Monday, February 01, 2010

WCR40 more details

London to Mexico • World Cup Rally


40th Anniversary

Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon

18th April 2010

Organised by

The Triumph 2000/2500/2.5 Register

Landcrab Owners’ Club International

Austin Maxi Owners’ Club

The London-Mexico World Cup Rally

WCR40 commemorates the 40th Anniversary of the Daily Mirror London-Mexico World Cup Rally. The longest and most ambitious event of its kind to date, the World Cup Rally left Wembley Stadium for the 16,000 mile, 6-week trip to Mexico City on 19th April 1970.

Almost 100 cars, spanning a variety of works teams and private entries, would follow a challenging route of road sections and special stages from London to Lisbon then, after a sea passage to South America, rejoin battle in Rio de Janeiro for the journey to Mexico City.

Reflecting the relentless pace of the Rally and the punishing terrain over which it was run, just 23 of the original starters would make it to the finishing line at Mexico City’s Aztec Stadium.

The World Cup Rally remains one of the most significant events in the history of international motorsport. On the fortieth anniversary of the Wembley start, WCR40 celebrates this monumental rally and the achievements of its participants, both cars and competitors.

About WCR40

WCR40 plans to stage a reunion of all the surviving cars, and as many of the drivers, mechanics and rally officials as possible.

In addition, surviving cars from the other marathon events staged in the 1960s and 1970s, such as the East African Safari, London-Sydney Marathon and 1974 World Cup Rally are being invited to attend in order to make a unique event for anyone interested in long-distance rallying. We would also like to hear from owners of other historic rally cars and classic cars used in rallying, though the primary display will be the Marathon cars.

While the cars are displayed on the outside arena, inside there will be film shows, club displays of World Cup Memorabilia and a chance to see Rally personalities in conversation with noted historian Graham Robson, who served as a travelling controller on the event itself. Graham has just authored a new book on the World Cup Rally, and copies of this will be on sale at at WCR40.

Any classic motorsport-themed clubs interested in securing display facilities at WCR40 are requested to contact the organisers as early as possible.


An event of the calibre of the World Cup Rally was bound to attract a top-class entry, and WCR40 aims to reflect this in its display of surviving cars:

Triumph 2.5PI - British Leyland’s team effort was spearheaded by four of these fast and rugged saloons. Two further 2.5PIs appeared as private entries.

Ford Escort - Following on from its record of international rallying successes with the Cortina, Ford turned to its new Escort for the World Cup Rally, with a seven-car entry.

Austin/Morris 1800 - already an established contender on events like the London-Sydney Marathon, the durable ‘Landcrab’ proved a popular choice for private entrants, many with works support.

Austin Maxi - relatively new to the international rallying scene, the Austin Maxi was represented by two works cars and two factory-supported private entries.

Other entries featured cars from BMW, Citröen, Datsun, Ford, Hillman, Mercedes-Benz, Moskvitch, Peugeot and more.


As with the cars, the World Cup Rally attracted some of the best-known international rallyists.

Names such as Rauno Aaltonen, Roger Clark, Andrew Cowan, Brian Culcheth, Paddy Hopkirk, Timo Makinen, Hannu Mikkola, Bob Neyrat, Rosemary Smith, Claudine and Rene Trautmann, and Patrick Vanson were joined by a wealth of enthusiastic private entries and celebrities such as footballer Jimmy Greaves.

WCR40 aims to reunite as many of the original rally crews as possible, along with Team Managers, mechanics and rally officials.

The Venue

WCR40 will be held at the Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon. Entry to the outside arena will be free on the day, with dedicated parking for classic cars. Tickets for entry to the museum at a special discount price of £7.50 are available in advance from Triumph 2000 Register website shop.

For further information, please contact

General Enquiries:

• Alan Crussell - 4 The Briars, Holmer Green, High Wycombe, Bucks, HP15 6XE. Telephone 01494 711159 01494 711159 , e-mail

• Ted Taylor - Telephone 01594 832992 01594 832992 , e-mail

Cars and Competitors:

• Ken Green - 23 Beacon Road, Kingstanding, Birmingham, B44 9RL. Telephone 0121 352 0281 0121 352 0281

Team Personnel:

• Bill Price - e-mail

Clubs and Trade:

• Mark Pacey - e-mail

The WCR40 organisers gratefully acknowledge the kind co-operation of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust in permitting the use of images first published in the

British Leyland High Road Souvenir Supplement of July 1970

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