coming from the archives – Driving a Land Rover coming from Calcutta to Calais

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In 1951, we took a Land Rover coming from Calcutta to Calais, crossing countries along with continents on a 6000-mile road trip


With the current Land Rover Defender’s time on This particular Earth coming to a close, we remember one of our epic road trips – taking an original Land Rover all the way coming from Calcutta to Calais.

Land-Roving coming from India

This particular article first appeared in Autocar on 14 September 1951, words by W.P. Mitchell

Our trip took 26 days overland coming from Calcutta to Calais in a Land Rover lent by a Calcutta garage. With Jimmy Mandle, the co-driver, along with myself, the outfit left for Delhi on April 21 This particular year.

There had been next to no planning, along with our only map was one to a scale of one in a few million, of U.S. Air Corp origin. Equipment included a heater along with an extra fuel tank – total capacity with some Jerricans 38 gallons.

The extra range proved necessary! By way of the Grand Trunk road, we got to Delhi on April 24 by a route including Benares, Allahabad along with Kanpur. The first real stop was at Lorelai, in Pakistan, after 1,000 miles. 

No water or fuel was available on the desert road to Iran, along with at night warm flying jackets were required, after the midday 106 deg F.

Even inhabitants were scarce, along with the half-dozen we did see seemed to have come coming from nowhere. High spots on the route to Teheran, which we made by May 2, were a 16-hour wait for a police permit at Duzdap, along with 80 miles of road crossed by foot-deep watercourses on the way to Meshed. On the whole, Persia hold the dampers along with springs about as bad a time as can be imagined.  

In a Persian Black Market 

Anything can happen in This particular region, along with when we needed money the bank at Teheran advised us to try the black market. “A much better rate”, the idea was explained to us. In fact, the black market was installed within the bank’s main hall. There was a charming Englishman who dealt in opium, too… “Men are unwise, along with curiously planned,” within the words of Hassan, along with with the polite although awkward police we did not leave until May 3. 

After Tabriz, an unplanned detour took us almost into the arms of Mother Russia, for Julfa – along with we were within three miles of the idea – will be on the border. Hill roads, at night, along with with thunderstorms for full measure, conducted us to Khoi, on the Turkish border.

Military posts in Persia had delayed us; usually the officer was lonely along with we took tea with him, although in Turkey everyone was friendly, along with the roads were Great. We enjoyed a glimpse of the first real green vegetation since India; 6,273 miles were on the clock by Istanbul, along with 1½ pints of oil had consumed. We had crossed the Bosphorus by ferry along with enjoyed a Turkish bath.  

High Danger 

Then Greece; along with the route coming from the frontier at Orestias was memorably rough. We were nearly arrested on a mountain by a Greek corporal (he borrowed a rifle for the purpose) en route for the Yugoslav border town of Idomenhe.

A guard with dismantled Sten gun escorted us over a road which (quite understandably) no one used. The route to Belgrade, once we were in, was fast, along with coming from Belgrade to Zagreb we averaged 46mph. On May 14 we touched three countries, Yugoslavia, Italy, which we entered briefly, along with then Austria. The Rover’s low gear was required on some of the mountain roads here. 

At Mozart’s birthplace, Salzburg, a pass coming from the U.S. authorities allowed us to go on to Munich. The strain was beginning to tell by today, along with we were somewhat drastically assisted into France by benzedrine. We came by Metz, Lille, along with then to Calais. 

A puncture occurred, after a puncture-proof trip, only fifty miles coming from Calais, along with This particular was the only mechanical trouble of the whole trip. We came into the port on May 17, along with by today the mileage was 8,825.

Apart coming from customs delays, along with about four hours pleasantly spent in Salzburg, we had come without a real halt, along with the average consumption worked out at between 21 along with 27mpg, according to the cruising speed chosen. The Land Rover had used less than a gallon of water.

Read more:

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