A couple of weeks ago I went to a highly entertaining talk given by Rally Champion Brian Culcheth who with Johnstone Syer finished second in the 1970 Daily Mirror World Cup Rally as celebrated in today’s featured French Triumph ad.
As the talk progressed it soon become apparent that the Quadrant ad agency had somehow managed to select the wrong car for the bottom photo because Brian Culcheth and Johnstone Syer started the 1970 World Cup Rally in a white #88 Triumph 2500 PI Mk2.
The #39 depicted was infact a ‘private’ entry crewed by Adrian Lloyd-Hirst, Brian Englefield and Keith Baker. With the perspective of nearly 50 years there are numerous accounts about this entry which I shall attempt to sumarise below.
Ordnance Survey employee Peter Dyer and fellow employee Keith Baker appear to have got the ball rolling when Peter mentioned the rally to Keith and his friend Adrian Lloyd- Hirst over a couple of beers at a motor club meeting somewhere north of Southampton.
According to Brian Engelfield Adrian managed to persuade a Graham Robinson to buy the left hand drive car which is believed to have come through John McCartney at the Triumph Dealership in Berkley Square London, thought the ‘KV’ part of the registration belies the fact that this car was originally registered in Triumph’s home town of Coventry.
While there has never been any suggestion UKV701H was prepared by the works Triumph team at Abingdon or at the Special Tuning department next door the #39 appears to have been fitted with numerous parts supplied by the works team which include the sump guard, spot light arrangement, 15″ Minilites, air intake scoop on bonnet, roof ventilator, bag tanks (see the fuel filler in the r/h rear wing which suggests that like the Austin Maxi I looked at last week this car was given a good deal of works assistance.
Having survived the European leg of the rally the #39 appears to have retired near Montevideo in Uruguay with suspension problems. Brian Englefield had hoped to acquire the car from Graham Robinson but it was sold by Grahams estate after he died unexpectedly to Peter Barker in Jersey who had the car given the Jersey licence plate J 6749.
According to Brian Engelfield the car ended up rusting away in Cornwall.
Thanks for joining me on this “Je N’est Pas Brian Culcheth” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !