16 000 Miles to Mexico. The story of the 1970 London to Mexico Rally.

Imagine driving 16,000 miles in 25 days over some of the rough­est terrain in the world, at altitudes up to 16,000 feet, where engines and lungs gasp for air. Imagine 500-mile speed trials over rocky mountain tracks, racing against the clock and 95 other cars. Imagine attempting this more than 50 years ago, without GPS or cell phones. In April 1970, 241 men and women from more than 20 nations did just that, setting out from London in wide range of vehicles, from the sublime competitions-ready Escorts, Triumphs and Citroëns to the seemingly ridiculous beach bug­gy, Rolls-Royces and even a camper van, all determined to get to Mexico City. Drawing on personal recollections of competitors, organizers, marshals and mechanics, this book recounts the ecstasies and agonies of per­haps the toughest endurance motorsports event ever—the London to Mexico World Cup Rally.

Following on from his book about the 1968 London to Sydney Marathon, and almost six years in the making, author Robert Connor has drawn from the memories of competitors and others who played important roles from right across the world – Australia, Mexico, the USA, France and up and down the UK.

Among those competing were several Yorkshire folks, representing both professional and amateur rally pedigrees – principle among these was the late, great Tony Fall. Driving for the Ford GB competitions team in a works-prepared Escort 1850, Fall’s illustrious co-driver was none other than soccer legend Jimmy Greaves! Initially seen as a novelty, under Fall’s patient tutelage, Greaves acquitted himself admirably, the media-friendly pair achieving 6th place overall at Mexico City.

Other Yorkshiremen and women who buckled up for the 16,000-mile slog were life-long friends Christopher Marriott and John ‘Jack’ Dill, driving a slightly impractical Trident Venturer sports coupe, Tony Walker in a Vauxhall Victor estate car, rally veteran Phil Cooper and the great Pat Wright – sister of racing legend Cliff Allison, Pat’s meticulous navigation skills saw the all-women team led by Jean Denton achieve a laudable 18th place at the finish.

Declaration: Classic Yorkshire received no payment or benefit for this article.

16,000 Miles to Mexico City by Robert Connor is available through:


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