Austin A35, La Cucaracha
Austin A35, La Cucaracha.

Well my car’s purchase price, entry fee, shipping and expenses for the rally were less than his $12,000 jackets.

1993 Cheers for the Nicest Car in rally

La Cucaracha wins a prize for the nicest car in the rally.

Rallying in Mexico is fantastic fun because the more noise your car makes, and the more you can make it over steer and misbehave, the more popular with the crowd you become. And La Cucaracha makes a lot of noise and I could make it misbehave and it had the singing horn, which I sounded as the car was flying around the streets. I’ve been back twice now to do the rally and people always come up to me and ask: ‘Where’s La Cucaracha?’ I finished 32nd out of 110 in the original race.

I was sitting at the prize giving with a guy from New York who had with him his entourage: wife (and mistress I’m pretty sure), four mechanics, team manager, two vans and a Porsche 356. The cars and vans were all painted up beautifully and the crew were all wearing leather jackets with fabric sleeves that had their names embroidered on the back above a picture of the car. The driver was sitting there at lunch next to me and I got the prize for the nicest car in the rally. There were two Germans who had air-freighted their Mercedes with a man paid to watch over it outside the hotel. They stood up and said: ‘No, no, no, ours is the nicest car.’ People threw food at them.

I got up and got my prize and I sat back down when the American guy said: ‘Jesus Christ, how much did your car cost?’ Well my car’s purchase price, entry fee, shipping and expenses for the rally were less than his $12,000 jackets.

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