1974 World Cup Rally

Australian Muscle Car - - Back in the Day -

Was this the oft-ma­ligned Ley­land P76’s finest hour? In his book, Ley­land P76 any­thing but av­er­age, au­thor Gavin Farmer tells the re­mark­able story of Evan Green and John Bryson’s ad­ven­tur­ous (but far­sighted) choice of the P76 as their en­try in the World Cup Rally of 1974, run­ning from London to Mu­nich, via North Africa and Turkey. Cho­sen for its size, light­ness, dura­bil­ity and per­for­mance, Big Brut, as the car be­came known, proved the naysay­ers wrong in lo­ca­tions as rugged as the Sa­hara desert and as chal­leng­ing as the famed Targa Flo­rio rally cir­cuit. Not only did Green and Bryson fin­ish, when half of the WCR en­tries didn’t, but they were also fastest around the nar­row Si­cil­ian cir­cuit and fin­ished a cred­itable 13th over­all. If it hadn’t been for an un­de­tected weak sus­pen­sion strut, many be­lieve they could have won the rally out­right. But the story doesn’t end there. As Gavin Farmer re­lates, “After the Rally, Green drove the Big Brut home to Aus­tralia along the route of the 1968 London-Syd­ney Marathon. He had a trou­ble-free run.” Lit­tle won­der that with pub­lic in­ter­est in the car’s per­for­mance in the rally run­ning high, Ley­land de­cided to pro­duce a spe­cial limited ver­sion, the P76 Targa Flo­rio sedan.

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