Quirky News

  • 12 February 2013, 12:41

Fiat Panda sets Cape Town to London record

Cape crusaders /Rex

Two British adventurers are celebrating after a record-breaking 10,300 mile drive from Cape Town to London in just over ten days - in a Fiat Panda.

Philip Young and Paul Brace set a new record of 10 days, 13 hours and 30 minutes for the route when they crossed the finish line at London's Marble Arch.

The previous record was 14 days, 19 hours and 26 minutes and was set by British Army officer Brigadier John Hemsley and his wife Lucy in 1983 - in a Range Rover V8.

They pair also beat - by more than a day - the record of 11 days, 14 hours and 11 minutes for doing the journey in either direction.

That record was set in a Land Rover Discovery in 2010 by three Brits - brothers Mac and Steve MacKenney and Chris Rawlings.

Mr Young, 63, of Deal, Kent, and Mr Brace, 49, from Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, covered over 1,000 miles per day in their 875cc Panda on a route spanning two continents and 13 countries, including some of the world's most inhospitable.

The 7,000 Panda, designed for nipping around congested cities, became the first car to drive from Sudan into Egypt over a new land frontier.

The pair also passed through Libya even though its borders are officially closed to foreigners.

They started in South Africa on February 1 and travelled through Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia.

Mr Young said: "The trip has been a real eye-opener. It has been one hell of an experience - tough and, at times, extremely gruelling.

"We have been effectively living in the car. Pretty much the only times we got out were for fuel stops and borders. But we have got no regrets about the Panda as a choice of car."

They have raised almost 13,000 so far for British charity Farm Africa, which was set up to tackle hunger in east Africa.