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When one mentions the term “Speed merchant”, the mind immediately registers two things; one, it’s time for business, and two, it’s happening quickly, very quickly. This Speed Merchant does exactly that, it handles its business down the drag strip in the best way it knows how, one lightning quick quarter mile at a time. By Taariq "Shift" Samodien. Photography by RaceMasteR J.

The Nissan Champ bakkie is a South African legend that has served many fraternities well, its value for money, loyalty and never say die attitude being its outstanding qualities. Whether it is a fruit and veg broker or a general electrician or plumber, it has served its country well. However, it holds another legendary value amongst the tarmac users of our fair country.

For the past two decades, South African racers have been building championship winning dragsters using the Champ as the base for their quarter mile demon. Louis Lima, Richard Jordaan, Dana Jordaan amongst others were the creators and pilots of some of SA’s most famous Nissan Champ drag machines our country’s tracks have ever seen, and are the very inspiration for all of those making their own history right now.

Michael Kayser had a vision for his Champ Bakkie, and that vision was simple, to get this Burgundy blown bandit from the lights to the traps faster than anyone else; The Speed merchant was born. His work of art started as a work in progress, which he acquired off the Killarney Racetrack as an existing drag car that needed a few changes and a little TLC. Once in his possession, Michael immediately set off on a mission to transform the Champ into his rendition of the perfect drag car.

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