There is money in that old scrap
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.
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.