Today we’re talking about a faraway land in the Southern Hemisphere made up almost entirely of uninhabited desert, settled by the Dutch a while ago, and where everyone speaks like Crocodile Dundee (that may be a little false) and drives passenger cars converted into pickup trucks.
And it isn’t Australia!
I’m sure we all know of our first subject, the beloved Citi Golf.
Which is a Mk1 Golf that was mildly updated and sold until 2007, and is widely considered SA’s national car. There’s an RCR video “about” it.
But there’s a lot more to their car market than old Golfs.
Like old Polos! This is the Polo Vivo, it slots in between the up! and the regular Polo and will set you back R169,900 (About 16 grand Canadian, or about 12 grand American.)
Really, it’s just an old Polo sold for cheap with a fancy name. Unless they keep it around for 25 years, it’s not too interesting.
What is interesting, in all the wrong ways, is this abomination. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, the god awful, FAW V2 “#Like”. Yes that’s it’s actual name. Yes there’s a Facebook like button plastered to the back of it. Like the Chery J2 “Swag” I posted about a few days ago, it’s a small Chinese hatchback that’s supposed to appeal to the “youths” (As a youth, I hate this shit with a passion. Cut it out.) I hate it and I hope every single example spontaneously combusts.
Moving swiftly on to the subject of Bakkies. Bakkie is basically the South African term for what the Aussies call a “ute”. Generally it refers to a regular car with it’s back hacked off and turned into a pickup bed.
Bakkies tend to be a bit smaller, and are usually based off small hatchbacks, like this Nissan NP200, which is underneath a Dacia Logan (Good News!).
There are exceptions, like this:
The El Camino we all dream of. The Chevy Lumina Bakkie. Oh yes.
The Lumina is probably my favourite South African car. It’s basically a Commodore with a Chevy badge for the South African and Middle Eastern markets. This is what the SS should’ve been, but alas, the Lumina was discontinued in 2013.
There are a good few parallels between SA’s car market and Australia’s car market other than the ute/bakkie obsession and the Commodore, like the 70 series LC, which is a thing I cannot have and that makes me very angry.
And then there’s the cabs. The US has the Crown Vic. The UK has the Hackney Carriage. Mexico has the Beetle (and more recently the Tsuru). South Africa has white vans with the same exact decal plastered on the side.
There’s the Toyota Seskifile, based off the Quantum (their name for the Hiace).
The Nissan NV350 Impendulo.
Even Chery (my mortal enemies) have their own take, the P10 Ro Swika.
And no, those decals aren’t a company’s livery. They’re factory. Don’t ask me why because I don’t know.
And last but not least, the fantastic plates. This is Northern Cape’s plate. Does your province/state have an antelope on it’s plate? Thought so.
And then there’s Free State, which has A FUCKING CHEETAH ON IT.
The only other plates that come close are the plates of Canada’s Northwest Territories, because nothing can beat a plate shaped like a polar bear.
So basically: Fuck you, Canada wins, because polar bears and shit.