Friday, 20 March 2015

Land's End - John O' Groats in an RTV - without sight! (UPDATED)

By Toutatis, is this cool? Reader Jonathan Webster just made me aware of this film footage, unknown to me before. It shows a 16-minute documentary about a 1988 charity drive from John O'Groats to Land's End, sponsored by British Gas. The vehicle of choice is an RTV - the Rough Terrain Vehicle built by Scamp boss Robert Mandry, remember? What's more - the car was driven by an ex-rally driver named Peter Wood who was blind! He drove the RTV, navigated by Gabriel Hartley and his son Tom, not on public roads but on forest tracks, over beaches, disused railway tracks and meadows. He managed to do it in 14 days and raised almost a quarter of a million pounds in total.

Apart from the several land speed records set by Mini based sports cars, this is the second Mini derivative involved in an unusual record that I know of. There may be even more..? Thanks to this new website, dedicated to the RTV for uploading the video.

UPDATE 19 September 2017: The record-RTV was Ford based rather then Mini based and not built by Robert Mandry, so says Andrew MacLean: "The "Blind Run" RTV was not built by Robert Mandry. Robert sold the RTV manufacturing rights to Lawrence Hawgood, (not Spyder Sport as mentioned in Maximum Mini 2) who took it to the next level. The Blue RTV in the Blind Run video is Ford Escort based....It is badged as Ford...Perry's Ford. It mentions that it is Ford Escort based in the video as Ford were sponsoring the run as well. And please mention that a Robert Mandry RTV played a big part as well, in the run, as back up vehicle....It was painted the same colours and carried the British Gas and Perry's Ford logos. I still own this amazing Mini based vehicle and it still wears the same colours...undergoing a slow restoration. Thanks again."

UPDATE 8 March 2021: I paid the Mini based RTV a visit in a field in West-Sussex (click here)

Video courtesy /

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