Rugby To the Rescue

(This story was first published in he November 1978 edition of The Registry)

On a recent trip to northern Rhodesia with friends (in the Vanguard with trailer), Peter Bartlett’s 1929 Rugby was put to a little extra test.

The group traveled north about 350 miles and on the return trip, the Vanguard broke a valve causing engine damage. Repairs were not possible, so the tow rope was attached to the Vanguard (rope hangs by right front wheel) and the 49 year old Rugby started home, Peter says the old Rugby was pulling about 6 tons. They towed the Vanguard and caravan “like a land train over a range of hills for 35 miles to Beit Bridge. The Vanguard was left there and retrieved later. The Rugby completed the remainder of the trip with most of the supplies and six people including Peter’s 80 year old mother.

At one spot on a rather long steep hill, I was already in my lowest gear (1st with low ratio differential engaged) and told my wifeand son to get ready to jump out and shove like hell when I gave the word, and they did just that! With about 40 yards to go,they pushed, and we just made it over the brow of the hill.

(The picture at left shows the “land train” at Belt Bridge, Rhodesia, April 28, 1978. That’s Peter’s son, the pusher, taking a break against the Rugby.)