I shot the sheriff, but did not shoot the deputy!

Bahahahah! So just came back from dinner and this story MUST be shared.

What do you get when you cross a 1923 vauxhall carrying 6 people (2 on each running board), a bunch of bored coppers in the middle of Clan William, South Africa and a 100meter journey at 15kph after dinner?

A 4000 rand fine for dangerous driving, a journey to the local watch house, a threat to be locked up untill monday for the judge to sort me out, and a bloody good story!!

Now we are coming to an end of this adventure, and alot of positions are more or less locked in place, a few of the other competitors that love Penny so much wanted to go for a little drive in/on her. And because tonights accomidation was spread all over town with a central bowls club dinner, a few of them had booked in (earlier in the night) a lift back to thier motel on the running boards! Fine, no problems, they have a rollbar to hold on to, i was doing less than 20kph and it was at maximum a 150meter journey. So Grant and simon, and Paul Carter and John Balyss and David (from the landy) all pile on and off i set. blub blub blub blub down the road. Then i turn down the main road (empty, this town has maybe 1000 inhabitants MAX) and what happens to be on the corner? The bloody cop shop, with 3 cop cars parked on the side and 8 bored coppers leaning on them. To be fair, any other country in africa you see people truck surfing (standing/sitting on top of the cab on a prime mover lorrie/semi). So they pull me over and blah blah blah lecture me about safety and then crack out, “Well, i should arrest you now and keep you untill monday to be sorted out with the local judge.” Where as at this point in time retort, “No sir, i can’t do that sir, we’re leaving tomorrow sir, i realise it was a silly thing to do sir, i’ll never do it again sir.” And he took very kindly to my – brown noseing – and then just gave me a fine. Yes i made sure i got a receipt. And i think i’ll frame it!!

THEN he refused to beleive that the car was a real car for the roads, and refused to believe it was registered untill i could fine rego papers (back in my hotel) so he took my license and i had to get rego papers and come back meet him at the cop shop and pay the fine blah blah blah. Good sir Grant Tromans helped me out for the fine as it was his idea for the bus ride after dinner.


James ‘hardcore’ Stephenson


  1. brian mcmillan

    I was thinking it was going to be a huge letdown when you finished but if you are going to keep going at a leisurely rate it will be a much more gentle landing. Full marks to all the preparation done on the car. There is just so much to go wrong in a 90 year old car on such a trip.
    We hope you find the time to come along to one of our future meetings to give us a slide? presentation of your adventure

  2. Jak.

    Oh Dear James!!! It seems that the coppers EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD have lost their sense of humour!!! BLOODY SAD!!! It makes me glad I am 73!!! and have lived the golden era!!
    Well done James & nil bastardo carborundum. Jak.

  3. John Kent

    No mention of a breathalyser so maybe you got off lightly?

    1. james

      nah i hadnt even had a single drink, it was just for kicks. Then, driving through cape town, there are utes/pickups all over the town doing 100kph on the motorway with 5 people in the tray. ridiculous.

  4. OMG James… that is a very funny story.. and luckily turned out rather well hey!

  5. Judy Purse

    Although we are part of the “Datsun Adventures” team we have followed “Penny” every step of the way.
    Enjoyed your blogs very much and would like to say a big thank you to you James and your dad for a very entertaining account of your travels. Sorry to hear you couldn’t continue your travels.
    Big congratulations for finishing the race and good luck for the future.

    Judy & Roger Purse

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