The 1974 World Cup Car Rally started in London on Sunday (5 May). The 53?
The 1974 World Cup Car Rally started in London on Sunday (5 May). The 53 entrants were flagged away from Wembley Stadium at the start of their 11,000 mile (17,000 kms) motoring adventure which will take them through 14 countries.
Ahead of them is one of the biggest adventures of all -- a two-way crossing of the Sahara Desert. The Rally will end in Munich, West Germany, on May 25.
The 15-nation entry includes production cars, several general purpose vehicles and a magnificent 44-year-old Bentley, entered by a British driver.
After two special stages the cars will board a ferry at Southampton, on the English south coast, before driving through France and Spain then crossing to North Africa.
The organisers expect less than half the cars to finish the gruelling event.
The Sahara stage was mapped out by helicopters and the only indications of the route there are painted oil drums.
Tipped as likely winners are Andrew Cowan (Ford) and Shekhar Mehta (Lancia). The prize is 16,000 sterling. Following the North African stage of the event, cars still running will travel by road and boat through Italy to Greece and Turkey, then to Yugoslavia, Austria and finally, West Germany.