A PAIR of rally drivers have been reunited with the car that once took them on the adventure of a lifetime.
On New Year’s Day in 1988, Mike Perkins and Brian Mullineaux embarked on a journey from London’s Marble Arch to Sydney.
Marking the bicentenary of Australia, they made the 17,000-mile, five-month journey in Cookie – a 1924 Vauxhall Malvern M-type convertible.
And with the trek now 30 years behind them, the pals from Southsea and Hayling Island have just driven her again for the first time – following a full restoration at Jim Stokes Workshops in Waterlooville.
After picking Cookie up from the motor specialists last week, Mr Perkins, who is 72, said: ‘We saw some amazing places and met some incredible people on that journey.
‘Getting the chance to drive Cookie again brought all those memories flooding back.
‘The shop has done a beautiful job of fixing her up and she looks and drives just like she did all those years ago.
‘She is a real character, that’s for sure.’
As part of their expedition, Mike and Brian drove through scores of countries – including France, Italy, Greece, Egypt and India – before Cookie was shipped back to her owner by General Motors after the rally.
Reflecting on the vehicle’s history, Jim Stokes engineer Bob Fleming said: ‘You tend to become attached to the vehicles you work on here – the job satisfaction is great.
‘And it’s brilliant to have Cookie up and running again.’
Not only did the yellow Vauxhall’s inspire a book, Cookie & Co, but it is also at the centre of a US lawsuit claiming it is the inspiration behind the Disney Pixar movie Cars.