From the Arctic Sea to the tip of South America. In a 20-year old TVR.
Meet Ben Coombs, a 38-year-old English man from Plymouth in Devon, and he’s done something pretty incredible. Coombs drove his 20-year old TVR Chimaera over 20,000 miles on an epic pub to pub road trip. He documented his journey on his Facebook page, and as reported by the BBC, the “Pub2Pub” expedition took seven months to complete. All told, Coombs traveled 23,500 miles and drove through 24 countries since he began the journey last July. He completed it on February 12th.
The vehicle of choice is of particular interest because old TVRs don’t exactly have the best reliability record. The TVR Chimaera is a fiberglass-bodied two-seat convertible, powered by a V8 sourced from Rover. Coombs named his beloved TVR “Kermit”, a very appropriate name given its body color. The road trip began at the Arctic Sea, less than 700 miles from the North Pole at Pyramiden, an old Soviet mining settlement with a population of four. It didn’t take long to find its one and only pub. According to Coombs, this was the northernmost pub of his trip. The southernmost was in Tierra del Fuego, Chile. In between, he journeyed through Scandinavia, where he wisely made a pit stop at the Koenigsegg factory in Sweden.
He then toured through Europe and then shipped himself and the car from Southampton to the US, driving across America to California. From there he headed south and ultimately ended up in Chile at his final pub. As for mechanical issues? Surprisingly, only a new clutch was needed while in Nicaragua. Coombs had to have the car driven across Costa Rica on a truck bed because local authorities require right-hand-drive vehicles. He went through the Darien Gap from Panama to Columbia via a ferry. But from Columbia onward, it was 8,000 miles of, at times, dangerous South American roads. After Coombs had his last drink, he and the TVR were shipped home from Uruguay.
In the future, Coombs would like to turn “Pub2Pub” into an adventure brand focusing on unique road trips. "There are probably more appealing places to travel 20,000 miles to get to, but that's not really the point,” said Coombs. “It's the journey that matters, not the destination." Photos courtesy of Pub2PubExpedition/Facebook