10,000 miles in a Panda


If ever there was any doubt about the Fiat Panda’s ruggedness, it just evaporated with the news that two Brits have driven one 10,000 miles from Cape Town to London, breaking the record for doing so in the process.

Young & Brace celebrate at the finish line
Young & Brace celebrate at the finish line
The Brits in question – Philip Young and Paul Brace – took 10 days, 13 hours and 28 minutes to do the trip, breaking the previously-existing record by more than a day. And rather than taking something obvious, such as a Land Rover or Cruiser, the pair opted to complete the challenge in ... a Panda.

Now, the initiated will be aware that that wasn’t such a bad plan. The Panda’s light, economical and nimble, making it an ideal partner for this challenge. The car was apparently showroom specification, with the exception of an extra fuel tank, two spare wheels, sump guards, strong springs, and a relocated air intake. Oh, and a foam mattress across the back seat for the co-driver to catch the occasional zizz.

Panda proved an ideal chariot
Panda proved an ideal chariot
The route – 10,300 miles in all – took Young & Brace from South Africa, through Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, then across the Mediterranean to Italy, into France, and finally across the channel to the finishing point at Marble Arch. And the reason for such madness? Simple, really – to raise money for, and awareness of, Farm Africa – a charity that works with families in rural Africa, helping them to produce food more effectively by providing training and support to farmers.

So, a slightly daft deed for a good cause. Such things we can only celebrate here, so hearty congratulations to the pair, and of course, to the Panda, for making it (relatively) unscathed.

You can read more about the team’s exploits at their website.

P.H. O'meter

Join the PH rating wars with your marks out of 10 for the article (Your ratings will be shown in your profile if you have one!)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Rate this article

Comments (51) Join the discussion on the forum

  • irish boy 14 Feb 2013

    threespires said:
    A terrific effort, I followed them all the way with their on board tracker giving updates every 15 mins it was quite exciting.
    These are a couple of competitors from Philip Young's Peking Paris Rally 2007.


    Bentley's Peking Paris Rally 2007
    My parents did the 2007 Peking Paris in their 1927 rolls....such a trip!

  • ode 14 Feb 2013

    Usget said:
    beer Fair play! My lunchtime will be spent reading your site...
    Mine too.

    I wonder if Farm Africa could teach us Europeans the difference between a cow and a horse.....

  • Usget 14 Feb 2013

    RRG said:
    The bloke who did it in a L322 Range Rover was me! See link to website below.

    10 days is incredibly impressive and must have taken enourmous organisation - it's the borders where you waste much of the time. It is correct that the roads are surfaced most of the way but serious potholes, pedestrians and animals are serious hazards to driving quickly. And using a boat to cross the Med is cheating a bit ;-)

    http://www.lilongwedown.com/LilongweDown/Home.html
    beer Fair play! My lunchtime will be spent reading your site...

  • garypotter 14 Feb 2013

    Bloody good work, doing that many miles over only 10 and a bit days is some going.

    2 of my good friends have taken part in the plymouth dakar and plymouth timbuktu rallies and from their experience I appreciate how hard,time consuming/expensive it can be to get through border controls in Africa.

    please keep us posted if you plan any further trips.

  • RRG 14 Feb 2013

    The bloke who did it in a L322 Range Rover was me! See link to website below.

    10 days is incredibly impressive and must have taken enourmous organisation - it's the borders where you waste much of the time. It is correct that the roads are surfaced most of the way but serious potholes, pedestrians and animals are serious hazards to driving quickly. And using a boat to cross the Med is cheating a bit ;-)

    http://www.lilongwedown.com/LilongweDown/Home.html

View all comments in the forums Make a comment