Round the world in 43 days
It was certainly ambitious. Ford Motor Company was basking in the success of the London to Cape Town record set by Eric Jackson and Ken Chambers – and the publicity it had generated for the rugged little Ford Cortina.
Walter Hayes of Ford wasn’t one to rest on his laurels however and not long after the London to Cape Town trip he was again on the phone to Eric. “Eric old boy, how long d’you reckon it would take you to drive round the world?”
Most men would have laughed but Eric went into action. Ken Chambers was once again recruited as co-driver and a Corsair was prepared at Ford. Visas were ‘procured’, routes established and just a few months after their return from the gruelling London to Cape Town trip Walter’s intrepid duo were in America, ready to set off for what was to be referred to as ‘the big drive’. As Eric says “it should have been a piece of cake” and driving across America held no problems. But the problems began when the Ford people on the West Coast told the pair that the boat they needed to get them to Australia left at nine in the morning and Eric and Ken arrived at the dock just after eight to see the ship steaming away in the distance…
Shortly after the trip was completed, there was an Autosport article about the marathon drive. (Dated 23.10.1963). Evidently the drivers were asked what their main problem had been during the trip. The article says:
Their main problem was, according to Eric Jackson, Ken Chambers – and Ken Chambers’ was Eric Jackson!