Back to Africa (Phase 1) Plan Three – April 2023

STOP PRESS February 2022 – The good news is that the authorities have permitted the Morris’s Carnet to be extended for a 4th and final year. Now we plan to commence the trip on 25th March 2023. The 1929 Morris Minor is seen regularly around the Cape Province (below at the Slanghoek Winelands). It was awarded the Car of the Year by the Crankhandle Club of Cape Town. After 10,167 miles in December 2022 fortunately or unfortunately the engine’s big end bearing failed. As a result I have since undertaken a complete engine overhaul and reconditioning. As least now I know that the engine is in the best condition it can be. The Morris is back on the road but running-in for 1000km. Detailed preparation, scheduling dates, accommodation etc for March 2023 trip are now underway. With general acceptance that Covid is a fact of daily life lets hope there will be no new events to upset a tour of Zimbabwe and Zambia that has been planned for over 50 years!

Engine Ready for Assembly
Engine Returns to the Car

STOP PRESS December 2021– Covid-19 continues to cause havoc borders are yet to open for non commercial visitors or that stringent Covid testing is required. Also our South African visas had expired and applications since 2019 and Feb 2022 are still in process, this prevented me crossing the border! Again the trip for March 2022 has been postponed but fortunately I was able to justify the extension of the car’s Carnet.

STOP PRESS 22nd March 2021.– Covid-19 and border closures again the trip is postponed. I have extended the Carnet for a further year so the car crosses borders without hindrance or custom’s duties.

Back to Africa (Phase 1) BLOG RE COVID-19 – 2020 VIRTUAL REALITY TOUR

VIRTUAL TOUR COMPLETED – 26TH MAY 2020.  Thanks to everyone who followed this fun rehearsal of what is still to come.  I received two new pieces of information on the past owners of the Morris auditing to its unique history.  The Cecily’s Fund has raised £1,000 thus far to assist orphans on AIDS victims in Zambia will be put to very good use.  I hope more will be raised in future. Kindly visit  the charity Fund Raising Web Site for Aids orphans of Zambia:   https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Back-to-africa. that has now passed the £1,000.00 mark, many many thanks for your support.  

STOP PRESS 22nd March 2020.  Common sense prevails; the coronavirus pandemic has won for the time being. With a heavy heart I had to postpone my trip to Zimbabwe & Zambia in my 1929 Morris Minor. Perhaps 3rd time lucky; later this year or the same time in 2021?   The car is so well prepared and all the travel logistics ready but these are unusual times for us all.   So many folks in both countries were looking forward to this trip and I can assure you at the next opportunity I will not disappoint.  Many thanks to those who offered assistance and accommodation etc but especially the donations to The Cecily’s Charity Fund close to £600.  Watch this space.

19/03/2020  The Global Pandemic of Covid-19 is indeed a major concern and is already impacting on the trip.  My brother was to join us but cannot fly from Germany to South Africa at present.  I am seeking an alternative team member.  While many SA borders have closed, Beit Bridge to Zimbabwe is being kept open.  Almost all my preparations are complete.  There has been no stone unturned regards the Morris reliability and performance.  Renovated gearbox, king pins, steering system, engine tuning and much more. All provisions, spares, tools, even camping kit etc are packed.  I will wait until we get closer to the 12th April to decide if we proceed or not.  It is all very frustrating like most are experience with this virus.

04/01/2020 To celebrate the start of the new decade the Morris was photographed with Cape Town’s Table Mountain in the background, (see below).  This is one of the classic views with the car that I am collecting. Now I am doing lots of small jobs on the car, attending to all details, to ensure it is ready for the trip North  in April. 

09/11/19 We participated with the Cape Town Crankhandle Club Houw Hoek rally covering 381km over the weekend.  All were impressed with the reliability of the Morris and its ability to keep up with much large cars.  Climbing the 450 meter Sir Lowry Pass was a challenge frustrated by a strong South Easter wind; sometime we seemed to be blown backwards!

04/11/19 Morris Back to Africa The Container ship MSC Phoenix off-loaded the Container and the contents was cleared by customs a few days later.  After release from the Container and return of the Carnet, the Morris is now at our Cape Town home and in perfect condition.  I am very relieved. 

06/08/19 The Morris was collected in a very fancy transporter from our London home. It was taken to a shared container at Suffolk Sports Cars Woodbridge  Suffolk and then to Felixstowe UK.  The container included a 1911 Sunbeam and a C-Type replica Jaguar.  The Container was delivered to the MSC Phoenix container vessel sailing from London  to Cape Town.

This will be the Morris’s second trip on a ship, its first when it was dispatched 17th July 1929 from the factory in Cowley Oxford England.  I understand it arrived in Beira, Mozambique (then Portuguese East Africa).  From there by road or train to Mutare (was Umtali) in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe (Southern Rhodesia).

STOP PRESS 2nd April 2019  Due to the uncertain situation in Zimbabwe, shortage of food, petrol and the damaged and lost life caused by the recent hurricane with great regret I have decided to postpone the planned tour.  It will now take place mid April 2020 after the rainy season and start of winter so better for the car and us. We hope the situation for the Zimbabwe people improves very soon.