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The 1968 London to Sydney Marathon


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About the Author

Robert Connor has had a life-long passion for all things automotive. He lives in Gloucestershire, England.


This extensive paperback tells the story of the epic 1968 London to Sydney Marathon, with its author Robert Connor, making good use of quotes from those who took part. Plenty of archive pictures help to set the scene, and this is an entertaining - if somewhat expensive - account. -Classic and Sports Car Clearly a labour of love, this details the impressive 10,000-mile endurance event contested by 255 men and women in 98 vehicles almost 50 years ago. Starting from its origins during an alcohol-fuelled lunch shared by Tommy Sopwith and Jocelyn Stevens, it traces the planning and promotion before delving into competitor's personal stories, giving the book an important human touch. The style of interjecting chronological overview with chapters dedicated to different teams is a touch jarring, but many of the recollections are too good to pass up. If the thought of reading about a half-century old endurance rally doesn't appeal, think again. This is a fine, enjoyable book. -MotorSport The 1968 London to Sydney Marathon saw more than 250 people set off on a 10,000-mile endurance rally from London to Sydney. Crossing 10 countries, competitors encountered treacherous driving conditions, collisions, injuries, kangaroos, and millions of spectators crowding the roads. This new 308-page book draws from personal recollections of over 60 participants and contemporary newspaper and magazine articles. It tells the full story of the Marathon, from an idea dreamed up over lunch to the last car over the finish line. - Classic Ford On 24th November 1968, more than 250 people from 19 nations set off on a 10,000-mile endurance rally from London to Sydney. Crossing 10 countries, competitors encountered officious border guards, gangs of rock-throwing children, treacherous driving conditions, collisions, breakdowns, injuries, wayward dogs, livestock, camels and kangaroos, millions of spectators crowding the roads and even bandits. Among the professional drivers were a large number of enthusiastic amateurs, many of whom had never raced in their lives. This book draws from personal recollections of more than 60 participants - many of whom made it to Sydney and many more who didn't - and contemporary newspaper and magazine articles to tell the full story of what was called the 'Marathon', from an idea dreamed up over an alcohol-fuelled lunch to the last car over the finish line. -MG Enthusiast Long overdue, the book is a fine tribute by a wholly enthusiastic chronicler who full well realizes, as do the many participants he was able to interview, how unique the Marathon was. -Speedreaders A book which I could hardly put down. I have read plenty of short and medium length accounts of this event but nothing which approached the journalistic detail and photographic excellence of this recently published book. It retells many of the well known and fascinating stories of the rally, but most importantly it does a whole lot more by telling a vast number of personal stories, often from virtually unknown competitors...I could wax lyrical about many aspects of this book - the enormous photographic gallery, the very detailed index, the huge bibliography, the footnotes to each chapter and so on show the scholarly discipline of the author. It is clearly the most comprehensive account of the Marathon you are likely to find." - ESCAPE Newsletter, June 2016

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