The Herald (Harare)

24 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Pimp My Ride Comes to Town

Local car dealers, owners and automobile fanatics converged at Westgate for the first ever Modified Cars Fest recently. The festival, which seemed more like a car rally, saw cars of different makes, shapes and ages taking turns to exhibit while enthusiasts got to drool over the big boy toys.

The audience was left dazzled by the different models that were showcased, from cheap and cheerful vintage car collections among them, an old Datsun 1600 to top-of-the-range super cars like the latest Mercedes-Benz's AMG C63, BMW E90 325convertables and everything else in between.

Japanese models also took centre stage but were pimped up through and through.

Paint jobs, mag wheels, enhanced sound systems, turbo charged engines and other spoilers were the order of the day, giving the cars an aesthetic appeal.

The sight looked more like a scene from the popular 'US Pimp My Ride' show.

Professional judges took turns to give away cash and shields for the pimped cars under four categories.

A Plymouth Barracuda was the 2012 best classic while a VW Jetta got a prize for the best sound.

The Jetta 5 make had its boot loaded with two XTC 15-inch sub hoofers, five 16-inch middle speakers and a DVD player and this was enough to blow off other competitors in the sound system department.

Workington-based Spraytech company dominated the festival and reinforced their position as the best in the business when they scooped the remaining two and most important awards.

They took the crowds' favourite and best looking car for 2012.

Their money maker, a Nissan Elgrand, pimped out Xzibit style, was cut and turned from a van to a monster truck, giving the term car customisation a new spin.

Its paint work was out of this world with hot graphics and water marks. It was indeed the undisputable champion at the show as they took car modification to a whole new level.

The brains behind it, identified as Rau, gave Saturday Lifestyle an insight into the work they put in to produce the show stopping ride.

"Any car can be modified and we put so much into this car. Although it was not easy, nothing is impossible when it comes to car modification", he said

Even though the customisation specialist was showing off his unheard of masterpiece, he also spoke of his pride and joy, a Subaru that was among the exhibits at the car festival.

"There are 555 in the world and this particular one is number 139. It is a limited edition and my priced possession," he said.

Another exhibitor, Chris Chikwatire from Auto Shine, gave Saturday Lifestyle details of the efforts they put on a BMW E30 second generation from 1991. In their masterpiece, they incorporated various elements that gave a black and yellow hip hop theme.

"We gave the car a total pimp down with matching two stage paint work on the exterior that match the interior of car. That is everything from doors; the panel and seats are all in black and yellow to give it a unique feel.

"I commend the organisers for awarding such a platform as it improves the standards of the auto modification industry. We are looking forward to the next edition because we are already working on different set of paints as we want to make the standards international," he said.

The main organiser and Vennom Custom car company official, Mohammed "Mo" Seedat, expressed excitement over the success of the car fest but at the same time bemoaned how the corporate industry drags its feet when it comes to sponsorship.

"We have received so much positive feedback from people in the industry as well as fanatics. Participants came through from as far as Bulawayo and Kwekwe. We have been motivated us to make an even better event next time. Hopefully sponsors will chip in because on this one I single handedly financed the whole show and it was overwhelming," he said.

In the same breath, the guru revealed plans to have a lot more of the modified cars "get togethers" after every three months.

As is tradition all over the world, a car show is not complete without models to sass it up. The Eyama House of Igugulethu made the car show more interesting with their hot designs that were paraded by models throughout the show.

Melusi Nhengu, from the clothing label, said car modification and designing clothes was one and the same thing.

"Both forms of designs are a work of art and so much work is put in to come up with the best. The industries complement each other to produce eye candy to onlookers" he said.

However, the process of completely modifying a car is not without hassles, because one is required to change the particulars of the car with the Central Vehicle Registration.

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