• Oct 29th 2009 at 6:02PM
  • 13
Now we're talking! If there's one thing we're in favor of its pushing cars to their breaking point. See LeMons. But what about pushing cars past their breaking point? Like across Africa? That's exactly what British journalist and adventurer Brian Milton did in 1968 when he took a 1937 Austin 7 Ruby and drove it across the Sahara Desert to meet his fiancee.
Mr. Milton has written a book about his forty-one year old adventure entitled Alexa -- the Life and Death of an Austin 7 Ruby. And to our ears, it sounds wonderful:
"I motored 1,800 miles on rough track across the Sahara... I reached a Nigeria that was wracked by civil war... I survived. But alas, my Austin 7 did not. We crashed once and ran out of water twice in the Sahara. I drove 2,000 miles on three pistons and 900 miles without brakes, lights, shock absorbers or starting motor or handle."
Mr. Milton has sent a copy of Alexa to none other than Jeremy "Torques" Clarkson, asking the Top Gear star to go on and recreate his 1968 adventure. While some might argue that driving a Lancia Beta Coupe across the desert might get Jezza off the hook, we'd totally watch him and May and Hammond kill themselves in something as dodgy as an Austin 7. Interested in reading about Brian Milton's adventure? Alexa can be purchased right here.

[Source: East London Advertiser]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Perfect timing as Nigeria is on the brink of civil war with the northern muslim warlords. In all honesty though, I think he should pass on that adventure. I need him alive so I can get full enjoyment from Top Gear.

      Well if he died they could replace him with Steve Sutcliffe from Autocar.
      • 5 Years Ago
      While still a staggering feat of willpower and determination, in 1968, the Ruby was 31 years old, Now it would be 72. I seriously doubt you'd have much luck with mechanicals that are that old.

      ergo, doing it now in a 31 year old car would mean something from the late 70's, which is pretty much the same thing they have already done.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nothing wrong with the a car of this age. In the last few years Austin sevens have done Peking to Paris and South America


      Don't forget that the handling and ease of use we enjoy today results from the work of the motoring pioneers . Many veteran and vintage cars are still in action

      • 5 Years Ago
      I sincerely doubt that clarkson and his gang will spend the time and money to drive across the sahara in a 1937 austin 7, that car might have made sense in 1968 but not today. Besides, we've already seen the hilarity of these guys driving across the African desert in beat-up old cars.
        • 5 Years Ago
        i disagree with you guys.... we might have seen them do silly things in stupind cars in africa, but a purpose recreation of a sincere passage in one of the world's most hostile places in such a car they haven't done. the closest thing to it is the north pole drive... that was impressive. and crossing the SAHARA in an Austin will be a great adventure... so would be crossing the darian gap in a vintage range rover.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed, they've done a similar sort of thing and now time to move on to bigger better adventures. Next everyone and their sister will be wanting to order Clarkson around to do this and that..
        • 5 Years Ago
        Although the Darien Gap would make for an amazing story and an awesome show, I can't really see jezza and the gang attempting such a thing considering it takes up to 49 days to complete at guiness book of records pace!
        • 5 Years Ago
        You do realise the Sahara isn't the only African desert, right?

        I make it 21.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If they didnt do it so recently I'd be all for seeing them do this in similar fashion. Have 3 cars all from 1977 (same 31 years old) perferable one from America, Japan, Europe and let them at it in a race of extreme endurance.
      • 5 Years Ago
      How about trying it in a 1978 Civic?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Oliver the Opel Kadett Hammond drove across the Botswana and the Makgadikgadi was 44. So yes, I do think this would be rather redundant.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is what I think of your "Sahara Desert".
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