The Gusheshe’s wheels were literally the driving force behind Soweto’s culture, from the aspirations of its youth to the rewards for its leading Orlando Pirates stars. Whether it was drifting, spinning or just parked with that powerful stance, the wheels reflected the very spirit of this car in the minds of its fans.
At the height of its popularity, the Gusheshe was a car that reflected a generation’s desire to stand up and be heard. When you’re ready to stand up, your stance says everything. And the stance of this car is built around its iconic wheels.
This season, Vodacom together with Orlando Pirates are bringing back that glory and pride of a bygone era as part of its Sisonke Siya Winna campaign, where one lucky Orlando Pirates fan will win a custom-built Gusheshe in the colours and style of the Buccaneers.
Since November, when Vodacom first tasked LA Customs in Paarl with this rebuild project, the crew has been focused on making sure they find exactly the right rims and tyres that will embody the Gusheshe legend and the Buccaneers’ history.
“There were three iconic wheels that went on a Gusheshe,” explains Gino Lange, founder of LA Customs. “The one was a brand that we liked to call the ‘Throwing Star’. Then there was the BBS Scorpion. And finally, you had the Alpina rims. We decided to go with the Alpina rims for this project because it’s a more classic look, and in my opinion, it really suits the style of this vehicle.”
The choice and fitment of the wheels is the next phase in this project.
“We sourced the right car for the rebuild and then we did the paintwork. The next step now is the wheels. Wheel fitment is so important on a project like this. If you get it right, it looks and feels amazing. But if you get it wrong, the wheels look as if they’re lost in the wheel arches, or they stick out too far and rub against the car’s fenders.
“The way the wheels match up with the car is all part of what we refer to as the stance of the car. This is literally how the car sits on the road. You get car enthusiasts who modify their cars for speed, and then you get those who modify for stance.”
In pursuit of the perfect stance for this Gusheshe, Lange and his team adopted a slightly different fitment strategy.
“We purposely bought narrower tyres to give the wheels a slight slope, which we call a stretch. It gives the car a different look and feel. It allows you to see the edges of the rim, which are slightly exposed. That’s part of the look these cars used to have back in the day. The spokes are also quite dominant on the rims. The Gusheshe rims were all about spokes. We’ve also gone for a good quality rim because the way the wheels flex and move on the road impacts the car’s performance. Many times, people will buy replica rims, but you can immediately feel the difference compared with the originals. And then we’ve even paid close attention to the style of the nuts on the wheels and matching them to this overall look. For the true enthusiast, this kind of detail is very important.”
Lange has opted for Dunlop semi-slick tyres for this project.
“A lot of elements come into play with tyre selection. You have to consider whether the tyres are for four-wheel drive application, or rear- or front-wheel drive. And then you get a lot of very good makes out there. Michelin, Pirelli, Bridgestone and Goodyear are all very good brands. But for this particular stretched application, I just felt like the Dunlop was the right tyre.”
And the LA Customs team will finish the customised vehicle with an Orlando Pirates logo that sits in the centre of the wheel, surrounded by a white rim contrasting against the black of the car.
“This is really a very personalised car that will warm the heart of any Buccaneers fan. My feeling is that a car is an extension of you. If you’re fine to drive your car in its stock form and that’s what makes you happy, then great. But if not…”
If not, then Vodacom and Orlando Pirates have a Gusheshe with your name on it.
To stand a chance to win this incredible vehicle, Orlando Pirates fans simply need follow @VodacomSoccer to get more details or click here to enter.
Bhakajuju fans will get to double their entries when they download the Orlando Pirates Official App.