Home / Social media / News / Suzuki SA's Jimny gathering - a World Record attempt in the making


It’s weird how some cars amass a cult-like reputation, and when it happens they’re often not quite what you’d expect to see people going a bit dilly over, much like the diminutive Suzuki Jimny. The small but ridiculously capable Jimny has been around since 1970 when the LJ Series was launched. The car was small, very small, and the engine setup matched with a sub-1-litre powerplant, but that was all smoke and mirrors because the little thing could go anywhere the bigger 4x4s of the day could. In fact, it was better thanks to its light weight and the ability to u-turn on a dime. The base idea for the Jimny has remained the same through the generations, of which there have only been four in over fifty years. If that doesn’t tell you how good the recipe is that Suzuki created, nothing will. The 2nd generation SJ series followed in 1981, and was replaced in 1998 with the model that most people were familiar with. Then in 2016 we started seeing renderings of the replacement Jimny, the retro-styled JB64 and the world went nuts. People who weren’t into Jimnys suddenly were, people who had zero off-road aspirations suddenly wanted to travel. When the car was released in 2017/2018 - the car was so well received in the world market that it became hard to get one, it still is if you want a factor fresh version, there’s still a waiting list. To say the model became an instant cult-classic wouldn’t make you wrong.  

The markets that don’t get the Jimny want it with a sore heart and the markets that do get the Jimny are seeing legions of them leave the showroom floors. In 100% stock form these 4x4s now commonly referred to as Micro 4x4s can quite literally travel the globe. While there’s a strong aftermarket industry offering up lift kits and dampers and just about every 4x4 accessory you can think of, they’re not really necessary. That’s part of the appeal, you can grab your better half and go on a road trip almost anywhere the compass points you. Yeah, space is an issue, but for a pair of travellers and all the kit they need it’s just about perfect. This is part of the reason they’re in so much demand, well that and the fact that they just look cool. SA loves the Jimny, there are plenty examples of the previous generations around (well not that first model, they’re as rare as a SA government official that does their job) and the new generation’s numbers could probably eclipse the previous generations combined. I say probably but that’s not scientific facts and data, just my eyes. It’s with this in mind that the creative folk at Suzuki SA have decided to host the gathering of all Jimny gatherings with the Jimny Safari Town Festival and Jimny Gathering that’ set to take place a year from now in the scenic town of Clarens in the Eastern Free State.
“The Jimny is one of Suzuki’s most popular and aspirational global models that appeals to a wide audience consisting of highly passionate professionals, adventurers, creatives and artists. Many local influencers, media personalities and industry professionals are Jimny owners, and the Jimny Gathering, which has been a few years in the making, aims to celebrate more than 50 years of Jimny adventures at one BIG Jimny family gathering,” says Brendon Carpenter, the Brand Marketing Manager of Suzuki Auto South Africa. “Suzuki Auto South Africa entered the market in 2008, and since then we have sold over 17 500 Jimnys. By the time we host our owners in Clarens, this number should be well over 20 000. And this does not account for the many owners of LJ, Samurai and SJ models… If we can host even a small fraction of these owners in the beautiful town of Clarens, we will set the record and send a clear message to Suzuki owners in other countries on how passionate and proud we are of our Jimny Family.”
The build-up to the event starts with the launch of the official Jimny Gathering 2023 website (www.jimnygathering.co.za) and the site allows Jimny owners and enthusiasts to register their Jimny, SJ, Samurai and Suzuki LJ on the site and show their interest and intention to join the event. The Suzuki Gathering weekend will start on Friday 22 September 2023 as the first eager Jimnys arrive for the full weekend experience. On Saturday, Suzuki and its fans will depart on a Jimny Expedition and have fun at the Safari Town Festival where local bands Mango Groove, Goodluck and Spoegwolf, among others, will be performing. On Sunday 24 September, everyone will celebrate South Africa’s National Heritage Day and round up all the attending Jimnys for the Gathering Event in an attempt to set an official gathering World Record. With Monday 25 September being a public holiday, everyone will have a relaxed trip head home with some amazing new memories. Local comedian, actor and fellow Jimny owner, Schalk Bezuidenhout, is set to host the Jimny Gathering event, which is awesome because he’s funny AF and also hails from my hometown.

If you're one of the passionate Jimny owners, then this is the weekend away you've been waiting for. Amazing cars, beautiful scenery and all manner of cool events to highlight the capabilities of the Suzuki Jimny with the backup of the manufacturer can only be epic. The Jimny Gathering 2023 is going to be one for the books - the record books!

Take a look at the YouTube video created to announce the plans for this possible World Record attempt by Suzuki SA to gather as many Suzuki Jimny models as possible spanning all model years and generations: Jimny Gathering 2023 Announcement | Suzuki Auto South Africa

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