Every now and again Bobby Nitro comes back to what can only be described as a mainstay of Cape transport, the Mk1 Golf.
There are good reasons for doing so, not least because each vehicle comes with its own unique story, a tale full of personal significance, good times remembered and, sometimes, tragedy.
This is the case with Yaaseen Camphor, 25, who hails from Mitchells Plain and was until recently the proud owner of a 2008 Citi Rox 1.4i. His Mk1 held special significance for him, becoming a symbol of efforts rewarded, friendship and brotherhood and good wholesome fun.
Yaaseen says: “I grew up in Heideveld. Life wasn’t easy growing up on the Cape Flats with all the negative effects around us as kids on a daily basis. But with strong family values and a belief in the Almighty, I came out alright.”
In 2012 he purchased his first Mk1, a Chico, and “the car game all started for me with that car, which was pretty much standard. I was never one for speed but the Stance game quickly grew on me. I called her Roxy while my dad called her Greyhound.”
Then, when you want to get your car looking the way you see it in your dreams, the sensible thing to do is to join a car club.
Yaaseen says he was approached by Caspian Jejane of a club call TypeSeventeen.
He recalls: “This excited me and it’s one decision I will never regret because I made amazing friends.
“The club disintegrated a year later, but Shafwaan Laatoe and I decided to relaunch the club which turned out pretty well as we were fully kitted out with T-shirts, club banner and club stickers on vehicles. Everything was awesome. TypeSeveteen really allowed me to build strong relationships with awesome people.”
Yaaseen and Shafwaan really cemented their friendship, with Shafwaan helping Yaaseen find his car, understanding what he was after in a vehicle. He says: “We would go everywhere together with our MK1s.”
As we said, it was awesome: “Up until the time I lost my best friend.”
Tragedy struck and Shafwaan passed away in a car accident.
Yaaseen says: “This was devastating for me as it happened a month after I lost my father.”
He continues: “I decided to sell Roxy just recently as I thought it was time to part with the heavy memories of Shafwaan’s passing. He was the one who understood what I wanted and helped me find this car.
“Although I was questioned a lot around my reasons for parting ways with Roxy, it was just becoming a bit to much for me.
“Shafwaan and his wife, Monique, and I would literally go everywhere together with our Mk1s... and this is why I had to let go, he was like a brother to me.”
Yaaseen did, however, learn a lot in the process, and here he describes some of his car styling philosophy as well as the work he did on the Golfie.
For starters, he says he is “one for simplicity and attention to detail, a clean car is just that much neater for me, especially when it comes to the Mk1, which is a unique shape and a head turner.”
The engine received a Simola air filter with an induction kit, with the bulk of the budget being spent on the exterior.
Yaaseen says: “The car was stock standard when I made the acquisition but I immediately had a set of Maxtrax coil-overs installed with 8.25J Hartage wheels. I also added small cosmetic bits like the universal front spoiler and a set of mudflaps. I was really wanting to keep it simple, easy on the eye.”
His reasoning for coilies is at once practical and aesthetic. He says: “Being static forced the cabbie into a rough ride. Both I and the ladies enjoyed the bouncy ride. In fact, I have a decal on my fender that read “You bump, I grind”, which of course describes the scraping arches (just in case you were thinking different).
The interior was practically in showroom condition so he just made sure it was always clean and tidy. The in-car entertainment did, however, receive more of an attending to.
He says: “It’s important to me to roll with fairly decent sound. Everything inside the cab was Pioneer, the 5000watt Targa Street woofer in a custom box was powered by a 6000watt monoblock amplifier all connected with a zero gauge wiring kit.
Then comes the good memories, where Yaaseen describes the experience: “When our club convoyed together to drive a matric ball and out of the 15 Mk1 Golfs present, the girl chose Roxy to chauffeur her to her function.
“It was a really proud moment for me, as I felt truly honoured.
“I think she earned a bit of respect on the streets of Cape Town.
Yaaseen, who now drives a Nissan Sabre 200 Gxi, says his dream car has always been a Mk5 Golf GTi or an Audi S3 S-line.
Yaaseen concludes: “I would like to dedicate this feature to my late friend, Shafwaan Laatoe.
“Also a huge thanks to all my family and friends for always showing their support.”