Driven by passion: Recreating a once-in-a-lifetime road trip in a 64-year-old vehicle

As fate would have it, Bescoby’s friend managed to track down the original vehicle – a Land Rover 86-inch station wagon – to the tiny, remote island of Saint Helena in the mid-Atlantic.

The car, nicknamed the Oxford, was promptly repatriated to Britain and restored for the upcoming journey.

On the road

Friends and close relatives were shocked when Bescoby announced his plans.

“The proposition to drive an 87-year-old man across the world in a 70-year-old car was insane. A lot of people told me that this would probably kill him,” Bescoby says.

“I probably would’ve listened to those voices, had I not known the kind of man that Tim was,” he adds.

“Once he’d set his mind on something, he was going to do it. There is this idea that you should fade as you get older, but he was actually getting brighter.”

Planning the route took nearly a year and he also secured funding from several organisations, including the Singapore Tourism Board.

While the original journey traversed Middle Eastern countries such as Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, the team opted to swop the tumultuous region for China and Central Asia – places inaccessible to travellers in the 1950s.

On Aug 25, 2019, Bescoby set off from the F1 Pit Building in Singapore, accompanied by seven teammates in three Land Rovers – including the Oxford – and a police convoy.

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