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Reader test: 1990 Nissan Sani

2011-02-21 09:43

LOADS OF FUN: Reader Linda says her 1990 Nissan Sani may be getting old but "Betta" is still fun to drive

Linda Rautenbach

Betta is a 1990 Nissan Sani, three-litre 4x4, V6 complete with a roof rack, bull bar and towbar. And she shows a few vehicles on the road a thing or two. Old? Yes. Over the hill?  Hell no! 

Her engine was overhauled in 2010, and once  again she’s in tip top, roaring condition.  I love driving her, especially with the window down and flooring the petrol!  Her aircon doesn’t work any more, but hey, who needs it when you can turn the window down and hear the sound of that engine?

Betta’s old, but she still does 4x4 trails and mostly drives off the beaten track. When she’s  splattered and  full of mud, she looks gorgeous, the fact is she get’ss used for what she was built for.

She's taken us on a cross-country trip of around 5500km from Port Elizabeth (via the Kalahari) into Namibia where, due to the extreme heat, her paint started peeling off the roof, back into South Africa, and home via the West Coast and Sutherland.

All this before her engine was overhauled, with five adults, carrying all the luggage, food and camping equipment we needed.

She has also been up the Sani pass into Lesotho, up to Golden Gate and then back home again without any problems.

She is a regular visitor to the Baviaanskloof, has visited lots of places in and around our country, but can also give me joy when it comes to everyday driving. 


My Nissan’s heavy on fuel, but that also has its benefits. When I drive into the petrol station and people in their grand cars look at me like I’m a pauper with my old, red, dirty bakkie, I look right back at them and say, “Just for your information, only really RICH people can drive a bakkie like mine these days with the petrol price being what it is.”

My Sani’s much more than a vehicle to me, she’s my stress reliever, because if I need to drive on a day when I’m in a bad mood, getting behind her wheel and hearing her roar when pulling away, gives me a major adrenalin rush.

AND, don’t try cutting in front of me, because I won’t allow that!

I love everything about her, her back seat is super comfy, with lots of legroom.  We have our own very special song, Blackie Swart’s Windgat Bakkie.

When I drive my bakkie I play that song at full volume and the best part of all... I don’t owe one single cent on her, she is old, paid for, and mine!

Okay, so this article isn’t the most informative review on a vehicle, but rather it’s my review on the car I love. Also, being a woman, I’m not really interested in how much kiloWatt she puts out and all that technical stuff, I just want to drive a vehicle that gives me driving pleasure and creates memories.

My old lady Betta, is rugged, wild at heart and goes wherever I want her to go.  No parking worries, bank repayments, potholes, scratch marks, simply fun!

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