Seven cars from 22 nations roared away from Convent Garden on Sunday (14 August) as the London-to Sydney rally got under way.
Seven cars from 22 nations roared away from Convent Garden on Sunday (14 August) as the London-to Sydney rally got under way. It's the longest rally -- 20,000 miles -- (32,000 kilometres) even devised and the toughest. Only about a dozen cars are expected to finish in Sydney in mid-September. They're competing for GBP30,000 (US $52,000) in overall prize money.
SYNOPSIS: It was a damp start in London for the competing teams who've spent weeks tuning and equipping their cars for the gruelling journey. Drivers and navigators will get little rest and sleep along the way. The casualty rate is expected to be so high because the cars will be hurtling through terrain rarely used by automobiles in countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. They'll encounter near-trackless deserts in Iran and Australia, rocky goat paths and boulder-strewn river beds that could snap axles and tear chunks from transmission housings.
Number Two and Three seat off. Car Two is an MG special with a British driver and navigator. Number Three is a Mini Clubman containing two Singapore drivers and a Malaysian navigator. Singapore Airlines are sponsoring the rally.
In Car Seven, a Leyland Moke, are two Australians and Number Eight is an Alfa Romeo with two Britons aborad. They'*II need luck to survive 30 days on the road. So it's over Waterloo Bridge heading for the English channel where the cars were to board a ferry for Belgium-the first of several stages they'll completer by ship.