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Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Newsletter No: 104
September 2013
P O Box HG 594 Highlands   Harare   Zimbabwe                                     The Motor Sports Club House,  2 Annan Road, Eastlea, Harare.
The Chairman and Editorial Team:
CHAIRMAN:      Peter Benzon                0775.009.218          
EDITORS       Mike & Pat GILL  (M) 0778.843.843 (P) 0778.731.288 
4x4 Club Website                 Face Book Site:             The 4x4 Zimbabwe Club - 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

IT'S JAMBOREE TIME   -   7th and 8th September
Be there!
If you see this notice another three times then I know you will have read the newsletter.

THE EDITOR’S DESK        -   Michael and Pat Gill
For a long time your committee has discussed having a trailer to keep all our paraphernalia in one place and is able to be transported to events.  At last we have found such a trailer.   Roger Ellis and I decided that the one we saw at a local car sales dealer would do, with modifications, so it was bought.  It has a good set of 16" Land Rover wheels and cart springs and a history of taking camping gear to Mana pools for a Safari Operator.  It is solid, fully lockable and, we think, very suitable for our needs.  We have fitted shelves in side and made up stabilizer legs, painted the inside, fitted rubber mats, etc.   It now has big 4x4 Club signs and all the usual chevrons and GVM stickers so we hope it is legal enough.  Look out for it at events.  It will be used as the registration area and we will be selling club shirts, hats, etc., from it. Ashley Geach is looking after it and all the goodies inside.

CHAIRMAN'S CHATTER:       -    Peter Benzon
Its Jamboree time again. Our premier event of the year is a little later in the year. Organisation is in full swing and a big thank you has to go to Tim Thorburn and his committee for all the work they put in.

We were recently in Mozambique for a holiday, fun in the sun with family and friends. While sitting in camp, enjoying a nice cold 2M, we saw a huge overlanding truck come in. To be honest our first impression was: Oh No! Go and lock everything, we are being invaded by Tourists.  We watched with bated breath, waiting for the multitudes to fall out of the truck but only two people got out!
We were approached by the lady, Ellen, to beg some beer off us. We made friends and they showed us around their truck. It is truly amazing, it has solar power, deep cycle batteries with inverter, 700 litres of water storage, toilet, shower, full kitchen, washing machine, an Engel stand up fridge, Engel 80 litre deepfreeze and 25 litre drinks fridge. He also has a small crane on the back of the truck to allow two Yamaha TW200 motor cycles to be lifted onto bike racks. It really is the ultimate Over Lander. We invited them to share some beach bought fish for supper and we got their story over a lot of 2M Cervejas (beer).
Vince and Ellen were tour guides working in the Caprivi Strip, taking tourists on guided tours. They sold almost everything they own to buy a new Mercedes 4x4 truck and outfit it to tour Africa. They are planning to travel for two years around Africa below the Equator. They have been travelling for 7 months so far and have been to Namibia, South Africa and Mozambique. They then came through to Zimbabwe and are doing the tourist thing, Mana pools, Victoria Falls and various other popular sites around Zim. Follow them on the internet, their blog site is
 It must be a big leap of faith to leave the comfort zone of your home and friends, sell everything and travel deepest darkest Africa. No timetable and basically going where your nose takes you. Their motto is "Our plan is that we have no plan"    . What a way to live!              Cheers;        Pete

Dear Pat & Mike,
Always great to get the newsletter – but even more special to get a personal mention and thanks!  I really enjoy marshalling, so it certainly is no onerous task, and Roger does a brilliant job of organising the marshals.

The reason I haven’t been at any the 4x4 events recently is that I have been in UK having yet another op on my knee (Flossie still by far & away holds the record).  Anyway I have been given the all clear to fly home tomorrow, and will soon be back on my feet.
I do hope the weekend at Donnybrook goes well,
Thank you again,         Margie Gibson. 

It was good to see an old warrior, the 4x4 not the driver, out for a test day at Donnybrook.  The Cournil that became known as Beethoven (Roll over), has had a very interesting history.  The Z.R. Police somehow obtained about 40 Cournil Station wagons from a dying French company. They were a very solid all steel, no chassis, petrol vehicle.  They were eventually destroyed in service and the 4x4 community saw the potential use for these unusual 4x4s in competition.  I remember that Mutare had a large number of them in the Mutare 4x4 Club and the guy who ran the Motor Sports Club in Mutare, Des Spooner, cut his one up to desired size, fitted coil springs off an old drilling rig and Beethoven was born.  There were design faults and our ex Chairman, Rod Chambers, found this out. Hence the name.  Even our secretary, Carol Weare with Rod's late wife Julia, followed the pattern and did the usual "Door handles, roof, wheels" action.  Then Murray Upton started on it, cut it shorter, changed the springs and altered a few chassis bits and it stayed on its wheels for the Jamboree that I co-drove on.  The gear lever was always a joke, coming off the box at odd moments, but you got used to that.
Now Kelvin Weare has Beethoven, Malcolm Attwell has renovated it and fitted a fancy power steering, painted it bright blue with a yellow roll bar and now we wait and see it in action!!!

Due to some over enthusiastic buying we hold a surplus of items from passed events.  Please call us if you can make use of some of the 'Extras'.   We have lots of the dark blue shirts for Bush Pig 2011; some of the orange Bush Pig 2012 golf shirts; many wide brimmed hats; some black shorts; a few peaked caps; and cloth Club badges for sewing onto jackets etc.  Help. Storage space in our trailer and financial concerns require us to reduce this stock, prices are cheap so do your bit and help.  Our new Club Trailer will be at most events so look for it and BUY.

You are away from home and your hands are dirty from fixing that mechanical beast you love so much.  There are many ways to get your hands clean again but try the latest one I found.  Dish wash liquid with a tea spoon of sugar.  The 'grit' works well and I am told there is something in the sugar that also helps to remove the grime.

IT'S JAMBOREE TIME   -   7th and 8th September
Be there!

I went to Electrosales, Msasa and purchased  3 x Eurolux light fittings. They have U shaped glass tubes and a porcelain bayonet fitting.  Assuming 220 volt.
Imagine my surprise when fitted at home and it blew itself to bits!!
The mutterings were heard all over the house.
Now I sit down and read the instructions!! The BLUE box quite clearly states:
                                     Eurolux CFL G9 12vDC.
Since when do you go into a shop and amongst the 220v lights of all sizes and colours you find 12vDC bulbs?
For camping, the cigarette lighter for the power, I fitted the 12v lamps to the car. When I show my mates how good the light is, it does not switch ON!
Much scratching of various parts. The box shows 12v DC.   DC indicates that the power will only work in one direction / position.  See now!  So, when you go camping with these lights and they do not work, simply take it out, rotate it 180’ and 'Hey Presto', Eco light at your service!
An awful waste if it was thrown against a wall. The porcelain is marked 12vDC.
Electrosales need a wrap on the knuckles, which will be done when next I go past.
Neil Greenway

Our site at Donnybrook was prepped and cleaned and a small display set up for the advertisers and officials at the forthcoming Jamboree.  All a bit like a ripe apple.  Good in parts!  The multi aged and sexed drivers certainly enjoyed themselves.  The 4x4 trails were not too hard and it seems most people won the event, the rest came second. English Rules is a test route driven without stopping, STOP and you are out. Our usual system allows the driver to stop and discuss the route ahead.
There was a bit of doubt about the way the Jamboree Launch was staged and some felt this could have been a bit too low key for what is our major annual event.  However everyone seemed to enjoy the day and thanks to all the time spent laying out about 20 test sections, Roger's band of Marshals, the many cars that were shared, it went off well.  Now we await the Jamboree, our major fund raiser for the year.
A fantastic social at the club and good launch for the Jamboree...thanks to the sponsors.  The water system was turned on and three sprinklers started watering the dusty grounds....At last we have water on tap!
All upgrades to the club site are financed from the money we make from our annual Jamborees.....once again, thanks to HP Lubes and the other sponsors!
This year's jamboree will be one to be remembered!


IT'S JAMBOREE TIME   -   7th and 8th September
Be there!

After all the fun at the Jamboree Launch the real work began.  We needed a lot of helping hands to put the Jamboree Courses together.  It went very well and was all complete on Saturday.  Now it is the time to test the course builder's efforts.  Thank you to everyone one who helped. 

JAMBOREE         7th and 8th September 2013
HI Mike and Pat,
It appears to be going well with new exhibitors and should be good (as usual). The irrigation system is working well so we should have nice green lawns for the event.
Mano Zevgolis (from the DragPro Club) has agreed to do the scrutineering.. Mano and I did the scrutineering at the English Rules day and everyone who was there got the message about things being tightened up and there were no hassles.

The form covers all the main safety areas that will be checked, but the scrutineer will also be doing a general check over the vehicle. Any items not passing can be fixed and the vehicle re- presented for approval. If it hasn’t passed by the time the event starts, you don’t compete!! Come early.
Note Scrutineering will be for vehicle safety only. It is up to the competitor to ensure he/she has entered in the correct class for the event. The regs are pretty clear on the classes so there will be no excuses for not entering the correct class.
I am organizing 4 point seat belts from SA at a reasonable price. As soon as I have the final details I will let everyone know. IMPROVISED SEAT BELTS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED   i.e. Cross over 3 point belts and such like. There must be only 1 clip to undo to get the belts undone.
Get fixing!!!   Cheers,        Ralph

IT'S JAMBOREE TIME   -   7th and 8th September
Be there!

4x4 Club Diary -      2013
These dates change as the year progresses, but flyers will be sent out before each event.
Event types
(A). Competition cars.  (B). Social event, any car.  (C). 4x4 Touring/SUV
SEPTEMBER 7 -8      Jamboree (A)                Donnybrook
September 22th                  Breakfast Run (C)               Chinamora
OCTOBER    11 -13                     Jamboree (A)                     Bulawayo (Info)
OCTOBER 19–20                 3 Hills (C)                             Chinamora
NOVEMBER       t.b.a.         CLUB 20TH ANNIVERSARY   t.b.a.
NOVEMBER       22–24        Dungbeetle (A)                    Mutare
DECEMBER        8               Christmas Run (B)                Local
A =3;            B = 2;           C = 2.  Events left this year

To enter Donnybrook Park 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. 

We have a Face Book site  "The 4x4 Zimbabwe Club – Zimbabwe"  which is used daily by members to keep in touch with photos of events, etc. 

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.

Till next time. 
Michael and Pat GILL
Phone:   04.494028    (M) 0778.843.843        (P) 0778.731.288    
E and O.E.

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