Bobby Nitro remembers first reviewing Nur Kemp’s Sierra almost a decade ago.
At the time it was a stand-out star of the car scene, with its head-turning split bonnet, kwaai flip paint job, Lambo doors and bespoke interior.
In a way, it was the embodiment of the customising style at the time. A lot more complicated than today, and with healthy dollops of bling, wild splashes of colour and gangsta lux interiors. Nur Kemp is one of the guys who put the shine into show and shine.
Then Nur dropped off the car scene for a while, and the Sierra started to gather dust in his garage. But it recently emerged from this cocoon, and is back, looking smart and refreshed and with the opposite design gedagte - back to basics.
Bobby was contacted as the writer to first feature the resurrection of this iconic Cape cabbie. Nur says: “Gone are the Lambo doors and split bonnet, and we’re back to the original Cosworth look. It’s totally white, and for me it’s the ultimate, as every Ford lover desires the Cosworth.
Not exactly though, as this one is a replica. The original Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth was commissioned in 1987, with a firm brief for it to be unbeatable on the track. Excly 500 were produced and yes, it did turn out to be a terror on the racetrack. Many of you will also remember the three-litre Sierra of the late 1980s, a little heavier than its rivals but with more than enough grunt to be a real competitor at the lights.
Nur says: “This is the closest I can get short of spending R200k on an original engine, as I’ve got an old school V6 three-litre motor in here, as in the Sierra XR6.
“Of course, the high-powered RS500 engine, with 600HP, is the ultimate engine to have, and every Ford lover would love to have one. But it costs an arm and a leg, if you can get hold of one.”
When Nur bought the car it was a 1984 two-litre, left-hand drive three-door Sierra, basic with the steel wheels. He says: “When I got into the car shows about 15 years ago, I went all out in its transformation to show car. Then I left the scene for a while, my son Mujahid grew to age and he started to get interested in cars.”
In a way, Nur has passed the baton, as his love for cars is now alive and kicking in his son.
Mujahid Kemp’s Sierra, also a left-hand drive, has been featured on these pages and, as you can imagine, the dad needed to come to terms with the ‘midnight parts’ disappearing from his Sierra as Mujahid built up his. Jokes, it was all up front.
Nur says: “My car became a bit of a donor car for my son. He needed seats, he took them out of my car, he needed mirrors, out of my car. So my car went from a full car to parts!
“He has a real passion, it’s his time now so let him shine. So I thought, let’s get him on the road.” Perhaps re-inspired by Mujahid’s build, Nur took another look at his Sierra gathering dust. He says: “Then it came time to get my car back on the road, so I started getting pieces here and there and here it is.”
Nur found a Merc interior after he came across a 230e for a bargain, pulled out the interior, and realised the seats fit perfectly in the Sierra.
He says: “We replaced the bonnet after sourcing one, found and original. Removed the Lambo hinges, primed and sprayed.”
He continues: “The idea was to replicate everything from the RS500, the lines, stripes, the kit and the double fin on the back, the lip on the front bumper. If you don’t know Ford, you will think this is an RS500, but obviously the guys who know will see that it’s not an original.
I’m quite happy now, at least I have a weekend car to drive now, that’s not sitting in the garage. So I’m starting to go to park-offs and shows again now, but mainly as support. It’s Mujahid who is entering now, and I don’t want to steal the shine from him. It’s his time to draw the attention, with photo shoots and at the car shows, and he’s enjoying it.
Having these two cars parked side by side will certainly draw attention.
“It was fun working with him in building his car. He’s a little bit stubborn, you know kids nowadays, how they want it their way and not my way, so we would knock heads now and then but most of the time it was fun.”