So, hands up who knows anything about the modified car scene in South Africa?
We’re going to hazard a guess that not many of you know much about what they’re up to in SA, which is why we’re really excited to bring you this coverage.
We were in the same boat as you and none the wiser so we decided to take matters into our own hands and shed some light on modified car culture over in South Africa.
The Petrolhead Behind The Lens.
With this in mind, we put out our feelers our to find the finest up-and-coming photographer in South Africa to help us bring their scene to these very pages for the world to see.
Our search was over when we started speaking with Mohamed Fayyaad Khan, a massive petrolhead with a big love for BMWs who just so happened to be absolutely brilliant behind the lens. This guy owns two amazing E36 BMWs and a very nice Mercedes W124, so it goes without saying he’s into his cars.
Proud to have Mohamed on-board, his first car show of the year was the VDub Campfest event. In its 11th year, this modified car show happened to be the biggest (and best) event in South Africa with over 1500 modified cars in attendance - so we were excited see what SA would have to offer when he told us his plans.
VDub Campfest 2019.
This is an important show because South Africans love modified cars and more specifically, Volkswagens, so this is their premier event on their calendar and is definitely not one to be missed for anyone with a fondness for German cars.
Located at the Warmbaths Resort in Bela-Bela, South Africa, VDub Campfest is a weekend event with a difference. You’d be forgiven for not knowing where that is but it's about 160km north of Johannesburg, in a beautiful region of SA and provides the perfect setting for a massive car show.
In South Africa, large automotive events like this are required to comply with strict SA laws which stipulate rules and regulations in exactly the same way as music festivals and sports events, due to the large crowds gathered in one place at the same time. With this in mind, VDub Campfest is a well organised chilled event held at a venue which can more than cope with the number of foot-fall.
The Weekender Format.
The format was a pretty traditional two-day weekender with cars and camping. Naturally, there was a big party on the Saturday night, bringing everyone together away from the cars.
This event really is regarded as a benchmark among other events in South Africa, which means that it attracts the very best cars and a large number of visitors which has become part and parcel of the show, going from strength-to-strength over the past 11 years.
Mixing It Up.
As you might expect, the show field was a real mix of styles with plenty of South African specific models on show. We didn’t get the Golf Citi over here in the UK, so it was nice to see so many of these (rare to us) models at Campfest. Seeing a Citi Golf is definitely a game of spot the difference given it’s essentially a Mk1 Golf with later model parts/design cues… see if you can spot them...
Show & Shine.
The competitive show-and-shine is pre-registration only which ensures a quality showing from South Africa’s finest Volkswagens. It’s rumoured that show organisers sift through over 400 would-be show-and-shine email applicants, with 160 making the final cut to display and be in with the chance of winning a top 30 prize over the course of the weekend.
South Africa's Got Talent.
It was refreshing to see so many styles in one place, at one event, but there was definitely an underlying appreciation for fitment and stance at Campfest. The South African's have clearly taken to fitment in a big way with most of the cars being on air-bag setups to achieve the maximum possible drop.
That said, just having a low car isn't enough and that's why we were impressed with the showing at Campfest 2019, because these guys and girls have an impressive appreciation for offset, wheel and tyre fitment, which is exactly our bag here at RollHard, if you hadn't noticed. :)
Plenty To See.
Other sights and sounds found at VDub Campfest included a (rather early 2000’s) audio competition/sound-off, low car limbo and dyno rolling road competition. The varied show itinerary represented just how diverse the South African modified car scene is, catering for the eclectic mix of car enthusiasts across South Africa.
Thank You, Campfest 2019.
With over 1500 cars, VDub Campfest is an event which will continue to grow year-on-year as it has over the last 11, providing the rest of the world with a fascinating insight into car culture over in South Africa. Congrats to the organisers for another fantastic event, long live Campfest…!