Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ex-works cars for sale......

.... well Escorts anyway

Whilst I was trawling around the interweb I stumbled across this little nugget one of the few (2) surviving ex-Works Escorts/ There was also a privately entered Escort 1300 that survives - I was actually looking for that to see what that sold for! Anyway, back to FTW 48H, car 14 - it's special for a few reasons, firstly it actually finished the event, out of 96 starters only 23 actually made it to Mexico to be classified as finishers.

What surprises me is the price, £71,900 now I'm not saying I've got that sort of money spare but it does seem to represent good value for what seems to be a decent rally car. Of course I don't know my Escorts at all.

The photo I liked the best is the one of FTW 48H leading one of the weirder World Cup entries, an Escort based Elba Motor Caravan - entry 16, a non-finisher.

Update - I found it, Doug Harris privately entered World Cup Escort CMF730H is for sale. It's apparently going to be under the hammer at Race Retro this year

1969 Ford Escort MKI

Supplied new to privateer driver Douglas Harris and later owned by the Ford Motor Co, contested both the 1970 and 1974 World Cup Rallies. Finishing 1st-in-class on the former, it retired from the latter somewhere in the Libyan Desert! Since entering the current ownership circa ten years ago, the Escort has been revitalised by Yorkshire Classic Cars and used for historic stage rallying.
Estimate: £25,000 - £30,000.

Shame it's gained bubble arches but then it's a competition car and to be fair, it's been through a hell of a lot! I think it looked better on the World Cup but then I'm biased!
The car had the distinction of being the smallest engined car to finish the rally and it was the last placed finisher. It's also partly responsible for my renewed interest in the whole World Cup Rally - when the rally plate came up for sale many years ago, I bought it for Dave Pearson. At the time he was chasing the sale of the Buchanan-Michaleson car.
Here's the Doug Harris Escort at Wembley

Saturday, February 13, 2010

My first glimpse of the promised land

Well today's WCR40 meeting at Gaydon was a good insight onto how the day will go.

There was a great deal of enthusiasm as well as realism around the table and it was good to see that so much work has already been done to make the day go well.

I've never been that close to how these sort of shows work and have always wondered how on earth all the disparate threads get pulled together.

Tracing all the survivors is work enough and I was really pleased to hear how many of the known surviving cars will be there - pretty much all of them! Cars that haven't turned a wheel for years, are bent, awaiting restoration or just plain dormant are all coming and we're still looking!

Mechanics, driver, co-drivers, marshalls, team managers are all represented too. Some well known names have confirmed. I'm actually quite excited to meet these guys.

The details will unfold as the weeks progress but I thought it important to let people know that this is turning into one of those "not to be missed" events.

There are lots of details to work through and arrangements to be made but we are well on the way to a great show.

Want to get involved? Well we do need some man power on the day so if you're a member of one of the organising clubs then get in touch with your club. If you're not a member and still want to get involved you can email Ted or one of the organising contacts on the WCR40 Website You can email me through this blog but please do send your contact details so I can respond.

What do we need? Anything and everything World Cup Rally and Marathon rally related - if you have a car, parts, memorabilia etc then get in touch.

We've got some but we want more, we want World Cup cars, London to Sydney cars, East African Safari, UDT 1974 event cars, classic rally cars etc. So if you have one, know of one or know someone who owns one then please, tell then to get in touch.

I've been asked to look after a display of memorabilia and so if you have anything unique and interesting that you'd like to show, I'm your man. I have a large, secure, indoor facility to use. I plan to show some films and so again, if you have anything you have anything you'd like to share please speak up. We have some stuff but you know the drill, don't assume it will be there and that what you have in your collection is in everyone else's! Get in touch and we'll chat.

We are also encouraging a few of the guys who were there on these amazing events to share some reminiscences with us. The current idea is for 30 minute interviews/presentations - more on this as and when it's confirmed.

OK so you are interested but all you want to do is come and have a looksee, well great! That's what we need, so buy a ticket! The 2000 Register are handling the sales through their shop at £7.50 each.

Right, enough rambling on, I need to consider display boards, content, films, how to put enough content on display to keep the audience interested and how to organise these talks :-)

Friday, February 12, 2010

WCR40, Celebrating 40 Years of the Daily Mirror London-Mexico World Cup Rally

WCR40, Celebrating 40 Years of the Daily Mirror London-Mexico World Cup Rally

The WCR40 web site is launched - click the link above to find updates and news on the event.

I have my first WCR40 meeting tomorrow at Gaydon and will continue to blog my news here.

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

1970 World Cup Rally - 40th anniversary events

YouTube - Graham Robson interview - The Daily Mirror 1970 World Cup Rally 40 (Veloce)

I'm grateful to the Club Triumph forum for pointing out this little snippet on the above.

There are a couple of events I know of to mark the 40th anniversary of this geat event. The above is a commercial book launch of Graham Robsons WCR40 Retrospective work. Graham was a travelling controller on the event and has a wealth of knowledge about how it really was back then. I'm really looking forward to seeing the finished book. I made all my photos available to Graham to help illustarte the book so I'm hoping they were good enough. All I know at the moment about the book launch is that it's taking place at Alperton car showroom, near Wembley on Tuesday 20th April. I don't know whether it's an "open" event where anyone can turn up or whether it's ticketed - probably best you ask Veloce Publishing.

The second event I know of is being organised by a goup of interested clubs to be held at Gaydon on Sunday 18th April. This is an event where I have been asked to help organise some exhibits and where I need some help myself.

I've had a chat with one of the organising committee and agreed to get involved, I know very little more about this event other than a date and a venue so I'll pitch up at teh next meeting with a few questions and take it from there. The meeting's on the 13th Feb so I will have more info after that. In the meantime I need help from you the Triumph public - what I'm looking for are thinsg to create a display to tell the story of the World Cup - pictures, articles, banners, memorabilia, artefacts, long forgotten rallly cars, that sort of thing.

Apparently there's covered space inside the main building to put on a display. I intend to have a couple of helpers manning the stand and keeping an eye on things to ensure everything's safe and looked after.

I have a small personal collection but most of my stuff is electronic images and they aren't the best thing to display in a venue like this. I may put together some sort of slide show to run in a loop on a screen.

Anyway, please do get in touch if you would like to be involved, have somthing you would like to display or just want to pass on the contact detauls of where that long forgotten rally car is laid up in a barn :-)