-Jethro Bronner

I am a 22-year-old from The Dargle Valley in Natal, South Africa. I am a car enthusiast and a journalism student with a love of great writing. I am also an optimist. And naive. And with a little luck, and a lot of tea, I will drive Dargle to Dargle.

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Contact me by email at jethrojbronner@gmail.com or on Facebook or Twitter

 

My daily drive is a 1973 Alfa Romeo GTV named “Sebastian”, rescued from a tarp in a garden and employed in the 60 mile round commute to varsity everyday. It has not let me down.

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Sebastian the GTV2000 on a road in the Dargle.

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Sebastian at the seaside.

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Sebastian in the mountains.

12 Comments

  1. Following your journey with great interest Jethro. Go well!

  2. Fabulous blog, Jeth. Glorious photos, good writing and pots of tea – all my favourite things. Bon voyage.

  3. Shiraz says:

    Jethro, was looking forward to seeing you off, as part of the Alfa Club. Unfortunately still recovering from my illness. Go well, brother! You make us Alfisti proud!

  4. Keep going! I’m enjoying your journey I’m sure far more than you are at time. Looking back, its all part of the adventure. My GTV and Jr. Z will never this kind of trip…

  5. jasewright77 says:

    Hi Jethro,

    This is a brilliant blog and I am already eagerly anticipating your next installment. I am a Classic car owner/fanatic and I feel like I am experiencing this trip with you. Reading your words help me to drift off into a daydream whilst in the office and this is very welcomed! Stay safe and keep that little Alfa out of harms way. 😉 Good luck for the drive to Dar.
    Jason.

  6. Magnus Thorsen says:

    What an amazing adventure! I commented on your article on petrolicious a while ago and you responded which I didn’t see until now. I once wrote North Cape, Norway ( I live in western Norway) and Cape Town, South-Africa into google maps’ route planner and since then I have dream’t of this journey in my MGB GT.. Yes the route planner wanted me to go trough Congo and the Central African Republic, but I didn’t really think this was seriously doable at all… Until now…

    Good luck!

  7. Ian Grossert says:

    Hi Jethro, my heart travels with you on many levels.
    In the late sixties my older sister’s friend had a fresh dark green Sprint GT which shes used to leave with me when she travelled.
    As a 20 year-old Durban student, I attended my first all-nighter in PMB with my best friend.
    We travelled by Sprint, returning in the morning with three girls, and I remember PMB campus to Tollgate in 40 mins – 127.5km/h average before the freeway was completed – 5-up!
    So there IS an angel looking after us.
    Two years later I taught at King’s in NR, with David Potter, who had hitch-hiked up through Africa in the late fifties. The kind of guy who could wrestle an R69s Beemer down Sani in the wet, having ridden across from Maseru – but hated bikes and was an equestrian of note.
    Four years on, I worked in the PMB bureau of the Daily News, and later became the Motor Noter.
    There’s more – in the 1980’s I shared house over 7 years with Virginia McKenny, now head of Painting at Michaelis in Cape Town, who studied Fine Art with Carlie Griffin.
    Yes – 4 generations at the Dargle. Brian Griffin is her father.
    I’ve flirted with Fiat – a 124 Coupe 1800, and later a very modified 2l Spyder, whose styling antecedant was the gorgeous red Alfa spyder in your pics. (l Love those early taillights!) which in turn had PF’s ground-breaking Lancia Aurelia convertible genes.
    At the time, Jaguar was doing XK 150’s, gorgeous but SO – well so ‘we’re still recovering from WW11’.
    But the hormones years have it.
    The 105.04 is the one – flawless proportions for a 4-seater, perfect detailing from any angle, and a gorgeous dash layout.
    Second gear synchro? Pah! LOOK at that rump.
    And durable: a friend bought a 100 000km 1750 Berlina with a blown head gasket, with the original hone-marks still visible in the bores.
    Yours seems to vary from pic to pic in stance – they have vitually solid front suspension (especially when the bushes have seized) and soft rear suspension with strong rebound damping – Peugeot style, and there is no higher commendation for dirt-road ability, – yours rides almost level? Laden?
    With the front weight bias, and RWD, this helps traction, and makes the car comfortable – but older cars tend to drag their haunches like an ageing German Shepherd, especially when laden. Have you attended to spring and shock rates?
    Loving your journalistic stance, too – i’m sure you’ve seen the Gucci Communist falsettoing his ways through the student – uh – revolution?
    One of the better Tweets was to the effect that the cure for his complexion would perhaps be discovered by a presently-unfunded student.
    Hope springs eternal – and Rhodes – and indeed the British colonial legacy – is not to be dismissed without some serious ‘due diligence’, as the ANC is about to discover.
    ‘Transformation’ is not for amateurs, and ‘struggle credentials’, like ‘struggle accounting’, have no place among the the ‘born free’ youth in the metropolises of South Africa.
    Like your tribulations with the first engine – this too will pass.
    Dare I say ‘God Speed’?
    Perhaps not – what would the Buddha say?
    Or the Chinese?
    In ‘The dancing Wu-Li Masters’ Gary Zukav, a Sports Journalist who was sent to cover a Physics Conference at the Esalen Institute in 1979, noticed that the Chinese delegates – unlike their American peers – saw physics not as ‘turf’ which we claimed – think dogs marking territory.
    But as a dance.
    The ‘trick’ was to learn the ‘steps’ which allowed you to dance – with life itself.
    In fact, just what you are doing.
    It’s not always easy .
    I spent a year in the Comores on a big yacht, and was amazed – when I left Durban – at the weight of friend’s dreams I was asked to freight.
    At 70, I love the beauty of your direction, of your sense of place and self in the World.
    It’s a big ‘un, ain’t it – full of all the right stuff, just as Nature intended – ruthlessly competitive, and just plain gorgeous in detail.
    Loving your MOVES – dance on.
    Child of grace.
    But you know that – don’t you?

    Ian Grossert

  8. Lucas Richarte says:

    Wow! What a journey. And to end it in such a beautiful country as Ireland. What a lovely place to end such a long journey. I love Ireland. Go back every year since my first visit many years ago. I love the people of Ireland. Wonderful country and a great end to your journey. I personally would have got the boat from France-Ireland instead, as that’s a nicer route.

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