Bobby Nitro spoke to Monray Klink, 29, who comes from Rosendal in Delft, about himself and his 1997 Conquest 160i RS.
This chat came after an event that changed everything, but that part we’ll get to later. Firstly, let’s have a look at Monray and his immaculate car.
First thing that comes across, is that Monray is incredibly proud of his handiwork, and deservedly so. This burgundy car is a pleasure to look at from crystal headlights to gold rims.
From early on, Monray was into Toyota. He says: “My dad had an old Cressida, my brother a RunX, and my first cabbie was a Toyota Boxie that I got from my grandfather. It’s with that car that I started on the lowering. When it started to rust to bits, I bought the Conquest from a colleague of my father’s in 2012.”
He worked hard to save up the cash needed to do his mods, saying: “First I did the sunroof and the lip, then the crystal smoked headlights. The coilovers came in 2014 and by 2017 I felt ready to enter headline stance show OTF (Only the Fittest).
“I had also installed a set of Alfa Romeo rims, and the wheels complemented the gold stripe down the body. Of course, I had these wheels done over, at Sumo Customs.”
Monray went the extra mile, even sourcing centre caps on e-Bay and importing them. Such was his devotion to the overall look, down to the smallest pieces.
By OTF 2018 he had had the seats done over, sourcing 20 valve seats with maroon stitching, to bring the interior look in line with the exterior colour palette.
Monray says: “I’ve always been into the look of the car as opposed to the performance, though with regards to the engine I fitted a stainless steel exhaust, added a branch and cold air intake.”
His moment of triumph came at OTF 2018, where Monray was awarded second prize in the Static Tuck department, after spending a pretty penny on final detailing to get his paintwork immaculate.
Monray says: “I was so over the moon that I was shivering all over.”
That should give you, the reader, some idea of just how important this creation was to its maker, and how he had put his hard-earned resources into making her beautiful.
He regards the colour palette of the Conquest as making it extra special with the unusual burgundy, and says: “Also I paid close attention to doing things properly and took no shortcuts.”
In terms of life experiences in this car, Monray tells of the lekker times he and his girlfriend would take a slow cruise into the sunset.
Strong points of a Conquest, Monray says, are: “It’s great on fuel, has never let me down, I had no issues and simply had to get in and drive.”
Monray had considered selling his creation, but such was his attachment to it that when a buyer got interested he found that he could not go through with the sale.
He says of his inspiration to build this dream: “In our car club, the Northside Crew, we keep pushing each other, looking for ways to up our game but still keeping it clean and simple as we go. I try to stick to the OEM vibe, and in this respect I even had a set of original wheels, BBs splits, waiting to install when the summer show season came around. I didn’t get a chance to fit them.”
You may wonder why we’re talking in the past tense here. Well, on 28 June, Monray was returning from his cousin at around midnight, cruising really slowly in a Kraaifontein residential area, when a reckless driver came speeding around the corner, drifted into his lane, and crashed head-on into the Conquest. In that one moment the car was destroyed, Monray’s girlfriend had had a concussion, Monray sustained fractured ribs, and a passenger in the other car was soon to die.
He says: “When I woke up the next morning I cried actual tears. Seven years of hard work and for it to end like that was very upsetting. It’s so unfair, all that work and commitment taken away by a moment of recklessness. Thank goodness we were wearing seatbelts; the paramedics said that must have saved us.
“That car was my everything and I got plenty of support from people on the scene and I thank all of them. Also, it’s a real honour to be in Bobby Nitro as a way of commemorating my Conquest. I reckon I’ll frame this article and show it to my grandkids.”
When a person’s dream car, their passion and hard work, are shattered by another driver’s carelessness around safety on the road, that’s an awful thing. But it gets worse. A person died.
Monray may have lost a car, but says his thoughts go out to the family and friends of the passenger who lost his life in this unnecessary crash.