In 1967 over lunch, probably a long lunch, with Great Britain a little miserable about itself, a plan was hatched to run a London to Sydney Rally with the backing of the Daily Express. Ultimately won by Andrew Cowan in the Hillman Hunter[!!] with Paddy Hopkirk 2nd in the Austin 1800 “land crab” and Australia’s Ian Vaughan 3rd in a Ford Falcon GT a close relation of the Mustang. Next to Peking to Paris, London to Sydney sits in motoring folklore as an iconic adventure. Run retrospectively in 1977, 1993, 2000, 2004, and 2005, it has not been done since due to the complexity and the dramatically changed political landscape. Access to some of these countries is simply not possible and in others is unsafe. There are, however, alternative routes! This event will require meticulous preparation, large doses of fortitude, and most importantly good humour!
I have organised rallies all over the world, including much of the route proposed for London-Sydney, and met Rob Garnsworthy on an event I organised in Morocco earlier this year. Rob wrote to me afterwards and asked had I thought about running London to Sydney. Well, that email planted a seed. A seed which, over the course of many weeks and countless emails and phone calls, has now grown into a sapling!
Rob commissioned me to put together an outline of the rally, run to ground the logistical/ bureaucratic/safety issues and highlight potential hurdles. My brief was to create an 8-week route. I failed. Even cutting it down to the bare bones it would have been virtually impossible to incorporate good, remote, scenic, intrepid roads and see the sites of interest while keeping daily driving times manageable. What I have created is a 9-week route which allows a reasonable pace and rest days.
This event is being run on a “cost-plus” basis. The greater the number of participants, the lower the cost per car. Entries will be capped at 16 cars. A number which reflects the physical limitations of the Boeing 747 freighter taking our cars from Singapore to Darwin. Stepping up to an Antonov 124 only really makes sense at around 25+ cars at which point the event becomes a bit of a sprawl and less intimate.
I am honoured that ROARR has been asked to organise and run London Sydney 2020. It is a great opportunity and I relish the prospect of working on such a complex project and delivering the journey of a lifetime to participants.
This event is now fully subscribed and we have opened a waiting list. If you are interested in participating kindly submit the enquiry form at the bottom of this page.
~ Rally Organiser
1. Robert Garnsworthy (AUS) & John Teasdale (AUS)
1970 Boss Mustang
Atlas Rally 2018
2. Bruce Severns (AUS) & Robert Calnon (AUS)
3. Jeremy Boadle (GB) & Michael Weston (GB)
1947 Bentley Speed 8
4. Lars Rolner (DK) & Annette Rolner (DK)
1928 Bentley 4½ Le Mans
5. Mark Wilkinson (GB) & Robert Wilkinson (GB)
1926 Bentley Tourer
6. Philip Noble (GB) & TBC
19?? Bentley Speed 8
7. Jan Sinclair (AUS) & Anne Sinclair (AUS)
1971 Holden Monaro
8. Anton Gonnissen (BE) & Inge Willemen (BE)
1929 Bentley Speed 8
9. Paul Kane (GB) & Mary Kane (GB)
1966 Mustang GT350
1st Jewel of India 1999, Himalaya Rally 2006, Tiger Rally 2008, Patagonia 2010, Great Arc of India 2011, Classic India 2013, Shangri-La 2014, Alpaca 2016, Venice-Monaco 2017, Atlas Rally 2018, Dubrovnik-Athens 2018, Pamir Highway 2019, South Africa 2019
10. Paul Kirkham (AUS) & Mariella Kirkham (AUS)
11. Blair Healy (AUS) & Mary Healy (AUS)
1964 Peugeot 404
12. Marc Buchanen (USA) & TBC
13. Gunther Schmidt-Lindner (AUS) & Jill Schmidt-Lindner (AUS)
1969 Mustang Mach 1
14. Peter St. George (AUS) & Elizabeth St. George (AUS)
15. Keith Ashworth (GB) & Norah Ashworth (GB)
16. Alastair Caldwell (GB) & TBC
1968 Mercedes 280SL
Himalaya Rally 2006, Tiger Rally 2008, Classic India 2013, Alpaca 2016, Classic Persia 2016, Venice-Monaco 2017, Dubrovnik-Athens 2018
This event is now several times over-subscribed. We have begun accepting entries for the second running in 2021. To register your interest or to request further information please complete the form below. If you have not rallied with us before please include in your message an outline of your previous rallying experience.