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Thursday, December 29, 2011



Newsletter No: 86 -

December 2011/ January 2012

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

We will start by wishing our members a very happy Christmas and may all your dreams come true in 2012.

Kenya. Yes, your Editorial team, with Ralph and Rose Stead, were once again employed on the East African Safari Classic Rally. We spent a week touring Kenya and Tanzania in a Prado. Sadly, being a hire car it was a bit shagged, shocks very poor and several little items needed TLC but a great car. It was very wet and muddy but we had no problems there, far more in the Mombasa and Nairobi chaotic traffic. The rally cars all have to be pre-1975, no 4x4 allowed, no turbo's, basically original but brakes and suspension mods are allowed. Porsches are the most common followed by Datsun 260Z and Ford Escorts. Less than half of the crews are Kenyan but the locals, even way out, know their heroes. Ian Duncan (Kenyan) won last year in a Mustang. This year he used a Ford Capri but had troubles and slipped down the list.

If you have watched those crazy guys doing somersaults on MX bikes you may know the name Travis Pastrana. He drove a Porsche (what else) and even got fastest time on one stage. Here is his report of one day so you can see how tough it was. "In the first section the wipers stopped working and on the second the brakes went with 57 ks to go. Then we had a puncture – probably because we were going too fast with no brakes! The last section we had no problems - nothing broke on the car and the section was really fast with lots of jumps. This Rally is absolutely epic - one of the best experiences of my life."


DOBROPOULOS Costa: Mutare. Well known for his all winning V8 Jeep.

DANBY Edward: Another Mutare driver who has put in lots of time to organise events there.

We expect to have several more Mutare 4x4 members join us this year. Welcome to you all. If you have not been to a Mutare event then make sure you do not miss the next, they are always good and different. See the write up on Dungbeetle.


Not quite news but an interesting observation. It is good to see so many fathers teaching the youngsters to dive 4x4s. I believe that this is a very good way to teach young drivers proper car control. Anyone can get on a straight road and drive too fast but time spent in a 4x4 in low ratio is very good training in car control. Many of the kids I have seen will not be old enough, 16, for several years to come and yet they drive Dad's 4x4 with amazing skill.


Recovery: We all have tow balls on the rear but these were never designed to recover a stuck vehicle. For a start they are in the centre and they often have a breaking load of about 1500 kgs. Make sure you have a strong towing eye in line with the chassis. We have seen too many dangerous, potentially lethal, efforts of snatching a heavy stuck vehicle. At worst only the rope breaks. Never tie a strap or rope to any part of the car, it will destroy the tow rope. Use a D-shackle or hook. Keep all spectators well clear, drape something over the rope. When did you last check all the bolts on your bar?


Our Club has had a good year and we hope that you can come up with some suitable tasks for 2012. We cleared an overgrown track for National Parks at Mana. We took truck loads of goodies out to Bally Vaughan Game Park, we raised money and a van full of food stuffs for S.O.A.P. (Save Our Old Age Pensioners) to help their Xmas charity effort and we collected $400 for the Anti Poaching Teams in the Charara Basin. Not a bad effort by far too few members. Come on guys, let's have a bigger attendance next year and please tell us of your favorite project that the Club could help to assist.


Subscriptions for 2012 will be $40 for subs; and $20 joining fee for new members. See renewal notice at the end of this newsletter. Please pay your subs promptly.

If you are going to enter any competitions then I suggest you get your ZMSF Competition Licence at the beginning of the year. Cost for the year is $35. This will save you paying $20 to ZMSF for every competition and your Medical Insurance is greatly increased as well. And it will save you filling in masses of forms at registration each time. Just do it! I have the ZMSF Forms, and if you let me have them completed, I will arrange to get the Licenses for you. PAT GILL Membership Secretary Phone: 494028 0712.440.794


Those of you who are lucky enough to read the Oct 2011 issue of "Leisure Wheels" may have read a page on joining a 4x4 Club. Glyn Demmer lists several reasons why it is a good idea. If you did not see it, here is his list (modified by us. Ed).

1. The Camaraderie.

2. Share experiences.

3. Gain advice.

4. Improve skills and awareness.

5. In a community committed to responsible 4x4ing

6. Join organised trips and outings.

7. Travel with like-minded people.

8. Technical support in far off places.

9. First Aid and vehicle recovery training.

10. Social events and charity fund raising.



Thanks to Peter Benzon and Gareth and Ashleigh Geach for the time they spent on making such a good day. The quizz on the drive around the North Eastern suburbs were full of cryptic questions that made fools of many. A most interesting route that ended at the Benzons (again). The shooting of hanging tins and plastic bottles was very entertaining, 11 pellets each and the wind helped keep the tins out of line. A new test this time was sitting in a Series 1 with binos and looking for pictures of animals. Some were very skittish and hard to see! Fishing involved sitting in a canoe in the pool with a rod and magnet. On the bottom were a large number of washers, big and small, for you to 'catch' in 3 minutes. If you were too aged you could find a couple of kids to do the job for you, with much vocal support. Being over 70 we elected to fish from the 'bank'.

The prime object of all this fun was to get members together with donations of cash and goodies for the old people whom S.O.A.P. help. Due to a means test; departures to greener pastures and natural attrition they now support 350 people in place of the over 700 last year. We contributed a van load of biscuits, tinned food, toilet paper, juices, $120 in cash and even a large carton of Tea.

Inflation: Cutting money in half without damaging the paper.


One of my favourite events on the calendar, many will agree with me. Mutare Jamboree offers real obstacles, serious slopes, and a technical level that we fail to imitate on our Harare site, coupled with a relaxed atmosphere and a bit of a cowboy attitude of the locals makes this event exciting and unique.

Last year they had an organized trail drive rather than a jamboree and this was well attended and a great event too. This year however we were back to a jamboree format and at a brand new venue, Smallbridge Dam. This is a long way from Harare and with short notice we struggled a bit to get the numbers up. Jim Perry and I each sent a truck with 2 vehicles. Ray Walker drove his Wrangler and BJ came from Gweru with his special L/R, there were seven Mutare guys, a field of thirteen. A beautiful setting, camping by the lake, cheap booze and cheap food; the weather was overcast, warm and no rain, the ground was moist.

Our group got chucked in the deep end starting on what turned out to be the most tricky section of the event, in fact it knocked out Aubrey Bennett. We got through it though and after that it was downhill (ha ha). The rest of the field finished the whole event, some real challenging stuff, rocks, climbs and very tight stuff playing right into the hands of Courna Korna, (For once both our Cournils ran trouble free). The old Cournil (I ought to give it a more illustrious name like Iron Giant) was driven by my Danish relative Morten with Lisbeth as coach. They did a great job considering he has never driven a 4x4 in anything of this sort.

There were a couple of new tests; one was the TOP BEER competition in the bar, one of the courses. A down-down type comp where we could not compete with the barman. Secondly there was the timed 'Hill Climb' instead of a mud run. I respect Ray Walker for setting a gruelling pace at both events.


Special class - Kirk/Benzon - Cournil

Standard modified - Jim Perry - L/R

Standard - Gareth Barry - L/R

The Hill climb - Costa D – Jeep V8, second Ray Walker - Jeep

Smallbridge Dam was really ideal. No hassles with local drinkers at the Motor Club. No need to drive comp vehicles through town. The showers, catering and camping were excellent, it is also a beautiful place to which to get away to. This led us to think that a 'Bush Pig' event could easily be run here. We discussed it and they liked the idea. So it is a future option to either run our Bush Pig or a Mutare Bush Pig there. It is a long way to travel but I would like members to think about it and give me some feedback.

Cheers, Mass Kirk


4x4 Club Diary - 2012

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

January 29 Ngomo Kurira Run DAY

February 26 Training Donnybrook Donnybrook

March 11 AGM- Donnybrook Donnybrook

March 31 Night Extreme

Jamboree Launch Donnybrook

April 6-9 Easter

May 12-13 Course Building Donnybrook

May 25-27 HARARE JAMBOREE Donnybrook

June 24 Conservation Project AWAY

July 15 Club Day Event DAY

August 13-14 Expedition Gonarazhou Blue Cross, Eastern Highlands

September 15-16 Bush Pig Beatrice

October 27 Three Hills (full moon) Makumbi

November 10 Corporate Day Donnybrook

November 18-20 (TBC) Mutare Dungbeetle Mutare

December 9 Christmas Run Local

Committee: A body that keeps minutes and wastes hours.


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

See subscription renewal notice below …………………………

Payment can be by direct deposit or paid in cash at the next event or phone me and we make an arrangement. We have a number of places around town who will gladly take your money. Pat

THE 4 x 4 CLUB


2 Annan Road, Eastlea, Harare.

Affiliated to the Zimbabwe Motor Sports Federation


Name: ...........................................................................................................

Address: .............................................................................................


Telephone numbers : Home:.……........................ Work:: ……………...........................

Cell:...........................………........... E-mail :……………………..........................

In order to keep our records up-to-date, please complete in full.

Signed: ............................................... Date: ...……..................................

Annual subscription for 2012 is US$40

Our Bank Account Details, if you wish to do a direct deposit:

The 4x4 Club; NMB Borrowdale Branch;

Branch Code: 11106 Account No: 260066827

Please advise me as soon as you have paid, or we will not be able to reconcile the account and you will not get your Membership Card.

Pat Gill: Membership Secretary

Phone: 494028 Cell: 0712.440.794 Email:

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