Celebrations for 50th anniversary of London-Sydney rally at British Motor Museum

A Ford Cortina driven by Bill Bengry seen on the 1968 London to Sydney Marathon, will be on display at the British Motor Museum. Photo: Bruce Thomas
A Ford Cortina driven by Bill Bengry seen on the 1968 London to Sydney Marathon, will be on display at the British Motor Museum. Photo: Bruce Thomas

Car enthusiasts from Banburyshire will be part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the 1968 London to Sydney Marathon at the British Motor Museum this month.

The landmark endurance rally saw 98 cars leave Crystal Palace for a 10,000 mile drive to Australia, encountering blocked roads, snow, deserts and bandits along the way.

Fenny Compton enthusiast Pat Walker flat out in his ex-British Leyland works team rally Triumph 2.5pi. Photo: Foster and Skeffington

Fenny Compton enthusiast Pat Walker flat out in his ex-British Leyland works team rally Triumph 2.5pi. Photo: Foster and Skeffington

Only 56 cars made it to the finish, with Andrew Cowan in a Hillman Hunter taking the winners' medal and the £10,000 prize.

Runners up were Paddy Hopkirk and Alec Poole, who now lives in Middleton Cheney, and both are expected to attend the event at the museum in Gaydon on Sunday, July 29, with an exact replica of the winning car.

Fenny Compton car buff Pat Walker will be exhibiting several period rally cars from his collection including Mini Coopers, BMC 1800 and Triumph saloons.

The show will feature surviving cars and personalities from the Marathon, along with memorabilia, films and other rally cars from the era.

Gates open at 10am and admission is free.