Suzuki Jimny owners gather to set new world record in Clarens
Visitors to the eastern Free State were treated to a unique sight this weekend as hundreds of Suzuki Jimnys descended on Clarens for the biggest Suzuki festival ever held.
The compact 4x4s and their owners travelled from across South African to Langkranz Farm just outside Clarens to attend the inaugural Suzuki Safari Town Festival and Jimny Gathering.
The event was held exactly one year after Suzuki Auto South Africa announced its intention to welcome as many Jimny owners and friends of the brand as possible.
It consisted of the Jimny Gathering at Langkranz (from September 22 to 24) and a Suzuki Safari Town music, food and craft festival in the Clarens Town Square on September 23. According to Suzuki the event heldf surprises for the 800+ owners who attended, the biggest of which included a visit by Hisanori Matsushima.
Manager of the styling department at Suzuki Motor Corporation, Matsushima-san has seen his fourth-generation Jimny design become a global best-seller and be named the Urban Car of the Year at the 2019 World Car of the Year Awards. He also penned the new five-door Jimny, which offers more interior space and will soon be going on sale in South Africa.
Matsushima-san and the team from Suzuki Auto SA surprised the visitors with another unique activity by setting a Guinness World Record. On Sunday, all the attending Jimny owners joined together to set a new world record for the most vehicles to switch on their lights simultaneously. By aiming for and breaking this record, Suzuki was able to accommodate the many vintage SJ, LJ and Samurai owners who also attended.
“We had an official representative from the Guinness World Records on site, and he confirmed we broke the record with 787 Suzuki vehicles that switched on their headlights at the same time,” said Suzuki SA marketing manager Brendon Carpenter.
The record was timed to celebrate Suzuki Jimny heritage alongside South African heritage on Heritage Day. It was narrated by local funnyman Schalk Bezuidenhout, who drove to the Jimny Gathering in his own personal Jimny. He entertained the crowds alongside Pedro Barbosa, Steve Umculo and Soul Man’s Rhythm and Blues Machine.
Other acts enjoyed by attendees over the course of the weekend included Black Heidi, Goodluck, Spoegwolf and local Afro-pop legends Mango Groove. The carnival atmosphere was further bolstered by many stalls with craft food and drinks to complement the wide range of restaurants and shops that surround the Clarens Town Square.
“It was quite a weekend. We left having set a new world record, we met great Suzuki owners, we rocked the town with some great music and, perhaps most importantly, we showed the world what a lekker group of people Suzuki owners are," said Carpenter.
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