It doesn’t take too much of a leap of the imagination to see why this couple quickly earned the comment “His & Hers” at the last Opel Fest.
On this side, ladies and gents, we have Leigh Geldenhuys in his immaculate silver Opel Corsa, a 2001 model.
And on that side we have Charnay Cyster (soon to be Geldenhuys) with her beautiful Opel Corsa, also a 2001 model.
Bobby Nitro spoke to Leigh and his fiancé Charnay about their choice of vehicle and the vibe they create when they hit the shows.
Leigh, 28, says: “It quite an interesting story, how we ended up with identical Corsa models. You see, I was driving a Nissan box Sentra and Charnay was in an Astra. Then I bought the silver Corsa to do up for her.”
Meanwhile Charnay, who says she had always wanted a Corsa and that it has been her dream car from young, sold her Astra and bought the red one from family. All of a sudden they were a two-Corsa family.
Bobby couldn’t resist asking whether there was any other His & Hers kit they might have together. It turns out they do.
Apparently their phones are the same brand and model, they sometimes go out in their Corsa B Owners Club T-shirts and caps.
Oh yes, adds Leigh, they do have the same sneakers.
But that’s it, he insists with a lekker laugh.
Leigh, who describes his silver Corsa as “looking like a GSi and driving like one too, hold on, driving better than a GSi,” says he bought the car stock standard and has made only a few adjustments in keeping with his OEM+ philosophy.
OEM+ refers to stock standard but with a little bit of edge, clean and never overdone, but with some spice.
So he got the coilovers installed for that all-important ride height, got some smokey HID headlights and changed out the rims to some Astra 16 valve ones.
For the interior, he laid his hands on some leather seating, got a kwaai sound system that’s “not too loud but loud enough that people know when I’m coming round the corner” and installed an electric window kit.
Charnay’s red Opel got an upgrade to 15-inch rims, as well as the HID kit, sound, window tints and a lowering. She got the added benefit of a sunroof though. Both cars were resprayed.
Both Leigh and Charnay got an early taste of petrolkop culture as youngsters.
Leigh describes how the bug first bit when he was in the passenger seat of performance vehicles belonging to uncles and cousins.
Charnay tells of her introduction to drag out at the dicing with her brothers.
She adds: “But I’m not into the drags and dices anymore, I’m more into the shows and the meet and greets, the social side of the Cape car scene.”
For fun, she says she like the long drives with loud music. Luckily for this couple, Leigh also likes loud music, so there’s definitely some road trips in store for these two.
Now we mentioned that getting the Corsa represents, for Charnay, the attainment of a dream.
She says: “I was so excited when I got my car it’s hard to describe. But what I will say, and especially to the lady koppe out there, is this: if you really like that car then set your sights on it, make a plan and go out and get it. Then enjoy yourself in it.”
With regards to the practicality of their choice, the Corsa has a reputation for being reliable and pragmatic as a town car, they can be quite agile with a nice solid feel for a small hatchback.
The interiors, like in many middle range hatchbacks, can start to deteriorate after a decade or so, but with care and replacement of worn parts, they can look rather smart again, like these two.
Leigh, who has his sights set on acquiring an Opel Monza 16 valve or a Jetta VR6 one day, sends out a big thank you to Lincoln at Opel Maintenance for all his advice and help with both the vehicles.