The Fiat Panda goes non-stop from Cape Town to London
Two very daring British drivers and one very reliable Fiat Panda have taken the world record for non-stop driving from Cape Town to London.
Adventurers Philip Young and Paul Brace shunned the use of a large 4×4 car – deciding that would be “too easy” – the Fiat Panda was chosen for its lightness, performance and fuel economy. Their target was to complete the task under 11 days, Philip and Paul had to average 1,000 miles a day at 40mph, a task they felt confident of completing in their 0.9-litre TwinAir-engined city car.
“It has been a remarkable time on the road – exciting and exhilarating – and the Fiat Panda was amazing,” says Philip Young. “The roads were treacherous, the heat unbearable and the timetable exhausting, but the car never missed a beat. This was an extremely tough journey, and Fiat can be proud of its reliability and ruggedness.”
Philip and Paul set off on the gruelling 10,300-mile trek on 1 February to raise money for the charity Farm Africa, they drove relentlessly through 13 countries and two continents in the almost standard Panda. The few vital modifications made were, an extra fuel tank, two spare wheels, sump guards, stronger springs, and an air intake moved to the top of the engine bay.
The route to Britain included tough, unmade pot-holed roads and treacherous, dry desert tracks through South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia before the pair crossed the Mediterranean for the final run up through Italy and France to London’s Hyde Park.
The Fiat Panda range starts at £8,900 for the 1.2 Pop 8v, rising to £14,950 for the four-wheel-drive Panda 1.3 16v MultiJet 4×4.