door plates

HMRG have correct replica SCREEN printed door plates produced – colour (ink specially matched from original unfaded publications) – and door artwork direct from an original plate.

Something happened when the bonnet/boot plates were reproduced and they came out about 1″ too deep but thanks to Ron Ticehurst for pointing this out and providing an original spare correct plate from car 27 to do these exactly – these are in the process of being done.

The numbers have been a pain as they must have been special Daily Express font and not available. We are having these specially re-cut and available later.

These exact re-pros are available only for owners of original cars or people involved in the rally in 1968 in some way – at £40 a set (door/bonnet/boot and numbers) or £20 half set. Proof will be required as we want to make these only available to the original cars or people who have good need to want them (involved with the Marathon in 1968 or relatives) and are for sale at what is more or less cost to us.

If anyone builds an EXACT correct replica of a car no longer surviving we may make these available to the once the car is competed. Speak to us ……

We have some of the too deep size bonnet/boot plates available for general sale at £10 plus postage. We have some numbers to go with them but they are only a near match and have no 4s and 7s. Contact me on

Classic & Sports Car Special Award: 1968 Ford Cortina GT

Great news the 1968 Ford Cortina on our stand at the NEC has won an award from Classic and Sports Car.

As we walk the halls we always spot a few vehicles that might not be entirely appropriate for Car of the Show, but which we feel are deserving of a mention. That’s why we created the C&SC Special Award, for the car that captures the judges’ hearts.

Shortlisted this year were the mighty 1911 Daimler 25hp Landaulette from the Daimler & Lanchester Owners’ Club and ‘Valerie’, the wonderful signwritten Morris van from the J-type Register, but our winner, for thoroughly charming our socks off, is Theo Bengry’s Ford Cortina GT, as driven by his father Bill on the 1968 London to Sydney Rally and one of the stars of the Historic Marathon Rally Group.

Thanks to Chris Rabbets for these images.

Vauxhall Ventora London to Sydney Marathon 1968 – car 40

The latest 1968 Marathon car to surface is Car#40, entered by the Jim Russell International Driving School with support from Duckhams, driven by David Walker, Doug Morris and Brian Jones. Finished 52nd of the 58 that finished, but nearly didn’t due the injuries suffered to Doug Morris during the event. The car is now “Happily locked up in my garage in Sydney Australia” says Laurie Mason.

We would very much like to see any more photos of the car to help the new owner restore it.

Datsun 240Z Historic Rally Car

Owned and rallied by the late Tony Fall and now for sale on eBay by Yorkshire Classic & Sports Cars of Ripon.


Quoting from the eBay advert:

When Datsun launched the 240Z in 1969 the Japanese firm established itself as a major force to be reckoned with in the sports/GT market. Boasting a 2.4-litre, overhead-camshaft, six-cylinder engine, five-speed manual (or three-speed automatic) transmission, independent suspension all round and a high trim level as standard, the keenly priced 240Z proved an outstanding success.

The 240Z was immediately successful in motor sport, particularly in club racing and on the world rally stage. Factory prepared and run rally cars quickly gained a reputation for durability on long distance events, specially the Safari Rally where the 240Z won outright in 1971, ’72 and ’73. Leading drivers included Edgar Hermann, Rauno Aaltonen, Harry Kallstrom, Shekhar Mehta and Tony Fall.
Richard Anthony ‘Tony’ Fall, a former car salesman from Bradford, was the young star of the BMC works team of the mid-1960s, achieving outright wins on five major international rallies in Mini Cooper S and Austin 1800. He subsequently drove for Lancia and Ford (6th on the London-Mexico Rally) and in 1970 was signed to the Datsun team. In a 240Z he won both the Welsh International (1971) and the Total Rally in South Africa (1972). After retiring from professional driving in 1974 he formed the Dealer Opel Team in the UK and later became motor sport manager for General Motors Europe. In 1992 he purchased the UK motor sport safety equipment company, Safety Devices. Tony died suddenly in Kenya, in December 2007, while assisting the organisers of the Historic Safari Rally.

The Datsun 240Z offered for sale was built in 1997/8 by Martin Johnson to a specification similar to the original ‘works’ rally cars of the 1970s for Tony Fall to compete on historic rallies, and was driven on numerous British and European national and international events, including at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The Tony Fall Datsun has most recently been in the care of BTR Preparations, of Castleford, West Yorkshire.
Of unknown capacity, the engine incorporates a race camshaft; modified and polished cylinder head; high-compression racing pistons; correct specification carburettors; and an extractor exhaust manifold.

The car is described by BTR as a ‘very torquey and strong unit when compared with fully modified 2.85-litre rally engines’.

Replaced in January 2011, the clutch is an AP Racing twin-plate item while the gearbox is a very rare works-specification, close-ratio, five-speed synchromesh unit. The ‘box was fully serviced by Datsun preparation expert Laurence Evans (Star Motorsport, Coalville, Leicestershire) prior to its last event.

Fitted with a limited slip differential, the rear axle has been up-rated with the stronger 280Z Tripode/Hookes joint sliding-spline half-shafts.

The suspension struts incorporate Bilstein inserts with motor sport springs, appropriate for UK Historic Rally regulations and particularly for gravel and road use, while the anti-roll bars are original. The rear damper insert bodies have been modified to add grease nipples between the bushes, as ‘stiction’ was a ‘designed in’ problem with the rear strut.

The geometry was last set for the 2007 Rally Britannia’s asphalt conditions. Tony Fall’s own steering, suspension geometry and friction reduction modifications are incorporated to improve ‘driveability’.

The steering features a high-ratio rack with the front suspension modified to reduce bump steer and to rectify a lack of Ackerman geometry. (Both design faults of the original car.)

The steering arm/bottom ball joint fixture (bolted to the strut base) is unique to this car. AP Racing discs and callipers provide stopping power at the front, while the rear disc brake conversion is of unknown make.

Other noteworthy features include a Motorsport exhaust system, skidded appropriately; substantial sump, rear differential and fuel tank guards; and Safety Devices roll cage, fire extinguishers and seat belts.

(The extinguishers will require servicing before the car can be used on an MSA event.)

The car rolls on Japanese-made ‘works’ specification wheels and there are multiple sets of wheels and tyres suitable for various events.

Rarely found Japanese homologation papers are included within the vast paperwork file.

Currently prepared for British historic rallying with paperwork including RAC MSA documentation and copies of the original FIA homologation papers.

Overall a very rare 240z with eligibility to important events backed up with significant history and paperwork. A rare find and perfect for the avid collector.

Marina V8

Marina V8 Rally Car photos by Nige Ryan who said elswhere:

A nice replica of a long distance rally Marina Coupe. The Rover V8 drives through an MGB V8 o/d gearbox. Note the front fabrication to mount the external radiator as per the original car. This belongs to a really nice guy from Newcastle and has only this year started to do shows/events – done about 100 miles so far.

Book your cars in now at London-Sydney50

London to Sydney Marathon 50 logoHi Historic Marathon Rally Groupers – an update on London-Sydney50. We have done a review of the layout at Gaydon for London-Sydney50 and realised that we have a space which members of this group should be entitled to use. While we obviously welcome anyone with a 1960s and 1970s London-Sydney or World Cup Marathon and 1993 London-Sydney car. Or someone with any period rally car (ex-Works or private entry) from any event up to the end of the 1970s … or thereabouts… if not already in touch please do so (e-mail below). In addition if you want to bring a classic car – more recent historic rally, marathon or simply your non competition pride and joy, please e-mail me (important for keeping records) with your name and car details and I will get an HMRG pass to you for the appropriate parking area. . Spread the word!

Trident Venturer 1970 World Cup car

Trident Venturer is a rare car in itself and this one is even rarer because it has history. The seller on eBay claims that this is the very car that took part in the 1970 World Cup Rally. I quote from the advert.

A great opportunity to invest in a rare classic and only selling to make space and reduce my collection. To say this car is rare would be an understatement The unique Venturer coupé was purpose built by the Trident works to compete in the 1970 London to Mexico World Cup Rally and driven on that event by a British Army team. It can clearly be seen at Wembley stadium at the start of the race with many old clips on the British Pathe news reels via utube.It was originally intended H.R.H Prince Michael of Kent would drive but he was later to persuaded to drive for BLMC to help the British car manufacture. The Trident Venturer was a development of the Clipper that had started out as a Trevor Fiore styling exercise commissioned by TVR and first exhibited at the Geneva Salon in 1965. When the Blackpool-based sports car maker went through one of its many financial crises the Clipper project was sold to Bill Last, one of its dealers. Early Clippers used the TVR Grantura chassis before Last switched first to the Austin-Healey 3000 frame and then to that of the Triumph TR6 for the related Venturer and Tycoon models. Ford’s 3.0-litre ‘Essex’ V6 engine was used in the Venturer and the 2.5-litre fuel-injected Triumph TR6 unit in the Tycoon. It is estimated that Trident built approximately 225 cars of all models between 1967 and 1978.

‘VAD 30H’ incorporates a number of special modifications including a strengthened chassis and an impressive roll cage that serves as an integral part of the car’s reinforced chassis/body assembly. Trident also equipped the car with suitably ‘beefed up’ suspension (coil and wishbone front, semi trailing arm rear), dual circuit brakes and increased ride height, all of which, together with left-hand drive, were considered prerequisites for the 16,000-mile adventure ahead. The contemporary interior is a great place to be and you can almost smell the history with a dash full of 1970 dials and toggle switches.

‘VAD 30H’ was entrusted to Captains Marriott and Dill of the 21st Lancers and Royal Green Jackets respectively, both of whom were veterans of the 1968 London to Sydney Marathon. This car is known in rallying circles as ‘The Flying Picasso’ for its multi coloured paintwork depicting the World Cup and various footballers, painted on a green base. It is believed the car was signed by the then England football World Cup team however, the night before the race there were worries that green may be unlucky and so Bill Last’s wife hand-painted over it in white. Despite a promising start and good progress through mainland Europe, the car was damaged by a rock in Yugoslavia and whist fixing the bent steering arm, to co drivers helmet was also stolen. like many of the competitors, the Venturer never made it to Mexico. Forced to turn back, the intrepid Army officers maximised their duty free allowance by filling the large washer bottles with gin before heading home!

The Venturer disappeared after the race and was rediscovered a few years later in an East Anglian farmyard, minus its engine and gearbox. It was later restored and given a thorough mechanical overhaul, fitted with a Ford RS 3.1-litre V6 (incorporating Powermax pistons and gas-flowed cylinder heads) and a five-speed gearbox. Rewired and its brakes refurbished, the car was given a clean bill of health. Left untouched cosmetically, with its distinctive multi-coloured ‘World Cup’ livery.

Crewed by famed navigator Rodney Carter and driver George Holt, ‘VAD 30H’ later participated in the 2004 Monte Carlo Winter Challenge in which it finished 5th in Class 9 despite being handicapped by a wheel bearing failure early in the event.

Running well and sounding awesome the Venturer starts on the button without fail and is lively to drive especially with the off road/snow tyres. A nice gear change as you expect from Ford, helps you make good progress and you soon find yourself settling in to the rhythm and noise of a 70’s rally car. What is not surprising is the amount of attention you get as seemingly every driver and passer by takes a look! In my opinion it looks similar to the Lancia Stratos with it’s sloping bonnet and short cut off rear end. All front and rear guards can be removed if required which you might prefer.

VAD 30H comes complete with boxes of papers including newspaper clippings, lots of Rally photo’s etc. Also included is the official Wembley to Mexico city programme. Lots of invoices going back years with many new detailing it’s history. It would take you months to read it all!

Mot’d till 29th April 2019 the car is ready for it’s next venture, whatever that may be! The previous owner was keen to do the London/Mexico re run but fell short of the 50k needed to complete the Rally although i’m sure the car is up to it. A great car for shows or put in your own collection as an investment, the car is unique.

Viewing recommended,located in the Halstead, Essex CO9 postcode area