1968 London to Sydney Marathon
While there are no Minis in this film, the 1968 London to Sydney Marathon really is one of the great motoring adventures.
98 cars and crews from 13 different countries set out in November 1968. Only 56 cars survived the gruelling 10,000mile (16,000km) run, with many falling by the wayside in Australia.
The film, presented by Castrol, is entertaining and enjoyable, and includes interesting short quotes from many of the competitors.
The film focuses on the BMC Works team of three Austin 1800s, one of which was crewed by Australians Evan Green, “Gelignite” Jack Murray and George Shepheard.
By the time the teams had crossed from Perth to Canberra, Hopkirk was lying third, behind the Citroen of Lucien Bianchi and the Hillman Hunter of Andrew Cowan.
In the cruelest twist of fate, with only a couple of hours left in the rally, Bianchi was involved in a serious head-on crash with, of all things, a Mini, driven by a private owner. We had an exclusive story by the passenger in that Mini in Issue 20 of The Mini Experience.
Cowan won the rally ahead of Hopkirk, with Rauno Aaltonen and his crew fifth.
This film is almost worth getting just for the opening sequences, which prove that 1800s can fly!
Although not a cheap DVD, it is an enjoyable hour’s viewing.
It has been recently re-released to include additional footage of the Bianchi crash.