Getting into a cool car club is an aspiration of many up-and-coming karkoppe out there. Belonging to a brotherhood, a community, has distinct advantages.
It means a lot. Imagine being part of a like-minded community, meeting up with other people who marvel at the delights of owning and customising their cabbies and having experts on hand to advise and encourage you.
And these are just some of the benefits of being a member of a Cape car club. After all, we do it with gees. But just how does a person become a member of these kwaai Cape clubs?
Late last week the Republic of 92ers, a recognised car club brand that has been around since 2013, held their annual recruitment evening. Bobby Nitro spoke to 92ers chairman Allister Ernstzen after the event, held at the N1 City parking lot.
Allister says: “There was a nice turnout, all in all there were 16 new guys that applied to become members.”
Bobby was curious to know what the procedure was, and what they are looking for in cars. What we do know from the name 92ers is that this niche Toyota club accepts only those cars with the AE92 chassis, which in South Africa is the Conquest, Tazz and Corolla. The Bubble as we know it.
Allister says: “First we scrutinise the car, and we’re looking for three things - neat, clean and fresh, so it’s basically presentable. And obviously dropped, in this club we all like lowered cars.
“In particular, even if the car is standard but it’s neat, it has a good chance of getting in. We’ll look at the paint, the body, to see if there are any dents, the interior and roof lining and the care taken of the engine bay.”
The sense that Bobby got was that passion for cars shows itself in the amount of care a person takes of their car, and it’s this passion that the club is really wanting to recruit.
He continues: “We make notes and later the club will vote. This year we will likely choose 10 out of the 16 who applied, as there were some guys who need to clean up their cars a little more. Of course, with the cars we don’t accept, we’ll chat with the owners and explain just what we are looking for. Our standards are high.”
Of course, the rumour mill is active in the car scene, and Allister is aware there is talk here and there that only the spoilt ouens get in.
He responds: “We are well aware that modifying a car costs money, and many don’t have access to the kind of cash the add-ons demand. But we definitely don’t want to prejudice people who cannot afford it, that’s why we’ll accept standard cars but they do need to be well looked after. We look at the care that goes into the car.”
It sounds like your car has to be fresh and clean, not perfect. As a club, the 92ers are here to help koppe grow. Getting a cabbie just right takes time, effort and passion.
Allister is the proud owner of not one but two Corollas. The white 1991 model was there on the night, with it’s import front and back lights, 8.5J rims with stretch tyres, back louvre and done-over exhaust. Gedrop, obviously.
He says: “I like the import look, yet each person in the club has his own vision, and we encourage this.
Allister’s advice to aspirant AE92 fans is to get connected on their Facebook page, ask questions, and get their cars neat, clean and fresh.