The annual Nampo agricultural show, held near Bothaville in the Free State, is a heck of a thing. Tractors, bakkies, cars, cows, bulls, sheep, chickens, seeds, ploughs, irrigation equipment? you name it. The show is massive, and obviously primarily aimed at the farming fraternity.
As it turns out, the farmers (who travelled to Bothaville from as far as Botswana) seemed to like Project Navara very much. One even offered to write out a cheque for R700 000, on the spot!
It was also interesting to note people’s reactions to the bakkie. Some couldn’t stop taking pictures. Others preferred to inspect the bakkie’s undercarriage, which is obviously much easier to do than on a standard Navara, thanks to Project Navara’s 400mm ground clearance. Some were more interested in the interior.
But, to almost the last person, they all knocked on those extended wheelarches, to determine the material from which it is made.
We can now confirm that those arches are indeed fabricated from a material consisting largely of iron and carbon. This material is commonly known as steel.
So it’s pretty strong, and so far has stood up perfectly against “the knocking effect.”
The same thing happened at LA Sport’s popular Products In-Action show, where a lot of photographs were taken, a lot of peeking into the interior took place, and a lot of knocking sounds were heard.
We don’t mind the knocking, of course. It’s all part of the process of Project Navara’s ability to grab people’s imaginations. Young and old, male and female? they all seem to be fascinated by this big green bakkie.
On the way back to Gauteng, driving an SUV with 18-inch wheels and low-profile tyres, dodging the magnitude of potholes on the Free State roads, we really missed the Navara. Those 38-inch Mickey Thompson tyres have the ability to scare potholes off the road.
Alas. The Navara has become so popular that we don’t even get to drive it anymore. Maybe it’s time to start building a new project vehicle?
If we were to build something different in future, what do you think it should be? Another bakkie with 38-inch wheels? What about an SUV? Something a bit more overland-y, and more practical? Or how about something even BIGGER? If you have some ideas, please e-mail them to [email protected].