Pump up your SA road trip with these cool experiences. (Photo: iStock)
When it comes to travelling to a destination holiday, nothing is more important on route than the pit stop; not only for your children to stretch their legs, but for you to regain your sanity.
South Africa boasts pit stop experiences in its purest form that are sure to thrill your little Blaze and the Monster Machine fan. These motor wonder-worlds can be found from KZN to Cape Town.
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Movies like Transformers, and children’s TV programs such Rusty Rivets, have created a growing tribe of little motoring fans.
Because of this, more car enthusiasts are opening up their garages to visitors. As a result, these garages owners are creating is authentic and interesting, which is a great experience for parents to share with their little ones.
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Take a look at these four cool garage pitstops across South Africa:
1. Rat Rod Central, Ladysmith, KZN
This gem is hidden down Wear Street in Ladysmith and is the brainchild of Frikkie Viljoen, South Africa’s own Rat Rod King. Viljoen’s workshop houses a display of handcrafted rat rods. Viljoen explains that a rat rod car is created by using a style of restoration where the only limit is your imagination. Each vehicle is put together piece-by-piece, weld-by-weld, often using the perfect ‘body’ and taking parts from other donor cars to build something completely unique.
Viljoen’s garage boasts an American style diner to rest in while the family admires the display of pick up trucks, A-Team styled vans, and ‘chopped up’ Chevs.
- 6 Wear StreetLadysmith
- T: 082 5781562
Inside Viljoen’s garage. (Photo: Frikkie Viljoen)
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2. Mallaz Customs, Durban, KZN
To your children, owner of Mallaz Customs, Gary Bezuidenhout, will seem like a real-life Rusty Rivert; and to Dads they will think that they’ve walked straight on to the set of hit TV series Gas Monkey Garage. Either way, the dynamic Mallaz Custom team will welcome you with both arms. The big-bearded Bezeidenhout, in conjunction with his team Matthew Baldi, Troy O’Sullivan and Simon Ndube, customise almost everything from bikes, to trailers, and even tuk-tuks.
Their workshop boasts customised choppers hanging from the roof, skateboards and old helmets on the walls. In true Gas Monkey style, you can even take home a momento in the form of customised apparel from t-shirts to caps, sunnies, and leather wallets.
- 22 Coventry Place Morningside Durban
- T: 083 445 1522
Entrance to Mallaz Customs. (Photo: Mallaz Customs)
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3.The Woodstock Moto Co, Cape Town, WC
The WMC claims to be the only community motorcycle garage and coffee shop, in Cape Town. It provides a unique experience based around a do-it-yourself motorcycle workshop. The shared space boasts an electic mix of tenants: Greasers Garage, Cape Town Tattoo, Cape Bike Tyre and Bike Parts Online.The stores welcomes people from across the motorcycling spectrum by appealing to the bike-less novice and to the seasoned mechanic-slash-wizard. Their intention is to encourage people to start working on their own bikes, and to promote skill-sharing between members.WMC displays an array of custom bikes along with a café that sells seriously delicious coffee.
- 7 Barron Street, Woodstock, Cape Town
- T: 084 683 5361
(Photo: The Woodstock Moto Co)
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4. Diesel & Crème, Route 62, Klein-Karoo, WC
If you find yourself heading down the scenic Route 62 near Barrydale, make sure you stop in at Diesel & Crème. This vintage diner offers a glimpse into our motoring history, with an impressive collection of vintage vehicles and paraphernalia that ranges from cars to old petrol pumps.
This family run business was built from the ground up by collector Authur Pharo and his son Dean. Their impressive café boasts an extensive menu of gourmet burgers, waffles, and a mix of South African cuisine. They are most notably famous for their legendary super-sized milkshakes (they once sold 516 milkshakes in one day).
For those wanting to catch a good night’s sleep before another long journey, you can book into The Karoo Moon Motel next door. What was once one of the oldest houses in Barrydale, has now been renovated by the Pharo family in to a three bedroom motel that sleep six. So if Mum or Dad feel like swapping out the milkshake for a cold craft beer from the Pharo’s impressive craft beer selection, they can now do so and stay on the night in style.
- 2 Tennant Street Barrydale
- T: 028 572 1008
(Photo: Diesel & Crème)