A BMC works prepared rally car.
Exhibitor: Graeme Urch
Engine: 1275 cc 4 Cylinder
Gearbox/Suspension : 4 Speed / Hydrolastic
This car, original UK registration LRX828E, was built at the BMC competition department in Abingdon to contest the 1967 European Rally Championship.
Its first event was the Acropolis Rally, crewed by Rauno Aaltonen/Henry Liddon. Their event ended with a head-on collision with a spectator car.
Not much better on their second event, the 2000 mile Danube rally, when in a winning position, Aaltonen was refused entry to Hungary for not having the correct visa.
The car was sold to BMC Australia who ordered a pair from the competitions department to contest the 1967 Southern Cross International Rally. LRX828E was driven by Paddy Hopkirk but the gearbox failed 700 miles into the event.
In 1968, UK works driver Tony Fall drove the car to a win in the Total Australia 500 rally. Again it was entered for the Southern Cross, crewed by Evan Green/George Shepherd, but again broke a gearbox, this time at the Amaroo Park special stage.
Rallying was banned in N.S.W. in 1969 (due to an agricultural foot and mouth disease scare) and the rally cars were sold off.
This car was bought by BMC Ballarat dealer E. Collins Motors.
The current owner bought the car in 1971 who used it in competition for a time. It has since restored it to its original BMC competitions department specifications.
Banner pic: This Austin Cooper S – despite the Morris badge – at the 1967 Danube Rally.
Read more about LRX828E on British Car Component’s site