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  Topic Review (Newest First)
05-10-2019 12:38 PM
David Craig Giles,

Good luck on the trek! I love reading about your adventures. I'll have to check out some of those sites.

05-10-2019 05:29 AM
Qldelsie Thats it - The Healey is in China, and I leave for China next week. We leave Beijing at the start of our 36 days Adventure half way round the world on the 2nd June, and, all things being equal, should arrive in Paris on 7th July 36 days later !
If you wnat to follous as we cross the Gobi Desert in Mongolia and the Russian Steppes, we are hoping to get our blog updated, but that will depend on connectivity. So either here https://austin-healeypekingtoparis2019.blogspot.com/ or on our Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/austin.healey.73113

But what might be more fun if you are interested is to go to the organiser's website, the Endurance Rally Association, where they will not only put up a daily report along with rally positions, but also you will be able to see our "trace" provided by our SPOT GPS trackers that are mounted in each car. We are car 77. https://www.endurorally.com/events/t...tor-challenge/

120 entries, lots of Americans, and cars as diverse as a 1907 Contal MotorTri, a 1931 Ford Victoria, a 1928 Rolls Royce Phantom 1, a Rockne, a Hudson Terraplane, a Jensen, a Ferrari 208 GT4, and American XKE, and of course, a 1954 Austin Healey !

Come join us, have a smile, and enjoy the trip half way round the world !

Photo is of our Healey as we headed off to the port last month to load her on the ship.

09-07-2018 07:59 PM
Qldelsie Just to finish off your taster, 4 more pics. One of the two Bentleys in the event. A couple of pics showing why they call it "The Red Centre" !! And Gidget parked next to the immaculate ex USA Lotus Cortina.
09-07-2018 07:56 PM
Qldelsie Almost another year has passed, and like Time, we have not be standing still either !!
Gidget the Austin Healey finally got back on the road about 3 months ago, some 6 months behind schedule. It was just one problem after another. Anyway, after getting her on the road and running, it was time to test her to see if all the work we had done to her was going to enable her to survive in the wild and very rough tracks of Mongolia. So we entered in an Off Road event for Classic Cars called Classic Outback Trial. https://classicoutbacktrial.com.au/
This event is held every 2 years and is increasing in popularity globally due to the ever increasing political correctness of our society where all things motorsport are frowned upon or are politically impossible due to instability in countries. Thus the Paris - Dakar now has had to shift to S America, and events such as the E African Safari are no more. Luckily Australia has a few wide open spaces where only kangaroos gather, and while their hopping skills are phenomenal (Hey, give credit where credit is due !) their writing and verbal skills are thankfully limited and as a result they don't complain about a few old cars rushing past their front doors ! So hopefully this event will grow bigger, although we had several international entries this year (Germany, Belgium, UK, NZ) which is a start.
To sum up the week in the Red Centre, if you can ever imagine a 1929 straight 8 Bentley special roaring past you at top speed in the middle of the Outback at dawn, then you have some idea of the experience we have had. Talk about the hairs on the back of your neck standing straight up !!
As for our faithful 1954 Austin Healey 100/4, Gidget, she performed faultlessly. (The driver and navigator however left something on the table for next time !) I think photos will tell the tale better than any words, but basically it was dusty, dusty dusty !! Full details and lots more photos can be found in our blog which is detailed a couple of posts back.

We are now back home, and a roll bar is being fitted this week, new seats that will hopefully be more comfortable, and lots of small things being done, with the plan to be finished by about March 2019 when we will ship the car to China to begin the Big Adventure !

Hope some of you will enjoy travelling with us vicariously through our blog, or via Facebook at facebook.com/austin.healey.73113
Pics 1-3 show the dusty conditions. Pic 4 shows me camping my way 3000 kms across Australia towing the Healey to the rally in Alice Springs. Pic 5 shows a 1929 Chrysler 75 that has won the Peking to Paris previously.
PS I throw a photo in of Gidget next to an IMMACULATE ex USA LHD Lotus Cortina that keeps this thread at least slightly relevant on this a Lotus forum !!
12-30-2017 11:03 PM
Qldelsie David, If you look at our blog, you can see what we have done to the car to (hopefully) help it survive. Basically the car was in pretty bad condition, and when we pulled it apart we not only found some rust in there, but also evidence of 2 or 3 major accidents - one in the RH side, one in the rear, and one in the front. The main chassis rails were OK, but the outriggers and all the floor and boot panels had to be replaced. All have been strengthened through boxing in / gussetting etc, and all the suspension pick up points similarly reinforced. The Healey chassis is pretty rugged, but ours has now been christened "Sherman" after a certain tank since it is now so strengthened ! Engine mounts all reinforced, gearbox has extra front to rear stabilisers to stop it moving forwards if we stop suddenly, radiator new and fully rubber mounted to avoid vibration fractures, new alloy fuel tank + additional 8 gallon alloy tank to make 20 gals (Imp) total, twin SU fuel pumps, twin coils, twin distributors, 5.5" X 72 spoke wire wheels fitted with 195 x 80 x 15 Yokohama Geolandar off road tyres, exhaust raised out from underneath and up into the LH side to increase ground clearance, and a full alloy skid plate underneath, etc etc. New brakes, new springs, new axle, new all suspension - Basically there is almost nothing in there that is not new or rebuilt fully - Including the engine - We found that the entire engine was rubbish except the block, so that is totally new - Crankshaft, camshaft, pistons, rods, head, valves etc etc. Even the lever arms dampers have been completely redesigned by us, as has the oil sump in order to increase ground clearance. No Healey has ever attempted the Peking to Paris event before, so we have nothing we can copy - We have to work it all out for ourselves !! And we aren't going that far without a plan to finish !
12-22-2017 11:47 AM
David Craig I just watched the half hour Youtube clip of the 2016 rally. It looks like lots of fun if the car can handle it.
12-21-2017 09:58 PM
Qldelsie Still can't put my foot behind my head though !!
12-21-2017 01:42 PM
David Craig Giles,

Nice to know that you are not slowing down. I now have another lunchtime blog to read!
12-20-2017 04:54 PM
Qldelsie More than a year has passed since I last posted - I have been a bit busy rebuilding a car, so time has certainly not stood still for this old man ! I have now owned my 2007 Lotus Europa for a year and absolutely love it. So rare, so quick, and yet so civilized - Big grin inducer !
More interestingly, my Big Trip continues but in a totally different direction. A very good Lotus Club friend in Australia has invited me to be his navigator / co-driver in the 2019 Peking to Paris Classic Marathon Rally. In a 1954 Austin Healey 100 / 4 !! This will make going up the Haul Road in a Lotus Elise look like child's play !! The deal is that because Ashton, the owner of the car, still works, because I am retired I would do the car preparation. When we started I thought it would just involve polishing and maybe changing a couple of wheel bearings or springs - WRONG !! Over the past 9 months we have had to TOTALLY rebuild the car !!
I won't bore you all with the details, but if you are interested in seeing what is going on you can see our blog here http://https://austin-healeypekingto...ogspot.com.au/

The Rally website is here The 7th Peking to Paris Motor Challenge 2019

And if you want to see the kind of conditions we will encounter, try this You Tube clip

Life is good - Even past 70 !!

04-10-2016 12:04 PM
waelsie Almost 2 years later................! A lot of water has passed under my bridge !

Well, it is now April 2016, and I am still on the road ! I did all that I planned - Anacortes, Alaska, Churchill Manitoba (for polar bears), then straight down through the middle of the USA in 5 days (USA wasn't the target this time). Then after a while with friends in Texas, across to Mexicali, down Baja, across to Mexico, and then all the way down through central America to Panama. Ship car to Columbia, and keep going, criss-crossing the Andes several times (because they were so stunning !), and on down to Patagonia, up to Torres del Paine and Mount Fitzroy before heading down through Tierra del Fuego to Ushuaia. Then up the east coast, seeing the killer whales beaching themselves to grab baby seals, up to Iguazu Falls, then near Rio before dropping down to Montevideo. As both the car and myself were still OK, decided to keep going so shipped the car to Europe, travelling on the same car carrier commercial vessel with my car, which was rather interesting. Got to Europe in June 2015, and then drove up to the top of Norway on the Russian border, then down through Finland and all the Baltic States down to Italy, then back to UK for Christmas. In January we went off down through Spain to Morocco and had a ball playing in the Atlas mountains and out in the Sahara - What a fantastic country !
Now back in the UK, and on the 22nd April my car is being shipped to Halifax Nova Scotia. While the car is on the water for 10 days, I am flying to Iceland and renting a small camper for a week, and going to search (yet again) for the Auora Borealis ! Then I fly to Halfax to meet my car, and plan is currently to spend a month or so around NS and Newfoundland before dropping down to Niagara, then down to Indianapolis before driving back to the west and the Rockies and Alaska (I love that place) but with a route not yet planned. Then in about Sept or Oct 2016 plan to ship the car from Seattle home to Australia. After that ? Hmmmm, not sure !

Point is, anyone on my route who would like a beer or a chat about Lotus and life, would love to try to arrange a meet up. And if anyone has any suggestions of an interesting way to cross from Niagara to Alaska, I would be open to ideas. Thinking at the moment of going through Yellowstone again, since it was all closed up due to snow last time I was there in the Lotus !

And as you can perhaps imagine, I do have a couple of ideas of what to do next ! As I will be 69 this year, I feel that to return to another Elise would be to go "backwards", and I can't really afford to go bigger (ie Evora). But then I started thinking about the newer Europa that, like the early Elise, never came to America, like the one in the photo below. I looked at them when new and I kind of disconted them, but they produced only about 400 cars, about half of which were LHD, which makes them pretty rare. Given a 2 litre turbo engine with 195 or an easy 225 upgrade, plus usual light weight, and it makes for a pretty exciting drive, and, given my age, with a hard top and A/C and a slightly more comfortable interior, it starts to look quite attractive. So I am starting to look around for a suitable one.........And if I find the right one, I will have to get it back to Australia from UK, so I might just have to drive it across the USA again !! Now THAT would be a one off !!!

Anyway, just thought I would say g'day to all my friends in USA, and see if anyone on my approximate route wants a beer or get together.

Cheers, Giles
05-27-2014 11:57 AM
michael.white Giles,

Mid- to late-July would be a good time, especially if I'm still unemployed.
05-03-2014 03:04 AM
mevistox5 This is the famous BvM

05-02-2014 05:04 PM
holmz Giles is that Bob Van M doing the Au Trip?
05-02-2014 09:33 AM
Originally Posted by waelsie View Post
Hey Nico - Mine could be the very same vehicle you went round Australia in as mine used to be a rental vehicle !!! If so, I hope you drove it very carefully !!
There is a Dutch (LHD) Troopie over here right now - Just been shipped in after 3 years in Australia !! See here www.TwoDutchies.com - Home Its all in Dutch so you may do better than me reading it !!
Hope to catch up with them in Alaska somewhere.
Are you with the Dutch Elise group ? Do you know Bob van Melzen ? I went to the 'Ring with him in the early Elise days before he went Audi engined !!
Only drove it from Darwin over the Tanimi to Alice Springs and then up to Nothern Queensland.

Yes I know Bob. He's still around and enjoying the audi-ed Elise. Still active on SELOC too.

The link you gave is a good read. In 2010 they quit their jobs in order to travel. Being a travel nomad really is a way of life. Still not brave enough to make the step. So we drive around in small parts. Australia, Chile, Argentina, Canada....
05-02-2014 09:15 AM
Originally Posted by lotus54 View Post
Are you going through Port Angeles?
Unfortunately not. Going straight across from Anacortes to VI on the ferry on Tuesday morning.
05-01-2014 08:11 PM
lotus54 Are you going through Port Angeles?
05-01-2014 07:41 PM
waelsie Who is the yellow Elige that spoke to my sister tonight (in a Ford Escape) on Hwy 20, that turned off to go to Oak Harbour ? (Sister thinks you were an Exige with the roof off, but not sure). Apparently you knew of my 2012 trip ???
Also I saw a yellow Elise going south out of Anacortes 2 days ago heading towards the Oak Harbour. Could it have been the same car ????
Anyone on here ?
05-01-2014 06:24 PM
waelsie Hey Nico - Mine could be the very same vehicle you went round Australia in as mine used to be a rental vehicle !!! If so, I hope you drove it very carefully !!
There is a Dutch (LHD) Troopie over here right now - Just been shipped in after 3 years in Australia !! See here www.TwoDutchies.com - Home Its all in Dutch so you may do better than me reading it !!
Hope to catch up with them in Alaska somewhere.
Are you with the Dutch Elise group ? Do you know Bob van Melzen ? I went to the 'Ring with him in the early Elise days before he went Audi engined !!
04-30-2014 09:36 AM
mevistox5 I started following your blog. You're doing the trip now that's been in my mind for quite a while....

The trooper looks familiar. Been on a roundtrip with the wife in Australia in september 2013 in one of those. Looking forward to you're reports.Take care and stay safe.


Nico van Steen
04-29-2014 07:36 PM
waelsie Yes Mitch, it was. Things are ALWAYS better when you have had to work and wait for them !! I know you probably didn't want to hear that, but.........!!

Anyway, am back in Anacortes now, and Troopie arrived safely into Tacoma last week. Waiting for other half to arrive then setting off on 6th May to Vancouver Island, then by ferry up the Inside Passage and Sitka, getting off in Haines and driving up from there. REALLY looking forward to the ferries up the coast. Now amended itinerary (after Alaska) to go across to Churchill on Hudson Bay and see Polar Bears (hopefully) and swim with the Beluga Whales. Then south down through the middle (??) maybe via Indianapolis, down to Houston by about early to mid July (best I can do at the moment Michael), then across and down Baja, ferry to Mazatlan, then south from there...............

Can't wait to get on the road !

And look what was in front of me in the traffic driving north to Anacortes !! We had a brief chat when the traffic ground to a halt !

Hope to catch up with a few of you on the way through - Going down to ELC in Seattle this weekend, then hopefully finding a couple of people on Vancouver Island, as well as some of the Alaska guys.

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