The 2003 Classic Safari Challenge

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The Route

The Classic Safari Challenge leaves Cape Town’s old harbour and heads out of town under the shadows of Table Bay Mountain on February 16 – for the start of a three week marathon drive across the heart of Africa.

Six African countries later, the survivors will reach the palm trees of Hemingway’s Hotel, north of Mombasa in the Watamu national marine park…simply one of the finest “drop-out” hotels in the world, and one of the most tranquil, soul-healing spots on earth… the ultimate destination for the prizegiving celebrations after a very special drive.

The route includes several days in Namibia, even an early-morning spot of hot-air balooning over the giant sand-dunes of the Skeleton Coast, into the Etosha national park, home to the world’s largest elephants among many other bird and animal species; Victoria Falls, for a spot of white water rafting…. onwards to the Ngorongoro Crater and Mount Kilamjaro, before the last lap through Kenya to the Indian Ocean Coast.

Only a tiny handful of drivers, in very special cars, were sought for this highly exclusive drive, as the intention from the outset was to take time out in the “tiny, out of the way” places, the lodges and camps in national game parks. A great bunch of characters, from all round the world, already pioneers of such icons as the Peking to Paris and our Around the World in 80 Days, have come together for a re-union, taking on The Peking-Paris, Africa style.

Route Schedule

Day 1 – Sunday 16th February 2003 – Leg 1
Cape Town TC1/1A 13:00
Clanwilliam TC1/2B 231 km 15:53 – 17:36
Day 2 – Monday 17th February 2003 – Leg 2
Clanwilliam* TC2/1A 06:00
Cedarberg* TC2/2C 92 km 07:09 – 07:50
Canyon TC2/3B 566 km 14:13 – 19:08
Day 3 – Tuesday 18th February 2003 – Leg 3
Canyon Road House TC3/1A 08:30
Helmeringhausen* TC3/2C 248 km 11:36 – 13:27
Tsarisberge* TC3/3C 153 km 13:30 – 16:31
Sossusvlei TC3/4B 106 km 14:49 – 18:37
Day 4 – Wednesday 19th February 2003 – Leg 4
Sesrium* TC4/1A 12:30
Martial Eagle* TC4/2D 202 km 15:01 – 16:33
Swakopmund TC4/3B 144 km 16:48 – 19:25
Day 5 – Thursday 20th February 2003 – Leg 5
Swakopmund TC5/1A 08:30
White Lady* TC5/2C 206 km 11:04 – 12:37
Twfelfontien* TC5/3B 116 km 12:31 – 14:56
Day 6 – Friday 21st February 2003 – Leg 6
Twfelfontien TC6/1A 08:00
Kamajab TC6/2C 221 km 10:45 – 12:25
Otijikondo* TC6/3C 73 km 11:39 – 13:53
Village* TC6/4B 69 km 12:31 – 14:15
Day 7 – Saturday 22nd February 2003
Day 8 – Sunday 23rd February 2003 – Leg 7
Mokuti TC7/1A 09:00
Auger* TC7/2C 33 km 09:40
Batleur* TC7/3C 180 km 11:55 – 13:15
Ngandu TC7/4B 151 km 13:47 – 16:16
Day 9 – Monday 24th February 2003 – Leg 8
Ngandu TC8/1A 05:30
Mowana TC8/2B 495 km 11:41 – 15:24
Day 10 – Tuesday 25th February 2003
Day 11 – Wednesday 26th February 2003
Day 12 – Thursday 27th February 2003 – Leg 9
Livingstone TC9/1A 07:00
Izam* TC9/2C 357 km 11:27 – 14:08
Red Earth* TC9/3C 55 km 12:08 – 15:14
Lusaka TC9/4B 77 km 13:06 – 16:46
Day 13 – Friday 28th February 2003 – Leg 10
Protea TC10/1A 06:00
Shiwa TC10/2B 713 km 14:54 – 20:15
Day 14 – Saturday 1st March 2003 – Leg 11
Shiwa TC11/1A 10:30
Ministry TC11/2D 263 km 13:46 – 15:45
Day 15 – Sunday 2nd March 2003 – Leg 12
Mbeya TC12/1A 06:00
Morogoro TC12/2B 616 km 13:42 – 18:19
Day 16 – Monday 3rd March 2003 – Leg 13
Morogoro TC13/1A 06:00
Arusha TC13/2B 614 km 13:40 – 18:16
Day 17 – Tuesday 4th March 2003
Day 18 – Wednesday 5th March 2003
Day 19 – Thursday 6th March 2003 – Leg 14
Kilimanjaro TC14/1A 07:00
Elephant Bull* TC14/2C 123 km 10:07
Tsavo* TC14/3C 96 km 11:18 – 12:01
White Shark TC14/4B 262 km 15:39 – 19:29


The Participants

Crew Year – Car model Cap cc
1 Bill Borchert Larson(USA) / Michael Eustice(USA) 1925 – Rolls Royce Silver Ghost 7428
2 Bill Ainscough(GB) / Liz Kennedy(GB) 1925 – Vauxhall 30/98 4250
3 Mark de Ferranti(GB) / Sandra de Ferranti(GB) 1936 – Rolls Royce Phantom III 7340
4 Richard Dangerfield(GB) / Jill Dangerfield(GB) 1929 – Bentley 4.5 Le Mans 4398
5 Paul Markland(GB) / Ayesha Markland(GB) 1936 – Bentley 4.25 Saloon 4300
6 Chris Dunkley(GB) / Jan Dunkley(GB) 1935 – Bentley 3.5 Tourer 3587
7 Anthony Cazalet(GB) / Paul Weldon(GB) 1936 – Ford V8 3261
8 Nigel Broderick(GB) / Paula Broderick(GB) 1930 – Invicta NLC 4500
9 Raymond Carr(USA) / Michael Greenwood(GB) 1939 – Chrysler Sedan 4000
10 Richard Newman(USA) / Robert O’Hara(USA) 1929 – Chrysler 75 Roadster 4500
11 Richard Ingham(GB) / Judy Ingham(GB) 1939 – Bentley MX Park Ward 4257
12 Jens Pilo(DK) / Anne Pilo(DK) 1953 – Bentley R Saloon 4566
14 Phillippa McLachlan(AUS) / Colin McLachlan(AUS) 1960 – Rover P4 80 2286
16 Heather Milne-Taylor(GB) / Richard Fenhalls(GB) 1964 – Mercedes Benz 230SL 2778
17 Christopher Claridge-Ware(GB) / Anita Claridge-Ware(D) 1965 – Mercedes Benz 230SL 2306
18 Roberto Chiodi(I) / Rita Chiodi(I) 1966 – Mercedes 250SE 2496
19 David Inns(GB) / Pamela Wallis(GB) 1966 – Volvo 144S Saloon 1800
20 Tom Hayes(IRL) / Kieron Hayes(GB) 1967 – Mercedes 250SE 2496
21 Roger Lucas(GB) / Sarah Lucas(GB) 1970 – Mercedes Benz 280SL 2800
22 Dominicus Meeus(NL) / Johanna Meeus-Jonkers(NL) 1955 – Jaguar XK140 3442
23 Paul Merryweather(GB) / Sandra Deacon(GB) 1967 – Mercedes Benz 250SL 2778
24 Peter Brennan(GB) / Mick Briggs(GB) 1972 – MGB V8 Sports 3900
25 Michael Darcey(GB) / Steve Hutchinson(GB) 1978 – MGB V8 3500
26 Anders Wulf(SE) / Inger Wulf(SE) 1964 – Volvo PV544 1780
27 Hugh Brogan(GB) / Julie Brogan(GB) 1957 – Mercedes Benz 220SE 2195



From Cape Town

The hassles of Heathrow seem a long time ago...

The hassles of Heathrow seem a long time ago now as all the crews spent a busy Saturday in the glorious Cape Town sunshine. A few were making last minute checks to their cars but the majority were busy visiting the many ‘must do’ trips around Cape Town or just soaking up the sunshine and holiday atmosphere along the waterfront near our luxury Table Bay Hotel. 

Favourites among the attractions were a drive to The Cape of Good Hope; a boat ride to Robben Island or the cable car ride up to Table Mountain.

In contrast to today’s sunshine the skies were overcast yesterday morning as many crews began to arrive early flights from London. Heavy rain slowed the taxi ride from the airport and rumours were rife that the cars were 600kms up the road in Port Elizabeth. There was some truth in the rumour as the container ship had unloaded it’s special cargo in Port Elizabeth instead of Cape Town. However a busy couple of days by shipping organiser Jeremy Barker saw all the containers safely delivered to Cape Town in time for the relieved crews to collect them from the container port as planned. The whole business was completed in under an hour and apart from a couple of, easily sorted, flat batteries everyone was driving back to the hotel in time for a harbourside wine tasting session organised by a local wine trader.

Tomorrow the adventure really begins with an easy afternoon run from Cape Town to Clanwilliam.

Sunday Morning. Lord Montagu is due to arrive shortly at the Table Bay Hotel to flag off the Rolls Royce Silver Ghost of Bill Borchert Lar



From Clanwilliam

Early reports have reached us...

Early reports have reached us that the crews are enjoying a special barbeque and music presentation in Clanwilliam after an easy first section from Cape Town to Clanwilliam.

Unfortunately it is also reported that the yellow Silver Ghost of Bill Borchert Larson has an engine problem and is being returned to Cape Town.

More news will follow when our regular reporter makes contact.



From Sesrium

To the sound of cheering onlookers...

To the sound of cheering onlookers – the Cape Town Crankhandle Club had turned up with cars ranging from a mint MG TC to pre-war Fords – Lord Montagu dropped the flag. 

We slipped away from the shadows of Table Bay Mountain and were soon pounding over the switchback roads heading north towards the Cedarburg Mountains, for our first overnight halt, in lodges around Clanwilliam. The food and entertainment laid on by the local primary school was first class… a benchmark for the rest of the route.

No dramas, or results, were anticipated. But Bill Borchert Larson lived up to past form and was found by the roadside, the yellow Rolls Royce having given up the Ghost, along with several big-ends, so was towed back to Cape Town by Peter and Betty in the mobile workshop.

The rest made a very early start, watched the sunrise over the Cedarburg Mountains, as vingtageants headed by Bill Ainscough and his lively Vauxhall Prince Henry tackled the first of a series of long gravel roads…. several hundred miles of this in the next few days.

A “champagne section” kept those who wanted to have a “bit of a go” on their toes, and Paul Merryweather and Sandra Deacon had the Mercedes that had finished second overall on our Around the World in 80 Days flying once more, setting best performance. Mick Darcey and Steve Hutchinson’s MG B V8 growled it’s discontent with having to swallow so much dust and settled for second place.The Vintageants are above such antics, but Richard Newman was putting in a drive that would not disgrace a more modern classic in his pre-war Chrysler sports special.

So ended Day Two, in time for high tea at the splendid Cannon Lodge out at Fish River Canyon, only room for a rally with less than 30 cars so it’s a comfortable fit. Little stone huts with all mod cons under a thatched roof dotted around the canyon, with a central barbecue (really excellent grub here) made this a most memorable place to stay. Forget the comforts of Table Bay Hotel back in Cape Town, all the five-star hotels merge together, memories are truly made of spots like this.

Day Three has seen us pound more ultra smooth gravel roads well off the normal beaten track, up through the stunning Namib Desert, tonight we arrived at Sesrium, another tiny lodge with individual service, no mobile phones, again, sorry, folks back home, we are all on another planet at the moment. Everyone bar Bill Larson has a Gold Medal, everyone is having the time of their lives, and during the dinner party tonight, Mick Darcey and Steve Hutchinson collected the Champagne for best performance on the blast in the gravel this afternoon, and not to leave out the vintageants another spirited drive by Richard Newman’s in his Chrysler 75 earned a second bottle of champagne. .

Several cars have blocked fuel filters and things, so Tony Fowkes, Andy Inskip, Peter and Betty, have been rather busy, but still made it on time to dine with the rest of us. A lantern lights up a nearby watering hole and many animals are expected to take refreshment tonight under a star-lit sky… and we are not talking just about dusty rally-drivers. Oh, and in case you are wondering, it was so hot several in-car thermometers were off their dials today, everyone is in shorts or hot-pants, and tomorrow is expected to be even hotter.

An early morning start to take time out to go and see the giant Namibian sand dunes, so, we do not resume our motoring escapade until a very civilised lunchtime. More chit-chat soonest, but dependant on Kate Aidie and the beam-it-up device…. why this should be so tricky, here in the middle of nowhere, is somewhat hard to fathom. The sky is so brilliant, you can see the satellites from our dinner table. (ed. if you’e reading this before Wednesday night it must have worked)

Our picture above shows the Bentley R Saloon of Jens and Anne Pilo in the beautiful Namibian landscape today.

Finally, the cars are great, so is the company, and the scenery has been truly breathtakingly stunning…. does it go on like this all the way to Kenya?


Follow all the stories here in regular reports from the Classic Safari Challenge as the crews tackle the adventure drive of a lifetime between Cape Town and Malindi.