'Mama Chassis' proud of Cobra welding job

Industry news
Durban - Mother-of-two Eunice Dlamini could not be more proud of the job that she does.

And when she sees a trailer full of brand-new custom-made cars leaving for the harbour for another international destination, she knows that she has played a key role in their manufacture.

For Dlamini, 36, is the only woman welder at TR-Tec (Pty) in Prospecton, outside Durban, the manufacturer of Backdraft Racing Roadsters, a niche replica brand of the hand-built iconic Shelby Cobra vintage cars.

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‘Mama Chassis’ Eunice Dlamini could not be prouder of her contribution to the head-turning finished product. This car is a new V8 turbo auto model. Pictures: Sibonelo Ngcobo

Dlamini makes the entire chassis - the framework for each car - cutting, grinding and welding the 37 pieces of steel together in the engineering department, with pride.

Her boss, Tony Martin, the general manager of TR-Tec, which employs 80 people at the factory, says her work is “excellent”. “She loves her job, too. I call her Mama Chassis,” Martin said.

One of his Backdraft Racing Roadsters was on show at a recent exhibition in Durban and delegates could not believe that the chassis was made by a woman.

Dlamini welding the framework for a unique niche Backdraft Racing Roadster.

“Yes, people are surprised when they find out what I do at work,” said Dlamini. “Some are also shocked.

“When I see what I have done, and then see the finished car that the rest of our team has produced, I am very proud that a woman has done such work,” she said.

Dlamini, who lives in Umgababa, learnt to weld at a welding school in Durban and has been at TR-Tec for six years.

She builds about 120 chassis a year, with the most of Roadsters being exported to America. Others go to Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany and the UK.

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