based on information sent by Barry Hawgood, participating driver
On March 27, 2010, a group of drivers will set off from the Ace Café in London, driving a 1968 Hillman Hunter set up as a replica of Andrew Cowan’s winning 1968 London to Sydney Endurance Rally car. The group is raising money to fight prostate cancer, which takes 10,000 lives each year in the U.K. alone and affects around 700,000 men around the world each year. Money raised will go to The Prostate Cancer Charity, the UK’s leading charity focused specifically on prostate cancer.
The goal is to raise £75,000 (around US$115,000) for the Charity. The drivers intend to send back reports to their web site and to others who have helped raised money. Hawgood wrote, “A local school, for instance, is helping out and a quid pro quo is that we supply the school with pics, and descriptions of our adventures as we go so that certain classes can undertake a geography project – it will bring a new meaning to geography for them.”
Two Hillman Hunters were tracked down; one could only provide wheels and a roll cage, but the other had a rust-free body and was in strong shape, with 20,000 miles on the clock. The car was augmented by experienced rally car builder Simon Ayris, and now looks similar to Hunter’s factory car, driven by Andrew Cowan, with the same signage and front “roo bar.”
The route will take drivers through Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, and India to a port in Malaysia or Thailand, and then down through Indonesia, across to Darwin from East Timor, and on to Sydney.
Some of the locations are expected to be over 50° C (122° F), and Hillman Hunters do not have air conditioning. There will be miles of rough roads. Hawgood and Lewis will be camping, eating dried rations, and the car will break down and they will have to fix it themselves. They expect most people to be friendly and helpful, but anticipate difficulties at border crossings.
Barry Hawgood has been a career soldier, serving first in the Marines and then in the Army. John Lewis has worked with cars, farming, and furniture making. Both are in their sixties, and have had a number of friends and acquaintances, including Barry's father, diagnosed with prostate cancer. (Their web page has been taken down; links on this page have been removed accordingly.)
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