I cannot sell my 42-year-old Nissan, says Kironde

What is the type of your car?
It is a Nissan Datsun SSS 1972 model.

How long have you had it?
I have had it since 1973. It is one of those cars that participated in the East African Rally in the 1970s and it won for three consecutive years in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania in 1974, 1975 and 1976.

How much did you buy it?
I bought it at Shs26,500 in 1973 and it was brand new. By then, whenever you bought this type of car, they would give you glasses and plates as a bonus. It was the same type of car that Idi Amin’s soldiers used to drive.

Have you received offers from people wanting to buy it?
Yes, very many of them. One of my friends has so far brought me more than 10 prospective buyers but I have no intention to sell. Some Asian once offered me Shs60m and I turned down the offer. Selling it is like asking me to go back to the village to dig because sometimes I hire it out to shoot Ugandan movies and music videos and it makes money for me.

How do you maintain it in a good road worthy condition?
When it gets a mechanical problem, I get its spare parts from Nissan. I don’t go to Kisekka market and other places where they sell second hand spare parts.

What is the furthest you have driven with it?
I have been to Tanzania once and Kenya three times. In Uganda, I have been to Gulu, Arua, Mbarara and other places.
When I’m to go to my home place in Mabanda in Kibibi, I don’t have to use public means. It’s the car I use.

What aantages does it have over the classic cars?
Most of cars today are automatic but this car is purely manual with four gears.
Every part on it is metallic including the engine fuel pipes. When on the road, its engine never heats up or breaks down if it’s fully serviced. Everywhere I drive with it, I reach safely without getting any mechanical problem on the road. Old as it is, it still has its radio functional.
What is its mileage?
For sure, I have forgotten it because its speed meter stopped functioning. But by the time it stopped, it had exceeded 200,000 miles.

Do you share it with friends or family?
No I don’t. I wouldn’t want to give someone the burden of repairing it to my expectation because they will have to regret why they had to borrow it if anything bad like an accident happened to it.
I only drive it with my mechanic Musisi Nsubuga and Sulaiman Katwalo at Katwalo Automobile in Ndeeba.

What is its engine size?
It is 1600cc.

What do you like about it?
It doesn’t skid off the road, be it on tarmac or murrum roads even when it’s raining heavily and the road is slippery.

And what don’t you like about it?
It only has four gears. If it had five gears, it would be faster than it is.

Was it your first car?
No, it wasn’t. I had driven a Volkswagen beetle, a Fiat, Mercedes Benz 250 (Kajjambiya) and a Toyota Sahara.

Do you have other cars?
Yes I do. I have a Toyota Premio and a Toyota Hilux double cabin.

Which of these cars do you like most?
I like the Nissan Datsun because it’s the most durable and strongest among all the three.

What intriguing feature does it possess?
For the 42 years I’ve been with it, its engine and gearbox have never been opened but it still moves without any complications.

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