Historics of Brooklands is offering one of the more unlikely competitors in the 1970 World Cup Rally, an Austin Maxi. The car, which goes on sale on 9 March in Surrey was one of the first 500 built and ended up taking an all-female team on a 16,000 mile epic.
The Maxi was professionally-prepared for the event in 1970 by BLMC dealer, Marshalls of Cambridge, with the assistance and full co-operation of the BLMC Motorsport department in Abingdon.
The original 1485cc E-Series engine was uprated to a factory 1748cc unit – as installed in later production Maxis – by Tish Ozanne after the World Cup Rally, so she could contest European events following its return from South America. The interior of the car is festooned with the original rally equipment that bears testament to its London to Mexico journey and later competition life, and has recently benefitted from extensive work by its original builder, Peter Baldwin.
It was restored by the present owner to the original specification, plus appropriate upgrades such as contemporary tyres, the Maxi is a perfect example of the international rally car genre of its day.
Ultimately, the team, made up of Tish Ozanne, Bronwyn Burrell and Tina Kerridge (below) didn’t make it to the end of the event, being forced out through being out of time at a control point in Argentina, the car showed promise, running as highly as 35th out of 106 starters in the European rally stages.
Commenting recently on the end of their rally, Tina Kerridge remarked: ‘It all comes flooding back to me – ‘flooding’ being the operative word. Something like four inches of rain fell in one hour and we simply got bogged down in the most desolate area, in the middle of the night, surrounded by pampas grass, and nothing else. It was so disappointing as we had been going so well. We just sat there and cried.’
It’s in its original 1970 Daily Mirror London-Mexico World Cup Rally livery, the car is in excellent condition throughout, fully road legal and drives well on the road – and ready for the historic rally stage – with 38,000 recorded miles on the odometer. It also comes to sale with a large historical file of documents, photographs and press cuttings from the period.
With only one other rallying Maxi with works history from the event languishing in the Heritage Motor Centre at Gaydon, ‘MCE 7G’ represents an opportunity to acquire a very unusual and well-presented model. With the historic endurance rallying scene growing in popularity, it’s also an excellent opportunity to buy a car with provenance at a good price, assuming it falls within the estimate of £19,000-24,000.