This bug stays in the family
A Tongaat father refuses to part with his very first car, a 1974 VW Beetle, which he has declared a family heirloom.
Vikash Ramphal is hoping to keep the tradition of his VW being a "first" car and intends passing it on to his daughter, Aria, 4, when she is older.
Civil engineer Ramphal, 32, owns his own business. He bought the car while working as a technician when he was 20, paying R4000 for it in 1999.
"When I bought the car, it was yellow and had a roof. It had more rust on it than bodywork," said Ramphal.
"I drove it for about three years and then it was parked for five years. I started to work on it four years ago."
Sparing no expense, Ramphal got to work by first cutting off the roof and giving it a "fancy paint job". The colour is known as "python".
The paint, imported from Germany, cost Ramphal R25000 for two litres.
"It changes colour as you drive. It goes from blue to purple and other colours. My panel beater recommended it and I had a look at it and loved it," he said.
"After painting it I got the interior done and fitted a full Rockford Fosgate sound system costing about R40000."
The car has no door handles and operates with a remote. The engine has been chromed and the boot cut out to expose the engine.
One of the car's unique features is the built-in cooler box, which Ramphal said was specifically for his "beers".
He does not use the car, which is now worth R150000, daily.
"People are fascinated when they see the car. They stop and stare and get a good look at it," said Ramphal.
"But I don't use it to get in and out of Tongaat. I use it only as a leisure vehicle.
"The car is not for sale. I never wanted to sell my first car and that is why I kept it for so long. It has sentimental value so there is no need to sell it. It's my favourite car," he said.
"It's my daughter's car. I have done it up for her and she just loves it because of the colours."
A lover of Beetles, Ramphal has not yet entered the car in any shows but plans to do so later in the year.
"The Beetle was developed during Hitler's time so I should not like it, but I do. I don't know why but it has a nice hip feeling about it - a kind of flower power feeling."
His daily car is a Range Rover.