Jaco Pretorius and Michael Venter turned an old Mini Cooper bakkie into an incredible sound vessel, according to a report by the Pretoria News.
The pair set a new national record at the 2019 International Auto Sound Challenge Association competition at the Sibaya Casino in Durban.
Pretorius said the pair worked on the car for two years and it was a costly exercise. According to Pretorius, the record for the loudest car in the world is held by their friend Scott van Riper in the US, who achieved 181.5 decibels.
Pretorius said a project such as their Mini Cooper required financing and sponsorship. Their Mini was taken to Willie Cronje and fitted with a steel frame, thick steel plates, 36mm bulletproof glass, wood and a bunch of other material to keep the pressure inside before fitting in four powerful 50kg speakers, the report said.