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Saturday, May 21, 2011


Newsletter No: 82 May 2011

P O Box HG 594 Highlands Harare Zimbabwe The Motor Sports Club House, 2 Annan Road, Eastlea, Harare.

The Chairman and Editorial Team:

CHAIRMAN: Tim Thorburn 498723 / 0772.645.518

EDITORS Mike & Pat GILL 494028 / 0712.400.243 / 0712.440.794

4x4 Club Website Face Book Site: 4x4 Zimbabwe

The 4x4 Club is affiliated to the Zimbabwe Motor Sports Federation - ZMSF

Our Club is a member of the Mashonaland Motor Sport Association Club House, situated at: 2 Annan Rd. Eastlea. It is available for hire for weddings, conferences, kid's parties, 21st birthdays, etc.

News, comments and opinions expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of the Club or the Committee

THE EDITOR’S DESK - Michael and Pat Gill

Two thoughts this time. Firstly, a lady stopped on the escarpment on her way back from Chirundu or Mana. She was in a Surf with the bonnet open. She tells of several 4x4s passing but no one stopped. Does the "4x4 brotherhood" exist at all? If you are in trouble then it would help if you put up a hand and asked for assistance. How do you know, they may have stopped for a comfort break.

Secondly, while camping recently, we discussed the idea of spending an "Old Timers" weekend using the "old fashioned" camping gear used by people 60 – 70 years ago. Not quite Voortrekker but no gas or neon lights etc. No see- through nylon tents or blow up mattresses. You get the picture? Some think it would be fun – others not. Then we have to find a suitable place. We could have a poitje cooking competition and choose a "Pioneer" winner. I think we will wait till winter is over.

hp lubes 4x4 JAMBOREE

Our major event of the year.

Donnybrook on Saturday and Sunday 28th and 29th May.

Be there


We welcome the following to our club family and hope we see you out at future events.

Cosy MARIMO: Cosy is the MD of Premier Auto (Land Rover) and has been involved in the Club for some time. They are one of the major sponsors to the Jamboree.

BEZUIDENHOUT, Wynand and Petra: They came out on the Cross Kopje drive with Gareth, decided they liked our Club and have since joined. I bet the Geach's will find them a good Range Rover,

Alan GRAHAM: Alan has been on the point of joining since last year and has only just got down to it. Another Patrol driver and a hard working member of the Mana Project.

Mike and Marge FOSTER: Mana Bush Babes, we are glad to have you with us. Mike is an experienced Land Rover driver. Regrettably the nasty flu bug caught them both and they could not join us on the Mana Project.

Owen and Barbara DURRANT: They tried out their Mazda D/C on the 3 Hills radical hill climb and have been out on a number of events.


Gareth and Ashleigh GEACH: Congratulations to Gareth and Ashleigh on the birth of their baby girl. Can’t wait to see her.

Flossie Greenway: Is home again and is a in a wheelchair until the end of June when she returns to South Africa again hopefully for her final and fourth hip replacement. If you are passing by she would love to see you.

Ray Walker's wife Joan: Ray and Joan were on holiday in South Africa when Joan took ill. She ended up in hospital for a rather nasty op. They are home again and we wish her a speedy recovery.

STEVE POPE: Lion Safari Guide extraordinaire died on Sunday 15th May after a long struggle with cancer. Now you can walk freely with your lions Steve.


Hooli (Short for Scandinavian Hooligan) Owned and driven by Peter Benzon. Another SWB Series 1 Landy that has had a long history of 4x4 competition, this is what I have dug up for you.

Several years ago an NGO Patrik Ecklof found a SWB S1. It had a highly modified chassis and was basically undrivable. I introduced Patrik to Peter Jenkin who replaced the chassis and did a rebuild on the rest, repainted it and that was that. Patrik soon needed a set of roll bars, power steering, disc brakes and after breaking a rear diff had a much stronger Salisbury diff fitted. When he left the country Mark Benzon realized this was worth having and it joined the Benzon stable.

Peter soon took over and as time went by he found the 4 cyl Diesel a bit too slow so dropped a Ford V6 in and that is how it is today.


We recently had occasion to test 4 Tyre Pressure Gauges. Three were what we would describe as better quality and one was below standard. The pressure on one 4x4 tyre ranged from 2 bar to 3.5 bar!!! Now just what do you do? You know the local garage can't help and if I have my tyres at 2 bar on my gauge they may be much softer or harder than your tyres. One thing to avoid is using two gauges on one car. Something I do is to walk round and feel all the tyres when we stop on a long run. This is a sure way of finding a slow leak, tyre running hot, if the general temperature is hand warm they are not too hard. Note that the sun side will be warmer than the shade side.

At an event like the Jamboree I drop my Landy tyres to 0.8 bar. I wonder what that is on your gauge!



Trevor says he has the competitor shields for drivers and navigators and they can collect from MR Cruiser.

When Trevor Butler staged the first Night Extreme last year it set the foundation for a good, interesting and unusual event. This event on April 2nd proved to be worth all the hard work put in by his team and Roger's marshals. The spectators, there was a good crowd, enjoyed and clapped when a test was completed to their satisfaction. Flood lights and a big moon made the night.

After the JCB had finished the previous week there was talk that parts were not drivable but we, well some of us, showed that no test sections were impossible, just very testing. We started with 5 Specials and 12 Standard cars and these were put into three groups. Trevor moved the goal posts by making the first test, still daylight and not too difficult, driven by the co-driver. There were many anxious moments I can tell you! Jim Perry won the Std. Mod in his Landy and Mass Kirk won the Special with his twin steering Cournil. We look forward to the next event. The tests are so very different in the dark; they also seem to take longer. There were two "fall overs" and a couple of broken cars but I suppose that is what the spectators came to see.

Results: Special

Mass Kirk / Mark Benzon Cournil 1

Mike Gill / Murray Upton LR S3 V8 2

Trevor Butler / Gary Buchanan Jeep / Toyota 3

Ralph Stead / Kelvin Weare Jeep V8 4

Sonny Rousseau / Dale Scott LR V8 4

Results: Standard Modified:

Jim Perry / Gerry Emmerick LR S1/2 1

Alex Hawkins / Kevin Wilson Jeep / Toyota 2

Martin Kirk / Broc Thomas Cournil 3

Rodney Beckley / Grant Chadwick Suzuki 4

Dale Kiggen / Geoff Clack LR V6 5

Peter Benzon / Dylan Weare LR V6 6

Shane Ellis / Simone Shelton Jeep / RR V8 7

Malcolm Attwell / Jason Beebe Jeep / Nissan 8

Grant Weare / Tim Thorburn LR S1 9

Aubrey Bennett / Thomas Dreyer LR Santana 10

Malcolm Thorneycroft / Osbert Peel Mitsu Rugger 11

Lloyd Clarke / John Cameron Jeep CJ2 11


The 4x4 Club was asked by the Zambezi Society, in collaboration with National Parks, to assist in clearing an undrivable road within the Mana Pools National Park area. Known as the Middle Jesse Road, from Mana Pools to Chikwenya, it had become undrivable, no more than an elephant track.

National Parks are very keen that this road is drivable again as it will facilitate their anti -poaching patrols and will reopen a much needed tourist route.

This was done over the weekend of the 15th to 18th April. We were expecting about 21 club members to participate but due to illness, etc. we ended with 14 and this was perfect. Most sincere thanks to all for their efforts in clearing the road. I think we did an admiral job and only hope Parks think so too.

To Allan Sheers - In your small SWB Landy thank you for being the Tote Master. Every time something had to be carried you were there to do it. From the bread rolls to the Rangers.

To Muzza, Alan G, Margie and your team - Your energy, your enthusiasm and the use of the chain saws will be long remembered.

To Dick and Sally Pitman - Thank you for all your organisation with Parks.

To Michael and Roger - for all the stumping, chain saw cutting and Mr Clip Clipping.

And Pat in the Chuck Wagon for providing food and keeping us fed along the way.

It was fun, we all worked hard, and we certainly enjoyed the weekend and the camaraderie within the teams. We cleared the road from the Airstrip to the Sapi River, about 25 kms in 40 C heat. There was a lot of very fresh ellidence (evidence of elephants) but the noise of chain saws, etc. kept them at bay. It was hard work and everyone worked like slaves. Chain saws and clippers were the order of the day. The river crossings were the hardest to repair, they were in a bad state, the banks had to be cut and filled in. We had two armed Park Rangers with us and they worked as hard as the rest of us. They were great.

It was such an accomplishment and sitting in the Sapi River bed eating our Sunday lunch made it all feel complete.

Joy of joys, we had a pack of 7 Wild Dogs within earshot of our camp and could hear them chattering away all night. They had taken up residence on the road and were not at all bothered by our cars. They have probably not seen any cars or people on that road in the last 5 years and were completely unafraid.

We only hope Parks appreciate all our hard work and encourage people to use the road. It is the only way to keep it open.

Ode to the Middle Jesse Road by Muzza Black

Roger & Dick set it up, after Parks they did ask

For the 4x4 Club, to do a good task

The Middle Jesse road, has been closed for a while

Can we as a club, come drive it our style

Pats email said – “Let’s do some good”

Strong hands required, to dig banks and chop wood

A date was set, and meeting held

Maps produced, and a keen team did meld

After loading food and booze, the tools were squeezed in – JUST

Fill up with diesel, and get all ready for dust

At camp Friday, on the bank of the Chiruwe

Among our ranks, one complete newie

She was a Dutchie, and from a small town

While here in Africa, determined to get brown

Chitungweza West suburb, to all it was quite clear

Question being was it Dandaro, or The Brooke? East over there…?

Landie cleared river exit first up, and enthusiasm kicks in

Eight k’s to next donga, where we earned our next tin

The Patrol proved it open, before we retired

Back to camp… Beers opened… Steaks fired…

In a matriarchal society, all are told what to do

Quickly it was obvious, who would organize our few

Five intrepid teams set out, in earnest the next day

Patrol with a chainsaw, leading the way

Landie, Pajero, and ‘cruiser, played centre of the pack

Patrol as a chuck wagon, securing our back

Each obstacle presented its own particular riddle

Brawn…? Brains…? Or somewhere in the middle…?

Decisions to take – detail or move along?

Leapfrog became the system, the draw of the Sapi so strong

Rewards were all there, before any success

Lion prides loud, in the nocturnal Jess

A nice pack of Wild dog - count up to seven

Had all in the party, in wildlife heaven

The Sapi was reached Sunday, and congrats all around

Beers and lunch delayed, until Chikwenya Road found

Back to the Sapi, in the shade of a old Albida tree

Pat prepared lunch – with Colcom for free!

Worthy to note, of punctures only one

Even better for all, was mechanicals none!

Torn clothing and skin, sunburn from forty degree heat

The second Wild dog sighting, was a hard one to beat

Our chainsaws are blunt but the roads a clear run

The body is aching, but man we had fun

The route has its pitfalls, like Dicks Demise and Patsons Pride

But there’s now no better track, to go for a ride

Our last night in camp, a special place to be

With a shower in mid river, under huge moonlit tree

We know what we’ve done is only a token

But for this season at least, the Middle Jesse Road is definitely – OPEN!

We never really grow up; we only learn how to act in public.


These are the marshy areas that store water and are the home for many species of birds and animals. Our member Ian Carruthers has been working hard with others to try and rehabilitate the Wetlands around the Capital City. We recently attended a meeting at Marimba Fishing Club at Lake Chivero where several speakers explained the need to preserve these places. Their motto "No wetlands, No water" was discusses and yet we see ever more of these natural sponges being cleared for agriculture or new housing estates.

Ian can be contacted on 04.741.071 / 0772.301.374


4x4 Club Diary - 2011

These dates will change as the year progresses, but flyers will be sent out before each event.

May 27-29 HARARE JAMBOREE Donnybrook

June 23-26 Expedition AWAY

July 17 Day Event DAY

August 5-9 Away Away

August TBA Blue Cross Sabi to Nyanga (for info)

Sept 3rd – 4th Bulawayo Jamboree Provisional

Sept 9th – 11th Mana Game Count Mana (For info)

Sept 16-18 Bush Pig AWAY

Sept 26-29 Sitatunga Challenge Botswana (for info)

October 8 - 9 Three Hills AWAY

November 18-20 Mutare Dungbeetle Mutare

December 4 Christmas Run DAY


To enter Donnybrook on a non-event day it will cost you $1 per car, providing you have you membership card. Non-members will be charged $10 per car. You must sign the book at the gate and put your name, your Club and membership number. Do not pay without signing the book.

Please note: If you wish to go to Donnybrook to play and there is another event on, then the organizing club can charge what they like for you to enter as they will have hired the entire complex for that day. Please don’t try and argue with the gate attendant as they will just be doing their job. Either pay-up or go away and come back on a free day.


Have you had a look at our Web Site? Grant Weare, Kelvin’s son has done a really good job of updating it. Go to:

We have a Face Book site and for those members, who are on Face Book, feel free to join the site: 4x4 Zimbabwe

Motor Sports Association Club House

MSA Membership: The Club House bar works on a Swipe Card basis and any member of an affiliated club can join. Pay your $20 Club House subscription and get your card. Bar prices are double for non-cardholders.

Hall for Hire - Hire our affordable Club facilities for parties, Wedding Receptions, meetings, seminars, courses and other functions. Assist us in this way to obtain funds for the Clubhouse.

Michael and Pat GILL