1968 London–Sydney Marathon

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1968 London-Sydney Marathon
Daily Express-Daily Telegraph London-Sydney Marathon
Host countryUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
Australia Australia
Rally baseLondon
Dates run24 November – 17 December 1968
Stage surfaceTarmac and Gravel
Overall distance16,694 km (10,373 miles)
Overall winnerUnited Kingdom Andrew Cowan
United Kingdom Colin Malkin
United Kingdom Brian Coyle
United Kingdom Rootes Motor Group
Crews98 at start, 56 at finish

The 1968 London–Sydney Marathon, officially Daily Express-Daily Telegraph London-Sydney Marathon was the first running of the London-Sydney Marathon. The rally took place between the 24th of November and the 17th of December 1968. The event covered 10,373 miles (16,694 km) through Europe, Asia and Australia. It was won by Andrew Cowan, Colin Malkin and Brian Coyle, driving a Hillman Hunter.


The original Marathon was the result of a lunch in late 1967, during a period of despondency in Britain caused by the devaluation of the pound.[1][2] Sir Max Aitken, proprietor of the Daily Express, and two of his editorial executives, Jocelyn Stevens and Tommy Sopwith, decided to create an event which their newspaper could sponsor, and which would serve to raise the country's spirits. Such an event would, it was felt, act as a showcase for British engineering and would boost export sales in the countries through which it passed.

The initial UK£10,000 winner's prize offered by the Daily Express was soon joined by a £3,000 runners-up award and two £2,000 prizes for the third-placed team and for the highest-placed Australians, all of which were underwritten by the Daily Telegraph newspaper and its proprietor Sir Frank Packer, who was eager to promote the Antipodean leg of the rally.[1]

The route[edit]

An eight-man organising committee was established to create a suitably challenging but navigable route. Jack Sears, organising secretary and himself a former racing driver, plotted a 7,000-mile course covering eleven countries in as many days, and arranged that the P&O liner SS Chusan would ferry the first 72 cars and their crews on the nine-day voyage from India, before the final 2,900 miles across Australia:[3][4]

Europe and Asia
Leg Date Start Finish Allowed time Description
1 24–25 November London Paris 12h 32m 2300hrs depart Crystal Palace, London; 0400hrs depart England at Dover on the cross-channel ferry to France; 1132hrs arrive Le Bourget Airport, Paris.
2 25–26 November Paris Turin 13h 32m To Italy via the Mont Blanc Tunnel; 0052hrs arrive Turin.
3 26 November Turin Belgrade 21h 12m Autostrada towards Venice before crossing into Yugoslavia; 2204hrs arrive Belgrade.
4 26–27 November Belgrade Istanbul 15h 31m Through Bulgaria by night into Turkey; 1335hrs arrive Istanbul.
5 27–28 November Istanbul Sivas 12h 25m Crossing the Bosphorus by ferry, through Ankara and the Bolu Pass; 0300hrs arrive Sivas.
6 28 November Sivas Erzincan 2h 45m Heading east across unsurfaced roads; 0445hrs Erzincan.
7 28–29 November Erzincan Tehran 22h 01m Cross border into Iran; 0246hrs arrive Tehran.
8 29–30 November Tehran Kabul 23h 33m Follow one of two routes to Islam Qala in Afghanistan, either the northerly route across the Alburz Mountains skirting the southern shores of the Caspian Sea, or the shorter but more treacherous route along the north edge of the Great Salt Desert;[5] 0219hrs arrive Kabul, where timeous crews can enjoy a 6.5 hour rest before the Khyber pass opens.
9 30 November Kabul Sarobi 1h 00m 0842hrs depart Kabul across an obsolete, loose-surfaced road through the Lataband Pass; 0942hrs arrive Sarobi.
10 30 November – 1 December Sarobi Delhi 17h 55m Cross Pakistan in a day into India; 0337hrs arrive Delhi.
11 1–2 December Delhi Bombay 22h 51m Pass through Agra and Indore; 0228hrs arrive Bombay.

The remaining crews departed Bombay at 3 am on Thursday 5 December, arriving in Fremantle at 10 am on Friday 13 December before they restarted in Perth the following evening. Any repairs attempted on the car during the voyage would lead to the crew's exclusion.[6]

Leg Date Start Finish Allowed time Description
12 14–15 December Perth Youanmi 7h 00m Depart 1800hrs from Gloucester Park, traversing smooth but unsurfaced road; 0100hrs arrive deserted mining town of Youanmi.
13 15 December Youanmi Marvel Loch 4h 03m Through semi-desert via Diemal to asphalt road at Bullfinch; 0503hrs arrive Marvel Loch.
14 15 December Marvel Loch Lake King 1h 59m Into the Nullarbor Desert; 0702hrs arrive Lake King (crossroads).
15 15 December Lake King Ceduna 14h 52m 2154hrs arrive Ceduna.
16 15–16 December Ceduna Quorn 6h 18m 0412hrs arrive Quorn.
17 16 December Quorn Moralana Creek 1h 17m 0529hrs arrive Moralana Creek.
18 16 December Moralana Creek Brachina 1h 30m 0659hrs arrive Brachina.
19 16 December Brachina Mingary 4h 10m 1109hrs arrive Mingary.
20 16 December Mingary Menindee 2h 12m 1329hrs arrive Menindee.
21 16 December Menindee Gunbar 5h 18m 1839hrs arrive Gunbar.
22 16 December Gunbar Edi 4h 26m 2305hrs arrive Edi.
23 16–17 December Edi Brookside 1h 00m 0005hrs arrive Brookside.
24 17 December Brookside Omeo 1h 55m 0200hrs arrive Omeo.
25 17 December Omeo Murrindal 2h 06m 0406hrs arrive Murrindal.
26 17 December Murrindal Ingebyra 1h 31m 0537hrs arrive Ingebyra.
27 17 December Ingebyra Numeralla 1h 29m 0706hrs arrive Numeralla.
28 17 December Numeralla Hindmarsh Station 0h 42m 0748hrs arrive Hindmarsh Station.
29 17 December Hindmarsh Station Nowra 2h 01m 0949hrs arrive Nowra.
30 17 December Nowra Warwick Farm 3h 30m 1319hrs arrive Warwick Farm.
31 18 December Warwick Farm Sydney Arrive in procession, Sydney.


Pos No Entrant Drivers Car Penalties (Points)
1 75 United Kingdom Rootes Motors Group United Kingdom Andrew Cowan
United Kingdom Colin Malkin
United Kingdom Brian Coyle
Hillman Hunter 50
2 51 United Kingdom British Leyland Cars United Kingdom Paddy Hopkirk
United Kingdom Tony Nash
Republic of Ireland Alec Poole
BMC Austin 1800 56
3 24 Australia Ford Motor Company of Australia Australia Ian Vaughan
Australia Robert Forsyth
Australia Jack Ellis
Ford Falcon XT GT 62
4 58 Poland Sobiesław Zasada Poland Sobiesław Zasada
Poland Marek Wachowski
Porsche 911S 63
5 61 United Kingdom British Leyland Cars Finland Rauno Aaltonen
United Kingdom Henry Liddon
United Kingdom Paul Easter
BMC Austin 1800 68
6 29 Australia Ford Motor Company of Australia Australia Bruce Hodgson
Australia Doug Rutherford
Ford Falcon XT GT 70
7 92 Germany Ford Werke Deutschland AG Germany Herbert Kleint
Germany Günther Klapproth
Ford Taunus 20M RS 91
8 2 Australia Ford Motor Company of Australia Australia Harry Firth
Australia Graham Hoinville
Australia Gary Chapman
Ford Falcon XT GT 114
9 74 France Citroën Cars France Robert Neyret
France Jacques Terramorsi
Citroën DS 21 123
10 48 United Kingdom Ford Motor Company Limited United Kingdom Roger Clark
Sweden Ove Andersson
Ford Cortina Lotus Mark II 144
11 12 Australia TVW-7, Daily News, Perth Australia Ken Tubman
Australia Jack Forrest
Volvo 144S 146
12 76 Australia Sydney Telegraph-Holden Dealer Rally Team Australia Barry Ferguson
Australia Doug Chivas
Australia Dave Johnson
Holden Monaro HK GTS 327 169
13 43 Australia AMOCO Australia Limited Australia Andre Welinski
Australia Gerry Lister
Volvo 144S 171
14 68 Australia Sydney Telegraph-Holden Dealer Rally Team Australia Doug Whiteford
Australia Eddie Perkins
Australia Jim Hawker
Holden Monaro HK GTS 327 173
15 55 Kenya E.G. Herrmann Kenya Edgar Herrmann
Germany Hans Schüller
Porsche 911T 195
16 57 Germany Ford Werke Deutschland AG Belgium Gilbert Staepelaere
Finland Simo Lampinen
Ford Taunus 20M RS 206
17 30 Netherlands Dutch National Team Netherlands Rob Slotemaker
Netherlands Rob Janssen
DAF 55 208
18 32 United Kingdom Captain F. Barker United Kingdom Capt. Fred Barker
United Kingdom Capt. David Dollar
United Kingdom Capt. John Lewis
Mercedes-Benz 280S 264
19 64 United Kingdom Red Arrows-Evan Cook Limited United Kingdom Flight Lt. Terry Kingsley
United Kingdom Flight Lt. Derek Bell
United Kingdom Flight Lt. Peter Evans
BMC Austin 1800 266
20 19 Soviet Union Avtoexport Soviet Union Sergei Tenishev
Soviet Union Valentin Kislyh
Moskvitch 408 269
21 31 Australia BMC Australia Australia Evan Green
Australia Jack 'Gelignite' Murray
Australia George Shepheard
BMC Austin 1800 332
22 98 Soviet Union Avtoexport Soviet Union Uno Aava
Soviet Union Jurij Lesovski
Moskvitch 408 358
23 1 United Kingdom RTS Motorway Remoulds United Kingdom Bill Bengry
United Kingdom Arthur Brick
United Kingdom John Preddy
Ford Cortina GT Mark II 360
24 4 United Kingdom British Leyland Cars United Kingdom Tony Fall
United Kingdom Mike Wood
United Kingdom Brian Culcheth
BMC Austin 1800 430
25 56 United Kingdom A.J. Percy United Kingdom Alister Percy
United Kingdom Jeremy Delmar-Morgan
Saab 95 V4 Estate 438
26 62 Australia Desmond Praznovsky Australia Desmond Praznovsky
Australia Stan Zovko
Australia Ian Inglis
Mercedes-Benz 200D 455
27 83 Republic of Ireland Kentredder (Ireland) Limited Republic of Ireland John Cotton
Republic of Ireland Sylvia Kay
Republic of Ireland Paddy McClintock
Peugeot 404 470
28 71 United Kingdom Vantona Eyeware Limited United Kingdom Brian Field
United Kingdom Des Tilley
United Kingdom David Jones
BMC Austin 1800 570
29 72 United Kingdom Ernie McMillen United Kingdom Ernie McMillen
United Kingdom John L'Amie
United Kingdom Ian Drysdale
Ford Cortina Lotus Mark II 587
30 90 United Kingdom British Army Motoring Association-Ford Motor Co. United Kingdom Capt. David Harrison
United Kingdom Lt. Martin Proudlock
Ford Cortina Lotus Mark II 623
31 17 United Kingdom Royal Navy United Kingdom Capt. James Hans Hamilton
United Kingdom Capt. Ian Lees-Spalding
United Kingdom Cmdr. Philip Stearns
BMC Austin 1800 656
32 45 United Kingdom RAF Motorsport Association-Rootes Motors United Kingdom Flight Lt. David Carrington
United Kingdom Squadron Ldr. Anthony King
United Kingdom Flight Lt. John Jones
Hillman Hunter 715
33 7 Soviet Union Avtoexport Soviet Union Alexander Ipatenko
Soviet Union Alexander Terehin
Soviet Union Eduard Bazhenov
Moskvitch 408 776
34 70 United Kingdom Wilson's Motor Caravan Centre United Kingdom Anthony Wilson
United Kingdom Francis McDonnell
United Kingdom Colin Taylor
BMC Austin 1800 816
35 60 United Kingdom Terry-Thomas Team United Kingdom Peter Capelin
United Kingdom Antony Pargeter
United Kingdom Tim Baker
Ford Cortina 1600E Mark II 873
36 77 United Kingdom Big 'N' Cash & Carry Group United Kingdom Robert Eaves
United Kingdom John Vipond
United Kingdom Frank Bainbridge
BMC Austin 1800 873
37 54 United Kingdom British Army Motoring Association United Kingdom Maj. John Hemsley
United Kingdom WO1 Frank Webber
Rover 2000 TC 894
38 20 Soviet Union Avtoexport Soviet Union Victor Schavelev
Soviet Union Emmanuil 'Misha' Lifshits
Soviet Union Valerij Shirotchenkov
Moskvitch 408 942
39 18 United Kingdom M.A. Colvill United Kingdom Mike Greenwood
United Kingdom Dave Aldridge
Ford Cortina Mark I 1,075
40 46 France Simca Motors France Bernard Heu
France Jean-Claude Syda
Simca 1100 1,658
41 33 United Kingdom Miss Elsie Gadd United Kingdom Elsie Gadd
United Kingdom Jenny Tudor-Owen
United Kingdom Sheila Kemp
United Kingdom Anthea Castell
Volvo 145S Estate 2,399
42 47 United Kingdom Nova Magazine United Kingdom Jean Denton
United Kingdom Tom Boyce
MG MGB 2,408
43 11 Switzerland Blick Racing Team Switzerland Frizt Reust
Switzerland P. Grazter
Switzerland Axel Béguin
Renault 16 TS 2,491
44 44 United Kingdom British Army Motoring Association United Kingdom Maj. Mike Bailey
United Kingdom Maj. Freddie Preston
Rover 2000 TC 2,848
45 78 United Kingdom Supersport Engines Limited United Kingdom Jim Gavin
United Kingdom John Maclay
United Kingdom Martin Maudling
Ford Escort GT 3,665
46 53 United States S.H. Dickson United States Sidney Dickson
United States John Saladin
United States Jerry Sims
Rambler American 3,746
47 42 United Kingdom P.G. Graham United Kingdom Peter Graham
United Kingdom Leslie Morrish
United Kingdom Michael Wooley
Ford Cortina Savage V6 5,925
48 93 Republic of Ireland Henry Ford and Son Republic of Ireland Rosemary Smith
France Lucette Pointet
Ford Cortina Lotus Mark II 6,139
49 99 United Kingdom 17th/21st Lancers United Kingdom Lt. Gavin Thompson
United Kingdom Lt. Christopher Marriott
United Kingdom Cpl. Charles Skelton
United Kingdom Tpr. Melvin Lewis
Land Rover 2WD 6,787
50 41 Australia Sydney Telegraph Australia Eileen Westley
Australia Marion 'Minny' Macdonald
Australia Jenny Gates
Morris 1100 S 8,111
51 79 United Kingdom P.A. Downs United Kingdom Pat Downs
United Kingdom Anthony Downs
Volkswagen 1200 9,603
52 40 United Kingdom Jim Russell Drivers' School Australia David Walker
United Kingdom Brian Jones
United Kingdom Doug Morris
Vauxhall Ventora 9,775
53 82 United Kingdom D.G. Bray United Kingdom Duncan Bray
United Kingdom Simon Sladen
United Kingdom Peter Sugden
Ford Cortina Lotus Mark II 11,465
54 91 Australia Maitland Motors Australia Bert Madden
Australia Jack 'Milko' Murray
Australia John Bryson
Holden HK Belmont Automatic 11,646
55 8 Australia AMOCO Australia Limited Australia Max Winkless
Australia John Keran
Volvo 144S 13,350
56 69 Netherlands Dutch National Team Netherlands David van Lennep
Netherlands Peter Hissink
DAF 55 13,790
DNF 87 France Citroën Cars Belgium Lucien Bianchi
France Jean-Claude Ogier
Citroën DS 21 Retired-TC29 Nowra
DNF 89 United Kingdom Longlife Group United Kingdom Robin Clark
United Kingdom Martin Pearson
United Kingdom Peter Hall
Ford Cortina Mark II Retired-TC28 Hindmarsh
DNF 52 United Kingdom John Sprinzel United Kingdom John Sprinzel
United Kingdom Roy Fidler
MG Midget Retired-TC21 Gunbar
DNF 36 Australia Sydney Telegraph-Holden Dealer Rally Team Australia David McKay
Australia George Reynolds
Australia David Liddle
Holden Monaro HK GTS 327 Retired-TC20 Menindee
DNF 94 France Automobile Club de France-Citroën Cars France Jean-Louis Lemerle
France Olivier Turcat
France Patrick Vanson
Citroën DS 21 Retired-TC19 Mingary
DNF 10 United Kingdom Royal Green Jackets United Kingdom George Yannaghas
United Kingdom Lt. Jack Dill
Porsche 911T Retired-TC19 Mingary
DNF 3 United Kingdom Avon-RAF Motorsport Association United Kingdom First Officer Nigel Coleman
United Kingdom Flight Lt. Allan Dalgleish
United Kingdom Flight Lt. Sean Moloney
Ford Cortina GT Mark II Retired-TC19 Mingary
DNF 95 Japan Nobuo Koga Japan Nobuo Koga
Japan Yojiro Terada
Japan Kazuhiko Mitsumoto
Vauxhall Viva GT Retired-TC18 Brachina
DNF 28 Australia A.N. Gorshenin Australia Alec Gorshenin
Australia Ian Bryson
Mercedes-Benz 280SL Retired-TC18 Brachina
DNF 100 France Simca Motors France Pierre Boucher
France Georges Houel
Simca 1100 Retired-TC17 Moralana
DNF 27 United Kingdom Frank Goulden United Kingdom Frank Goulden
United Kingdom Barry Goulden
United Kingdom Geoffrey Goulden
Triumph 2000 Mark I Retired-TC17 Moralana
DNF 73 United Kingdom Ford Motor Company Limited United Kingdom Eric Jackson
United Kingdom Ken Chambers
Ford Cortina Lotus Mark II Retired-TC16 Quorn
DNF 26 United Kingdom M.J.C. Taylor United Kingdom Michael Taylor
United Kingdom Innes Ireland
United Kingdom Andrew Hedges
Mercedes-Benz 280SE Retired-TC16 Quorn
DNF 13 United Kingdom J.G. Tallis United Kingdom John Tallis
France Paul Coltelloni
Volvo 123GT Retired-TC14 Lake King
DNF 25 United Kingdom Chesson Lydden Circuit-La Trobe Brafield Stadium United Kingdom John La Trobe
United Kingdom William Chesson
United Kingdom G. Warner
Volvo 122S Retired-TC14 Lake King
DNF 6 Australia Combined Insurance Company of America Australia Clyde Hodgins
Australia Don Wait
Australia Brian Lawler
Ford Fairmont XP Retired-TC14 Lake King
DNF 88 France Simca Motors France Roger Masson
France Jean Py
Simca 1100 Retired-TC11 Bombay
DNF 9 Switzerland A.A. Bombelli Switzerland Alfredo 'Freddy' Bombelli
Denmark Tom Belsø
Ford Cortina Lotus Mark II Retired-TC11 Bombay
DNF 34 United Kingdom Keith Brierley United Kingdom Keith Brierley
United Kingdom Dave Skittrall
Ford Cortina Lotus Mark II Retired-TC11 Bombay
DNF 63 Australia AMOCO Australia Limited Australia Bob Holden
Australia Laurie Graham
Volvo 142S Retired-TC10 Delhi
DNF 96 United Kingdom Ronald Rogers United Kingdom Ronald Rogers
United Kingdom Alec Sheppard
Ford Cortina 1600E Mark II Retired-TC10 Delhi
DNF 66 United Kingdom T.E. Buckingham United Kingdom T. Buckingham
United Kingdom J. Lloyd
United Kingdom D. Hackleton
Ford Cortina GT Mark II Retired-TC9 Sarobi
DNF 14 Germany Ford Werke Deutschland AG Germany Dieter Glemser
Germany Martin Braungart
Ford Taunus 20M RS Retired-TC8 Kabul
DNF 39 Australia Addison Motors Australia Stewart McLeod
Australia Jack Lock
Australia Tony Theiler
Alfa Romeo 1750 Berlina Retired-TC8 Kabul
DNF 59 United Kingdom Porsche Cars GB Limited United Kingdom Terry Hunter
United Kingdom John Davenport
Porsche 911S Retired-TC8 Kabul
DNF 22 Italy Giancarlo Baghetti Italy Giancarlo Baghetti
Italy Giorgio Bassi
Lancia Fulvia Rallye 1.3 HF Retired-TC8 Kabul
DNF 21 United Kingdom Hillcrest Motor Company United Kingdom Berwyn Williams
United Kingdom Martin Thomas
United Kingdom Barry Hughes
BMC Austin 1800 Retired-TC8 Kabul
DNF 86 United Kingdom Pan Australian Unit Trust-Southern Cross Management United Kingdom Colin Forsyth
United Kingdom Robbie Uniacke
United Kingdom James Rich
BMW 2000 Retired-TC8 Kabul
DNF 23 United Kingdom P.R.H. Wilson United Kingdom Peter Wilson
Australia Ian Mackelden
Australia Keith Dwyer
United Kingdom D. Maxwell
Ford Corsair 2000E Retired-TC8 Kabul
DNF 35 United Kingdom R.A. Buchanan-Michaelson United Kingdom Robert 'Bobby' Buchanan-Michaelson
United Kingdom David Seigle-Morris
Australia Max Stahl
Mercedes-Benz 280SE Retired-TC8 Kabul
DNF 81 India Dr. Bomsi Wadia India Bomsi Wadia
India K. Tarmaster
India F. Kaka
Ford Cortina GT Mark II Retired-TC8 Kabul
DNF 50 United Kingdom Ford Motor Company Limited United Kingdom Nick Brittan
Australia Jenny Brittan
Ford Cortina Lotus Mark II Retired-TC8 Kabul
DNF 97 Australia Lunwin Products Pty. Ltd. Australia Reg Lunn
Australia Clive Tippett
Australia Jack Hall
Ford Falcon XT GT Retired-TC7 Tehran
DNF 15 Australia G.P. Franklin Australia Geoffrey Franklin
Australia Kim Brassington
Ford Cortina GT Mark I Retired-TC7 Tehran
DNF 65 United Kingdom Hydraulic Machinery (GB) Limited United Kingdom Graham White
United Kingdom John Jeffcoat
United Kingdom David Dunnell
BMC Austin 1800 Retired-TC7 Tehran
DNF 84 United Kingdom C.K.W. Schellenberg United Kingdom Keith Schellenberg
United Kingdom Norman Barclay
United Kingdom Hon. Patrick Lindsay
Bentley 1930 Sports Tourer Retired-TC6 Erzincan
DNF 5 United Kingdom Redge Lewis United Kingdom Peter Lumsden
United Kingdom Peter Sargent
United Kingdom Redge Lewis
United Kingdom John Fenton
Chrysler Valiant VE Safari Estate Retired-TC5 Sivas
DNF 37 United Kingdom W.D. Cresdee United Kingdom Dennis Cresdee
United Kingdom Bob Freeborough
United Kingdom Johnstone Syer
BMC Austin 1300 Countryman Retired-TC5 Sivas
DNF 38 United Kingdom Ford Motor Company Limited Sweden Bengt Söderström
Sweden Gunnar Palm
Ford Cortina Lotus Mark II Retired-TC5 Sivas
DNF 85 United Kingdom Tecalemit Limited United Kingdom Peter Harper
United Kingdom David Pollard
Ford Cortina Lotus Mark II Retired-TC5 Sivas
DNF 16 United Kingdom D.A. Corbett United Kingdom David Corbett
United Kingdom Geoffrey Mabbs
United Kingdom Tom Fisk
BMC Austin 1800 Retired-TC3 Belgrade
DNF 67 United Kingdom C.J. Woodley United Kingdom Cecil Woodley
United Kingdom Steven Green
United Kingdom Richard Cullingford
Vauxhall Ventora Retired-TC3 Belgrade


  1. ^ a b "How It All Began", transcript of contemporary Daily Telegraph report, marathon68.homestead.com
  2. ^ "The great adventure of the decade" Archived 7 December 2006 at the Wayback Machine, Julian Marsh, Citroënët, 1996
  3. ^ "Timetable of the Marathon", marathon68.homestead.com
  4. ^ "The Route", Alan Sawyer, marathon68.homestead.com
  5. ^ "10,000 Miles of Road Hazards", Jack Sears, marathon68.homestead.com
  6. ^ "Rules that give everyone a chance to win", marathon68.homestead.com
  7. ^ Robert Connor, The 1968 London to Sydney Marathon: A History of the 10,000 Mile Endurance Rally, 2016, pages 283-290
  8. ^ John Smailes, Race Across The World, 2018, pages 327-339