Australian duo, Rod Wade and Austen Ritchie have set a new World Record for driving a pre-war car across Australia and back in just 101 hours, 52 minutes and 32 seconds.

THE DUO SET OFF FROM the Surfers Paradise sign on the Gold Coast on Tuesday 3rd June at 10am in a 1930 Ford Model A on a fundraising challenge for Kidney Health Australia

Armed with a bottle of water from the South Pacific Ocean and a bucket of Gold Coast sand, they travelled 4500km through Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and across the Nullarbor Plains into Western Australia.

They arrived at Bathers Beach, Fremantle, Western Australia on Thursday 5th June, slightly later than planned after two breakdowns on the Nullarbor Plain in the middle of the night.

On arrival at Fremantle, Rod and Austen emptied the water into the Indian Ocean and tipped the bucket of sand onto the beach before refilling the vessels with the same from the Coral Coast. Then they got straight back on the road, arriving back at Surfers Paradise on Saturday 7th June at around 4.20pm, making the total distance around 9000km.

Rod said: “This has been the most amazing challenge with the best crew pulling together to get us across the finish line. The support out on the road from service station staff, border patrols, local police and motorists has been fantastic. It may be too early to say ‘next time’ but plans are already afoot.”

The inspiration behind the ‘Ocean to Ocean Challenge Australia’ was to raise money to create a fleet of ‘Kidney Kampers’ for Kidney Health Australia. These are campervans fitted with dialysis machines so those suffering from kidney disease can still have the freedom to travel away from the hospital for weekends away and short holidays.

With kidney disease affecting Rod’s wife and daughter, the Wade family has raised thousands for Kidney Health Australia, and funded the prototype ‘Kidney Kamper’ that made the crossing with the Model A.


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