“My first 4×4 was a company Nissan Hardbody that I got in 1991 and I started travelling all over the country with the guys who were making the Nissan Sanis at the time. In 1992 we held a big 4×4 day with hundreds of Nissan families, and it was then that the 4×4 bug really bit.
“In 1995/6 John Newbury was the chief executive of Nissan and I was the advertising manager. In those days the whole 4×4 thing was more work oriented and most 4×4 sales were for fleets. But around this time the leisure market started to develop, with guys exploring 4×4 trails, starting to visit Botswana and camping in more remote areas.
“One day Monty Brett, who I had known for years, came in to see Newbury. Monty ran the Sappi Brett Society that used to do wildlife and birding courses, and he wanted to start 4×4 courses too. I was called into John’s office at Nissan.
“‘Glyn,’ said John. ‘This is Monty. Monty, this is Glyn.’
“I explained that we already knew each other. John said ‘Good. I know you drive a 4×4. You’re Monty’s 4×4 instructor from now on.’
And that was it – I was now a 4×4 instructor.
“So we started running 4×4 courses at Hennops Off-road Trail. At first we offered day-and-a-half courses that started on Friday afternoon and finished on Saturday afternoon. Hannes Grobler and I presented the course together, and we reached a nice balance between our two styles and our skills.
“We were the first of the established training schools, along with the Continental Academy, which operated out of Gerotek. We started by teaching 15 – 20 people once a month. The course included things like camping, cooking, equipment, spares, how to do emergency repairs, how to pack your tools and spares. That formed the basis of what we have today as the registered unit standard for driver training.
“We realised that we couldn’t carry on running our fairly casual, erratic course and would have to put some structure to it. So I wrote the first Nissan 4×4 book, in about 1997, called The 4×4 Manual, which went into the cubbyhole of every vehicle.
“It was printed on special plastic paper and had all sorts of pockets and was in a nylon folder, and it was supposed to be the be all and end all of 4×4 books. But it was totally over-engineered and was too expensive, costing about R200 or R250, in those days.