The ex-World Cup Rally, British Army Team, works 1970 Trident Venturer Coupé Registration no. VAD 30H Chassis no. TBL-144-709-MR Engine no. A000/114/301
The unique Venturer coupé offered here was purpose built by the Trident works to compete in the 1970 London to Mexico World Cup Rally and driven on that event by a British Army team. The Trident Venturer was a development of the Clipper that had started out as a Trevor Fiore styling exercise commissioned by TVR and first exhibited at the Geneva Salon in 1965. When the Blackpool-based sports car maker went through one of its many financial crises the Clipper project was sold to Bill Last, one of its dealers. Early Clippers used the TVR Grantura chassis before Last switched first to the Austin-Healey 3000 frame and then to that of the Triumph TR6 for the related Venturer and Tycoon models. Ford's 3.0-litre 'Essex' V6 engine was used in the Venturer and the 2.5-litre fuel-injected Triumph TR6 unit in the Tycoon. It is estimated that Trident built approximately 225 cars of all models between 1967 and 1978.
'VAD 30H' incorporates a number of special modifications including a strengthened chassis and an impressive roll cage that serves as an integral part of the car's reinforced chassis/body assembly. Trident also equipped the car with suitably 'beefed up' suspension (coil and wishbone front, semi trailing arm rear), dual circuit brakes and increased ride height, all of which, together with left-hand drive, were considered prerequisites for the 16,000-mile adventure ahead.
'VAD 30H' was entrusted to Captains Marriott and Dill of the 21st Lancers and Royal Green Jackets respectiely, both of whom were veterans of the 1968 London to Sydney Marathon. This car is known in rallying circles as 'The Flying Picasso' for its multi coloured paintwork depicting the World Cup and various footballers, painted on a green base. However, the night before the race there were worries that green may be unlucky and so Bill Last's wife hand-painted over it in white. Despite a promising start and good progress through mainland Europe, the car was damaged by a rock in Yugoslavia and, like many of the competitors, never made it to Mexico. Forced to turn back, the intrepid Army officers maximised their duty free allowance by filling the large washer bottles with gin before heading home!
The Venturer faded into obscurity after the race and was rediscovered a few years later in an East Anglian farmyard, minus its engine and gearbox. It was later restored and given a thorough mechanical overhaul, fitted with a Ford RS 3.1-litre V6 (incorporating Powermax pistons and gas-flowed cylinder heads) and a five-speed gearbox. Rewired and its brakes refurbished, the car was given a clean bill of health. Left untouched cosmetically, it retains both its original, though somewhat scruffy, interior and distinctive multi-coloured 'World Cup' livery.
Crewed by famed navigator Rodney Carter and driver George Holt, 'VAD 30H' later participated in the 2004 Monte Carlo Winter Challenge in which it finished 5th in Class 9 despite being handicapped by a wheel bearing failure early in the event. Running well and sounding awesome, this unique and historic 'works' rally car will be driven to the Hendon sale. It is offered with history file, sundry paperwork, MoT to July 2013 and Swansea V5 document. A spare set of rally wheels shod with snow tyres is included in the sale.
The estimate on this vehicle has been revised and is £10,000-15,000