By Dave S. Clark
I can count on one hand how many Shell 4000 cars that are still known to exist. One of the McQuirk brothers still owns the Bentley Mark VI that he ran in the 1963 Rally. Paddy Hopkirk’s disqualified Mini from ’68 is still out there. Shell 4000 historian Marcel Chichak knows of a few more. But that’s pretty much it.
So it was incredibly exciting to see a car with Shell 4000 history pop up on Bring A Trailer Auctions – a 1968 AMC Rambler that was the company’s development prototype for the ’68 version of the trans-Canada rally. The car didn’t actually compete but was the mule for the team of three AMC cars that ran the rally, finishing second, third and fifth. This prototype also followed the rally all the way from Calgary to Halifax, just in case any of the cars needed support.
It would have been amazing to have a car with this much history to use in my upcoming Shell 4000 tribute, the Canada 5000. But with less than two months to go and a huge investment in the Volvo Amazon that we’re taking, it’s far too late to change courses!
Let’s just hope the car ends up back in Canada where it belongs to an owner who really appreciates its rare and unique history!
The Canada 5000 Rally Against Alzheimer’s is a tribute to the Shell 4000 Rallies of the 1960s. Starting in June 2015, we’ll stretch the rally to 5000 miles and run from Vancouver to Halifax. Read more about the Canada 5000 Rally Against Alzheimer’s at www.canada5000.ca.