• September 23rd, 2018
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“Pimped” Jeep Wranglers are a new craze

WOEMA
WOEMA

Donna Collins If you drive a Jeep Wrangler then you know you are special. Let’s face it, it’s not a car it’s an icon, and today’s models which have added all the creature comforts to one of the most celebrated 4x4’s on the planet just adds to the appeal. But as a Wrangler owner, you also know that it doesn’t stop there, and the temptation to ‘pimp’ your Jeep to suit your personality, is a growing trend that is taking off in Namibia, with many after-market products and accessories available to the Jeep enthusiast. Woema caught up with the man behind the “Pimp Your Wrangler” craze and dune driving maestro Werner Schaap, who is also the co-founder and honorary member of the Namibia Jeep Club plus Jeep Wrangler specialist. Apart from being the guy who started the popular ‘Battle of the Dunes’ desert competition series three years ago, which has a big following from South Africa, Schaap is a seasoned off-road driver, a 4x4 driving instructor, and owns ‘Opposite Lock’, a 4x4 centre and workshop in Swakopmund, where it all happens. Thus far he has pimped over 35 Jeeps since he opened shop two years ago, and tells you that the guys are “dropping big bucks” to create their dream Jeep. One customer even spent up to N$600 000 in one go to create his masterpiece, which included a ‘supercharger’ to boost the vehicle’s performance. Schaap who is an electronic engineer by profession, has worked side by side with Jeep South Africa on special modifications on models such as the Grand Cherokee, and has passed his years of expertise onto his three fully trained mechanics. Aside from the technical stuff, Schaap said that he imports most of his parts and accessories direct from the USA, and believes in variety, so that no two Jeeps that leave the premises look the same. He is even rebuilding Jeeps to rent out to the tourist market. “You can’t personalise any other 4x4 the way you can a Wrangler,” said Schaap pointing to his latest project which he had just finished re-building - a metallic swamp green three-door Wrangler that looks like something out of a Mad Max movie with Goliath tyres and monster rims. The owner had bought the vehicle second hand and went to town, adding everything from a re-spray, snorkel raised suspension, extra kit body parts which includes raised bonnet, flared arches and bumper, all topped off with a funky design sticker plastered across the side. “The more rugged the look and the bigger the tyres the better especially for the guys who enjoy dune driving,” he added fondly. “The Jeep accessory market is flourishing, and even if you start off small, once you have added something to your Wrangler, you will want to keep adding. “There has been a huge increase in Jeep Wrangler ownership in the country, and a lot of my completed pimped Wranglers are running around Windhoek, with requests continuing to roll in.” he added. “The people are going all out to lay their hands on a Wrangler to personalise, which by the time the guys are finished, these baby’s can cost well over a million bucks. “But so long as you’ve got boys with their toys, we’ll be seeing a lot more amazing looking accessorised Jeep Wranglers on the roads.”
2017-09-14 09:59:55 1 years ago
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