What does it take to win a Marathon like the 1970 London to Mexico World Cup Rally?

Preparation, Preparation, Preparation.

16000 miles in just five weeks from Wembley Stadium in London, England to the Aztec Stadium in Mexico City. Just the European leg alone was more demanding than any of us who weren’t there could possibly imagine.

Ford Great Britain masterminded their assault on the 1970 World Cup Rally with such planning that every member of the Works Team, from Managers to Mechanics, Transmission Guru to Transporter Driver, was issued with a set of Confidential ‘Team Ford Instructions’ that set out who would do what, when and where.

Here’s an extract from an original 1970 Instruction book that gives a glimpse of the thought and preparation that went into Servicing and Parts logistics between London and Lisbon, from before the cars left Wembley and until they set sail for Rio de Janeiro to continue their assault on the punishing South American turf.

What, When, and Where?

WHAT…..The Historic Marathon Rally Show also featuring Headline Act The 50th Anniversary Celebration of the 1974 U.D.T. London-Sahara-Munich World Cup Rally

WHEN….Sunday 21st April 2024 (National DRIVE-IT-DAY)

Show Opens at 10.00hrs / 10.00am UK time
Show Closes at 16.00hrs /4.00pm UK time

FREE ADMISSION to the Marathon Rally Show

NOTE: Last Admission (by separate ticket) to the Museum and Collections Centre is at 16.00hrs / 4.00pm

WHERE….British Motor Museum, Banbury Road, Gaydon, Lighthorne Heath, Warwickshire, UK, CV35 0BJ


As we count down the weeks to the Historic Marathon Rally Show on the 21st of April 2024, here’s a taste of the start of the 1974 World Cup Rally, with Rainer Ising and Hans Ludorf leaving Wembley Stadium in Car No.1, and some rare footage of them and other competitors powering their way through the Yateley, Hampshire stage in the afternoon of Day One of the 20 day adventure…..

World Cup Rally 1974

It might be 50 years since Brazilians Carlos Weck and Claudio Mueller set off from Wembley bound for

Munich via the Sahara desert, but the film they somehow managed to take whilst competing is one of the rarest in existence of this extraordinarily challenging Marathon rally. 

After having a replacement transmission assembly flown to Algeria and fitted by the two men after they’d also fixed their car’s damaged suspension, this unusual choice of rally car, a Volkswagen Brasilia, took them all the way to Munich and an incredible 16th place amongst 19 Classified finishers. 

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