The major trial of the journey was when the differential gave up the ghost in Kashgar, the western extremity of China. The fourth member of the team, however, was mechanic David Ellison, a veteran of similar classic rallies and an extraordinarily talented and resourceful boffin with a ‘can do’ attitude.
Utilising the front differential from a Land Rover, kindly donated by an English film crew, David managed to MacGyver a fix that not only kept them in the rally but on their arrival at the finishing line, near the Great Wall of China, they were proclaimed winner in class (classic cars) and fourth place overall.
There is a tangible amount of affection that Jonathan, Mariam and Abdul Aziz have for the Rover. It carried them on an adventure spanning nearly 16,000 km over 6 weeks and was an experience that will stick with them for the rest of their days. However, the future of this P5B is far from certain.
Robbies Motorsport have undertaken a thorough investigation in to what would be required to return the Rover to its former glory and Jonathan is currently trying to track down and price the parts required. crankandpiston certainly hope the restoration goes ahead and the Rover lives to rally another day. If you agree, then leave some words of encouragement in the comments box below. It would be a shame if this was the end of the road for a Rover that has travelled so far.
*ORIGINAL POST DATE: October 2012
Period photographs supplied by Jonathan Prior, Mariam Al Accad and Abdul Aziz Al Accad.
Thanks to Robbies Motorsport