British man drives a TVR from the Arctic Sea to the tip of South America

From pub to a pub, over 20,000 miles apart. In an old TVR.

  • Image Credit: Pub2Pub/Facebook
Here's a story that gets more interesting the more you look at it. A British man goes from pub to another – there's little inherent news value about that. But when you consider the pubs were over 20,000 miles apart, with one on the frozen island of Svalbard and the other one at Tierra del Fuego, Chile, the story becomes downright fascinating. And – he did the entire jaunt in a 20-year old TVR Chimaera sports car, not widely known as the most reliable car in the world.

TVR built Chimaeras for roughly a decade. It's a fiberglass two-seater convertible with a Rover-derived V8, and they all were built in Blackpool. Part of the reason why the roadtrip machine had to be a TVR, was the carmaker's 70th anniversary; Trevor Wilkinson formed TVR in 1947. As reported by BBC and PistonHeads, Ben Coombs calls his Chimaera "Kermit", which is indeed a fitting name for a swoopily styled green sports car.

The "Pub2Pub" expedition took Coombs seven months and 23,500 miles, driving through 24 countries. In July, Coombs started out from Pyramiden, an originally Soviet-built settlement at Svalbard, which is on the Arctic Sea. Pyramiden is also the northernmost place with a permanent civilian population – and only one pub. Coombs then hauled his car to northern Norway, driving south across Scandinavia, visiting the Koenigsegg factory in Sweden, and after touring through Europe he shipped the car to the States from Southampton. A coast-to-coast drive got him to California, and from there it was just a matter of driving all the way towards the southernmost publicly available pub in the world, in Puerto Williams.

Amazingly, the only major repair the car needed during the trip was a new clutch in Nicaraqua; in Costa Rica, the local authorities demanded the right-hand-drive TVR needed to be delivered across the country on a truck bed! This was simply due to their aversion to RHD, since the clutch issue notwithstanding, no breakdowns happened on the entire tour. The famous Darien Gap from Panama to Colombia was handled by ferrying the car; from Colombia on, it was 8,000 miles of sometimes treacherous roads across South America.

After Coombs was able to reach the last pub in Tierra del Fuego on February 12 th – by all accounts a very simple establishment with just lager and whisky on offer – the journey was over, and it was time for the TVR to again board a boat and get shipped back home from Uruguay. Further plans include turning the "Pub2Pub" roadtrip into an adventuring brand offering uncommon roadtrips around the world. It's a good reminder you can just get in the driver's seat, crank a V8 to life and just not stop until you reach the end of the world.

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