We recently paid a visit to the custom off-road fabricator and outfitter, ONCA Off-Road, at their headquarters in Kempton Park, and got down to the nitty-gritty of how the company had started and where it would be heading in the near future. We chatted to Lee Nel, one half of the team of brothers who lead the way at this powerhouse of local research and development.
Where it all started
Lee says that he, his brother Len and their parents created ONCA Off-Road 16 years ago, drawing on the experience they’d gained from the family’s steel fabrication company.
The two brothers had been involved in 4×4 challenges and events from an early age, and, as time went on, they used their acquired technical know-how to start building their own 4×4 accessories. “As the years progressed,” says Lee, “we managed to turn the hobby and our passion for 4WD vehicles into a full-time business. We started in a very small facility 16 years ago, with few resources, little equipment and an unknown brand. Today, the facility has turned into a much bigger production line, plus a large, fully-equipped fitment centre.”
ONCA has acquired a solid reputation for building tough, no-nonsense accessories that last the distance. Every product is fully tested for strength, safety and engineering integrity. In addition, with in-house fabrication and powder-coating, the company is able to ensure that everything that leaves the factory is finished to the high standards they have set.
The ONCA range is currently being exported to six different countries, and the company also supplies a large independent dealer network in South Africa.
The range includes top-quality bull bars, bash plates, roll bars and the like, mainly for the Toyota Hilux and Land Cruisers, but also for a wide range of other vehicles − from Ford’s Ranger to the spectrum of Jeeps. The tow bars are SABS approved, and even have airbag and crumple-zone certification in line with Australian Design Rules, of which there is still no equivalent in SA-manufactured products.
In addition to the in-house products, they also import, install and distribute premium US products from brands such as Rigid Industries, Smittybilt, Icon, and Fuel Wheels. All these products are on show at the impressive showroom, ready to be installed at the adjacent fitment centre.
Len and Lee are planning to release an all-new product range in the near future: one that they’ve been quietly working on behind closed doors. Stay tuned!
THE ONCA OFF-ROAD LAND CRUISER 200
While we were visiting ONCA, we were able to check out one of their most recent builds. The 200 Series Cruiser is used strictly for research and development purposes, and features an impressive list of modifications:
- ONCA Bull Bar
- ONCA Tow Bar with Spare Wheel Carrier
- ONCA Rock Sliders
- ONCA Bash Plates
- Rigid LED lights
- Icon Vehicle Dynamics suspension
- Fuel Wheels
- Vector Wheels
- Smittybilt winch
- Factor 55 recovery hook and fairlead
- Bushwacker fenders
- SPC upper control arms
The brothers have many other plans for this silver beast, and are testing new gear before releasing it to consumers. Check out their website for a better idea of the spectrum of products on offer: www.onca4x4.co.za.