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Volvo Amazon in London Sydney Marathon 1968 and 2004

In 1968 John Tallis was a Volvo dealer in Bath, England. He took a Volvo Amazon from stock and entered the epic 12,000 mile London-Sydney Marathon. 

For sentimental reasons he kept the car, which had just 14,500 miles on the clock earlier this year. "I did not use the car for over 20 years. When Volvo in England offered to sponsor me partly , I thought I should do it again," says John and he refurbished it and entered the fourth running of the event in June 2004. Same car – same man – 36 years later.

Back in 1968 when this historic overland race got to Bombay John, paired with Frenchman Paul Coltellnoy, was the leading privateer amongst the more professional factory teams. But with just three days to go half way across Australia a mechanical failure robbed him of a finish. “It was unfinished business really,” said John - in his seventies - now retired after 27 years as a Volvo dealer but still living in Bath.

The car sat in a field for five years and became a bit dilapidated but after two hours fiddling and a new battery it started. “I couldn’t really sell it, could I. As a former motor trader who would believe me if I said this 36 year old car has just 14,500 miles on the clock.”

John with his wife Jill entered the 2004 Rally and won their class (Cowes Cup)

John with his wife Jill in their Amazon  2004 © 1999 - 2015