MOTORING NEWS - Not only did the bevy of beautiful beach buggies cruising about Mossel Bay turn holidaymakers' heads, they also had a lot of onlookers wishing they could let their hair down in similar fashion.
Forty buggies participated in the annual fun ride from Langeberg Mall to Klipheuwel Padstal on 21 December. Gavin Grierson, a member of South Cape Buggies since 2016, told CORNELLE CARSTENS why buggies (and their owners) are best.
How long have you been a buggy fan?
I bought my buggy 20 years ago dirt cheap, at R6 500, in Strand.
Why a buggy?
A buggy gives you a sense of freedom and the wind in your hair. It's something different, easy on fuel, simple to fix and it draws a lot of attention. Back in the day, we were still allowed to drive on beaches. Now that was fun!
How would you describe buggy people?
Buggy people are free-spirited and helpful. They generally get along like a house on fire.
Who participate in your annual fun ride?
During the holiday fun ride, buggy drivers from as far as North West and Limpopo joined us. We plan fun rides throughout the year, but seldom get the same turnout as during the festive season. Then, as holidaymakers arrive, we try to arrange two to three rides.
The ride is scheduled for the last Saturday before Christmas. We had 40 buggies this year. It is a great opportunity for holidaymakers to meet the locals, especially since some of them leave their buggies here. It helps if you know someone you can call on for help when your buggy has a bug. A buggy must be driven. If they aren't, they develop hassles. The buggies will be in action again during the Dias Festival.
Your youngest and oldest participants?
Our youngest buggy driver is a 27-year-old and the oldest is 70, and actively involved.
If I want to buy a buggy or build my own, what must I look out for?
To buy a buggy is much easier that building your own.
A VW Beetle chassis and engine are used in most cases. These are old and therefore parts are hard to come by. If you buy a buggy, make sure it is not rusted and simply covered up with a paint job.
Also, test the engine well for performance and oil leaks. Tyres must never be old and cracked. Brakes are non-negotiable. King and link pins are important, especially during your road worthiness test.
The best option is to join a group like ours, then ask someone in the group that is knowledgeable and trustworthy to check out the buggy for you before you buy.
• The next event is the Diaz Festival Buggy Parade and starts at Heiderand and ends at Santos. To join SC Buggies, contact Gavin Grierson at email@example.com.
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