Driving a 1954 Austin-Healey 100/4 from Peking to Paris in the June 2019 ERA Rally.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

0005 It's serious now - we are on the entry list....

10th March 2017

 Yep, no sooner had Giles posted that we were starting to get serious, than we really had to. We received notification from Annette at the ERA that our application had both been received and was successful, so now we swing into full steam ahead......

Planning for this event requires both a huge number of conversations, and, as we are discovering, a lot of decision-making. Mostly in a vacuum, as even with some endurance rally experience in the past, nothing, absolutely nothing, comes close to this event.

We have been in touch with a number of local and overseas contacts who have either done P2P, or who have rallied Austin Healies. The amount of information is formidable, but the synthesis appears to be:

1. Build the car for strength rather than outright speed
2. Achieve the best ground clearance you can manage, and smooth the underside as much as possible
3. Take out as much weight as possible without compromising integrity (not only does this help with fuel consumption, but the less weight on the suspension, the better)
4. Start early, plan, and execute quickly (this last point is the most worrisome!)

In order to progress, Giles is in the UK as I write this, meeting with a host of AH rally-preparation specialists to work out what the weak points are, and what the best solutions are.
In parallel, we have an extensive to-do list of parts we need to order, spares to decide on, and navigation equipment to source; this I can do some of by email, but quite quickly we need to move from planning to doing mode!
And we are also starting to explore who we might work with to develop a sponsorship package, and  what that could involve. Our plan as you will see elsewhere is to raise a significant charity donation while at the same time underwriting or mitigating some of the cost of this undertaking.

Before heading to the UK, Giles popped down to Sydney to pick up the car and take it to its new home and workspace on the Gold Coast; from here, we plan to get started on the work on the car as soon as Giles returns. First step will be to decide on how much reinforcement is needed, and whether the bashplates we plan to fit under the car will be sufficient to both brace the chassis and prevent damage to the engine sump, prop shaft and fuel tanks, all of which are rather exposed currently. Current thinking is that a three part plate with mounting points on the chassis rail uprights should provide protection while allowing us to access the maintenance points (engine, prop shaft and diff) without having a huge piece of sheet metal to manage!

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Ashton & Giles welcome any visitors, support, and comments as we prepare for our Adventure !