Ford galaxy 1963 station wagon
MANASSEH “AMARU” MBUGUA
CAR DESIGNER (CLASSIC LOW RIDER CARS)
RIDE: FORD GALAXY 1963 STATION WAGON
ENGINE: OVERHAULED WITH 3.8LITRE V6 BUICK PETROL ENGINE
Why did you go for this car?
I have long been a great aficionado of the Americana culture, from the exceptional fashion to the groovy hip hop music particularly by the late rapper Tupac Amaru Shakur –where I got the name Amaru, my household name, as well as the classic American low rider cars that Tupac and his gang used to feature in their music videos.
I used to enjoy watching them so much while I was still a lad. With time, I acquired the skills to design them.
How did you get the classic car?
I bought it from a Caucasian foreigner when it was simply the shell. It was ramshackle, but as a lover of classic automobiles and knowing that vintage cars are unusual in the current world, I did not hesitate to acquire it, also considering the offer, which was a reasonable price.
After towing the shell to our garage, the car, which seemed to have been deserted for years, required so much to fix for it to have a life again. We had to take time to come up with the list.
We did an engine overhaul of 300 horsepower Buick V6 engine from General Motors, and changed the interior, installing new leather seats, full Kicker sound system and a 32” screen for passengers in the rear seats.
We also modified the wheels with low profile ones imported from America. The whole budget for restoring the car was Sh500,000.
What does the car do for you?
I mostly use it on weekends. I have rebuilt several cars but this has evolved to be the most celebrated. It has played a big role in marketing me on my job.
Everyone who encounters the car just wants to meet me as the designer, with others giving me big offers to purchase it, but old is gold, and I’m not selling it soon.
Also, some like to hire it for video shoots and it has featured in music videos such as Accelerator by Kansoul and Vivian.
Being that the car is a low rider with expensive low profile rims, one costing over Sh30,000, there is a challenge when it comes to the poor condition of some of our roads.
Also, its 3.8-litre V6 engine consumes a lot of fuel, but I would not consider that a challenge since it is the life I chose.
Did you know?
Besides Ford being the fifth biggest motor company globally, its 1970 Ford Pinto Coupe is rated amongst the vehicles with the top automotive engineering flaws in history.
It had a petrol engine behind the rear axle, right in front of the rear bumper, that when slammed at an accident, spilt fuel and caused a fire.
This attracted controversy due to the numerous deaths it caused, leading to discontinuation of its manufacture in the late 70s.