ME AND MY CAR
As a boy, I dreamt of owning a Wrangler! I think it was the cool Jeeps they drove in Jurassic Park that caught my eye back then… This Wrangler (an Unlimited Sahara 3.6-litre petrol model) came into my life in June 2020 – I bought it second-hand from Jeep East Rand. I grew up as a city lad with no previous exposure to 4x4s. Although I’ve always lived a healthy and active lifestyle, I realised that exploring my country adds some balance to my life. My wife, Aziza Domingo-Khan, and I also feel it’s important to contribute to upliftment in rural areas – in our own little way – by supporting the tourism industry. Recently, our favourite spot has been Parys and the Vredefort Dome area. Being only two people in a long-wheelbase Wrangler, we have plenty of space. For longer trips, I would carry additional fuel and water (50 litres of both) and firewood.
The Wrangler is an endearing vehicle to drive. It feels lively and connects us with the natural surroundings, especially with the top down.
I bought it fitted with a lift kit, rock sliders, differential guards and off-road auxiliary lighting. These modifications were all retained. In the last year, I’ve also installed heavy-duty bumpers, off-road rims, lifted the Jeep even more (three inches) and upgraded the tyres to 35-inch Federal Couragia Mud Terrains, which offer better traction.
The Jeep community is very close-knit and resourceful. While doing the modifications, I tapped into this community to swap parts, exchange know-how and explore DIY options. I would encourage prospective 4x4 owners to form a bond with their vehicles and join online 4x4 communities like JK Forum ( jk-forum.com) – there’s so much to learn. The Wrangler is certainly off-road biased. That’s why I also have a more tarmac-friendly vehicle, a BMW 4 Series Coupe. The need for a city car is just an excuse – I’m actually just a petrolhead!
Home town: Strand Occupation: Student and photographer
Car: Ford Eco Sport, 2018 model Mileage: 18 000 km
Instagram: @elnevdwest #178