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Long distance records and adventures


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#1 Rupertlt1

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Posted 26 December 2018 - 19:07

American Automobile Racing, An Illustrated History by Albert R. Bochroch, 1974,

Page 36:

 

"In his bibliography Transcontinental Automobile

Travel, 1903-1940, Carey S. Bliss tells of a Mr.

and Mrs. John D. Davis, who left New York for San Fran-

cisco, on July 13, 1899, arrived in Detroit on August 19,

then disappeared never to heard from again."

 

I can find no evidence that they were ever in Detroit.

Check at newspapers.com

In a rather comical story it records a retirement in

Cleveland, Ohio on August 16 with the crew in a 

"state of collapse."

The wife was Louise Hitchkock Davis, from New Haven, Connecticut.

The "Touring Cart" was constructed by the National Motor Company

in Connecticut.

 

Report from Adrian, Michigan, car towed from Palmyra, dated September 16.  

 

RGDS RLT


Edited by Rupertlt1, 26 December 2018 - 19:24.


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#2 Vitesse2

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Posted 26 December 2018 - 19:46

Have a look on Google Books for Coast to Coast by Automobile: The Pioneering Trips, 1899-1908 by Curt McConnell (Stanford UP, 2000 - still in print). The first chapter is devoted to the Davis expedition.



#3 Vitesse2

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Posted 26 December 2018 - 20:40

For an entertaining holiday read, can I recommend 'The Cape Record'? Claire Wilkins has been working on this for some time and you'll note that I've had some input into it  ;) . Eighty years ago this week, Humfrey Symons - then Motoring Correspondent of the Sunday Times - and 'Bertie' Browning set off from London in an attempt to break the overland record from London to South Africa. Symons' account of the trip was published in his book Two Roads to Africa in January 1940, but 'The Cape Record' is a transcription of Browning's diary of the trip, which turned up in Zimbabwe. Browning had apparently emigrated there in 1948 and died in 1959.

 

https://thecaperecord.com/

 

Symons' story is unhappier - he was on board a ship which was sunk during the Dunkirk evacuation.



#4 Rupertlt1

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Posted 26 December 2018 - 21:26

Coventry Evening Telegraph, Friday 30 August 1957 

Author Sets Record in a Hillman

RICHARD PAPE, author and

adventurer, has established a

new record for the 5,000-mile drive

from Vancouver to Fairbanks

Alaska with a 1957 Series I

Hillman Minx, the Rootes Group

announced yesterday.

The car was not specially pre-

pared, said Sir Reginald Rootes,

as it was a " spur of the moment "

decision by Pape to make the run.

 

The mileage was for a round trip.

Co-driver David Roat.

Pape was quite a boy it seems:

 

https://www.independ...pe-1591057.html

 

Best-selling book: Boldness Be My Friend

 

"In one book, Cape Cold to

Cape Hot, he told of his journey

in a car from North Cape in Norway to

the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa."

 

RGDS RLT


Edited by Rupertlt1, 26 December 2018 - 23:23.


#5 Vitesse2

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Posted 26 December 2018 - 22:50

Shortly before Symons and Browning made their attempt, Louis Gérard and a South African resident Czech (yes, really!) called Jack Gleisner had started out from London on a similar trip, with the subsidiary goal for Gérard of arriving in South Africa in time to race his newly-acquired Maserati 6CM there. Their unsuccessful journey - a chapter of several disasters! - was recorded in a letter from Gérard to the French magazine l'Aero. Marc Ceulemans provided us with this transcript some time ago. It's an amusing read (although I'm afraid it's in French!).

 

https://forums.autos...d/#entry1799178

 

There was occasional coverage in the French daily press too, along with - naturally enough - progress reports by Symons in the Sunday Times. I've even found reports of it in The Scotsman!



#6 Rupertlt1

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Posted 27 December 2018 - 15:21

David Roat (see above) and Trevor Jones drove a Volvo across Canada from Vancouver to Halifax, 4,000 miles in 83 hours and 45 minutes non-stop in 1958.

This was used as the basis for an advertising campaign. New on the market that year the car was simply promoted as a Volvo.

 

RGDS RLT


Edited by Rupertlt1, 27 December 2018 - 15:29.


#7 Rupertlt1

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 02:20

Demonstration run 1953

Car: Austin A40 "Somerset" saloon.

Drivers: Alan Hess, Ken Wharton, Ronald Jeavons.

Object: to drive from the equator to the arctic.

Start: March 17, near Entebbe.

Finish: Mar 28, Jokkmokk, Sweden.

Time: 11 days

The Motor Year Book, 1954, Page 207

 

Book: Crazy Journey, Alan Hess (G.T. Foulis and Company, 12s 6d.)

Reviewed in Motor Sport, October 1953, Page 35.

 

RGDS RLT


Edited by Rupertlt1, 21 October 2019 - 02:49.


#8 Ray Bell

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 03:25

I wonder who has the movie now?

The title, Crossroads Alice, referred to a 12,000-mile figure-eight trip from the East coast of Australia to the West, then up the West Coast, back through the centre and heading back to the East cast to the starting point by a more Southerly route. It's said it was the first time anyone had crossed the continent via the centre.

Some of the details I don't recall, but the cars involved were a Morris Mini Deluxe and an Austin 1800, it was a promotional venture for the 1800 and Castrol 'Liquid Tungsten'.

The movie involved Scott Polkinghorne, 'Gelignite' Jack Murray and Evan Green among others and included scenes of heavy rain on Ayers Rock (which runs off in waterfalls) and drought in Outback Queensland with animals having a hard time finding food.

Made in 1965, as I recall, it was a 'loaner' film for Car Clubs and the like to borrow from BMC or Castrol for showings.

I see that for a while you could get copies on DVD...



.

Edited by Ray Bell, 21 October 2019 - 03:26.


#9 Terry Walker

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 03:49

I remember showing that Figure 8 movie at a Club night (I was the club projectionist). The waterfalls off the rock were fantastic. What the movie didn't show was that the hydrolastics on one side of the Mini failed, and they used lumps of wood to wedge the suspension in position. There are a couple of scenes in that flick where you can see the harsh jiggle of the suspension. I used to have the book; no longer.

 

My older brother drove an 850 Mini from Canberra to Perth in the 70s, Somewhere on the rough limestone he banged the exposed sump, damaging the gearbox, as the casting was pushed up slightly and split, dribbling oil out. He soldiered on with fewer than standard gears, with a four-gallon drum of oil on board, and made it to Perth. Minis were definitely not outback wheels.

 

Back in 82 I did the "round Australia" run in a 1971 Falcon I picked up for $1100, V8 with top-loader. 13,000 miles, including detours to Uluru and Wolf Creek Crater. There were the leftovers of a cyclone up north, and the Wolf Creek Crater had a lake in the middle, plus lots of thick black mud. I remember crossing a stream on the way in, which probably only ran once in ten years. It came in handy on the way out again: we washed our filthy black feet in the stream. 



#10 GeoffR

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 04:19

In January 1963 Eric Jackson and Ken Chambers drove a Mk1 Cortina from London to Cape Town in 14 days, breaking the previous record by just minutes. There is a detailed account of their trip in Eric Jackson's book 'Petrol in my Blood'.



#11 Daren W

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 04:43

Hi check this out around Australia on a 1920's Douglas 2 3/4 www.vmccwa.com/stories/cass.html and australiatrek.com/Australia-Guinness-Records.shtml Daren


Edited by Daren W, 21 October 2019 - 04:45.


#12 Ray Bell

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 05:07

And nobody has yet mentioned Francis Birtles...

Remember how his Bean was always on display at car shows?

#13 Rupertlt1

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Posted 18 May 2021 - 14:38

To Calcutta by

Car in 11 Days

Mr. Paddy Garrow-Fisher, a

travel agent from Kingston-on-

Thames, arrived back in

England in his Standard

Vanguard estate car yesterday

after breaking the return

journey record between London

and Calcutta.

On the outward run he and

his wife had a record time of

11 days 12hr. 55min., but they

failed to break the homeward-

bound record. Their greatest

achievement was to drive to

Calcutta and back in less than

25 days The outward run was

24 hours quicker than the

previous record. Mr. Garrow-

Fisher operates a coach service

between London and Bombay.

Birmingham Daily Post, Monday 14 September 1959

 

London to Calcutta

Record for Vanguard

A PRODUCTION-LINE Stan-

dard Vanguard estate car,

driven by Paddy Garrow-Fisher,

has established a remarkable

new record for a car journey

between London to Calcutta.

Garrow-Fisher covered the 7,113

miles outward journey in 11 days

12 hours and 55 mins. This

was a day faster than the Cal-

cutta-to-London record set up

in 1956 by Jowitt and Wardle in

a Studebaker car. Yet, amaz-

ingly Garrow-Fisher had no co-

driver to help him out on the

gruelling run.

After arriving in Calcutta he

turned round and completed,

in 25 days, 14,000 miles of motoring

in the Vanguard. The route was

not new to him, for he operates

the longest bus route in the world.

He pioneered the London-

Bombay coach route in 1957 and

has made this journey himself

six times a year.

The journey involved customs at

18 frontier posts and raised

problems of driving over many

types of roads and tracks. Mr.

Garrow-Fisher's Indian-born

wife, Moti, accompanied him on

the run, "to keep him fed and

awake"

 

Photo caption: "Paddy Garrow-Fisher in London after making his record-breaking journey."

The car was a Standard Vanguard Vignale estate.

 

Coventry Evening Telegraph, Wednesday 16 September 1959

 

RGDS RLT


Edited by Rupertlt1, 18 May 2021 - 15:53.


#14 D-Type

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Posted 18 May 2021 - 18:44

On my bookshelf, I don't remember where I acquired it, I have a 1972 book called The Age of Motoring Adventure by TR Nicholson.  It comprises extracts from accounts of pioneering journeys all over the world from the 1890s to the 1930s including some mentioned above.  It's worth getting if you stumble across it at a sensible price.

#15 Rupertlt1

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Posted 19 May 2021 - 10:43

Anything by T.R. Nicholson good (see above).

 

Car beats

liner from

Cape Town

THE RACE between a

Ford Corsair 2000E and the

liner Windsor Castle from

Cape Town to Southampton

was won to-day—by the car.

With its drivers, Eric

Jackson and Ken Chambers,

it was already on the quay

at Southampton when the

37,640-ton Union - Castle

liner docked at 6-40 a.m.

The car covered nearly

10,000 miles and the liner

nearly 7,000. The race

started on May 10 after

Ford challenged a claim by

the Union-Castle company

that the fastest way from

South Africa to Britain

after air was by the mail

ships.

The Corsair arrived at

Gatwick Airport, Surrey, last

night from Le Touquet by

ferry plane.

Belfast Telegraph, Monday 22 May 1967

 

https://carsthatneve...ge/165682879982

 

Registration: UVW 999E

 

RGDS RLT


Edited by Rupertlt1, 19 May 2021 - 11:03.


#16 GeoffR

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Posted 19 May 2021 - 11:42

Anything by T.R. Nicholson good (see above).

 

Car beats

liner from

Cape Town

THE RACE between a

Ford Corsair 2000E and the

liner Windsor Castle from

Cape Town to Southampton

was won to-day—by the car.

With its drivers, Eric

Jackson and Ken Chambers,

it was already on the quay

at Southampton when the

37,640-ton Union - Castle

liner docked at 6-40 a.m.

The car covered nearly

10,000 miles and the liner

nearly 7,000. The race

started on May 10 after

Ford challenged a claim by

the Union-Castle company

that the fastest way from

South Africa to Britain

after air was by the mail

ships.

The Corsair arrived at

Gatwick Airport, Surrey, last

night from Le Touquet by

ferry plane.

Belfast Telegraph, Monday 22 May 1967

 

https://carsthatneve...ge/165682879982

 

Registration: UVW 999E

 

RGDS RLT

Pretty sure that this is also covered in detail in Eric's book mentioned above, 'Petrol in my Blood' ..........



#17 Rupertlt1

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Posted 30 May 2021 - 15:07

VOLKSWAGEN BREAKS ROUND AUSTRALIA RECORD

A Volkswagen has convincingly beaten the round-Australia

record, which was held by an Austin Freeway in 9 days, 6 hours,

22 min. Driven by R. Christie and J. Dunlop, the VW 1200 took

7 days, 6 hours, 10 min., an average speed of 46.5 m.p.h., inclusive

of stops, for the arduous 8,104 miles. Apart from a clogged

oil-filter, which gives a clue to the conditions, the car gave no

trouble, although two punctures, collisions with kangaroos and a

leak in an auxiliary fuel tank caused minor delays. Following on

their Safari Rally victory this achievement should convince any

doubters that the Volkswagen is one of the toughest, most depend-

able cars you can buy.

Motor Sport, December 1962, Page 942

 

What route did the Volkswagen take? 

 

RGDS RLT


Edited by Rupertlt1, 30 May 2021 - 15:44.


#18 Charlieman

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Posted 30 May 2021 - 18:26

Following on

their Safari Rally victory this achievement should convince any

doubters that the Volkswagen is one of the toughest, most depend-

able cars you can buy.

Motor Sport, December 1962, Page 942

I can't explain the reason, but I reckon that WB authored that piece.



#19 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 May 2021 - 21:01

Originally posted by Rupertlt1
VOLKSWAGEN BREAKS ROUND AUSTRALIA RECORD
A Volkswagen has convincingly beaten the round-Australia
record, which was held by an Austin Freeway in 9 days, 6 hours,
22 min. Driven by R. Christie and J. Dunlop, the VW 1200 took
7 days, 6 hours, 10 min., an average speed of 46.5 m.p.h., inclusive
of stops, for the arduous 8,104 miles. Apart from a clogged
oil-filter, which gives a clue to the conditions, the car gave no
trouble, although two punctures, collisions with kangaroos and a
leak in an auxiliary fuel tank caused minor delays. Following on
their Safari Rally victory this achievement should convince any
doubters that the Volkswagen is one of the toughest, most depend-
able cars you can buy.
Motor Sport, December 1962, Page 942
 
What route did the Volkswagen take? 


Via Perth and Broome, I feel sure...

Contemporary magazines like Modern Motor, Motor Manual and Wheels quite likely had a rough map of the route.

If you Google Sydney to Melbourne to Perth to Geraldton to Broome to Darwin to Brisbane you will most likely have the probable route. Brisbane to Syeney would probably have been the New England (inland) route, the greatest potential for variations are in crossing Queensland.

Mount Isa to Emerald and down the coast? Mount Isa to Townsville and down would make the route too long, Mount Isa to Longreach and Brisbane via Roma make it too short.

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#20 Rupertlt1

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Posted 31 May 2021 - 02:04

1962:

Fast time

Volkswagen drivers Ray

Christie and Joe Dunlop

have stolen Round-Austra-

lia honours with an effort

of 8,100 miles in 7 days, 6

hours, 10 minutes.

Christie, 36, last com-

peted in the 1958 Mobilgas,

when, I seem to remember,

his VW hit a kangaroo near

Port Hedland.

Dunlop, 42, a policeman,

made his last marathon in

the final 12,500 miles Redex

Trial in 1955.

The Victorians drove a

standard VW, which sells

for £104 less than the de-

luxe model.

Extra fuel tanks on the

back seat supports brought

capacity to 23.6 gallons, or

a range of about 700 miles

at 30 miles per hour.

Tyres were standard, with

two spares instead of one.

Headrests were fitted to

both driving and passenger

seats.

Great help

Other extras were two

Hella long-range driving

lights, windscreen washers,

mud flaps and a passenger-

side sun visor.

Only casualties were two

punctures, one by a horse-

shoe, while the VW covered

the 1,400 miles between

Perth and Ceduna at an

average of 60 m.p.h.

Worst stretch was the 175

miles between Top Springs

and Hall's Creek (W.A.),

where another Round-Aus-

tralia team were stuck for

49 hours.

Synchromesh on first

gear, as on VW for the

past two years, must have

been a great help in these

conditions.

My tip is a Cortina, also

with synchromesh first,

could be the next team to

try and beat the VW

Round-Australia time.

By CLYDE HODGINS

The Sydney Morning Herald, (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia) Sunday 18 Nov 1962, Page 73

 

A Volkswagen advertisement boasted "We've made Australia 2 days smaller"

The only clue as to the route:

"We had to blow some dust out

of the brake-drums in our

Geraldton agent's service

department."

The Sydney Morning Herald, (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia) Sunday 25 Nov 1962, Page 71

 

1964:

"Ray Christie and Joe Dunlop further promote the VW name when they set out to break their 1962 around-Australia record. This time they use VW 1500 sedan. They depart Melbourne’s Southern Cross Hotel at 12:01am on 23 August, and arrive back at 10:18pm on 28 August. 12,950.8 km in 5 days, 22 hours 17 minutes; average 91.0 km/h. This is still the ‘unofficial official’ around-Australia record today, as public road racing of this sort was banned soon after and it is now illegal."

 

https://www.clubvw.o...ory/history003/

 

Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Rockhampton, Ayr, Mt. Isa, Dunmurra (Correction: Dunmarra), Hall's Creek,

Derby, Broome, Roebourne, Carnarvon, Geraldton, Perth, Southern Cross, Madura, Ceduna,

Adelaide and back to Melbourne. 8,044 miles.

 

Looks like both records were set anti-clockwise.

 

RGDS RLT


Edited by Rupertlt1, 31 May 2021 - 07:51.


#21 Ray Bell

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Posted 31 May 2021 - 03:47

That's only 7564 miles by Google...

 

Modern highway variations wouldn't have reduced it to that level.

 

Going to Darwin between Dunmurra and Halls Creek would make that difference.



#22 Rupertlt1

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Posted 31 May 2021 - 03:54

Ray, There is a map in a VW advertisement in The Sydney Morning Herald, Friday 11 Sep 1964, Page 10, giving the above route. Still could be a mistake.

Note the 1962 distance is given as 8,100 miles.

RGDS RLT



#23 Ray Bell

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Posted 31 May 2021 - 07:21

I give up...

 

No way can I understand how Trove works!



#24 Rupertlt1

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Posted 31 May 2021 - 07:43

Ray, Hang on in there!

 

See: https://www.clubvw.o...016-07_July.pdf

 

Page 24 onwards.

 

RGDS RLT


Edited by Rupertlt1, 31 May 2021 - 07:55.


#25 Rupertlt1

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Posted 01 June 2021 - 07:30

Advertisement: "A product of the British Motor Corporation (Australia) Pty. Limited 

Austin Freeway Smashes Round Australia Record!!

Photo caption of crew: "Evan Green, team captain, and Jules Feldman, "Modern Motor" Editor and co-driver, at end of record breaking run."

8,100 Miles over car-breaking roads in 9 Days, 6 Hours, 22 Mins.

(5 Hours, 38 Mins Off record)

Sydney, Brisbane, Rockhampton, Townsville, Mt. Isa, Tennant Creek, Elliot, Dunmarra, Hall's Creek,

Derby, Broome, Port Hedland, Onslow, Carnarvon, Geraldton, Perth, Coolgardie, Ceduna, Port Augusta, Adelaide, Melbourne and back to Sydney.

 

Nine days, six hours and 22

minutes, to be precise—that's

how long it took us to to drive

an Austin Freeway around this

island continent.

It turned out to be a record: pre-

vious fastest time around Australia

was 9 days, 12 hours, set in 1958

by a Standard Vanguard utility with

a crew of three — John Thornton,

Keith McCrohon [McCrohan?] and Evan Green.

Best previous time by a passeneger

car, made in 1959, was 12 days, 12

hours the car being a Triumph

Herald — and the drivers John Thorn-

ton and Evan Green — so in this

category the record was broken even

more convincingly.

Only two other authenticated high-

speed record trips have been re-

corded. Lex Davison took a Holden

round in 14 days in 1954 and the

following year Alan Jurd made it

in 16½ days with a Vanguard. Sev-

eral other attempts have been made,

including one by Queensland driver

Keith Thallon — but so far as we

know, none was completed.

Not that there is any official

recognition for times established on

trips such as these; motor sport

authorities do not list inter-state or

inter-city records in Australia.  

See: Modern Motor, October 1962

 

1959: Triumph Herald, 8,965 mile journey in 12½ days. 

"Left Sydney at 6.30 p.m. on Sat-

urday, October 17.

It travelled from Sydney

to Brisbane, Rockhampton,

Townsville inland to Mt.

Isa, then Tennant Creek,

Katherine, Turkey Creek,

Hall's Creek, Derby, Ons-

low, Carnarvon, Geraldton,

Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne

and reached Sydney again

at 6 a.m. on Friday, Oc-

tober 30."

 

"Earlier this year, when

undergoing rigorous pre

release tests, two Triumph

Heralds made an amazing

run across Africa — from

Tangier to Capetown —

through tropical rain for-

ests and over the Sahara

desert."

The Cumberland Argus (Parramatta, NSW) Wed 2 Dec 1959 Page 6 

GRUELLING TEST FOR CAR

 

Actually Cape Town to Tangier:

https://www.tccv.net...tforTangier.pdf

 

More Australian records:

http://www.cannonbal...round-australia

 

RGDS RLT



#26 Ray Bell

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Posted 01 June 2021 - 22:34

The participation of Evan Green in so many of these drives, and over such a long period, says something about the man...

 

His choice of cars was obviously determined by which manufacturer or distributor would put a car under him, Vanguard utility, 1958; Triumph Herald, 1959; Austin Freeway, 1962; Morris 1100, 1968; XD Falcon, 1979

 

In addition to this, he was involved in the 'Crossroads Alice' promotion, which carved a horizontal figure of 8 across the continent, with some of the roads worse than would have been found in the simply 'around Australia' runs. The cars used were the Austin 1800 and Morris Mini Deluxe (998cc, wind-up windows and Hydrolastic).



#27 Rupertlt1

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Posted 13 June 2021 - 08:01

NUNEATON MAN SETS

RECORD FROM CAPE

IN Coventry this week

after a record-breaking

trip from Cape Town to

London was Mr. Roy

Wright, a 48 years old

Nuneaton man, whose

home is now in Southern

Rhodesia.

Driving a composite Morris

Minor, he and co-driver Tom

Burton, covered the 10,000 miles

journey in 17 days and 20 hours,

bettering the previous official light

car record for the trip by nearly

three days.

Mr. Wright, who is an old boy

of King Edward VI School,

Nuneaton, set out from Salisbury,

in Southern Rhodesia just before

midnight on November 28, and he

reached London last Wednesday.

Charter Plane

He travelled via Salisbury,

Elizabethville, Albertville, Mom-

basa and Fort Lamy to reach Kano

on December 1738 hours behind

schedule, due to an engine failure

on a river ferry.

The drivers encountered a three

days delay in the Sahara because

of steering trouble, but received

assistance from the French Army

and eventually reached Algiers.

From there a chartered aircraft

carried them to Marseilles. They

motored through France to Calais,

where they boarded another plane

to Lydd.

It took them a further three

hours through London traffic

before the journey, which had

been planned for seven years, was

completed after 9,000 miles actual

driving. 

On ' Tracks'

The car used was a 1952 Morris

Minor with a Minor 1000 engine,

suspension and gear box. It carried

many extras, including an additi-

onal petrol tank, water tanks,

sump guard and electrical equipment.

An ingenious device, made from

conveyor belt rollers and sand

mats, was fitted for the desert

crossing, enabling the car to run

on " caterpillar tracks," although

Mr. Wright said they encountered

little trouble with the soft sand.

Only on rutted tracks, where the

sand had been pushed into a cen-

tral mound, did they become

bogged-down.

"We passed all through the

trouble spots of Africa without any

difficulty." said Mr. Wright. "In

Algeria, however, we were stopped

by French soldiers for travelling

at night on a road. which we

thought we had permission to use,

but which proved to be out of

bounds during the hours of dark-

ness.

Frost Danger

"The Army made us stop at the

roadside until six in the morning,

when they woke us up with cups

of hot coffee.

"The only narrow squeak came

in the Belgian Congo where a

lorry went into a skid, swerved

round us and then turned over.

He came close enough to scrape

our paint. but somehow missed us.

"Contrary to the popular idea, 

the Sahara Desert is not always a

hot spot. One night while my

partner went with the French to

get a welding job done, I had to

remain in the car and run the

engine from time to time to stop

it freezing-up. The water con-

tainers we carried outside the

vehicle were frozen solid.

Quick Return

Mr. Wright has been staying in

Coventry with his cousin, Mr.

Stuart Wright, who lives with his

wife at Tile Hill Lane. He has also

visited his sister, Mrs. F. Gibson,

of Heath End Road, Nuneaton.

He is to return to Salisbury,

where he was associate editor of a

finance magazine, on Christmas

Day.

"I am flying by Comet, and the

journey will take just about as

many hours as it took us days to

cross by road," he said.

Coventry Evening Telegraph, Wednesday 23 December 1959

 

A photograph shows the split-screen Morris Minor lettered:

CAPE TO LONDON RECORD ATTEMPT

PLEASE HELP ON WAY

Registration: S 21804

 

RGDS RLT


Edited by Rupertlt1, 13 June 2021 - 08:26.


#28 BRG

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Posted 14 June 2021 - 17:32

A composite Morris Minor sounds incredibly advanced for 1959. 

 

And weren't they cheating a bit if their 'Cape to London' trip apparently started from Salisbury (now Harare, Zimbabwe)!



#29 Rupertlt1

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Posted 14 June 2021 - 17:40

A composite Morris Minor sounds incredibly advanced for 1959. 

 

And weren't they cheating a bit if their 'Cape to London' trip apparently started from Salisbury (now Harare, Zimbabwe)!

 

I wondered about that but I think they did go from the Cape to London (the writing on the car said so).

Bear in mind the reporter would have scant knowledge of the geography of the trip.

I can't find any other references to this achievement. Anybody know anything?

 

RGDS RLT



#30 Dipster

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Posted 14 June 2021 - 18:00

In January 1963 Eric Jackson and Ken Chambers drove a Mk1 Cortina from London to Cape Town in 14 days, breaking the previous record by just minutes. There is a detailed account of their trip in Eric Jackson's book 'Petrol in my Blood'.

 

 

I seem to recall that a Corsair did a similar trip when they were introduced.

 

Oops...I hadn't seen the later post.


Edited by Dipster, 14 June 2021 - 18:01.


#31 Dipster

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Posted 14 June 2021 - 18:07

Then there was the university students who took 2 new Series 1 Land Rovers overland to Singapore. I forget all the details off the top of my head but a book and a film were subsequently published. Those vehicles are still around too.



#32 D-Type

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Posted 14 June 2021 - 18:58

Then there was the university students who took 2 new Series 1 Land Rovers overland to Singapore. I forget all the details off the top of my head but a book and a film were subsequently published. Those vehicles are still around too.

 It waa joint Oxford and Cambridge expedition.  Although they had some sponsorship from Land Rover,they still had to largely finance the trip

themselves.  So they were well-heeled young men, probably sons of the landed gentry or rich farmers - future Land Rover potential customers..


Edited by D-Type, 14 June 2021 - 20:52.


#33 Ray Bell

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Posted 14 June 2021 - 22:49

A trip of determination and coincidence...

 

Peter (and Mary?) Hitchin drove a 1920s Rolls-Royce (Silver Ghost? 25hp?) hearse from England to Australia in the late sixties. As they crossed India they encountered, were befriended by and stayed with an Indian.

 

Perhaps twenty years later, I took my brother to meet Peter when we were on a trip to the Newcastle area for some reason. Peter at that time lived in Port Stephens and, after greetings etc in the house he took us to his shed. After looking over the Petticoat Special and other cars, my brother spotted the hearse at the back of the shed. At that time Brian worked a part time job at the Rothmans factory and it put him in contact with virtually everyone on the factory floor*.

 

When he saw the hearse, he said to Peter, "There's one of the people at Rothmans, he comes from India, he often talks about an Australian who stayed with him when he was driving from England to Australia in a Rolls-Royce hearse."

 

And so Peter was able to get in touch with his old acquaintance.

 

 

 

 

* Brian's job also enabled him to sell records, audio tapes etc to a large number of the staff - that was a business he was building up elsewhere - and he was well-known around the factory for doing this. And when he finished up his boss said to him, "You could have gone a long way in this company if you hadn't been doing your sideline business with the records." Brian later told me about this, adding that he made an awful lot more money out of the 'sideline' at that factory than he ever made by working for Rothmans.



#34 Rupertlt1

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Posted 15 June 2021 - 05:18

Rarely has a new car gained such well-deserved,

valuable publicity as the Humber Super-Snipe by

completing two record long-distance runs. A team

including racing drivers Stirling Moss and Leslie

Johnson drove a perfectly standard Snipe from Norway

to Portugal in 90 hours. Altogether they drove

through fifteen countries for a total distance of 3,352

miles. They set out to average 28 m.p.h., inclusive

of all refuelling stops and frontier formalities. By

clipping 30 hours off their scheduled time of exactly

five days, they set up the remarkable average of

36 m.p.h. How 's that for fast, reliable touring ?

And, incidentally, a nice piece of team work and some

magnificent driving!

The same can also be said of another run in another

new Super-Snipe a run which in many ways was

more spectacular, but which was carried out without

any preliminary trumpet-flourish. I refer to George

Hinchcliffe's record-breaking drive, with Messrs.

R. Walshaw and C. Longman as his co-drivers, from

London to Cape Town—10,000 miles—in 13 days

9 hours and 6 mins.

Hinchcliffe, who wears a beard, is forty-one years

old. He was formerly a bus driver, but now has his

own garage in Bradford. His exploit in the Super-

Snipe beat by more than eight days his own London-

Cape record in a Hillman Minx—another product of the

Rootes Group.

The Sphere, Saturday 3 January 1953, Page 30

 

RGDS RLT



#35 BRG

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Posted 15 June 2021 - 10:22

American Automobile Racing, An Illustrated History by Albert R. Bochroch, 1974,

Page 36:

 

"In his bibliography Transcontinental Automobile

Travel, 1903-1940, Carey S. Bliss tells of a Mr.

and Mrs. John D. Davis, who left New York for San Fran-

cisco, on July 13, 1899, arrived in Detroit on August 19,

then disappeared never to heard from again."

 

We should tip our hats to the first men to actually complete a journey across the US. 

 

In 1903, the splendidly named Horatio Nelson Jackson made a $50 wager in San Francisco that he could drive a car to New York.  Accompanied by Sewall K Crocker who he took on as mechanic and co-driver, they drove a two cylinder Winton across the country in just 63 days 12 hours and 30 minutes.  (I wonder if that allowed for the time difference between west and east coasts?). 



#36 just me again

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Posted 15 June 2021 - 10:40

A winton for sale at Bonhams. Listed with no reserve! https://www.bonhams..../20932/lot/210/

#37 Vitesse2

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Posted 15 June 2021 - 10:43

We should tip our hats to the first men to actually complete a journey across the US. 

 

In 1903, the splendidly named Horatio Nelson Jackson made a $50 wager in San Francisco that he could drive a car to New York.  Accompanied by Sewall K Crocker who he took on as mechanic and co-driver, they drove a two cylinder Winton across the country in just 63 days 12 hours and 30 minutes.  (I wonder if that allowed for the time difference between west and east coasts?). 

Dramatised in a PBS documentary by none other than Ken Burns, with Tom Hanks voicing Jackson's words.

 

https://www.pbs.org/...horatios-drive/

 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0382744/

 

PBS America showed it about ten years ago, not long after they launched in the UK. It might come round again, as they now seem to have the UK rights to all Burns's earlier work like Jazz, Prohibition, The Civil War and The Vietnam War.



#38 john winfield

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Posted 15 June 2021 - 12:40

Dramatised in a PBS documentary by none other than Ken Burns, with Tom Hanks voicing Jackson's words.

 

https://www.pbs.org/...horatios-drive/

 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0382744/

 

PBS America showed it about ten years ago, not long after they launched in the UK. It might come round again, as they now seem to have the UK rights to all Burns's earlier work like Jazz, Prohibition, The Civil War and The Vietnam War.

 

Heading miles and miles OT, Ken Burns' The Civil War has the most haunting theme tune, Ashokan Farewell, by Jay Ungar and his partner Molly Mason.

 



#39 Doug Nye

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Posted 16 June 2021 - 19:50

For an entertaining holiday read, can I recommend 'The Cape Record'? Claire Wilkins has been working on this for some time and you'll note that I've had some input into it  ;) . Eighty years ago this week, Humfrey Symons - then Motoring Correspondent of the Sunday Times - and 'Bertie' Browning set off from London in an attempt to break the overland record from London to South Africa. Symons' account of the trip was published in his book Two Roads to Africa in January 1940, but 'The Cape Record' is a transcription of Browning's diary of the trip, which turned up in Zimbabwe. Browning had apparently emigrated there in 1948 and died in 1959.

https://thecaperecord.com/

Symons' story is unhappier - he was on board a ship which was sunk during the Dunkirk evacuation.


Flight-Lieutenant Humfrey Ewan Symons RAFVR, killed in action May 28, 1940.

Died when his ship - the requisitioned SS Abukir - became the first Allied victim of an E-boat (or more correctly S-boat) torpedo attack during the evacuation of British and Belgian soldiers, airmen and civilians from Ostend on the last day of the Battle of Belgium.

If interested the full episode is recounted here. "If your number's on it...", indeed.

https://en.wikipedia.../wiki/SS_Abukir

DCN

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#40 Vitesse2

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Posted 16 June 2021 - 20:19

Flight-Lieutenant Humfrey Ewan Symons RAFVR, killed in action May 28, 1940.

Died when his ship - the requisitioned SS Abukir - became the first Allied victim of an E-boat (or more correctly S-boat) torpedo attack during the evacuation of British and Belgian soldiers, airmen and civilians from Ostend on the last day of the Battle of Belgium.

If interested the full episode is recounted here. "If your number's on it...", indeed.

https://en.wikipedia.../wiki/SS_Abukir

DCN

Symons was a member of No 3 Military and Air Mission (known as ‘Phantom’ and described by its historian Philip Warner as ‘unorthodox, secret, highly successful’), a British liaison unit in Belgium which provided up-to-the-minute 'on the ground' intelligence on troop dispositions for the Allied air forces, operating from Guy armoured cars and a fleet of motorcycles. After Dunkirk, ‘Phantom’ was resurrected as part of the UK defences, with David Niven amongst its senior officers. Elements of it were at Dieppe in 1942 and it resumed its original role during the liberation of Europe. After the war, Niven owned a white boxer dog, which he named Phantom. In a further motor sporting connection, motor racing photographer Robert Fellowes was credited – as 'Captain R Fellowes, Rifle Brigade' - as a military adviser on Carol Reed's seminal propaganda film The Way Ahead, starring Niven and released on June 6th 1944, the day Allied forces landed in Normandy. It is possible Niven and Fellowes had met as early as 1940, as they were both then officers in the Rifle Brigade. The LAT archive has a photo of them together, taken on the film set.

#41 arttidesco

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Posted 17 June 2021 - 19:29

Anything by T.R. Nicholson good (see above).

 

Car beats

liner from

Cape Town 1967

 

https://carsthatneve...ge/165682879982

 

Registration: UVW 999E

 

RGDS RLT

 

IIRC since Eric and Ken ended up taking to the air across part of Aftica and the Channel I believe Ford and Union Castle called it a draw.

 

I seem to recall that a Corsair did a similar trip when they were introduced.

 

Oops...I hadn't seen the later post.

 

IMG-5877.jpg

 

Indeed in Sept 1963 Eric and Ken covered 30,000 miles in a Corsair taking 43 days, 24 days driving, arriving back in the UK around the time the Corsair was launched at Earls Court on October 10th.



#42 Vitesse2

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Posted 18 June 2021 - 10:26

Found - as ever - while looking for something else. Round Spain in a Locomobile:

 

https://www.google.c...0Spt2heJV4lw3mp



#43 Rupertlt1

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Posted 18 June 2021 - 10:55

ERIC JACKSON and Ken Chambers com-

pleted a journey from London to Cape

Town on 19th January, having covered

11,621 miles in 13 days 8 hrs. 48 mins.

Their average from Nairobi to Cape Town

was 68.71 m.p.h. The car, which travelled

over non-existent roads and was ambushed

by African tribesmen, was a Ford Cortina

Super.

Autosport, 1 February 1963, Page 145

 

RGDS RLT



#44 arttidesco

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Posted 18 June 2021 - 16:12

Don't think this was a record run from London to Cape Town and back but it was certainly an adventure.

 

02-IMG-6769sc.jpg

 

In 1932, when this Austin 20 was ten years old, it was purchased for £33.00 by a Mr AE Filby who fitted it with stronger rear springs so that it could carry 12 gallons of water and a total of 50 gallons of fuel, Mr Filby then set off from London on a four year journey across Europe, the Sahara through East Africa all the way down to Cape Town… and back !


During his 37,000 mile adventure Mr Filby caught malaria in Kenya and his dog was eaten by a leopard, but apart from a broken leaf spring, u-bolt and head lamp fittings the 58 mph Austin fared well on a single set of Dunlop tyres.


Austin was so impressed they bought the car from Mr Filby as an excellent example of dependability. In 1938 Mr Filby repeated the journey with an Austin 12 he bought for £20.



#45 Dipster

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Posted 18 June 2021 - 16:36

IIRC since Eric and Ken ended up taking to the air across part of Aftica and the Channel I believe Ford and Union Castle called it a draw.

 

 

IMG-5877.jpg

 

Indeed in Sept 1963 Eric and Ken covered 30,000 miles in a Corsair taking 43 days, 24 days driving, arriving back in the UK around the time the Corsair was launched at Earls Court on October 10th.

 

 

What was their route? That is a lot of miles, averaging about 700 a day I reckon..



#46 arttidesco

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Posted 18 June 2021 - 16:48

What was their route? That is a lot of miles, averaging about 700 a day I reckon..

 

I do not have a copy of Erics book to hand at the moment, but they probably drove more or less non stop except for fuel, food and ablutions, the passenger sleeping while the driver pressed on to achieve the required mileage per day.

 

According to this link

 

http://damnlongway.c...rld-in-43-days/

 

there might be something about it in Autosport 23 10 63.


Edited by arttidesco, 18 June 2021 - 16:51.


#47 Rupertlt1

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Posted 18 June 2021 - 17:27

I do not have a copy of Erics book to hand at the moment, but they probably drove more or less non stop except for fuel, food and ablutions, the passenger sleeping while the driver pressed on to achieve the required mileage per day.

 

According to this link

 

http://damnlongway.c...rld-in-43-days/

 

there might be something about it in Autosport 23 10 63.

 

The article is in Autosport, 25/10/63, Pages 576-577.

PM me with email address if you would like a copy.

 

RGDS RLT



#48 arttidesco

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Posted 20 June 2021 - 13:10

After reading the Autosport report Rupert kindly sent me it transpires that the Corsair 246 UOO, in the photo post #41 above, is infact a 1970 1.7 Essex V4 powered tribute to the 1963 1.5 Kent l4 powered 590 UOO which Eric and Ken drove round the world.



#49 arttidesco

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Posted 21 June 2021 - 05:40

Another Austin Adventure

 

A. F. Tschiffely was a Swiss born teacher, professional footballer, boxer and adventurer who in 1925 set off on a journey from Buenos Aires in Argentina to Washington DC in the USA…. by horse !

 

01-IMG-6494sc.jpg

 

Tales from this epic journey, described as impossible, absurd and mad in contemporary press reports and recounted in Tschiffely book “Tschiffely’s Ride”, published in 1933, inspired British teacher John Coleman to retrace Tschiffely’s steps in 1959 driving the 10hp, 45 mph, 1925 Austin Seven Chummy seen above at Gaydon.

 

With the aid of Austin agents across the America’s and a little backing from the Montagu Motor Museum at Beaulieu John, who spoke no Spanish and refused to carry a gun, set off from Buenos Aires on the 10th of November 1959 11 months after his hero Tschiffely had died.

 

Along the way John was involved in a collision soon after leaving Beunos Aires, he traversed the Andes with the door of the Austin left open in case he had to jump out, so narrow were the steep sided roads he feared he might go over the edge. 

 

When he got to Peru his route was blocked after an earthquake.and so he continued by train. In Ecuador during the middle of the rainy season the little Austin was rescued from the mud by a passing bus. John then followed the Panamerican Highway with 40 rivers to cross at a time when only 10 of them had bridges.

 

11 months after setting out on his 11,000 mile journey John arrived in New York City where shortly afterwards he appeared on the television quiz show ‘To Tell the Truth’ in which he won sufficient funds to take time out and write his recollections of the adventure that were published in Coleman’s Drive in 1962.

 

As late as 2005 John drove a lap of honour at Silverstone at the wheel of this car which still belongs to the Coleman Family.

 

John died at the wheel of his Morris Minor, in which he had recently completed and written about a journey around Scotland, on the way back from his printers on January 5th, 2010 coincidentally 51 years to the day after his hero A. F. Tschiffely died.


Edited by arttidesco, 21 June 2021 - 05:40.


#50 Ray Bell

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Posted 21 June 2021 - 06:51

If you want to bring horses into it, there's an incredible story of a nine-year old boy who wanted to see the opening of Sydney Harbour Bridge...

 

He lived in country Victoria, at Leongatha, and he was effectively running the farm as his father was badly injured in the war. His parents gave him permission to ride his horse, Ginger Mick, to Sydney. Lots of people helped him on his way and country-town newspapers foreshadowed his arrival in the towns as he travelled, he was feted along the way and met the Prime Minister in Canberra as he went through there. Crowds along the roads greeted him and he duly arrived and was invited by the Lord Mayor to be a part of the opening ceremony.

 

A cricket bat from Donald Bradman was among his 'trophies' from the ride, but it had to end and he rode Ginger Mick back to Leongatha and resumed running the farm. He was by then ten years old.

 

https://www.abc.net....-bridge/9064790