Austin X6: unique Aussie rally winner with a Marathon pedigree
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Austin X6: unique Aussie rally winner with a Marathon pedigree

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By MarkOastler - 03 May 2019
South Australian rally driver John Taylor and navigator Graham West wrote a rare but prized chapter in Leyland Australia’s history by winning a round of the Australian Rally Championship – the only ARC win for the short-lived Austin X6.

When Irish ace Paddy Hopkirk finished runner-up in the 1968 London to Sydney Marathon driving an Austin 1800, it proved how well suited the front-wheel drive British sedan was to the rigours of long-distance rallying. However, the short showroom life of its unique Australian replacement, the six-cylinder Austin X6, ensured it could not build on the 1800’s legacy despite winning a round of the Australian Rally Championship.

That breakthrough victory occurred in 1972 when Adelaide-based John Taylor and navigator Graham West beat a top-quality ARC field, which included the HDT’s all-conquering LJ Torana GTR XU-1s, to win round five of Australia’s premier rally competition.