Dearly B. Loved
OnToplist is optimized by SEO
Add blog to our blog directory.

Friday, August 31, 2012


Newsletter No: 93
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 / 0778.731.288     
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
A point of interest, if you had read the editorial last month where we mentioned getting a Rescue Unit organised.  Well, in South Africa they had a VERY cold spell recently with snow in the Cape and Free State and many roads closed.  I noticed a snipped of South African news that mentioned the local 4x4 Clubs came to the assistance of the stranded motorists.  We get slated for driving 4x4s but there are many times when we can justify our love of these wagons.

Greg Stead: navigated his driver to victory in the Uganda Rally recently.  This puts them in a good position to be the Africa Championship winners.   
Pete Jenkin: has been over to England to his daughter, Dawn's, Graduation Ceremony and while there he planned to go to the "Billings Land Rover Week-End".  A motor show that can take more than two days to just walk round. Typical of the weather, it was cancelled to a later date and Pete missed it.
Ray Walker.  Jeep Wrangler.  The Jeep got a bit bent at the Jamboree, so it went to the body Doctor.  Ray has also been to the body doctor and has had a new hip joint fitted and then a cataract removed so he can now see better.  No more cracks about seeing where he is going PLEASE!

If you need to get hold of me, please note I have a new cell phone number: 
0778.731,288  Pat Gill. 

I know I press this point but will continue to do so until my message has sunk in!! 
One of my pet hates is the 4x4 driver who brags about the way he drove on a dirt road from there to there in 2WD.   
Unused front drives deteriorate rapidly. Control is better on a dirt road in 4WD and so is tyre wear.  It is the unused front drive that dies prematurely.
Try and get your  4WD to work at least once a month, like your manual tells you.

A little bit of 4x4 history for you.  You must have heard of the Audi Quatro.  Well back in the 1970s a bunch of Audi engineers went for their annual road tests to northern Scandinavia, -40 C with several cars including a VW Iltis 4x4 and an Audi 170 hp 100.  The roads were all ice and snow as expected but what came out of it was the VW, with only 75 hp, left everything else behind, with ease.  Off a good dry tar road power was not the winner, the 4WD was.  So they made the Audi Quatro 4WD and won every rally they entered for some time.  "Audi" is listen in German.

A Trail Drive with a Purpose             -           it can't get any better.
Did you see the 6 page report with photos done by Muzza Black?  It was sent out as a flyer.   Here is a shortened version. 
We, The 4x4 Club Zimbabwe, were asked by Jane Hunt of the Lion Research in collaboration with Greg Rasmussen of the Painted Dog Conservation to help them clear some unused roads within the Hwange National Park.  This is to assist them in their research to be able to get to their projects.  Some of these roads had not been driven for at least ten years or more and were now just elephant single tracks.   
A lot of planning went into this project and our Environmental Officer, Muzza Black, did a sterling job of plotting the co-ordinates, communicating with the authorities and gathering up as many Club Members as possible.  We also put a report in a South African 4x4 Newsletter and were surprised at the response. 
This all boiled down to having seven fully equipped 4x4's and sixteen able bodied people to do the job.  We had two South African and one German/Czech contingent.  We were allocated two Ax Men and an armed Game Scout for each team with Justin Seymour-Smith as their leader.
We made Base Camp at Mitswiri Pan, about 100 kms south west of Main Camp, and bomb shelled out from there.  One team went north towards Dina Pan and one team concentrated on the Xixi Amanandi Road.  This road had a Mopani Forest and we came across six downed big trees which we had to chain saw and winch off the road.  An indication of just how long it has been since anyone had driven this road; we came across two elephant sculls still with the tusks intact.  We removed the ivory which was scorched by the sun and handed them in to the Parks Office.  They must have lain there for all of five or six years.  The nights were very cold and quiet, not an animal call was heard.  It is now very dry and most pans have dried up so animals have moved away to the next available water. We did see lots of Elephant and other game at the wet holes and some interesting foot prints.
All in all we cleared over 50 kms of track. 

Distances:       Harare to Hwange via Nkai and Lupane                               584
                        (Well worth doing this shortcut).   
Within Nat Park; Road Clearing and Game Viewing:                                               340
Return Harare via Lupani / Nkai                                                                   580                                                                                                                  Total Distance            1504kms 
                                                                        Fuel used        212 lts             = 7.1 kpl
Participants:   Muzza Black and Wilma Hoefnagel                          Pajero
                        Michael and Pat Gill and Roger Ellis                         Patrol                         
                        Kelvin and Tina Weare and Tim Thorburn               L Cruiser
                        Marietta van der Werff and Wayne Conradie         LR TDI Defender
                        Rene and Andrea Bauer                                            Patrol SWB
                        Andre van Wyk / Shelton Thorburn from S. Africa  Toyota Hilux
                        Greg and Linda Harris            from S. Africa                          Toyota Hilux
I know our efforts were much appreciated by Parks, Lion Research and The Painted Dog Conservation and we have been invited (almost commanded) to return next year.  They say they have a lot more roads for us to clear.   It was hard work but so worthwhile.
Sadly you are not likely to get to our roads as they are a good 4 hour drive from Main Camp but they are interesting drives. 
Lupani / Nkai Road from KweKwe: 
From the Truck Stop drive 10 kms up Gokwe Road, turn left onto Nkai Road.
Full Tar for                      4 kms;         
Narrow Mat for               35 kms;       
Dirt for                           11 kms;        
Full tar through Nkai for           50 kms
and Dirt to Lupani            125 kms.    Total distance 225 kms. 
This shortcut takes off +          150 kms from going round via Bulawayo. 
We left home at 06.00 and were in Main Camp by 3 p.m.   Well worth doing.

BALLY VAUGHAN on Sunday 29th July,
Our Club, once again, did a good job of taking lots of useful items out to Bally Vaughan on Sunday 29th July.
 If you did not come then you missed a great day and that good feeling that you have assisted such a worthy cause.  Sarah has rescued 2 lions in VERY bad condition who need constant and tender care, and therefore needs lots and lots of extra cash for their care and to build them a home they deserve. 
 Items delivered the Park:-
Mops;  Ice cream boxes;  Water containers;  canvas tarp;  Shovel;   Rakes;   A roll of Game Fencing and nails; Cat food;  dog food and bird food;  Yoghurt.  And cash donations.
 The participants are: 
Peter Benzon and Tammy;  Carol and Derek Weare and their family;  Mark and Hilary Benzon with an American friend;   Kelvin and Tina Weare with their family;  Mike and Ingrid Brophy and granddaughter;   Roger and Bev Ellis and Shane;  Robbie and Rose Rushforth with an entourage of children;  Malcolm and Francis Attwell;  Lloyd and Ann Clarke and Family;   Michael and Pat Gill. 
Thanks you to all who participated I know Sarah Carter of Bally Vaughan regards the 4x4 Club as a very special friend. 

BLUE CROSS            4th – 10th August. 
Another Trail Drive with a purpose.  The organiser of the Blue Cross; The Mountain Bike Section,  asked us, once again, to support them on their fund raising  500 km ride from the lowest point of the country to the highest.  This is all in a good cause as it raises much need money for the ZNSPCA.  The Gills along with Bob and Pam Crook did the "Trail Blazing /time keepers" and "Back-up/sweep" this year. 
We spent a couple of days in Gonarazhou and drove across the Save and Runde rivers at 3 points.  Plenty of animals and great camping spots.
We had our 4x4 Club banner flags flying at the end of each day's ride, about 100 ks, and the riders could not have been more thankful for our help. We led and did the route in about 3.5 to 4 hours, the Crooks about 8 hours. After last year we were so impressed with this 4x4 route that we tried to get it rerun as a Club outing.  The Blue Cross raised about $18 000 for ZNSPCA, well done!! There were 26 Mountain Bikers; 6 road cyclist (who also have to do some dirt);  6 horses ridden by Peterhouse School girls;  and six walkers who take nine days to do the 500 kms.   The participants came all the way from USA, from Ireland, South Africa,  Botswana as well as Zim.

After all the recent bad history of this 4x4 marque it is nice to hear some good news.  Tata Motors own Land Rover and Jaguar.  The new Range Rover Evoque is such a popular seller that there is a back list of orders that goes through to 2013.  They have put on a 3rd shift at the West England Factory, at Halewood, and a new engine plant at Wolverhampton.   Tata have a joint venture deal with Chery Automobile in China and with booming sales of Jaguar and Land Rover in China this is all good news.  Sales of the Land Rover range were 50% more in March 2012 than March 2011.  The Evoque was awarded "World Design Car of the year" amongst over 100 other design awards it has received.

4x4 Club Diary -      2012

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

September  15-16              Bush Pig                                            Beatrice
September   29 / 30           Hwange Game Count                    for info
October        20/21            Three Hills   (full moon)                Makumbi
November   10                   Corporate Day                                  Donnybrook     
November 18-20 (TBC)     Mutare Dungbeetle                      Mutare
December    9                     Christmas Run                              SOAP Fund Raiser

How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?

To enter Donnybrook on a non-event day it will cost you $2 per car, providing you have you membership card.  Non-members will be charged $20 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.  They will have hired the entire complex for that day. Please don’t try and argue with the gate attendant, 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.

A forum for the club has been created.   Click on the following
It will be linked back to the 4x4 website in due course but register in the mean time.  Please pass this link on to anyone you think may be interested in posting on the forum.

CHAIRMAN                         TIM THORBURN                 0772.645.518     
TREASURER                         KELVIN WEARE                        0772.326.687
SECRETARY                          CAROL WEARE                                 0733.400.496
VICE CHAIRMAN                 MASS KIRK                                         0772.261.682
CHF MARSHAL/EVENTS     ROGER ELLIS                                      0772.219.154
MEMBERSHIP                     PAT GILL                                                                       0778.731.288
EVENTS / EQUIPMENT       GARETH GEACH                             0772.283.524
EVENTS                                PETER BENZON                       0775.009.218
EVENTS                                JASON YOUNG                                         0772.918.878
ENVIRONMENT                   MUZZA BLACK                                       0772.241.000
NEWSLETTER                       MICHAEL AND PAT GILL                                    0712.400.243

Till next time. 
Michael and Pat GILL
Phone:   04.494028    (M) 0712.400.243        (P) 0778.731.288

No comments:

Post a Comment