2013, October; With Almasy's Ford to the Desert (TN)

The Car was not built for the Showroom…

…but to bring it to the desert of North Africa. We did not set our eye on a shiny appearance but on the technical status of the car since from the beginning we had the intention to bring the vehicle into its “natural environment”. Given the progress of the project we will probably ship it already this year to North Africa to find out how it works in the sand.

…the crazy Ideas mostly come up somewhere in the desert. One cannot avoid it…

Unfortunately the political situation in North Africa has not developped as one had hoped and we have to expect quite some restrictions ofr our planned tour. However; although we had to postponed the trip for some weeks, we are still very confident that we can do it later on this year.

Normally we would just cross Switzerland and the Gotthard through its tunnel. Not so this time – we have to deviate via France or Austria since the Ford A will be carried on a truck to north Africa – and the tunnel through the Gotthard is a bit unpredictable these days but the main obstacle is that it is not allowed to drive trucks in Switzerland on a Sunday…

We have decided now to avoid Switzerland or France but to travel to Italy via Austria. It will be a journey of nearly 1'200 kilometers only to reach the harbour of Genova at the Mediterranean. The Ferry is booked and the preprarations on the truck and the Ford are progressing well. Ok, in fact we could prepare for more than a year from now and still not everything would be perfect…

It took us about 11 months from the moment we decided to obtain the old Ford from the USA, import it to Europe, apply the required desert-modifications until we could drive it in the dunes of the Sahara.

The car was built up in the same way as L.E. Almasy had done it for his 1933 expeditions to the Gilf Kebir in the southwest of Egypt and our intention was to find out, how such vehicle actually performs and how it feels to drive it in the sand.

It was an outstanding experience and the car went surprisingly well in the sand – despite only having 42hp, two wheel drive and no lockable differential.

It was really a difference to drive an 83 years old vehicle compared to the powerful 4×4 cars we normally use when going to the desert today and we hope that we can repeat such journey soon…

Article: Le Saharien, March 2014
Article: Sahara Info, 4/2013