4x4, Bakkies, classic cars, Motoring News

All in the family: Wife, kids and Isuzus

  • All in the family – along with the seven Isuzus
  • From Chev to KB – Daniël’s had them all
  • Millions of km – and then the new guy shows up
FAMILY AFFAIR: Daniel Kotze, his wife Elizma and children Daniël (three) and Hendrik (18 months) with the family's 1979 Isuzu KB. Image: Isuzu / Quickpic
FAMILY AFFAIR: Daniel Kotze, his wife Elizma and children Daniël (three) and Hendrik (18 months) with the family’s 1979 Isuzu KB. Image: Isuzu / Quickpic

VREDENDAL, Western Cape – Some things you just can’t kill – and that includes your average Isuzu KB bakkie. At least as far as Daniël Kotze is concerned…

Proof is to be found in the Cape West Coast hamlet of Vanrynsdorp, down the road from Vredendal, but 270km up the N7 from Cape Town where diesel mechanic Daniël Kotze lives with his young brood and a fleet of old Isuzus.

Three youngsters, seven KBs.

LONG-LIVED WORKHORSE

Oh, and a single Chevrolet LUV, which is how the Isuzu one-tonner was badged from its local introduction in 1973 until 1978. This one is a 1973 so, in essence, it represents the very beginning of the Isuzu name in South Africa.

The newest is a 2008 KB250 that’s covered way more than 400 000km but most prized is a (somewhat faded) metallic blue 1979 model which came to him via his grandfather and then his father. It joined the Kotze family fleet in 1983 and covered more than a half-million kilometres with its original engine – much of that as a hard-working plaasbakkie.

FOLLOWING IN PA'S VELSKOEN STEPS: Little Hendrik Kotze enjoys his freedom in the shadow of the 1979 Isuzu KB and the latest Isuzu KB that visited the Kotze family. Image: Isuzu / Quickpic
FOLLOWING IN PA’S VELSKOEN STEPS: Little Hendrik Kotze enjoys his freedom in the shadow of the 1979 Isuzu KB belonging to the Kotze family. Image: Isuzu / Quickpic

Another KB was found derelict under a tree in Springbok in the Northern Cape and belonged to an old Oom whose son was glad to get shot of it. The dry inland climate meant that, despite standing under said tree for more than a decade, it’ll “clean up nicely”, as they say in the trade.

Kotze has a great love for motor vehicles in general and is a walking KB encyclopaedia able to authoritatively rattle off generation codes, engine sizes, nomenclature and the dates specific derivatives and models were introduced.

READ MORE Isuzu features on Carman’s Corner

For example, the model that replaced the LUV was the KB20, petrol and diesel, with launch prices of R3485 and R4295, respectively Kotze says. “The first double-cab arrived in 1994 but long before that people were converting the KB25 ‘langbak’ into a four-door.”

Kotze’s collection is made up largely of diesel single-cabs, appropriate for a man whose business is fixing workhorses of various kinds.

“Most of my collection will start and run but, ja, they do need some work!” admits Kotze. “I’ll get around to restoring them one day when there’s time, probably starting with the one that belonged to my Oupa.”

Nothing like keeping it in the family, hey!

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