Raising The Bar

Pics and words by Thashen Naidoo

“Howsit bru, can we move the shoot a few days later? The primer is reacting” I silently sigh as I meekly, agree on the matter. You know that feeling, when you visit an online shop or you want to buy something in sealed packaging, you can see most of the product but sometimes you long for just one other angle to cement your decision to purchase or move right along. That’s just how I felt waiting to see Kershan’s Monza in the metal.

When somebody tells you that they converted their car into a bar, you have to read it twice and once you’ve done that your curiosity starts to tickle. What didn’t help was that the photos he had sent me didn’t quite do justice to the rear end. I convinced myself not to ask him for any more photos or I would just end up spoiling it for myself. Luckily I didn’t, because as Kereshan rolled into unit 10 park, Chatsworth, with the speakers blaring – “I follow rivers” I was impressed.

What grabs you before the bright scarlet paint job, is how low and well stanced the car is. Its sits pretty on a set of 17” German Tech Borbets with a healthy drop, courtesy of compressed Jamex springs. The original bumper was modified using a Zender spoiler and the headlights were striped and smoked. The finishing touch on the front end is the “Devil Effect” lighting, which was completed using red inserts.

Kereshan, the lucky fella, received the car when he was 17 and in grade 12 as a ‘Matric trials present’ from his parents. He was looking to get a Corsa, but when his father mentioned the word cabriolet, the Corsa idea was quickly put to rest. The previous owner had given it a new paint job and 15’’ wheels but upon receiving the car, Kereshan saw the potential for the car to be modded further and chose another avenue for the car to follow.

After fitting a new bumper and wheels, he saw the show car in the Monza. “So what inspired the bar?” “Just the drinking” [laughs] but on a slightly more serious note, he adds, “it was something unique that appealed to me” He completed the modification himself with the help of some friends and feels that the bar is definitely his favourite part of the car. The rear seat edit was the first stage of the bar conversion where you will now find a bar mat, three spirit dispensers, a bar fridge, a fire extinguisher and if you’re lucky, a lit hookah with your favourite flavour. And what would a bar be without the ambiance of lights? To this end the Monza features LED lighting to brighten up every surface and item you might need while entertaining. I hope some cabinet makers are taking notes! Now if the, err… back seat is where the drinks are, the boot is where the
party is.

Many of us are familiar with the term ‘boot jol’, but I think in the dictionary of Indian slang, a photo of this car should appear next to the term. From the outside, the boot is as unassuming as that on any car, simply featuring a badge edit to that of the Vauxhall brand. Once opened though, the jol is bound to start.

As with the cabin, the boot is fully lit using white, blue and red LED’s thoughtfully placed all around the boot to create as much drama as possible. The bar itself is made from glass which is perfect to view the source of the rumble in your eardrums. This is no polystyrene-budget-cup-affair, this is a glass only party and the edge of the counter is just as functional as the surface, holding the glasses so that there are no breakages while in transit. With all the lights shining it makes the shooter glasses look like jewellery sparkling, as you would find in your local NWJ.

The rumble that follows the car is a product of the two 10” Pioneer Champion series DVCs powered by a Reference Audio 1000.1 monoblock. These are controlled by 7” Jensen in dash DVD player and partnered with a pair of Pioneer 6x9s.

The car is no slouch either. The engine is a re bored 200is 8V with AE pistons, a lightened flywheel and a Weber 32/36 DCD. A nice growl accompanies each down shift through the Subaru back box and tail piece.

Just as I was about to wrap up the shoot, we get a friendly visit from the police of whom we hoped were just going to make a circle and leave. One can hope right? The boys very nervously tried to put down the bottles we were using during the shoot but it was much too late to react. Out of the van jumped two police officers and two casual looking teenage girls. Colour me confused. I quickly started snapping away, hoping to distract the officers away from the fact that we were breaking about 5 laws and toward the fact that this was all an elaborate play for the camera. Hah, I should really stop hoping. Straight to the bottles they went.

My heart was in my throat when the one officer commented to the other, “didn’t we just confiscate this Hennessy stuff last week?” “Yah” replied the other one as he pulls out his Nikon Coolpix to show me the evidence. The tension in the air was broken when one of the girls shouted, “Ah-weh! Moving with a top camera these days Dlamini” and then burst out laughing. Turns out those two were the daughters of one of the officers, my brain started to twist itself out of the knot it got into. Coincidentally Kereshan also knew these cops and that they were just keeping an eye on things and had no real intention of closing down my shoot early.

Just as I became comfortable again, out comes the SAPS SLR, along with it comes some private photography tuition, where I’m told not to use the flash but invest in a tripod, yes readers, I was being given lesson on composition, shutter speed and what brand of camera I should purchase next. Oh boy. I got way more than I bargained for from Unit 10 Park.

Eventually the tortuous lesson was over and I got to pack my equipment away, including the two tripods I brought along to the shoot.

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