- 09 Jan 2017
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Why I Love My Wheels
Medical supplies specialist Dumi Boltina is a die-hard luxe car fan. Each of the five vehicles he owns draws compliments when he takes it for a spin.
The Mercedes-Benz factory on the western bank of East London's Buffalo River has produced some of the finest cars in the country. And Dumi's passion for the brand – ignited by his father who only drove Mercedes-Benz vehicles – has seen him become a loyal customer. “It really was my father who started it all," he says.
After qualifying as an electric engineer in the mid 1990s, Dumi started his quest to build a car collection of his own. Today his Mercedes-Benz fleet is five vehicles strong, of which his most modern was assembled in East London. Anchoring his collection of performance-motoring icons is an immaculate 1971 W114 230. The rest – excluding his daily C 350 drive – are all V8s.
There's the beautifully kept W126 560 S in a sedan (SEL) and a coupé (SEC). As South African 560 S models, their 5.5-litre V8 engines were configured without burdensome catalytic converters. This means 220 kW of peak power output, whereas European 560 S models of similar vintage are limited to only 202 kW.
Completing Dumi's trio of V8s is a W140, the first Mercedes-Benz to trade locally as an S 500. It's also the V8 in his fleet which heralded Mercedes-Benz’s début of muti-valve technology in South African S-Class limousines. With 32 valves, it's the most powerful of his cars, pushing out 240 kW of power.
"The three S-Class cars truly come into their own on longer journeys, to Knysna or Cape Town and back, along the N2,’ Dumi says. ‘Every time I drive of my cars, I get compliments.’ And when it comes to servicing and mechanical repairs, Dumi entrusts his fleet to renowned Mercedes specialist Fred Winkel in Cape Town.