Sun | Aug 18, 2019

Leroy Sibbles celebrates legacy with home-made car

Published:Sunday | March 20, 2016 | 12:00 AMCurtis Campbell
Leroy Sibbles poses with his recent project
Leroy Sibbles and his team
Leroy Sibbles gets comfortable in his home-made ride.
The powerful engine inside Leroy Sibbles' home-made car.

Legendary reggae artiste Leroy Sibbles has named his new locally built car the Local Legend. According to the icon, the car is symbolic of his contribution to Jamaican music and is a literal representation of his creativity.

The Rock and Come In singer has been in the music industry for over 40 years. He also plans to have the words 'The Legend' inscribed on his licence plates.

"It's a locally built car and the design is from a guy called Lotus England. He designed the first car like this and it was done from way back in the 1950s. The design has stood from that time until today, and that kinda reflects the person I am," said Sibbles.

The artiste/car fanatic says he goes for both image and speed as it relates to his taste in cars. He explained to The Sunday Gleaner just how he got interested in building the Local Legend.




"I went to Mandeville and I saw a doctor friend with one and I just loved it. The guy who helped me build it confirmed with me that he knew how to build it from scratch, and I said well, we gonna build one, and from there, we started to source parts and make our own in some cases," he said.

The car took Sibbles nine years before it became a reality, a process which saw the artiste employing several mechanics to get issues with the engine rectified. He also revealed that he sourced parts from all over the world, a feat which understandably cost him over US$20,000.

"Mi a guh show off, it's there for the looking. I am satisfied with the final product but the only thing is we had to import too much. The thing is, a lot of materials are not built here and that was a major setback. If you watch those guys in America when they build something, it looks brand new because the parts are accessible. While we have the talent out here to build cars, we don't necessarily have the resources we need or the material. When you see an old truck in Jamaica going down the road you have to respect the owner for keeping it on the road, because most of these vehicles you can't even find the parts," he told The Sunday Gleaner.

He also lauded some mechanics for their ability to function without all the required tools.

"Some third-world mechanics are the best, but some you have to avoid because they will pull down your vehicle and leave the parts on the ground," he laughed.

Leroy Sibbles received the Order of Distinction from the Jamaican Government in 2002, the Caribbean Canada Pageant Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000, and more than 30 other honours over the years.