The higher you are, the greater the fall.

Firstly, we made it! We are in Cape Town! The end, finito. London to Cape Town world cup rally is over. All a memory now. A spectacular entry into the Table Bay Hotel. People everywhere and photographers and congratulations and pats on the back and everything. totally surreal! In the end we came a comfy 32nd place. Thats what you get with sensible driving and a very well prepared car. The buzz was phenominal.


What happened next you couldnt even write it in a fictional novel. It just doesnt happen. Ever.

We turned out of the couldersac of the hotel finish line and had a (no joke) 30 meter transit to the carpark. And we hear a clunk.

Not a good clunk.

Then a few more clunks.

Then nothing.

Then more clunks and horrible noises.

After some investigation we have come to the end, we have blown up our diff. The diff center is kaput…..

It is such a shame, considering our plans to see more of Africa. But Penny won’t be touring Africa this time round, maybe/hopefully in the future she will be back. But for now, she will go on a boat back to Aus and go from there.

And us? not sure at the moment, we will work it out tomorrow if we get a hire car and tour or whatever. For now we are going to the prize giving diner (we won “agaisnt all odds” award!!). Such is life, it was meant to be. I am young enough and have many years to come back to africa, and i will! Mark my words i will!

More tomorrow.



  1. Barbara Shooter

    YOU MADE IT – FABULOUS!! Huge congratulations from Oxfordshire. Penny must have been running on adrenalin and collapsed as soon as she made it over the finish line. A bit like some of the participants of P2P. Your “against the odds” prize is richly deserved. To have competed against so many modern 4×4’s and more than hold your own is a tremendous achievement. Enjoy the rest of your trip. Barbara and Adrian.

  2. Sorry for the bad luck, we just left when it happened. As a consolation, on our eppic transafrica trip in 1992 ( we have 20 years anniversary ) our Lancias clutch plate ( fitted in Kano/Nigeria ) shattered on Cape Point ( the last leg of the journey ) and a very friendly motorist had to tow us all the way back to the Lancia agent.
    There seem to be something with transmission parts on the final arrival. Cheers Felix

  3. Syd Reinhardt

    You could not have written it better in a script. Penny is a real lady, isn’t she? She got you there thru thick and thin before breaking. Well done to all 3 of you, and James we shall all miss your up dates, your great writing style and humour has been a real pleasure.

    There’s rich diversity and wonderful things to see and do from Cape Town, if you’d like some details don’t hesitate to email me.

    Well done and thank you

  4. Ruth P

    I had to go and wake Helen up and tell her. Barbara says it all so well.

  5. John Kent

    Congratulations on making it, a huge achievement. As good as a Hollywood script, the old girl says ‘ENOUGH’ as soon as she crosses the line. Oh well, there will be other adventures so relax & enjoy.

  6. Norton & Adele

    Huge Congratulations to all 3 of you! You all deserve a good rest. Penny must have known that she had crossed the finishing line but I am sure she will be back on the road for the next adventure. Enjoy some relaxing time in South Africa.

    PS – We have loved the blog reports, very descriptive, you should write them up as an article or book.

    1. Sandra & Ian Young

      Yes I agree, definitely a book in the making!

  7. The Roberts Family

    Congratulations to the three of you. It’s been an epic journey & we have thoroughly enjoyed your blog. Penny has obviously decided she needs a well earned rest! Hope to see you all again sometime. Perhaps Penny might fancy the hill climb at Goodwood when she’s feeling better?

    The Roberts Family
    (We met you outside Mercedes Benz world before James drove the AMG….seems like ages ago now)

    1. james

      Thank you! That really does seem like years ago for me. Thanks for following me. I have your email now so next time i’m in england i’ll let you know and we can do lunch or something and ill tell you all the other stories that didnt fit in the blog. A hillclimbing vauxhall is definitely on the books! maybe not Penny though, she is our enduro rally car 🙂

  8. brian mcmillan

    Congratulations. Thanks for the great ride.

  9. Lee Price

    What a shame about Penny ……but congratulations on crossing the finish line! Have enjoyed the updates along the way. James you obviously didn’t go to school, just to eat your lunch. Great stories 🙂


    Congrats Max and James.

    A brilliant effort and of course congratulations must go to Penny for getting you throught it all. Reading you blogg was so entertaining James and I felt as though I was on the journey with you…..sit back and relax boys you’ve played hard and done good.

  11. Sticky and Emi

    Max James and Penny
    Congratulations you made it.Thanks for taking us along for the ride of a lifetime.Don’t be too hard on Penny,how else can she get some rest after what you put her through.Enjoy the fame and keep out of jail.
    Emi and Sticky

  12. Joe

    What a ripper !! Well done to all, and it really was a copy book finish.We drove almost every mile of the trip with you – fond memories of our 23/60 – and you are a credit to the vintage car movement. We look forward to the movie.
    Enjoy the moment and look forward to seeing you both soon.

  13. Marianne McMillan

    Talk about defying the odds of an almost nonagenarian car driving from London to Cape Town! BRAVO! The real heroine is Penny, poor dear, she collapsed on the right side of the finish line. What a champion she is, not to mention the drivers’ courage and tenacity.

    Africa is rather magic, despite the challenges, thanks for the daily entertainment of a vicarious return for me, there will be another time for you to relive your adventure. I’m sure you will go back.

    Enjoy your accolades, enjoy the rest, you richly deserve both of those and your prize. WELL DONE!

  14. Sandra Peters

    Well done – give Penny some TLC before u pack her on a boat home boys . Sandra

  15. Jak G

    James & Max!!! Goodonyer!!! You are two of the few——————–to beat the Mad God of Twisted Cords! He should have gotten you at least 3 days ago!!

  16. Many, many congratulations on reaching Cape Town. We have really enjoyed your blogs and all the ups and downs you have become somewhat of an obsession! We started following the Tromans/Russell datsun as our friends son helped prepare their car but soon got hooked on to you three! What an amazing fantastic journey you have had and we are so sorry that your journey in Penny has to end in Cape Town, we were looking forward to your journey to Mombassa – shit happens! Just out of interest, how long has Penny been in your family?
    All the very best for a safe journey back to Aus.

    1. james

      Oh cool, I’m glad you have enjoyed reading it as much as I have had writing it. I will definitely do another one on our next adventure, as soon as we possibly can! Hahaha. Dad bought her at an auction in Australia (fairly sad condition) about 3.5 years ago AFTER he had already signed up for the 2010 Peking to Paris rally. So not very long at all. But she will be in our family for a long time to come!

  17. chenjun

    ai, really pity yours tour over so fast!!! i follow u in my whole china spring festivel hoilday! so wonderfully journey , really wish no end forever!!!

  18. David and Liz

    Awesome result, you guys deserve ALL the awards, can is end you a diff? I am sure we could blag one from somewhere.

    The ‘hill’ at Goodwood is not steep, I am sure we could get you an entry!!

    All the very best from me and the girls, they have been excited for you the whole way.

    1. james

      Thanks anyway David, but she is going in a container tomorrow. Changing a diff center is a massive job and we could be a week or two delayed behind and then would be rushed doing the things we wanted to take time seeing. So we will take her home, fix her properly and just plan another African trip in her in the future….. The near future!!

      She evidently didn’t feel like driving anymore, and decided enough was enough. Hahaha. Say hi to the girls for me.

      We still have our flight from London to home to use in 12 months (since we flying straight from cape to home) so we will be back to say hello soon enough 🙂

  19. Jason

    Well done guys. James I think the diff issue could have been caused by the substitute driver you had one day! So South Amercia must be next?

  20. Nicki Reinhardt

    Hey you guys,

    WOOHOO! CONGRATULATIONS! I am in awe of you and of course Penny; what a trooper she was coping with everything you threw at her with equanimity, courage and a great deal of patience and fortitude. Just like the two of you in fact.

    What amazing experiences you have had and how beautifully you have coped with them. Your writing style is quirky, funny, graphic and laconic all at the same time James. I could just see your lovely strong laid back personality shining through and will miss living vicariously through you.

    Have a ball in Cape Town, it is beautiful and interesting.
    Looking forward to catching up when you are next in Sydney.
    Nicki R

  21. Congratulations guys 🙂 I’ve loved reading this on and off over the month. Been proudly telling friends about all the cars you left in the dust!

  22. Oscar Cowling

    I have just read through this website about your adventure and it sounds amazing. This summer I am driving the same route with 3 friends in two cars for the Brain Tumour Charity in memory of my Dad who unfortunately passed away with a brain tumour. I was wondering if it would be possible to get your email or phone number so that we could ask you a couple of questions and get some tips off you!
    Thanks in advance,
    Oscar Cowling

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