Man with taste for vintage cars

MUTARE - Samuel Tsau is a man with a taste for little vintage  cars.

And he is making a show of it.

Displaying part of his 18-car strong fleet of Morris’ and Mini Coopers at a public bus termini in Dangamvura in Mutare, he has set the agenda on antique cars for passers-by.

“I also have 10 running spare engines on top of the 18 vehicles,” Tsau, now 63, told the Daily News on Sunday.

Ask him about his love and you invoke the child in him. He goes on a passionate eulogy for his little cars explaining how Mr Morris (for Morris’) and Mr Austin (for Mini Coopers) were from the same family and how the Morris Oxford pulls with its front wheels as opposed to the back for the Mini Cooper.

His Morris 1 000, he says, has hydraulic shocks which he proudly contends haaurayi musana (do not damage one’s back).

“I however, now use water with surf washing powder to counter oxidation since I can no longer find the appropriate fluid locally,” he said.  Having bought his first Mini Cooper station wagon in 1975, Tsau fell in love with the vehicles which he now collects for both “a personal museum” and for his “Vintage Club.”

“These are British cars,” he said with pride as if to chide an ex-Japanese runabout that was rolling past.

“I want young people to see and learn about these cars and also hope that I can get my papers in order to have people hire them for tours and even weddings or other functions,” the retired National Railways of Zimbabwe wagon carriage examiner said with infectious enthusiasm.

“I took the idea from whites who would on occasions drive around in vintage cars,” Tsau said.

Having bought his latest edition, a Morris Oxford station wagon recently for $300, he says he has the advantage of being able to repair them himself.

He says he would work on the cars during weekends and on holidays for friends and colleagues since the 70s.

“I have been working on these cars since 1975 when I bought mine and I have learnt from Portuguese, British and South African mechanics that would be attached to the NRZ for their apprenticeship,” Tsau said with an aura of pride.

Oddly standing out of his collection of Morris’ and Mini Coopers is a VW beetle, which he treasures just as much if not for size then for the fact that he got it as a “Christmas present” from a friend.

Comments (2)

I also have a 1963 Mini Cooper 850. I am looking for a few spares for it and I hope you can help me. I am in Harare.

O Mabika - 16 February 2017

I HAVE A MINI COOPER 850-HAS BEEN PARKED FOR SOME TIME BUT WAS A RUNNER BUTT I THINK IT NOW NEEDS SOME SORT OF ATTENTION TO GET IT GOING DO YOU THINK YOU CAN HELP

ALPHIOUS MAGANDE - 3 May 2017

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