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Lil Dragon – Custom Bantam Bakkie

13 July 2011 16 Comments
The original Ford Bantam launched in 1983, was based on the Ford Escort Mk III then replaced by the Bantam 2, with a Mazda 323 6th generation-based Ford Laser front end, with it later being  baptised Mazda Rustler.
Our feature this month was conceived as a white Bantam 2 in 2003 with major reworkings deep in Rodney’s  cerebellum! Together with wife Melanie, their new baby was adorned with some aftermarket accessories. “Show and Shine “events became their new playground. In 2006 it was decided a total makeover was necessary. I remembered speaking to Rodney about this project. The excitement in his tone of voice was of an expecting father. The 2008 “Lord of the Bling” motor show was the stage for the reincarnation of the “Lil’ Dragon”.
 
The “wow factor” is the Lambo doors and Holographic pearl paintwork. As you circle the creation it flips from blue to green, to purple, to all the colours of the rainbow! I personally love the Dragon airbrush on the hard top- what attention to detail! The front bumper is based on the M3 with bigger vents, were finished off with M3 mirror spotlights. The rear follows the M3 theme with a recessed number plate. The tailgate was shaved, rotates to double as a table for refreshments on sizzling hot days.
Vents were added to the fenders along with some Ford Focus side repeaters while the bonnet was fitted with a Mitsubishi Evo 8 vent! The side skirts hails from the Veil side stable and it’s actually Toyota Supra side sills. On closer inspection (like a judge) you can actually see the Veil side name! Crystal lights up front, smoked tail lamps and an aluminium wing finishes of the bodywork of the car. The body sits 40mm closer to the 17 inch Lenso Mac 1 wheels.
With no door handles on the outside, the lambo doors open via remote-door poppers! The interior definitely compliments the exterior! A lot of sweat and profanities went in here! The standard bum warmers were replaced with Autopro reclinable seats and 4 points harnesses. The dashboard was extended to house oil, water and vacuum gauges. It was then sprayed with black and blue glitter mix paint. Other accessories includes sports steering wheel, paddles, chrome and carbon finished handbrake and gear levers. On the Mazda center console are the electrical window mechanisms. Door panels were replaced with custom fibre glass panels that sports a neat custom sound build. A Calibra 6 inch split system is fitted on the doors while a 4 inch split system is located under the dash. Behind the seats are two 10 inch Calibra subwoofers in a custom fibre glass install. The whole system is controlled by a 50 x 4 Pure Audio DVD head unit with 7 inch motorised screen. Signal is sent to a 1400w Calibra amp and 900w Calibra amp that powers the system using ONLY Calibra cabling! Wow, now that is true to a source!
The hood hides a1600 motor with a 40 “thou” bore, skimmed top and a 36 Weber carb. He added a Simota cold air induction kit to the carb. The hoses were replaced with braided ones with a Red Bull coil cover. Talk about wings! All this is linked to a 50mm stainless steel free flow. A steam-cleaned  engine-bay gives the impression of an operating theatre.
Specifications: (All modifications mentioned are owner’s claim)
Engine:
Samcor 1600 motor with a 40 thousand bore, skimmed top and 36 Weber carb; Simota cold air induction kit; braided hose; 50mm stainless steel free flow
Exterior:
Lambo doors; Holographic pearl paint; Dragon airbrushing; M3 style bumpers and M3 mirror spotlights; rotating custom shaven tailgate with brake light; vents on fenders; Ford Focus side repeaters; Mitsubishi Evo 8 bonnet vent; Veil side Toyota Supra side skirts Crystal headlights; smoked tail lamps; aluminium wing
Wheels and suspension:
17 inch Lenso Mac 1 wheels;
40mm lowering springs
Interior:
Autopro reclinable seats and 4 points harnesses; Custom dashboard sprayed with black and blue glitter mix; oil, water and vacuum gauges; sports steering wheel, sport paddles, chrome and carbon finished handbrake and gear levers; Mazda center console; electric windows; custom fiber glass door panels
 
Sound setup:
50 x 4 Pure Audio DVD head unit with 7 inch motorised screen; Calibra 6 inch splits; Calibra 4 inch split; 2 x 10 inch Calibra subwoofers; 1400w Calibra amp and 900w Calibra amp; Caligra cables and fuse holders
Rodney would like to thank the following peeps with their contribution with the build of “Lil Dragon”:
·         Body and spray: JPS Customs-Jan, Hannis, Carl, Gerald
·         Wheels: Good Hope Tyres-Faizel
·         Airbrushing: Mad Skillz
·         Electronic installation: KMA Auto Electric’s-Neels, Gerald
·         Sound: Gerrie with the sound setup
·         Lambo doors and rotating tailgate: X-Mods aka Marly Mar
More photos of Lil Dragon:
Special thanks goes to the minister of finance, his wife Melanie and his daughter, who helped and supported him all the way. I must say, this bakkie is a crowd puller. While doing the shoot we were surrounded by folks taking pics and even asking questions. We had a ball of a time doing the shoot! From my side and the whole AM crew, thanks a lot Rodney for sharing your “Lil’ Dragon” with AM!
Until then…God Bless!!!
JK

16 Comments »

  • Jason said:

    Rear hatch doubling as a table is just plain -WINNING!!!!!

    Nice one Joe.

    [Reply]

    Joe Klein Reply:

    lol, yes Jason, picnic time!

    [Reply]

  • Michelle Marais said:

    Hi Joe

    What’s your top speed? Beautiful work, btw.

    [Reply]

    Joe Klein Reply:

    Hi Michelle, the bakkie belongs to a friend of mine. A lot of hard work went in here, no dyno figures yet and it’s a trailer queen aka show car only…

    [Reply]

  • francois said:

    This bakkie looks beautiful! I myself have had many mazda rustlers and bantams in my time I still own two! They what I found to be the best half ton workhorses! And I always said that 1 day I’ll build 1 up and put it in a glass box! And after viewing this bakkie! I really hope my build 1 day cud look as good! Great stuff!! Francois cape town SA.

    [Reply]

    jay Reply:

    hi i like your work. i just got a ford bantam like that but not modified, i need to find a good way with the body kit. can any one kindly send me or post pics i can get ideas from

    [Reply]

  • willie said:

    how can i drop my mazda rustler bakkie rear suspension
    without being too stiff /

    [Reply]

  • Mic said:

    Man!! I’ve a Ford Bantam. Can these guys do the same thing on it?

    [Reply]

  • Lammie said:

    Hi There where did you guys get the lambo style door hinges???

    [Reply]

  • Joe Klein (author) said:

    Hi there Lammie, these hinges were made and fitted by X-mods

    [Reply]

  • bobster said:

    What rear bumper were used ?

    [Reply]

    Joe Klein Reply:

    Rear bumper is from a BMW M3 with a twist of Cape Town’s backyard custom work.

    [Reply]

  • Tyron said:

    Hi there, Looking forward to blow all your minds with the new altered lil dragon. She will be attending the 4 November 2012 car show at the Bellville Velodrome. this bakkie will blow your minds, SO BE THERE… Can’t give out what is being done so check it out on that day!!!

    [Reply]

  • Tyron said:

    Hi there for all you car enthusiats. Lil dragon is being re-modeled in a way, and will be making an apperance on the 4 November 2012 at the Bellville Velodrome. So if you wanna ask questions or even have your minds blown with the perfect art work be there or loose out…

    [Reply]

  • adrian said:

    hi i would like to know the details of the guy that did the airbrush

    [Reply]

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