1938 Alfa Romeo 6C SS Torpedino at the end of the Peking to Paris race in the Place de Vendome, Paris.
Battered, but unbowed.

The car overheated on
the way to the start in Brooklands – not good considering it was a cold winter morning

2012 London to Cape Town

For years I had rallied against Porsches and they’ve always been great although I’d argued against them because the engines are sticking out the back, but they’re certainly good on dirt roads. On Peking to Paris, I met a young man who helped me a lot called Hayden Burvill, an Australian living in San Francisco with a very successful Porsche business called Wevo; he makes after-market high quality parts which are much desired. He convinced me that I should become a Porsche owner and that a 912 had quite a bit less engine sticking out and that we should get one and prepare it for the London to Cape Town.

This was done, and in true rally fashion the car appeared in the UK too late and unfinished, so after many late nights and much hard work I got to drive the car on the Saturday night for the first time with the rally starting the following morning. The car overheated on the way to the start in Brooklands – not good considering it was a cold winter morning. Still, off we went but sadly the organisers arranged to have an Ordnance Survey map reading exercise in the early hours of the morning which had nothing to do with endurance rallying, so the event was over for us and several other front runners before we got to the boat in Dover as we had so many penalties from this it was not going to be possible to do well. Anyway, we persevered and fighting fuel problems, overheating we made our way to Cape Town. This was an incredibly hard rally with no rest days aside from one in Nairobi which we spent taking out the engine, welding up the chassis, and repairing the car in general – so much for rest! We suffered collapsed rear suspension, collapsed front on several occasions, fuel leak, etc. but we never stopped rallying and gradually made our way up through the field to finish 5th overall, 1st in class (2-litre) and the moral winners of the whole event, being the 1st classic car as opposed to 4-wheel drive, truck or brand new 911 which were the only vehicles which finished in front of us.

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