When a central character in the Cape motoring scene passes on, the petrolkoppe come together for a genuine, heartfelt farewell to the tune of V8s and roaring two-wheelers.
So it was with Youven Narainsamy, who passed away recently at the age of 47 from a sudden heart seizure.
Well-known as ‘Motormouth’ on the scene, Youven was part of the Cape ST Owners Club, Squarrows Motorcycle Club as well as the African Muscle Car Club.
Hundreds of two-wheelers and four-wheelers assembled on Saturday and convoyed from Schaapkraal down Baden Powell to Muizenberg to pay homage to Youven.
Whoever Bobby Nitro talks to, they speak of Youven in glowing terms. Dexter Bruce, commentator at the drags and a friend of Youven’s, says: “He was always bubbly and joyous, there was never a dull moment with Youvie.”
He speaks of first meeting Youven when he was driving his Focus.
He says: “Youven pulled me off the road and invited me to a meet-up. That was in 2004 and we have been friends ever since.”
He gives as an example of the time they were coming out of Pirates pub in Plumstead, and Youvie was injured by a car. Even then, Dexter says, the guy stayed upbeat.
Dexter adds: “Another time there was a park-off at Ford Culemborg. We were braaiing upstairs, and there was Youvie doing mad burnouts around the parking lot. Next day, we were ordered by management to clean the tar, just like naughty kids.”
And why the Motormouth nickname, asks Bobby? Dexter explains: “He could talk cars, very knowledgeable, but he would talk non-stop. And Youvie was known for his burnouts, that he’d perform at every opportunity. In fact, after the ceremony last weekend, we honoured Youvie and his trademark style with a round of excellent burnouts.”
Current chairman of Cape ST Owners tells Bobby: “We started the club in 2006 for enjoyment of the Ford brand and Youven was one of the forerunners. He drove a champagne coloured two-litre Ford Mondeo.
“I know Youven as being this cheerful guy, he had time for everybody, no matter what you drove, and was the natural spokesperson, the guy on the mic. Oh yes, and he had nicknames, not least among them ‘Burnout One’.”
Bobby called Youven’s brother Thiren, 27, to extend condolences to him and family. Thiren says: “Youvie was a die-hard Ford fan. So much so that he would overlook any faults. Even if your Ford died on you he would still convince you it was a great car.”
Seems like Youven really had the gift of the gab. Though like any younger brother worth his salt, Thiren recalls teasing him, saying Ford stands for First On the Rubbish Dump. That must have raised some eyebrows.
Thiren says that his brother was born into petrolkop lore, what with their father being into the scene. So, like the best of them, his passion started young.
He adds: “The memorial went down very well, even with the awareness around Covid-19 safety, and there were almost 300 bikes there, the turnout really showed me how much people loved Youven.”
Youven is remembered by his family, his children and the entire Cape motoring fraternity.