The Fiat Panda which broke the outright world record for driving non-stop from Cape Town to London has been given to Fiat Group Automobiles UK to use in future events and museum exhibitions.
Philip Young, the adventurer who, with co-driver Paul Brace, drove the 10,000-mile journey in a record-breaking 10 days, 13 hours and 28 minutes, has handed the ultra-reliable Panda to Fiat UK. He has taken, in return, a new Fiat Panda Trekking to use on his busy round of speaking engagements and public appearances.
“I am delighted to have the use of a new Panda Trekking,” says Philip. “I have spent a lot of time sat behind the wheel of a Panda recently, and I’m happy to carry on like that. The Panda we drove from Africa was amazing – the car never missed a beat despite the conditions.
“But now it needs to be seen and enjoyed by enthusiasts and Fiat has the facilities to offer that. I shall be very happy in the Trekking.”
“The Panda that Philip drove to the world record will always be a famous car now, and we are delighted to have it,” says Rob Lake, senior product manager, Fiat Group Automobiles UK. “We have plans to display it at a number of events and we have even been talking to some car museums.”
To complete the trip in their target of under 11 days, Philip and Paul had to average 1,000 miles a day at 40mph, a task they felt confident of completing in the 0.9-litre TwinAir-engined city car. The hatchback was showroom specification apart from a few vital modifications, such as extra fuel tank, sump guards, stronger springs and shock absorbers, and an air intake moved to the top of the engine bay.
The route to Britain wound through South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia before the pair crossed the Mediterranean for the final run up through Italy and France to London’s Hyde Park.
The two-wheel-drive Fiat Panda Trekking features Traction+ technology which improves handling on difficult or slippery surfaces. It starts at £12,450 OTR for the 85hp 0.9-litre TwinAir, rising to £13,450 OTR for the 75hp 1.3-litre MultiJet.