When a much-loved car has been in the same family for many years, the owners are often reluctant to sell 'the old bus' because it's unlikely the new owners will lavish the same care and attention on what to them is just an old banger.
Kobus Theron's 1981 Volkswagen Jetta is a case in point.
"Our Jetta 1500 GLS Automatic was bought new in February 1981 for R7217 by my father-in-law," Theron said, "and I bought it from him in July 1997 as a gift for my wife, who has driven it ever since.”
ALMOST 100 PERCENT ORIGINAL
The Jetta is in superb condition for its age, having covered 108 000km (an average of less than 3400km a year) without suffering a single dent or scratch. The carpets and seats are still original; the only component, other than service items, that has been replaced is the windscreen.
"It's simple," Theron explained.
"Look after your car and it will look after you.”
"The Jetta has had a major service every year or 5000km, and I checked the oil and brake fluid myself on a daily basis, always maintaining the correct fluid levels and never mixing lubricants. That's why it's still in such good condition.
"Our Jetta has been in the family for 32 years and means so much to us that we just couldn't bear to sell it so, as a family, we decided to give it back to the people who built it."
FITTING RESTING PLACE
And so, on 10 September the Theron's Jetta became the latest addition to the Volkswagen AutoPavilion museum at the Uitenhage plant, where it will be looked after with the same care as they lavished on it - and where they can still visit it every once in a while!
VWSA communications manager Matt Gennrich said: "It's wonderful to see somebody such as Kobus, with such passion and dedication when it comes to looking after his car. It looks like it just came out the box."
The Jetta sedan was created in 1979 by simply tacking a conventional boot on to the original Giugiaro-designed Golf; by mid-2011, almost 10 million had been sold worldwide.