14th October 2018 Skopje, North Macedonia

Austin’s landcrab to Skopje

From 11th October to 15th October the British Ambassador’s husband Tom is driving his 1974 Austin 1800 from Birmingham, where the car was made, to Skopje where it will live for the next 4 years. He is being supported by his father Rob who worked at the factory and helped to build the car. For Rob it will be the second time he has made the drive between Birmingham and the Balkans. 50 years have passed since the last time so it will be interesting to see what has changed!

The team had a very early start from Birmingham and some bad traffic and had a perfect 380 miles. The weather was great and the 1800 had no problems at all. The only breakage is the radio aerial which obviously was not used to long periods in 65 mph slipstream. And it is an excuse to buy a new radio!
The team continues the travel through France, then crossing the Alps and getting to Ivrea in Italy. They will take a ferry from Ancona to Igoumenitsa before driving up to Skopje. They have a boot full of spare parts and Rob has decades of experience repairing Austin’s finest so confidence is high.

The 1800 is a piece of family history as Tom’s grandfather also worked on it in the factory and Tom was born in the year this particular example was made.
On arrival the Austin 1800 is looking forward to meeting its much younger faster cousin, the Ambassador’s Jaguar XF and Rob is looking forward to seeing his much younger faster grandchildren. Tom is just looking forward to a nice cup of tea.

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