Type the name “Bo-Kaap” into any image search engine, and sooner or later you will come across a picture of a bright-blue little Ford Cortina parked on the cobbled streets of this iconic and historic neighbourhood.
Many associate this car with the brightly-coloured houses of the Bo-Kaap, but your mind has been deceiving you – the car, affectionately nicknamed “Cortie”, has only been parked there for four years now.
Cortie belongs to Mikyle Abrahams, a 24-year-old who was trained in panel beating, and is parked outside of his house.
“I only got the car to practice on initially,” Abrahams said, referring to his panel beating skills.
Cortie was purchased for Abrahams by his father, and was initially just meant to be used to hone his skills. Maintaining and repairing Cortie began as a passion project, and Abrahams never would have thought that the car would become as famous as it has.
Although many people have taken pictures of the car, permission has rarely been requested. As a result, Abrahams was shocked to find out how famous his beloved blue Cortie is.
“The funny thing is, no one recognises the car when it’s not parked in front of my house,” he said. “I can go anywhere in the car, and I can guarantee that no one would recognise it.”
When Abrahams first received Cortie, it was green.
Cortie also is of sentimental value to Abrahams, as he built it up with his father, and it has the steering wheel of his mother’s car.
“The steering wheel is from my mother’s Ford Escort. That was the car she was driving for a long time after she met my father,” he said. “And the rims are from my father’s Ford as well. It’s like always having them around when I drive it.”