Welcome To The
Principality of Hutt River
PRINCIPALITY MOTOR SPORTS
of Hutt River Royal Rally Team members
In Car # 39 - 1974 4400cc
May 7th - 8th June 2012
These are the 33 days to watch out across 33 States of the USA (and Canada to!) as the 50 or so entrants in this years Trans-America Challenge compete in a variety of classes.
From the start in New York to the finish line at the farthest point of Alaska, the 50th State of the USA this enduro has been designed for Classic & Vintage vehicles alike and travels through some of the most spectacular scenery that can be imagined.
The Hutt River rally team of Gerry Crown and Matt Bryson can only wait anxiously for their purpose built Leyland P76 to arrive in New York for their attempt to win the Trans America Challenge.
Along with 53 other cars, mainly from Europe, they face a fourteen thousand kilometre drive across the United States of America and up to Canada and into Alaska.
Strong opposition comes from three Porsches, 8 Mercedes Benz, 4 Mustang GT350, 7 Jaguars, plus some very competitive Camaro SS350, Aston Martin DB4, Datsun 240Z, and Ford Escort "Mexico". Also challenging will be 4.5 litre Alvis tourers along with four Bentleys.
"We certainly have a good car, but we still have to get an untried rally car to the finish. I wonder what we might have done wrong or overlooked. There was only a couple of months to build after Gerry decided to see if Dad's claim that the P76 was 'the best long distance rally car in the world' was correct," says Matthew.
"I must admit that I am surprised at how good the dynamics of the Leyland P76 are when compared to the other cars of the early '70s. The Leyland engineers must have been a brilliant team."
"We have done our best to prepare for this event but people must realise that thirty three days of competition is awesome. We will average about four hundred klicks a days but some days are eight hundred and will probably include more competition than any day of a World Rally championship event - and, we are in a car almost forty years old."
"Actually the body is that old but we have rebuilt the running gear and I have done my best to make sure everything will go OK. If I have made a mistake it is going to be fun trying to locate parts in the States as they will never have seen a P76, let alone know what it is!"
"When Dad drove across the Sahara with Evan Green in 1974 on their way to earning the 'Targa Florio' trophy their only problem a suspension strut so I have allowed for this by having Murray Coote in Queensland build us the best system possible."
"Our engine was built by Graham Wilkins and Trevor Seaman whose work I have been able to rely on for a decade. There is an awful lot of work in building a car and you have to think of every detail. For example brakes are vital when facing a lot of the route in the Rocky Mountains so I have had to renew everything. So I got quite a surprise when we found that Disc Brakes Australia had new rotors in stock - and reasonably priced!"
"We had to rewire things and there is nothing I have not had a look at so all I can do now is hope I have not missed anything and if something goes wrong I can fix it."
The Hutt River rally team have already faced big challenges with their most recent achievement victory in the 2010 Peking to Paris Motor Challenge.
"All we can do is try our hardest and it would be nice to have a trophy to show Prince Leonard after forty two years of creating the Principality of Hutt River," says Matthew.
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