| 08/05/2011 | 0 Comments

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the start of the the toughest rally of all time, the 1970 World Cup Rally from London to Mexico City, on 20th April gathered about 25-30 of the original participants and organisers, among others team bosses Stuart Turner, Bill Barnett from Ford and Peter Browning, Bill Price from British Leyland; competitors: Brian Culcheth (2nd Overall), Paddy Hopkirk (4th Overall) and Patrick Vanson (Private Owners’ award); organisers: Graham Robson, Val Morley and Tony Mason.

The winning Ford Escort, and one of the highly placed Triumph 2.5 PIs was also on display at this event, and Graham Robson’s retrospective painstakingly-researched book, which provides the complete story of that epic rally and provides detailed insight into the 1970 automotive world, has officially launched.
After the first ever intercontinental rally – the London-Sydney in 1968 – there was widespread enthusiasm for an even more difficult test. With the Football World Cup being held in Mexico in 1970, it was the perfect opportunity to hold a parallel, much tougher challenge – the World Cup Rally. Organisers John Sprinzel and John Brown secured sponsorship from the Daily Mirror and planned a unique high-speed event.
Continuing for six weeks, and covering 16,000 miles from London to Mexico City via some of the most varying, tortuous and difficult terrain on three continents, the 1970 World Cup Rally was a unique high-speed event, attracting many serious works teams such as Ford, British Leyland and Citroen. Despite the tremendous amounts of money spent choosing and developing new cars, completing months-long route surveys, and analysing every detail of diets, oxygen provision, and the number of crew members, out of an entry of more than 100 cars, only 23 cars made it to the finish. It was then, and remains now, the toughest rally of all time.

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