When you come to thinking about buying a practical and reliable car that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, especially when it comes to repairs, the VW Polo brand is bound to be up for consideration.
However, there’s always that balance to be found between a practical car and super cool custom wheels.
Donovan Rudolph, 44, of Portlands, is one guy who seems to have found that balance and in a way that keeps people guessing.
Donovan, who owns a 2005 VW Polo 1.6-litre hatchback Comfortline, has found a way to keep his car fresh and stay popular at the same time, he changes his wheels, sometimes every month.
Fondly known as a “wheel whore”, Donovan says his Polo has had over 60 sets of rims between 2015 and today, “and that’s only the 17-inchers and not counting the 15-inchers”.
Wow, Bobby Nitro thought that this was way over the top until he heard that Donovan has made a plan to feed his passion. He set up a Facebook group that makes his craving for the next set of rims a workable condition.
His “Wheel Swop and Sell Cape Town” page allows the 37 000-odd members to trade and acquire wheels with ease. Donovan, as the admin, we imagine, gets to indulge in his wheel passion here, as he is immersed in Cape rim culture day in and day out. So he gets his choice.
Donovan gives the rundown: “In 2016, I did 17 sets of wheels; in 2017, I did 14; and in 2018, I did 18 sets of wheels. In 2019, I’m taking it slow with only four sets so far.”
The Polo is stock standard but for a mod touch here and there. He says: “An extra special feature is that it came out in full factory leather, and for an older model that is quite unusual.”
The engine is stock but for a stainless steel exhaust by Cowley. His gearing to Stance is addressed with a set of coilovers that are turned down way low.
Audio pleasure is controlled with a flip face double din JVC, Starsound amplifier and Starsound 12-inch subwoofer. Here his rim madness even translates into the cabin, with the subwoofer cover being made out of an original BBS spilt rim with the barrel removed.
Donovan says: “My plans for the future include a sunroof and, take a guess, more rims!”
He tells about the strong points of owning a Polo, saying: “My car is easy to maintain, it is easy to get parts for and easy on the fuel. I can’t think of any weak points.”
As a VW fan, he has his sights set on one day driving the Golf R32, the performance model that any serous VW fan craves.
Donovan belongs to a club called Polo 9N Owners, who you have seen in these pages. The club was established in 2015 and has 40-plus members.
Donovan says: “We have monthly hook-ups and assist other clubs in charity drives where we can. The best advantage in being in a club is the camaraderie, where there’s always a helping hand or a spanner when needed.
“My car can be seen at local shows, charity events or on my Instagram page ‘DonnyWheels’.”
Donovan doesn’t say it but word on the street is that he’s a loyal supporter of such initiatives and has been attending TPDZ’s various outreach projects since they began.
So there we have it. This karkop has explored a way to keep your car looking fresh and interesting year in and year out. Nice thing with wheels, is that people will notice that something’s different, and they need to take a good look before going “Aha, the wheels!”