Exhibitor: Lawrie Beacham
Engine: 4.9 litre 302ci V8 Windsor Block
Gearbox/Transmission: 4 Speed Top Loader/ 9 inch Ford Differential 3.5:1
This car, registered KAM163, was prepared with the assistance of Harry Firth, specifically for the 1968 Daily Express London to Sydney Marathon, for Rex Lunn of Lunwin Products (A Ford supplier in that era). It was crewed by Rex Lunn, Clive Tippett and John (Archie) Hall. After the Marathon it sat at the Ford factory at Broadmeadows for a few years and then did a couple of local rallies.
Current owner Lawrie Beacham purchased it in the late 80’s with a view to restoring it as a museum piece. When the 1993 London to Sydney Rally was mooted he decided to give the old girl a birthday and, along with Jim Rosenow from Ballarat, entered it in this 12000 mile marathon.
They were placed exceptionally well throughout the event but a high speed crash in India dampened their pace somewhat. The entire field of approximately 100 vehicles made history when they were loaded into two Russian Antinov aircraft and flown from Bombay (India) to Perth (Australia). Winning several stages outright they clawed their way up through the field to 3rd outright. Unfortunately on the last day a wrongly supplied rear axle failed them. Although completing the event they were relegated back to 55th.
Undaunted they teamed up again for the 1995 Mobil 1 Trial and chose to enter in the more serious class of modern day rally cars. A poor choice of shock absorbers kept them in around 12th to 15th place (outright) until a rear axle failure (broke) near Kalgoorlie and yet another at Mt Isa saw them finish 28th outright.
The old girl proved her mantle with the modern day rally cars when twice she was clocked as the 3rd fastest car during this event at 197kmh.
This was on dirt against modern 4wd rally cars 29 years younger!