Owners: Tinus Olivier
Photos by: Jan van Der Walt
Tinus Olivier has always loved working on cars and apart from his full-time job he was always busy with projects for other people. He says “I knew that one day I would build something for myself – something unique.”Tinus often drove on the roads that wound through the plots outside Vanderbijlpark. He noticed an old bakkie on one of the plots. “I could only see it from behind and couldn’t quite make out what it was. One day I drove in to have a closer look. The owner, Reuben Lewis, said the bakkie used to belong to his aunt and had been standing in the veld for 25 years.”
The bakkie was a Toyota Stout. He hadn’t seen another Stout in the Vaal Triangle and therefore didn’t know them well. He could see the chassis was solid, and that it would be able to hold a V8 engine. Reuben didn’t want to sell the bakkie to Tinus at first however, after bit of persuasion he eventually sold it.
Originally, Tinus didn’t have a plan. “I just wanted to build something that hadn’t been seen before – something unique that would draw attention”. When he first got the bakkie, he didn’t know where and how to begin – “I just noted that so much work would have to be done!”
There was no bonnet, lights, grille, windscreen, load bin or bumpers. The body had superficial rust all over it and some holes in the roof. The floorboard inside the cab was very badly rusted.
For the bonnet, Tinus cut out a Ford Cortina bonnet plate and built a custom frame for it. He also had to build another front cradle for the radiator and fan and had to move the firewall back to make room for the engine. A new floor panel also had to be made.
The horse heads showcased on the car doors were laser-cut. Tinus fitted blue perspex sheets behind them, so that they would be backlit in blue when the LED lights were switched on. The rear fends were taken from an old Beetle and made wider. Tinus designed the load bin frame himself and built it out of steel and covered it with wood. “I wanted to do something unique for with the bumpers and decided to use wood poles”. All bodywork was done by Tinus and when it came to the colour, Tinus decided to mix something himself
He liked the old faded blue colour with the brown rust the way it was, so he mixed blue paint to match the panels he had worked on. For the horse faces on the doors, Tinus used his paintbrush skills. He also had to add rust on the newly painted panels. He then painted the whole bakkie with a 2K matt clear coat to prevent it from rusting further.
The wood on the load bin was stained to get the right colour and then waxed. Tinus decided to keep the original chassis however, shortened it at the back. He added two coil-over shocks in the front to help support the weight of the engine. He also added steel blocks on both the front and the rear axles between the blades and the axles to lower the bakkie.
Tinus stilI has plans to change the diff to a Colt bakkie diff with a 455 ratio. For the front brakes, Tinus fitted disc brakes from a Toyota D4D. The rear brakes will be upgraded when the new diff is installed. For the motor Tinus went to Marthinus Lambrechts to help him with the Lexus V8 motor and gearbox conversion.
When it came time to redo the interior, Tinus decided to take it on himself. “I fitted the radio and speakers myself and sprayed the entire cab matt black. The electronic box for the remote functions was also fitted inside the cab”. He found an old seat at a scrapyard and had it re-upholstered and then fitted it. He also built the gear lever and gear knob himself, from the piston, conrod and crank of a bush cutter.
The steering column is still standard, but Tinus had to move the steering box from inside the chassis to the outside to make space for the engine. He removed all plastics and rubbers from the original steering wheel and then welded a chain, nuts and two horseshoes to it. Gauges came from his local Midas however, the speedometer works with satellite technology, which Tinus believes Marthinus bought on eBay.
For wheels Tinus once again hit the scrapyard and found a set of Steel 16 inches. Tinus couldn’t find a windscreen, so he used polycarbonate to make a 3mm front screen, and used universal rubber to fit it.
The fuel tank looks like a jerry can on the side. But the fuel actually goes through the jerry can into a 65L tank under the seat which is mounted on the load bin. The ignition in the cabin is linked to a receiver. This enables Tinus to switch the ignition on and off, to start the engine, to rev the engine, and to blow the horn from 500m away. The hooter is a truck horn, so Jalopy can make himself heard!
“I have had great fun at shows by starting Jalopy remotely as people came to look at him. One time, a friend sent me a video taken by a guy outside a gym. In the video, the guy shows Jalopy and says that this bakkie has just started itself, revved and switched itself off again!”
He fitted a speaker behind the grille and also an external microphone, both linked to a cell phone in the cab. So when you phone Jalopy, it can ‘hear’ you and ‘talk back’. This is currently about 70% functional – I’m still working on it. Jalopy has a ‘mouth’ in front with LED lights that flash blue as the bakkie ‘talks’.
Anybody you would like to thank?
- Reuben Lewis for selling his bakkie to me
- Almiros Myburgh for his engineering work on the suspension
- Marthinus Lambrechts for his help in fitting the engine
- Hardie Brand for installing the electronic box for the remote functions
- Joe van Zyl of SA Hotrods Media for this exciting opportunity to feature Jalopy
- Jan van der Walt for the great photos and video
- Dr Marianne Louw for helping me to organise my thoughts for the article interview
- My family, friends and other Jalopy supporters – whether you gave Jalopy a ‘like’ on Facebook, visited him at a car show or gave him a hoot on the road