This Guy Took A 25,000-Mile Pub Tour Across The World In An Old TVR

Photo credit Pub2Pub Facebook page
Photo credit Pub2Pub Facebook page

Have you ever been down at the pub with a few empty pints littering the table and come up with the best idea of your entire life? I’m sure that’s the beginning of many million-dollar-ideas, the genesis of many short-lived bands, and the starting point for many road trips. Ben Coombs’ pint-fueled idea was to drive to another pub to get another pint. A lot more pubs and a lot more pints.


Ben’s adventure involved driving more than 25,000 miles in his twenty-year-old TVR Chimaera over seven months from the northernmost bar in the world, to a dive bar at the southern tip of Chile. Unbelievably, the Rover V8 held together and didn’t break down much in that huge journey, and he’s just finished the trek. Now prepared to ship the car back to the UK, Coombs is proud to have completed what has become his magnum opus.

Photo credit Pub2Pub Facebook page
Photo credit Pub2Pub Facebook page

The journey began in earnest at the hotel bar in Pyramiden, Norway. The hotel is the only remains of a Russian coal mining operation that has long since been gone. The town, on the island of Svalbard, is only 700 miles from the North Pole, and the northernmost civilization, if you can call it that.

Illustration for article titled This Guy Took A 25,000-Mile Pub Tour Across The World In An Old TVR

From there, the route took Coombs down the Scandanavian coast, across Europe and back to the UK. Once there, he scheduled a ship to take his car to New York, and he flew to Cuba. Once rejoined with the car, he drove across the US to California before heading south. The tour ended at a dive bar at the southernmost tip of Chile. This run is being called the longest road trip ever driven in a sports car. Whether true or not, it is probably at least worthy of the term ‘epic’.

Coombs is no stranger to long road trips in sports cars, having previously embarked on similar long drives in vintage Porsches and Corvettes. Here’s Ben Coombs on his choice of car, and the trip in general, as told to TVR:

‘I’d owned my Chimaera for 5 years before the trip, but despite sports car-based adventuring being a passion of mine, I’d never really considered taking it on a big trip like this. I guess I always saw it as too fragile; too handmade. After all, on previous, similar trips I’d had all manner of problems. Years ago, when I crossed Africa in a classic Porsche, the breakdown count ran into double figures, while the Corvette I crossed Asia in a few years ago suffered all kinds of electrical problems. But frankly, I’ve been amazed at what the plucky little car is capable of. From 50 degree heat in Death valley, to altitudes of almost 5,000m on the Bolivian Altoplano; from the precipitous jungles of Bolivia’s Death Road to the gravel tracks of Patagonia, it’s just kept going, completely unphased. And all the while, it’s proved its fantastic credentials as a grand tourer, maintaining the TVR traditions of comfort and space, combined with effortless performance and a heroic soundtrack.’


Cars can absolutely change your life if you let them.

Jalopnik contributor with a love for everything sketchy and eclectic.


Drive Stick or Die

I used to dream of driving across all states in the US in a manual Ferrari F430, and write blog posts as I go. I imagined my F430 stopping by the road, the only part that is pretty much clean is the windshield that has been wiped by the wipers, and cows grazing at a distance. Probably somewhere along the way I’d sleep in said F430 with a box of pizza and some Dr. Pepper on the passenger seat too.

I do however realized that I’m dreaming of an epic road trip in a car that is prone to self-immolation, and that the whole thing is pretty much tantamount to my personal Great Depression. But hey, one can dream rite?