Reading all the derogatory remarks by folks who secretly wished that they had owned a Renault R 4 [or so called Renault FL by those who really really wished that they had owned one] reminds me of my somewhat traumatic trip home to Beitbridge after collecting my new R4 from Roben Motors in Bulawayo.
I had got a ride up to Byo on the morning convoy and assumed that I would have no problems joining the afternoon one back to BB. Someone had screwed up something with the paper work, and by the time I finally got out of Byo it was late afternoon. The convoy had long gone but I had to work in the morning and figured that I would be invincible in my new machine, so drove off into the sunset all on my own.
I had no idea what sort of mileage I could expect from the pint sized fuel tank, especially with a brand new motor, so decided that I should top up in West Nicholson, just to be on the safe side. While the attendant was filling the tank I was approached by one of the many "locals" asking for a lift. Seeing as I was the only "white boy" in the area I reluctantly agreed and he happily climbed in.
As we left West Nicholson we drove in to a massive storm, the sky was pitch black, and the wipers could hardly keep up with the huge raindrops hammering down on the windscreen. My new found travel companion, noting the plastic covers on the chairs, asked if it was a new car. When I replied in the affirmative all I can remember him saying was "Gau Baas, today really is my lucky day. First I get out of jail, and then I get to ride in a brand new motor car."
Fortunately I have pretty good bowel control so did not embarrass myself, but just tried to ease a fraction more speed out of the motor. Half an hour later, in the middle of nowhere, my passenger announced that he was "home" and that I could drop him off. I couldn't see anything that suggested that there was a village anywhere in the vicinity and with thoughts of ambushes and the like racing around my head I very hesitantly pulled over and stopped. With that he climbed out of the car, thanked me for the ride, and disappeared into the dark.
With no consideration for the new motor I floored
that poor little car and didn't ease up on the gas until I got to
Beitbridge. A dozen Pilsener and half a pack of Madison later my pulse
returned to its normal rate.
Ford Capri.......memories what memories. I was driving a Primrose yellow one
down Main Street Umtali when I was 16. I changed into second and the whole
damn gearstick came out in my hand! Horror! It wasn't even my car .....now
how to get home and explain to the late Hennie Fourie just haw that
Police days in Salisbury
"Traffic" having drag races up Fourth street to Gremies. We'll call the
Police...we are the police
I wanted the 'Rebel' bike but got the 'Chopper' and we fondly remember rugby at Hartsfield and all the players. Athough many people we knew had an R4 we had Peugots and still get wild remembering the amount of times we had to replace the headlights because they were stolen.