Update: For personal reasons, I have removed the pics of Helen & Helen Bandia

It has come to my understanding that my beloved Helen just might be gone for good. It’s a very long and convoluted story that I myself don’t understand. In short, let’s just say that she’s missing. The car wasn’t sold, it wasn’t in an accident, but it somehow vanished into thin air. You don’t buy that? Neither do I!! How does someone misplace A CAR?! That’s some strange ish right there. Kwani do we have a Bermuda triangle in Kenya where cars go in and never some out again?

So the folks have been trying to appease me by offering me a Starlet. A what? Shopping basket? Don’t get me wrong, not that ati nanaidharau gari, coz a Starlet is a car that you only have to fill up the tank (with like only 2k) about once a month. Fuel consumption is THAT good. Lakini who am I lying to that I’ll fit my 6″ 0′ frame there (reminds me of my bathtub. Yes, THAT bathtub. M shaddup!) I have tall friends, and there’s also not enough rear space for hanky panky. That is very essential when choosing a “modofieko” 

In the end I had to settle for Helen’s twin sister. That’s only coz the folks really went out of their way to look for the only car that I’d appreciate, and finding a 1990 model vehicle in Nairobi that’s still in good condition, is not easy. Well, Helen Bandia is the same model as Helen, only that this one is two years older. (Have I made any sense? *smacks self hard*) back in 1990,  they didn’t come with power steering or power windows as standard. (Helen’s a ‘92 model, came with all the extras) so with Helen Bandia, either I chapa a heavy breakfast or I might as well forget the idea of reverse parking into tight spots as well as making three point turns.

The car has required quite a lot of work to get it up to standard. The previous owner knew exactly what he was doing when he sold it coz it needed new tyres, exhaust, major service, rims, radio (NO RADIO?!)

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Don’t despair, for I, Mishale, am an innovative man!

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Who remembers my shower radio?

Quit laughing, at least it does its job! Mluhya bila radio ni kama ugali bila mboga! Ama aje Bomseh?

I’ve been browsing through www.cardomain.com and found some very good ideas for souping up Helen Bandia. Souping up a car in Nairobi is hard coz there are not many garages/companies that do a very good job. Definitely NOT Mash Auto, those useless fellows who only have like two or three templates that fit on every car regardless of its make. 

That’s Helen

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That’s Helen Bandia

 

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 Now say hello to Helen/Bandia of the future!!

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Now, who’s still laughing at my shower radio? During one of my recent trips to the garage, I came across this 1969 Jaguar E-Type Series II, although in dire need of attention. (I don’t think the owner would be too pleased that that someone has put up pictures of his car on the internet, so I’ll censor his number plate) I haven’t yet seen another Jaguar E Type in Kenya (have you?) Which makes this an extremely rare vehicle in Kenya. You might remember it as that shaggadelic Jag from Austin Powers.

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Front end bila the engine and the hood. Looks like a piece of junk, but the body is completely accident free! Not a single dent on the car.

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E Type upande

Jaguar E Type hood

That’s the hood that’s been taken off

Jag Engine

Engine kando

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Omera how will you know? 

I’ve previously expressed my desire to (when I can afford it) buy a classic car as a shell and to re-build it, all by myself. In that spirit, I figured that I may as well enquire as to whether the owner of this Jaguar would be willing to put it up for sale. I was willing to look for some cash to make him an offer. I was informed that he’s strongly attached to the Jag and that he’d never sell it for any amount in the world. Apparently he’s fixing it up for this year’s Concours D’Elegance.

When I returned to the garage the next week, I was informed that an Asian man had seen the Jag (in it’s current state) fell in love with it, and made an on-the-spot offer of….(hold your breath) TEN MILLION SHILLINGS!!! Yaani Ksh 10,000,000/= which was promptly REJECTED by the owner! (And here I was thinking I could swing him like a loose 300k and forget his story!! Hehe!! Shock on my diabz)Anyway, look out for this Jaguar at this year’s Concours D’Elegance. I do hope the owner does something about the colour though. Bright red would be good. Or Opal black. When it’s done, it should look something like this: Jaguar E Type

Ok away from wishful thinking, here’s a project that is more affordable to a car enthusiast. I’m sure you all remember the Volkwagen Kombi (Volksiebus) the one that looks like a loaf of bread.

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There are very few of those on the roads these days. (My old man had one way back in the 70s!) While in South Africa, I once saw one that had been souped up, it was too deadly! The owner had chopped off the roof and made it into an open top, lowered the van and added some serious 20 inch chrome rims, an assortment of amplifiers, subwoofers, DVD screens, tweeters and what have you. It even featured in some kwaito video, I don’t know the name of the song though.

This will be my first car project in the next few years. It’s not that hard or that expensive to find a shell, something like this:

753702.jpgYou see trash, I see potential!! I’ve been told that the Voki can accomodate the engine of a Subaru Leone (1.8 litre) without having to make any major modifications to the engine bay. So that’s precisely what I’ll do. I’ll have the body stripped down completely and re-built from the ground up. I’ll have a transparent fibreglass sunroof, a comfortable lounge for five complete with DVD, leather couch, fridge, Playstation 3, some mad ass sounds. For the exterior (visualize it with me) I’ll have it painted bright metallic orange, lots of chrome on the bumpers and around the wheel arches, chrome running boards, body lowered a few inches with 20″ chrome rims, front bull-bars, chrome of course…. 

Er………is there anyone still reading this?

 

What’s on my Playlist?

 

Sema – The Only One