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Who the hell is Barend

9 November 2010 5 Comments

A little about “yours truly”
I remember as a kid I could tell you the make and model of every car on the roads. Since then the cars have gotten a little more clever and I didn’t, but the passion remained skulking in the background like unpaid speeding fines, just waiting to come and klap me in the face and let me know that it’s here!

My first rebuild was my old Bantam Bakkie (complete with unpaid fines). It all started when I bought the car and the key was broken, so I made a new handle for it with Pratleys Steel, polished it till it looked like a shiny little pebble and promptly decided that the car was better off without a key anyway! I installed a central locking kit, tied a homemade immobilizer to the locking harness (this grounded the coil) and rigged, through a complex set of relays, the ignition to the light switch on the remote… et voila… my first “keyless car” The one slight complication was that I could not remove the steering lock so the solution was to take the one and only key, stick it in the ignition, break it off and, once again, Pratleys Steel the bastard in. This worked its magic until the first time I had to put petrol in, oops, no key… no worries, a screwdriver did the job!

Another small challenge for me was to get the canopy on.  This particular canopy was off a Fiat 128 bakkie so required some angle grinder and unskilled fiberglass, which as money was running out, was substituted with duct tape! The unfortunate thing for me was that I fibreglassed the canopy in situ which resulted in drips running down the side of the car, not a good thing.

Staying on a farm resulted in the side of the bakkie being bashed in and the gearbox separating from the engine.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, the bug set in and I decided to do this thing right. I stripped the interior, replaced the bench seat with Ford Fiesta seats, resprayed  the dash, did the door panels with aluminium checkerplate and suede, redid the carpeting, sprayed it Jakaranda purple, made up a mean set of steel to replace the bumpers, made a rollbar and installed tons and tons of spotlights. Looked magic.

The sound side of things did not go so swimmingly! It consisted of a headunit (Sony Xplod, not too bad) and an AC inverter that powered a set of computer speakers! This was as good for the battery as a healthy kick in the nads by a galloping ostrich (yes, that did happen to me on a trip to Oudtshoorn and boy do I love ostrich biltong)

Ok, so having completed this project, well kind of ‘cos as you all know, a project is never complete, I set about finding a new one and then one day, after driving past it every morning, tadaaaam, it presented itself… a Porsche 928!!! Having tossed this one around in my head for 3 days, I finally decided to go for it and the very day I went to the shop to buy it, the bloody thing was sold, not good, but I then first set eyes upon My Ride, very good! A little yellow MK3 MR2 sticking its nose out at me, teasing me like a dockside pro! I was sold!

Now theres not many affordable mods one can do with this car, definitely no fleamarket ones, but a new set of custom coils (Pretoria Spring Sales) and some styling 17” TSW rims saw it lying flat on the back like a very flat thing on the deck can only be whilst steering it, not only straight (albeit one still feels the effects of the camber on a sports ride) but having sufficient suspension travel to be a comfortable ride and not scrape on absolutely everything. A word of warning to the guys out there… Never do your lowering yourself, when dealing with suspension, angle grinders and coil kits are not your friend! Rather have a set of adjustable coilovers installed… You will not regret this!

After that I decided to go the sound route. This probably had a lot to do with my 17.4 sec on my maiden run at Tarlton! First install was a 1200 watt Audiobank amp with one 10” Star sub (free air) and two 300 watt  Sony 6*9’s (I know, I know, on a budget here guys!) needless to say, this lot did nothing and didn’t even make it onto the meter at my first comp! My second attempt was far more successful. I redid the luggage compartment board (see pic, no other space in this car!) and now am running the same amp, same 6*9’s but have added another sub to the mix and put them in sealed enclosures (sealed meaning when you push the sub in, you go make coffee and when you come back, it’s still coming out). I have also lined the enclosures with Dekron. This substantially lowers the bass when space constraints don’t allow you to have the correct size enclosure. My latest reading is 125.8 db which is awesome considering it is a soft top. The ride came with a set of Rockford splits in the doors which makes for superb listening.

To me the mod scene is about passion. It’s about what you put in. You will be reading many articles from me in the future, covering events, but very seldom publishing the results. To me, it’s not about results but more about getting out there, meeting people, showing your stuff, going home, improving on your stuff and mostly just doing it.

I nipped off to The Rock to check out the drifting there and there was this bloke who had entered for his first ever drift comp (yes, he chose the national championships for this one). This geezer hit the track with an old skyline, hey I had one of those, close to my heart, and he battled to get this tank to go sideways, spun out a few times, but, you know, he did it, he got out there and gave it his best shot. I am still not sure which is bigger, his car of his balls but the crowd loved it.

Folks, all I can say is, get out there, spin it, zoop it, drift it, tune it, fiberglass it, enjoy it, but most of all… DO IT!

“yours truly”


  • Phoenix Heart said:

    I love this post, hits home on so many levels. it’s great to know that there are still guys (and gals, i’m sure) out there willing to get stuck in and pursue dreams and ambitions.


  • Blair said:

    Very Classy Barend, you had me in stitchs for atleast 10min.. Loved the pic of the bakkie..! Tell us more about this ostrich, very entertaining story im sure.. LOL

    I agree with you Phoenix, we can all relate to this blog.. I for one did some serious DIY mods to my 1st car (Fiat Uno). I wanted it to look like a Uno Turbo so I invested in a hack saw.. well lets just say it didnt turn out to well, wont try that again!
    also thought i was a sound guru at one stage so i cut a hole into my back seats with the same hacksaw :( needless to say it looked very cool for about 5min until I wired the sub up and played Dead prez :D
    good times!


  • jomacher said:

    Nice write-up Barend. It truly does hit home and well, at the end of the day that’s how we gain experience. It’s almost like looking for a place and can’t find it. But once you get to your destination, you know the area better than the local community. I really enjoyed reading this and looking forward to more of this. Great work.


  • Blair said:

    i like your comparison Jo, but you are spot on!


  • Chris H said:

    Barend Boet…..

    All in all, I think people like me who know you will definitely see the knees sticking out from under that purple bakkie!

    People who don’t might imagine seeing the blue balls too (not bearings, the remainder from your unfortunate Ostrich incident). Very neatly done and with the right amount of tongue in cheek to make the reader want more and stop halfway.

    I enjoyed reading this. Well done.


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