A car can be all things to all people; a status symbol, a means of escapism, a ticket to adventure or a financial rope around one’s neck. That’s just a regular car though, what about a bakkie or an SUV? The same of course, if not arguably more so especially if you’re an adventure seeker or weekend warrior, what with that rugged vibe, go-anywhere ground clearance and the look-down-at-everyone vantage point. In my time at TopCar I’ve had several SUVs to service my brood, comprising of but not limited to three rowdy lads, and our array of bicycles and gear.
Most recently it was the simply flawless VW Touareg in sensible 3.0 turbodiesel format, but when the time came to replace it I was forced once again to reconsider my choice of vehicles. See, I can’t recall when it happened only that it did, but I love a good bakkie now. It comes with a caveat though, because again, while all cars can be all things to all people, where I grew up on the Cape Flats, bakkies were a ‘las’, a right pain in the arse. See, everyone on the ‘Flats was always moving something. I don’t know why, but it was constant. Somewhere. Often. Furniture. Garden equipment. Trash. Yep, where I’m from the key to a bakkie was a licence to get called at inopportune moments to do bothersome things for no personal benefit whatsoever. Which is why later in my adult life, that stigma remains – as did my mild affinity for the (mini) truck life. So imagine the quandary in which I found myself when Toyota availed two of their finest off-roaders, a mechanically identical Hilux and Fortuner for my stewardship, both measuring 2.8 in their diesely capacity, both automatic, both rugged as a canvas sack of climbing ropes. I was vexed. Allow me to tell you a bit more about myself.
I have bicycles – dirty pieces of apparatus that I oft fantasize flinging into the back of a bakkie. I have two Staffordshire Terriers, same story, in they go! My wardrobe features denim jeans almost exclusively and I’m not put off by reasonable amounts of khaki. So I took the leap, and chose the model on the left, a metallic blue Raider bakkie, my new six-month pride and joy, and you know what? I don’t regret it. We’re going to have lots of adventures, it and I. We’ll conquer mountains together. Maybe a trip to Sani Pass? Or deep into the Karoo? The possibilities are literally endless. But it can’t happen next week. I’ve got to help my friend, Mark move his furniture into his new house. And my brother needs some rubble cleared so some time after that.