A look at pimped Kombis

stronTell us a little about yourself?stronI am Joseph Benon Masaba, a surgeon at Mulago hospital, 39 years of age and married. We have two children, both boys, one is six years and the other is two years old. My favourite hobby is swimming, however, I very much enjoy driving especially fast cars. I like rebuilding things too, especially vintage cars.

stronWhen did you pick interest in pimping Kombis?stronIt is an idea I have had for a while. When growing up it was one of the vehicles that transported me and my siblings to and from school. So I have always wanted to own one. So last year I got a chance to buy it.

stronWhat is your reason for pimping them? stronstronIs it for fun, to sell them, or for them to be in good working condition? stronTo give it a striking difference from any other van on the road such that it is conspicuous.

stronWhy Kombi in particular? stronimping cars in Uganda is quite difficult. That said, I gave my Kombi a meticulous paint job, and had to modify the engine to a two litre VW Golf engine. I also had to fabricate space to add alloy wheel rims. Currently, I am working on the entertainment as Kombis did not come with car stereos. Later, I will have to work on the seats too.

stronHow many Kombis do you have and which makes are they?stronI have one Kombi though working on purchasing another after I am done pimping this one. It is a VW Kombi made in 1979, rear engine and rear wheel drive.

stronWhere do you pimp them from?stronMusaayi’s garage in Najjanakumbi, Kampala.

stronHow much does it cost to pimp a Kombi and how long does it take?stronSo far it has cost me about Shs5m. However, it is work in progress. I am not sure how much it will eventually cost me. I imagine in the range of Shs8-Shs10m.

stronHow is a pimped Kombi different from the ordinary one?stronWith a pimped Kombi you get lots of extras which ordinary Kombis don’t have, and because it has got lots of space inside one can literary do anything to style it up.

stronWhat is your favourite aspect of a pimped Kombi?stronIt is a very unique van on Ugandan roads and is a head turner wherever I park it.

stronWhat is the furthest you have driven it? stronKampala to Mbale and back.

stronWhat do you like about Kombis? stronThey are workhorses, rarely break down, have a high driving position, good off the road for a two wheeler, and have very strong body work that is difficult to dent.

stronWhat do you dislike about Kombis? stronSpare parts are very rare and it is difficult to get new ones.

stronDo you drive any other cars apart from Kombis?stronI have a VW Passat 2.3litre V5 made in 2002 and my wife has a Toyota Nadia.

stronOn which occasions do you prefer to drive a Kombi to other cars?stronIt is my work horse and I drive it all the time to work, to farm, to parties and on weekends with my family.

Julius Omoding

stronTell us a little about yourself? stronI am a Ugandan

stronWhen did you pick interest in pimping Kombis?stronMy desire for Kombis was ignited in 2003 after visiting an old show for Kombis in South Africa.

stronWhat is your reason for pimping them? stronIt is a combination of all the above. However, with time, I realised people were not keen to pay a decent price for them once finished so I decided to pimp them for my personal satisfaction. This then reduces on the pressure to do it fast and limits the investment upfront because now I can do it at my own pace.

stronWhy Kombis in particular?stronI love the height off the ground, the space, the leg room is just awesome, the comfort both front and back is manageable and the interior is amazingly easy to redecorate or shape or customise and also the other functionality or utilities. It makes a good picnic van, a good family ride, a good equipment van (I can put the children, bikes etc). It is a multi-purpose van.

stronHow many Kombis do you have and which makes are they?stronI currently have only one but four years ago I had three. I have since sold the other two. The makes were the Caravelle made in 1982.

stronWhere do you pimp them from? stronI have two specific designers I use and also two good garages where I get them sprayed, there is a fee for referrals..hahaha

stronWhat exactly is done when you get them pimped? stronWhen I first got these vans, we fitted back almost everything. They were on stones and abandoned. So we had to reconstruct the interior, redo the wiring system for everything, it is almost a whole redo of the vehicle. stronHow much does it cost to pimp a Kombi and how long does it take? stronIt depends on how fancy one is willing to go. On average for a decent job is Shs10m and the rest can go to as much as one desires.

stronWhat is your Kombi’s make (which type is this)?stronA 1982 Transporter Caravelle.

stronWhat is the furthest you have driven this Kombi?stronJinja so far.

stronWhat do you like about Kombis?stronSpace, height and comfort.

stronWhat do you dislike about Kombis?stronHmmmmm.. They are still very manual and a change to an electric system will remove its heritage.

stronDo you drive any other cars apart from Kombis? stronA Pajero Shogun made in 1985 and a VW Beetle.

stronDo people bring their Kombis to you for maintenance? stronNo, I refer them to the people I use.

stronDo you work or pimp other vehicles or you are now specialising in Kombis?stronI am looking at a number of other models but for now it is the Kombi.

stronIf you have ever pimped other vehicles, which ones are these? stronLong time ago I pimped a Golf Mk1 but I have since sold it.

stronWhen did you start doing this kind of work and what do you think the future will be like? stronI have been doing this since 2005.

stronAny challenges?stronIt is expensive to do a makeover and it takes lots of time. When people see you start, they assume you have lots of money and increase the prices unreasonably.


SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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