Austin Sixteen Goodwill Tour

Guild members are among a team planning to commemorate an audacious road trip challenge in March 1947 by carrying out the same trip, hour for hour, 70 years on.

The Austin Motor Company based in Longbridge, Birmingham tasked the crews of three Austin Sixteen cars with covering 2,500 miles in seven days, visiting seven European capital cities and arriving in Geneva in time for the first post-war motor show. Among the participants was racing driver and motoring journalist Sammy Davis, a founding member and later chairman of the Guild of Motoring Writers.

The 70th anniversary recreation will see an Austin Sixteen, specially prepared to be as close in specification to the original cars, conduct the same trip. Participants will include Guild deputy chairman Guy Loveridge, plus Guild members Steve Berry and Philip Newsome.

Thanks to support from Mintex, the event is being called 'The Mintex Austin Sixteen Goodwill Tour Platinum Anniversary 1947-2017'. Business development director at Mintex, Lawrence Bleasdale says: “We are delighted to support this event as it illustrates that we can supply the same cars now as we did then!”

Jaguar will provide an F-Pace support vehicle and other event supporters include Total lubricants and DFDS Seaways. The original event crossed from Newcastle to Stavanger and then went overland to the start in Oslo. That route is today unavailable: the team will instead cross to Holland and then drive to Copenhagen, before taking the ferry up to the start point. Luckily, the mileages will be virtually identical.

A Facebook page for the event has been created and fellow Guild member, Practical Classics magazine editor Danny Hopkins, will feature the restoration of the car and, hopefully, its successful trip in his magazine. “This is really exciting and shows just how ‘practical’ even a 70-year-old classic can be. I am really looking forward to following the progress of this one!”