There is money in that old scrap

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - AL­WYN VILJOEN

WITH a de­cent hatch re­tail­ing for a quar­ter of a bar these days, many peo­ple won­der if it wouldn’t be cheaper to re­build an old car?

Not so, say Pi­eter­mar­itzburg’s fra­ter­nity of greasy car re­stor­ers. They have a say­ing: “It is not scrap, it is just an old part not cur­rently in use.”

Wheels writer Amil Umraw, who has skinned his knuck­les many times fix­ing up an old Ford Pre­fect with his fa­ther, warns that it is a long and ex­pen­sive road to re­cov­ery when one is bit­ten by the car re­stor­ers’ bug.

Even col­lec­tors of auto mem­o­ra­bilia do not get off cheaply. This is be­cause old parts are not made any­more. Those who have the old part you need or want, can charge even more than car sellers do for their new parts. One com­pany that has long prof­ited from this re­al­ity is Kobus van der Merwe and Sons, whose staff man the com­pany’s fas­ci­nat­ing stalls at large gath­er­ings of petrol heads, such as the week­end’s Cars in the Park at the Zwartkops Race Track in Pre­to­ria West. Petro Townsend showed

Wheels a rusted me­tal Coca-Cola cooler box selling for R3 000, and a new plas­tic John Deere trac­tor, which was R400. A lot cheaper are chrome-plated car lo­gos. A Valiant logo sells for R350 a set and a square of me­tal stat­ing the en­gine is V8 is R250.

PHOTO: AL­WYN VILJOEN

One per­son’s scrap is another’s profit: Petro Townsend of­fers a rusted me­tal Coca-Cola cooler box for R3 000 and a new plas­tic John Deere trac­tor for R400.

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