By Otsile Kadiege
Last month, Suzuki Auto along with almost 800 owners and fans celebrated Heritage Day by setting a new World Record which was witnessed by representatives from Suzuki Motor Corporation and the Guinness Book of World Records. The record was set for the most vehicles to switch on their lights simultaneously and it was done at the first ever Suzuki Jimny Gathering on the Langkranz Farm near Clarens.
To set a World Record, the first hurdle was to contact the Guinness World Record office. As the keeper of global records, the organisation has over 62 000 records on their books, and they receive thousands of requests to verify records every year. Indeed, in 2022 they approved over 7 300 new records. “To be considered for a World Record, you have to meet all the standards set by the Guinness World Record organisation. This includes the way the event is organised, the way it is recorded for later review and even looking after the safety and security of all the participants. And of course, we needed someone from one of the global Guinness World Record offices to attend,” says Carpenter.
Fortunately, the Guinness World Record organisation was thrilled about the idea of setting a new record, especially since it would be set by hundreds of the same vehicle, the Jimny and its forebears. They sent Jack Brockbank of their London office to officiate the proceedings.
Another hurdle to overcome, was getting enough Jimny owners to attend. “We were overwhelmed by the interest in our Jimny Gathering. Not only did almost 800 owners and their vehicles attend, but they came from across the country. All these owners came on their own accord and paid for their own fuel, accommodation and food. This is the best possible endorsement of the Jimny’s popularity anyone could ask for,” says Carpenter.
Ultimately, the final hurdle was actually setting the record. To be officially recognised and verified, the Suzuki Jimny, SJ, LJ and Samurai models had to switch on their lights at exactly the same time. This was recorded on video to be available for slow-motion verification and later audit.
On that Sunday, the Jimnys lined up with their owners and occupants inside. They all watched carefully as Nick Hamman from 5FM counted them down. The weekend’s main host – comedian Schalk Bezuidenhout – jumped into his personal Jimny to be part of the World Record attempt.
After verification, out of 796 Jimnys a total of 787 managed to switch on their lights within the 5-second window period. This was enough to give the new record to the one and only Suzuki Jimny.
Leave a comment