Join us on the evening of Saturday 28th April to meet two of the original three Speed Queens and their Austin Maxi Puff the Magic Wagon.
Back in 1969, British Leyland launched a significant new family car, the Austin Maxi. One of the first 500 cars off the Longbridge production lines was set aside for a very special task to help promote sales of the new Austin Maxi model.
This car was to be driven by three pioneering women drivers, Tish Ozanne, Katrina Kerridge and Bron Burrell, a rare and exceptional all - female team, in the 1970 Daily Mirror World Cup London to Mexico Rally. The event was considered to be the world’s toughest endurance marathon rally event. The little Austin Maxi was endearingly nicknamed “Puff The Magic Wagon”.
The rally began on 17 April 1970 at Wembley Stadium, finishing at the Aztec Stadium in Mexico City and celebrated the passing of the World Cup baton from England in 1966 to Mexico in 1970. Out of 106 entries only 23 cars finished in Mexico and sadly Puff was forced to retire in Argentina having become mud bound in the Pampas region.
After some other limited events Puff fell into disuse and Bron moved onto several other rally cars before retiring from competition.
In1997 Puff was found in a chicken shed and bought by Paul Merryweather. She was then sold to an Italian Giovanni Percossi and went to Italy for a while.
Eventually Trevor Ripley of The Mini Register Club purchased the car and after her initial cosmetic make over, the car was displayed at many shows and classic car meetings but she was destined to only take part in these beauty parades.
That is until 2013, when Bron Burrell was reunited with Tina Kerridge and her beloved Puff after life events drove Bron to seek out some of her rallying past.
Bron re-discovered the little car at Fenland Fair, where she was also reunited with Tina and some of the original service crew. Puff’s owner on realizing that Bron was one of the original Speed Queens offered the car for sale immediately to allow the reunion to be complete.
Initially most thought that Bron might do a few classic car and rally shows but oh no, with the sound of Puff s gearbox ringing in her ears and petrol fumes in her nostrils again, this feisty women rally driver was ready to take to the road again.
So nearly 50 years after they set off on the World Cup Rally the original Speed Queens, now gracefully enjoying their three score years and ten plus, have put themselves back behind the wheel and subjected themselves to Rally School again!
In 2017, with the national and international media following all of their adventures, the dream team took part in many rally events including a nostalgic re-run of the first part of the World Cup Rally by taking part in the HERO London - Lisbon rally. The team achieved a very commendable third in class and finished 39th in a top class field of 80 teams.
We are delighted to be hosting an evening with Bron, Tina and Puff. So come along and meet the inspirational Speed Queens and “Puff The Magic Wagon” the little car with a big history driven by pioneering pensioners who prove you are never too old to do what you love.
INFORMATION & Timings
The evening will commence at 7.30 pm in the Lecture Theatre of the National Motor Museum’s Collections Centre and finish at around 10.00 pm. The National Motor Museum will be open from 6.00pm for a private viewing at no extra charge. A pay bar will be available in the Collections Centre for the purchase of beers, wines and soft drinks.
BECOME A FRIEND
For more information about becoming a member of the Friends of The National Motor Museum Trust, visit their website.
To purchase tickets, please send remittance to Theresa Browning, Friends’ Secretary, National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, Hampshire, SO42 7ZN (cheque made payable to National Motor Museum Trust Ltd), or give her a call on 01590 614792 to provide payment over the phone.
Tickets will now be sent electronically where possible, so please provide an email address in any correspondence. If tickets are required by post, please provide an SAE.