The Inaugural Volvo Walk to Vryheid
Not going into much detail on exactly how it came about to start something as an alternative to some other runs across the country I received a telephone call from Andre de Haan on an idea he had, at the time I had some questions in my mind as to his idea, but knowing Andre since I joined the Club I trusted his judgement and gave my unconditional support.
He told me about Cars in the Park in Vryheid and suggested we put something “small” together to attend. I agreed. The next question that came up was what should we call it and immediately I made the connection Vryheid equals Freedom, and as you know there is a Biography out called the “The Long Walk to Freedom” and as we do with the names of OUR events – National Saamtrek I suggested that we baptise the event as “The Volvo Walk to Vryheid”. And so the seeds were planted and we decided to give it a go.
Andre being a very able, willing and creative organiser went about putting the event together and to say the least he did a fantastic job from start to finish. What did he do you may ask, well let me tell you:
- The conception of the event was out and out Andre’s brainchild.
- He carried out a recce of the area, the town, the show grounds & the lodgings
- He made contact with the local car clubs and got as much information as he could.
- He saw the potential of this becoming an annual event, and that we as the Club should become involved.
- We got centre stage, right in front of the main pavilion
- Andre single handedly designed and printed our number plates with personal numbers and all.
- He designed and printed individual medals and the ribbons that each registered participant received.
- He took the photos, rushed off to town to have them printed, and then he mounted them in time for all of the participants to receive before they left that afternoon.
- He arranged Shonalonga lodge for registration and boerewors rolls for Friday evening.
And before a fantastic and successful weekend Andre ensured that this was a great success, he even spent hours in getting his 544 running again, just because this year sees the 50th anniversary of the 544!
Whenever I speak to Andre he always tells me that being involved in the Club and having a passion for “A product of superb Swedish Engineering” namely the Volvo is not because he feels obliged to, but because he wants to! What an example for all of us who are members of the Club – no one forces you and you should never feel it is compulsory to be a member, you join the Club and you become involved because you have a passion for Volvo and you want to be involved, a great example to follow. JF Kennedy famous words comes to mind “Ask not what the Country can do for you, but what you can do for your Country” well maybe not verbatim but that is what it boils down to. Truly Andre is one of those it is not what the Club can do for him or what he can gain from doing all this and being involved. He does it because he wants to, and he in turn is not looking for something in return! So to all of you out there please join me in firstly thanking Andre for his dedication and commitment, secondly for the “Volvo Walk to Vryheid” and finally for being an example we can all follow.
Andre – from the Club, it’s members and the committee THANKS – we appreciate you!
Eighteen Volvos pitched for the inaugural event! We were given pride of place in front of the grandstand! With two local cars, we had twenty cars on show! A grand result for the fist time around.
6 x P1800
4 x 544
6 x 122
1 x 144
1 x 960
Naby die slag van Bloed Rivier – by Deon van Loggerenberg
Ja, Vryheid is naby die plek waar by oorlewering die Boere vroeg in die 19e eeu ‘n oorhordes Zoeloe’s moes afweer en julle ken die geskiedenis daarvan seker baie beter as wat ek dit ken. Na die naweek dink ek hier kom nog n stukkie geskiedenis in die Volvo Klub.
Sowat 18 Volvo’s het op verskillende plekker weggespring op n Vrydag oggend en die pad Vryheid to geloop (Volvo Walk to Vryheid), daar was so Olyf Groen 544 wat effe vinniger as loop geloop het, myne is nie olyf groen nie…
In elk geval het n draai by Dries gemaak waar 10 Volvo’s uit verskillende rigtings opgedaag het, net om bederf te word met Pap, Boerewors, Slaai, Sop, Koffie, soetigheidjie en al. So op vol pense moes ons toe die laaste 140km Vryheid toe LOOP, nie HARDLOOP soos die genoemde olyf groen 544 nie. Ons het eers natuurlik Dries se versameling bewonder wat n pragtige Merc en Borgward insluit en verskeie motorfietse, nodeloos om te se dat byna almal die Volvo 1800E die meeste gelaaik het…. nee ek joke als was pragtig.
Nou ja en daar vat ons die pad Vryheid toe, boek in, registreer en kry toe baie lekker Boerewors Rollekies vir aandete, en daar het ons nog Volvo vriende uit Piet Retief ontmoet, Gerhard Diederiks en klein Gerhard (nie so klein nie…se maar eerder Gerhard junior) en ons praat Volvo’s dat die biesies bewe. Sondag oggend was klein Gerhard stil, wonner hoekom? Ek vermoed dit het iets te doen met hoeveel hy Vrydag aand gesels het, eishhhh die man kan praat – wonder of daar alfabet letters in sy dop was? Nee wat die manne van Piet Retief het almal lekker gesels en dit was nice om hulle uiteindelik te ontmoet.
Saterdag oggend, ontbyt met boerewors en ons park, en ek hoor n harde klap geluid onder my 544 uit, kyk maar sien niks nie, ek sou n dag later uitvind wat dit was. Ons is toe n hele 18 Volvo’s daar plus nog 2 van Vryheid af. Weet julle ek het nie gedink daar is so baie klassieke motors in daardie wereld nie – the World’s Best Kept Secret!! Dit was n reuse sukses en ons het lekker gekuier totdat die ou op die luidspreker aankondig dat daar Boerewors rolle te koop is…. ek het niks teen n lekker stukkie boerewors nie (net nie n varse nie)! Maar as jy boerewors gesien het vanaf die Vrydag middag, die aand, by brekfis dan is jy nie lus vir boerewors in die middag ook nie! Kanse is vanaand se braai het ook boerewors.
Die aand gebraai (ja daar was wors) maar n paar van ons het in die oorskiet Skaap spit ingeklim en almal is dit eens dat ons almal skaap laaik..ons laaik skaap kwaai, van julle sal die ene ontsyfer vir die wat nie weet hoekom ons skaap laaik nie het seker nog nie skaap gehad nie.
Daarna toe is daar nog n walk gewees, waar party ouens oor die middelstreep gestruikel het, en hy drink nie n druppel alkohol nie, wonner wat is in sy water/ coke?? Leon is natuurlik nagblind of rigting bedinges, kan sien hy was nie in die army nie want hy ken nie suid van noord of oos van wes in die nag nie, as hy gevolg moes word het n paar ouens nou nog in Vryheid gewalk.
Sondag oggend se ontbyt, worsloos…nee nie ons nie, brekfis was worsloos, jinne waraan dink julle, sies! Petrol en olie gecheck en gegooi en daar ry ons. My 544 kom so by 60km per uur en my stuurwiel wil uit my hande uit ruk, maak oop kyk, adjust steering boks, ry op 60 km ruk die stuurwiel, stop kyk sien niks. Howard besluit hy wil in die pad le en daar sien hy dit, my 544 se onderste twee boude op die onderste wishbone is gone, vandaar die klap geluid die Saterdag oggend. Andre krap tussen al die bier in sy kattebak rond, kry twee boude en n jack, ek haal my spanners uit in my netjiese gepakte kattebak en Howard le nog onder die kar en maak toe vas. Daar ry ons, verby 60km en geen ruk nie. Ons is oppad terug.
Nie ver nie toe raak die Olyf Groen 544 weg asook n Blou 122….lees daarvan in Johan Kotze se bydrae en hy sal verder vertel. En ek en Howard ry toe maat rustig vort terug huis toe waar ons toe albei veilig aankom.
Sal ek weer die Volvo Walk to Vryheid doen, ja ek sal en ek dink nie daar is enige iemand wat daar was wat dit nie weer sal doen nie, en vir julle wat dit nie gedoen het nie, julle is almal uitgenooi.
Robbie – verkoop cable ties in bulk, Leon tune carbs en soek n kompas, Johan is ons nuwe auto electrician, Andre se nuwe van is Schumacher, Gerhard Diedericks Jnr – soek sy stem, Gerhard Senior soek n spraypainter – demmit die wind was te vinnig vir ons! Howard le op sy rug en doen sy plig en so het almal bygedra tot n suksesvolle Volvo naweek, sien julle volgende jaar naby Bloed Rivier met of sonder wors.
Vryheid – the final frontier.. by Johan Kotze
The blue 122 and the olive green 544 dicing? – no, I just did not like the unrespectful manner in which that silver Merc passed the olive green 544. After first making it difficult for the 544 to pass at the foot of the hill all hell broke loose when this Merc showed no respect to the said 544 in full view of the blue 122. I just had to burn a classic Volvo image in his mind while going up the hill so that he can show more respect next time. At the top I let him go but then he apparently suffered from the misconception that you only have to do 140 or so to shake these oldies. (Ha-ha) I pestered him all the way to Memel and then allowed him to escape. At that time I assumed you okes got stuck behind a truck in Botha’s pass – I actually stopped and got out to see if you were coming and proceeded for some time at 100 or so and then lost the plot again. (I was near the N3 anyway; were our paths diverged) Childish behaviour? Yes, of course! It was lekker to be a child again!!!
I was amazed at the number of veteran cars with NV registration at the show. What can be the cause of this? The best part was when this oke came to fetch that clapped out and rusted tractor that was parked not too far from us. To André and my self’s amazement he fiddled here, fiddled there, gave the crank half a turn to fire up the beast, got onto it and drove off with his son struggling to keep up in his Landcruiser.
Leon is suffering from pulled/strained SU muscles (?) after setting all and sundry’s carbs at the show – thanx Leon, your Dad did a good job on you… Its just a pity about the affair thing that leaked out Saturday morning but rest assured, in order to protect the innocent no details will be forthcoming.
Certain members went for a Vryheid Walk of the different kind Saturday evening after official proceedings and some really important recce information was gathered in the process. For more in-depth details those interested can speak to Deon. (Leon and myself will agree with any and all info supplied by Deon) The one thing that I think may be relevant to mention anyway is the height of the white lines on the roads in town – you can actually trip over them AND we have witnesses. We have also witnessed a severe case of disorientation – speak to Leon about this, he knows the full story.
Vinnige Fanie, you are one tough bugger – I will never ever mess with you. Roughing it? You guys have no idea. Speak to the man himself about this. (Those of you that knows Vinnige Fanie)
On my way to work this morning I noticed a sign outside a butchery: “Boerewors rolls every Saturday – from eight to twelve”. Ja swaer, just don’t wait for us, if we are are not there by 08:02 you can close shop.
If anyone wants to sell a classic Volvo just speak to your nearest speedcop for details – ask André and myself about this one.
The saying goes that one is never too old to learn. This weekend I found out that old Jaguars actually have ice in their radiators. Deon knows about this and have all the details about the how and why.
André, your brainchild has been born and is fit and healthy – 3 hoorays China, it was a lekker one and may I be the first one to confirm my attendance next year. Thanks mate. And thank you Leon for helping to try and catch that elusive spark – I eventually found it in the wiring loom that runs inside the roof to the rear. The bastard actually thought that he can hide away from us… For that I will have him sit on the boot for all to see.
And Howard actually fell for a well thought out and orchestrated hoax. He ended up lying under a car next to the road fixing this “problem” on the suspension of a car. (Sorry Deon) You could have been a hero, was it not that the six beer bottle tops you – accidentally, I’m sure – left in the hub caps of the blue 122 caused this hoax to be initiated – got you! Deon; jy sê niks, volg net die storie van stille diplomasie… Ek sal annerdag verduidelik.
The blue 122, aka Sparky or number 1023.
PS. Mike, your speedo is optimistic by at least 20 kph…(our own private joke) and to all who would just die to know the full detail behind all these stories above – come with us next year to find out first hand! Thank you guys, it was GREAT.