Pontiac 1947 before and after restoration
Pontiac 1947 before and after restoration


  • Nosipho Kholutsoan from the Eastern Cape buys rusted vintage cars and restores them to their original glory. 
  • She started her business with just a R2,000 loan from her husband in 2014 and now owns more than 20 vintage cars.  
  • It took Kholutsoane two years to restore her first vintage car, and today she has created jobs for four people.  
  • For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.  

Nosipho Kholutsoane from Mount Fletcher in the Eastern Cape started her vintage cars restoration business with a R2,000 loan from her husband in 2014 - she now makes over R50,000 in commission a year fixing old cars.

The 39-year-old restores and hires out vintage cars, and works with vintage car enthusiasts from big cities and around the world. She started Lereku Trading Classic Cars after watching a television programme on vintage cars, and falling in love with the concept.

The first  car she restored was a badly rusted 1947 Pontiac.  

Pontiac 1947 before restoration
Pontiac 1947 before restoration

It wasn't an easy road though - with limited equipment and money, it took time.

“It took about 2 years to restore. This was very, very difficult because it had a lot of rust. I still had financial problems, so I had to borrow more money to buy some parts in order to continue with the process,” she said.  

Pontiac 1947 after restoration
Pontiac 1947 after restoration

Two year after fixing up the 1947 Pontiac, she purchased more vintage cars for restoration and now owns more than 20 in her business.

Restored - Valiant 1970
Restored - Valiant 1970

Having worked with her husband who is a mechanic, Kholutsoane knew quite a lot about cars. It is this growing interest in vehicles that helped her to restore her first vintage cars by herself.

“My husband was a mechanic. I used to help him, so I‘ve learnt a lot from him. I decided to start this business because I saw a channel on television where there were vintage cars and I started loving them.

“I love working with vintage cars because it is a unique project, and I also started my business because it is something unique. It doesn’t have a lot of competition,” she said.

Cortina 1975
Cortina 1975

The business now makes close to R50,000 a year in commission by restoring old cars around South Africa. She has also created jobs for four people.

Kholutsoane, the first of four siblings, grew up in a disadvantaged background and wanted to rise above those challenges. She said her other motivation was to develop the youth in the province so that they may also be able to provide for their children.

Elcamino 1972
Elcamino 1972

Her business may be located in a deep rural area, but there are advantages to this.

Mount Fletcher is on R56 which is the shortest route between KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. This has connected her to customers from big cities in the county and international travellers.

Khulotsoane said education has taught her valuable lessons and has helped her grow her business, all thanks to the Small Business Academy, a program in Stellenbosch University that helps develop small businesses in rural areas.

Receive a daily update on your cellphone with all our latest news: click here.

Get the best of our site emailed to you daily: click here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa: