Jimny heritage celebrated over weekend in Clarens

Breaking a Guinness World Record was one of the activities during this weekend’s gathering of close to a thousand Suzuki Jimnys in Clarens in the Eastern Free State.

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When 787 Suzuki Jimnys switched on their lights at the same time, it got them into the record books with an official representative from Guinness World Records on site to confirm it.

This was all part of the fun weekend hosted by Suzuki Auto SA for Jimny owners with more than 800 Jimnys gathered on the Langkranz Farm outside Clarens.

The compact 4x4s and their owners travelled from across Southern Africa for the first ever 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 Friday 22 September to Sunday 24 September) and a rocking Suzuki Safari Town music, food, craft and kuier festival in the Clarens Town Square on Saturday 23 September.

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For one, the event was attended by none other than Hisanori Matsushima, Manager of the Automobile Styling Department at Suzuki Motor Corporation. Matsushima-san has seen his Jimny design become a global best-seller and be named the Urban Car of the Year at the World Car of the Year Awards in 2019. He subsequently penned the new five-door Jimny, among others.

Says Brendon Carpenter, Brand Marketing Manager of Suzuki Auto: “It was a privilege to host Matsushima-san at the South African Jimny Gathering. While he is well versed on the global success of the Jimny, it was great to introduce him to the fun and friendly South African Jimny fans and show him how his creation is used by adventure-seeking fans.”

The record was timed to celebrate Suzuki Jimny heritage alongside our South African heritage on Heritage Day. It was narrated by local funnyman Schalk Bezuidenhout, who drove to the Jimny Gathering in his own Suzuki Jimny. He entertained the crowds alongside Pedro Barbosa, Steve Umculo and Soul Man’s Rhythm and Blues Machine.

A third surprise to visitors of the Jimny Gathering was the cameo by the soon-to-be-released five-door Suzuki Jimny.

The festival was held on Saturday 24 September and was open to all comers. It featured class acts such as Black Heidi, Mango Groove, Goodluck and Spoegwolf and there were many stalls with craft food and drink 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!” says Brendon.

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