April 2008

Hello Readers 

Well, it looks like it’s back to old habits again and April is disappearing fast. March went down with a few editorial glitches so I hope I have things under control this time around.  Camping season is here again with temperatures becoming more bearable and I certainly am looking forward to hitting the bush again… time permitting of course. 



 MONDAY 28 APRIL (public holiday) This is the big event for 2008 and is open to anyone with a Land Rover. You do not need to be a member of the LROC to be part of the convoy. The convoy will start in Durban at the old Durban Drive Inn site and follow the M19, M13, R103, R603 and end at Baynesfield Estate, Baynesfield. Read the attached letter from Rob North icw what's on offer at Baynesfield.


Attached is a rough map of the route we will take for those  who cannot make the start and want  to join the convoy along the route.



Not a LROC event but still worth going along and supporting the 4x4 Club and CHOC (Childhood Cancer Foundation of South Africa.)

    The Four Wheel Drive Club of Southern Africa, KZN will be holding a 4x4 Challenge on the grounds of Clifton Preparatory School, Nottingham Road. This event is a fundraising event which will take place on the 20 th of April 2007. The event will start at 9:00am; the entry fee will be R15 per adult & R10 per child under 12 yrs (for spectators), and R70 per vehicle (for competitors). There will be food and drinks stalls provided by Clifton on the day.

 There will be 10 obstacles for each of the three classes of vehicle taking part on the day. Class 3 is your standard 4x4 bought off the show room floor: Class 2 is a standard 4x4 with a few modifications: Class 1 is your hybrid vehicles built by club members.

 All money that is raised on the day will be donated to CHOC. This is a very worthy cause so we hope to have a large crowd of spectators and competitors on the day. So why not make it a family day out to the country, and have a great day as well as support a worthy cause.  Looking forward to seeing you there…     Contact : Shavaun Lesch for more info. 031-7651554 or cell : 0825710685



LROC KZN   Events Diary   2008 


What, where

More Info.


Public Holiday


28 April

Land Rover Convoy Drive

Land Rover was shown to the public for the 1st time on 30 April 1948 at the Amsterdam Motor Show. A LARGE LAND ROVER CONVOY DRIVE is planned to commemorate this date. Start is the old Durban Drive Inn / Durban Transport Museum site in Brickhill road. From here we will drive up the M19/M13/N3 / R103(old main road) to the Umlaas road turn off (Camperdown) and onto the Natal Tractor and Machinery Clubs Museum at the Baynesfield Estate National Monument site at Baynesfield.




4 May

Technical Talk and Dyno Test

Steves Auto Clinic, SAC, a market leader for 23 years in the servicing, repair & conversion of most vehicles, as well as a state of the art Dyna Tuning facility has offered to give the LROC a talk and demonstration on what they can do to increase the power of your Land Rover. Also a chance to put your Land Rover on the Dyna at a reduced cost.(R100.00). Booking is required to secure a spot on the Dyno as we can only test a limited number of vehicles. A possibility of a lucky draw prize for 1 vehicle to receive a free Dyno Tune Up. If interested please give George a call



18 May

Cars in the Park PMB

Cars in the Park, Pietermaritzburg. Wanted Series 1, 11, 111 Land Rovers for a special “Land Rover 60th  Exhibit” . As its Land Rover 60th year we intend to make Cars in the Park a big event for the LROC. The LROC will have 2 stands this year, A Special Exhibit in the Mayor’s Garden and our normal stand. Hopefully we can display a line up of the various models.

Full catering available or a BYO braai for lunch with braai fires provided.

Give George a call for more info.



7 June

4x4 National Challenge

National 4x4 Challenge. As this is the only National 4x4 event in KZN its an excellent  spectator event to come along to and watch the big boys do the impossible in modified and standard vehicles. Look out for the Land Rover signs and park in the Land Rover ONLY car park.

High Stakes at Cato Ridge is the venue. Full catering and bar facilities. George is the contact for more info.


13 – 16 June

Tembe Elephant Park

Tembe Elephant Park. Trip limited to 20 vehicles. Give Greg Labuscagne a call for more info or to book.



22 June

3rd Gates event for 2008.

A new venue next to the Umgeni River upstream from Inanda Dam. We will meet at the Waterfall Spar and drive in convoy into the valley. (08h00 for 08h30) More info to follow and George is the contact.

3 - 5

4 – 6 July


The LROC KZN turns 20 in July 2008. Broadleaze is the venue and the event will be a family fun type of event as per past Broadleaze events. More info on the birthday celebration to follow and Selwyn Ambler is the contact.


July / August

Lesotho Snow Trip

Come for the day or spend a weekend in the snow. Trip will be a short notice trip as per the past years. We wait for the deep snow and then we go. More info to follow. George is the contact for more info.

3 - 5


4th Gates Event

Venue to follow

3 - 5


21 Sep

Baynesfield Tractor Run

We have been invited to join the Natal Vintage Tractor And Machinery Club on a drive through the farm lands up to a private museum in the Baynesfield area. More info to follow.

2 - 3


























Emphasis is placed on the fact that most events require booking well in advance. If you are interested in attending an event, please notify the relevant committee as soon as possible, as a lack of interest may lead to events being cancelled.


TRAIL GRADING: All our events from now on will have a Trail Grading according to the 5 grades below.

1.        Complete novice soft dirt road trail, no low range required. Suitable for all Land Rovers including the Freelander.

2.       Limited low range required but suitable for the novice driver. Suitable for all Land Rovers with certain trails not suitable for the Freelander.

3.       Low range and limited off road knowledge required. Suitable for all Land Rovers except the Freelander.

4.       A low range technical trail suitable for the experienced. The inexperienced will be able to do the trail, as assistance will be available from the more experienced members. Suitable for all Land Rovers except the Freelander.

5.       Extremely technical, suitable for the experienced only with the possibility of vehicle damage. Only suitable for "Series" Land Rovers and maybe a few others.


Halewood, Merseyside, Tuesday 8 April 2008 - Employees at Halewood Operations on Merseyside are celebrating after producing the 100,000th Land Rover Freelander 2. The milestone vehicle has been built just 17 months after production started at Halewood. 

Freelander 2 was launched in late 2006 and last year was the first full year of sales.  2007 saw the all-new model prove hugely popular across the world, particularly in key emerging markets such as Russia, China and the Middle East.

The 100,000th car, a Rimini Red 2.2 Diesel Auto, is now en route to a customer in the city of Surgut, located on Russia's Central Siberian Plateau. Sales of Land Rover vehicles are booming in Russia – over 12,000 units were sold there last year, an increase of 95 per cent over 2006. 

Freelander 2 is engineered to perform in the most extreme weather conditions from minus 40 to plus 50 degrees Celsius and, like all Land Rover products, has a true breadth of capability. This makes it perfectly suited to the Russian market, which is one of the most diverse and challenging environments in the world with driving conditions ranging from extreme desert heat to freezing snow and ice.  Russian Freelander 2's have special Fuel Fire Heaters fitted which heat the diesel fuel up to prime the engine during winter months.

Thomas Klein, Operations Director at Halewood said: "The 100,000th Freelander is an important milestone for the plant – Freelander 2 helped Land Rover achieve its best ever sales year in 2007 and has won several major awards in its first twelve months in the market place. Freelander is continuing to perform well in traditional Land Rover markets such as the UK but sales in emerging areas like Russia and China are also growing rapidly so it's entirely fitting that this car is destined for a customer in Siberia. I'd like to congratulate the Halewood workforce on this fantastic team achievement."

Dmitry Kolchanov, Managing Director of Land Rover Russia added: “We are pleased by the way the Land Rover business is developing here. Russia is now Land Rover's third largest market, after the UK and USA, which is a significant achievement.  The crucial selling point for Freelander 2 is that it is the authentic compact premium 4x4 and excels off-road. At the same time, Freelander 2 is excellent on-road and is perfectly suited to a city where its premium styling attracts a great deal of attention." 


Editors notes:



By Betty Gordon 

From the first notification of the event by the Land Rover Owners Club of Southern Africa until the last Land Rover pulled away on Easter Monday, the organisation was faultlessly efficient. Particularly comforting to realise that despite the “brain drain” and general exodus of skilled personnel, we still have some extremely capable people here in S.A., most of whom, quite obviously, must be Land Rover owners!

Ken and I had been members of the Gauteng L.R.O.C. for 17 years, Ken being on the Committee for most of them and President for 8 years. After retirement and living on the South coast of Natal for 13 years, we looked forward to meeting former friends.

We left a day early (the joys of retirement) and broke the journey at Drakensville  at the foothills of the Drakensberg Ampitheatre. It seemed as if this stop-over was setting a pattern for the weekend as we were greeted with charmingly efficient courtesy and enjoyed a pleasant stay in beautiful surroundings. If next morning the electricity was cut off from 6 AM until we departed at 9 AM, we can blame Eskom and a breakfast of All Bran with freezing cold milk doesn’t compensate for no morning tea and an empty thermos for the trip.

The potholes along Oliviershoek Pass were not quite as bad as people had warned. When we joined the N5 from Harrismith to Bethlehem we were in unfamiliar territory and from Fauriesburg towards Ficksburg we revelled in the vast open views so very different from the soft rolling sugarcane fields we live amongst. It was a brilliant day, the sky an unbelievable blue and the lazer rays of the sun floodlighting the yellow sandstone koppies.

My only sense of frustration with the organisation of the event was the assumption that we all possess GPS instruments. Some of us still read maps which, like being able to read music, necessitates some skill! One sentence could have made the world of difference: “14 Kms North East of Ficksburg on the R26”.  Moan over.

It was all soon forgotten when we arrived and surveyed the huge grassy flat area, carefully staked out into generously proportioned equal camping areas. Along one side was a line of railway carriages where people could sleep while electric plug points marched along the other side for those who had been able to book them early enough.

By the end of Friday when nearly everyone had arrived and set up camp there were four rows of camps interspersed with two driveways and when I attempted to count each camping group I totalled 80, although more arrived later on. Some folk had more than one Land Rover. Perhaps there were a hundred Landies in all?

It was a grand reunion. One couple came all the way from Mossel Bay and there were people from P.E., Mapumalanga, Natal, and as some wag pointed out, from Bloemfontein. By far the largest contingents were from Gauteng and the Free State.

On Friday morning we checked in for the weekend and were each given a programme, tickets for evening meals and re-entry and the final thoughtful touch: a toilet roll. These were handed over in a classy “Outdoor Warehouse” carrier bag. A programme briefing followed.

For those of us who were first time visitors to Sandstone Estates there followed a day of exploration and discovery, enjoying to the full the meticulously maintained facilities of the working farm.  Sandstone Heritage Trust maintains and restores steam engines and old agricultural equipment. We were astounded as the amount and variety. It almost seemed as if every type of early farming tractor, plough, harvester, crop-sprayer and planter had found its final resting place at Sandstone.

At intervals during each day groups of Land Rovers set off for the various 4 x 4 trails and the short tar route through Lesotho. Ken and I waited in anticipation for the steam train ride behind the restored Beyer-Garrett narrow gauge locomotive. In the event it exceeded all expectations and was a joyous chug through fields of cosmos fringed in the distance by the misty purple foothills of the Maluti mountains.  The hour long ride took us through farmlands, past the “Sandstone International Airport” (a landing strip for light aircraft), alongside dams, past water towers and signals with constant blasts of the steam whistle until we returned to Hoekfontein Station and put our cameras back in their cases.

That evening we enjoyed a lamb and a chicken potjiekos.

Friday was HUMAN RIGHTS DAY as well as GOOD FRIDAY. It teemed with rain all night and well into Saturday morning, which was in keeping with the sentiments for Good Friday but in conflict with those for Human Rights (how DARE it rain when I am camping) and could be the basis for a learned thesis. But back to Land Rovers......

While most of the roof-top tenters declared a dry sleep, conditions under makeshift awnings, gazebos and canvas flaps were drenched. Saturday remained overcast most of the day and raincoats and wellies were much in evidence.

Complimentary tea and coffee was available all day long at the train station complex and on Saturday we noticed groups of people in bright red cheaters bearing badges for the Klerksdorp Car Club. They were spending a day at Sandstone Estates but had been forced to leave their classic jaguars and mercedes at the entrance gate due to the mud!!!

Late evening a vivid rainbow was thrown across the sky to give us hope for a better tomorrow.

Saturday evening Land Rover S.A. sponsored a Country & Western dance with live music and a fantastic buffet of constantly replenished goodies. Thanks and awards were given to numerous people involved in the terrific organisation of a splendid event.

True to its promise, the rainbow did indeed forecast a better tomorrow with the sun shining in perfect co-operation for the morning photographic shoot. It was reckoned that 110 (most appropriately) Landies had registered for the weekend and 95 of these lined up in a field. Naturally enough those Land Rovers which formed an integral unit of their camp were reluctant to unpick and re-make just a day before leaving. There was a prize of R1000 for the muddiest Land Rover.

Our visit in the afternoon to Charles Barrett’s arms weaponry museum entailed some cross-country mud splashes. This was a first for Ken in the Disco and he was exuberant to note the traction control working admirably.

The museum was housed in a charming old world cottage furnished in the Boer War period. All types of small arms, rifles, bren guns, Vickers machine guns, bayonets and other weaponry manufactured in various countries were on display in two small rooms. They ranged from those used in the Boer War through two World Wars. Charles was obviously an enthusiast. He could answer all our questions with confidence. Sometimes there isn’t proper recognition and appreciation for such people with specialized knowledge and when they are gone there is no-one to replace them. (Last note entirely my own observation).

Land Rover S.A. treated us all to more train rides on Sunday and we opted for the 5 PM trip. This has always been my favourite time of the day when the light in angled across the veld casting a magically luminous and unreal touch to the scenery. And so it was. The distant koppies were bathed in gold, the fields and track sides lavishly saturated with the pinks, whites and violets of virulent cosmos and the dams mirroring the sky above. Wonderful!  Thank you Land Rover S.A.

Easter Monday dawned with the calmest, bluest, sunniest, hottest day of the weekend which made the de-camping and packing up tasks easier. Ken and I had been able to meet up with something like 20 friends from our Jo’burg Land Rover Club days. We were touched that they should have remembered us and a little nostalgic for times that have past.

But life moves on.

If you wish to continue advertising your Landy bits, please email me at or fax on 031 5642455 

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