Aston Martin on the Asia-Pacific Highway
It’s not every day that a car company, a schoolteacher and a tour operator join forces to raise money, set a world record and increase road safety awareness. When Richard Meredith, Phil Colley and Aston Martin decided to collaborate on just such project, their efforts attracted the attention of car lovers and newspaper reporters from around the world.
The journey started as a dream two years ago when 58-year-old Meredith decided he would love to drive the entire length of the Asia-Pacific Highway. Unlike most people who never see such unusual dreams fulfilled, Meredith started looking for a way to accomplish his new goal. At last he was able to approach Dr Ulrich Bez, the Chief Executive Officer for Aston Martin. Dr Bez saw the advantage of allowing one of his automobiles to be tested to the limit under normal driving circumstances. Dr Bez is still confident that all three will succeed in their efforts. With his support, Meredith was able to make his dream a reality and on 25 June 2007, Richard Meredith and his friend Phil Colley set off from Tokyo on an incredible journey which will take them through sixteen different countries and a variety of terrains and weather conditions.
As of yet, no one has attempted to drive the entire distance of the Asia-Pacific Highway, so if the pair are able to accomplish their goal, they will be setting a new record. But, though they have the support of the Aston Martin car company and will be enjoying the luxuries of a V8 Vantage, their trip is unlikely to be a smooth one. Not only will the terrain be somewhat inhospitable on certain stretches, but the heat will be quite intense at times and then there is the problem of difficult bureaucracy from county to country. Fortunately, the project has even gained the support of the regional commission of the United Nations, so the pair will likely enjoy a good deal of support in even the most difficult situations. In fact, a team of assistants has been set up in the UK to organize assistance should it be necessary. In addition to problems such as these, the V8 Vantage car’s roadworthiness and durability will be tested to the absolute limit.
While the journey started as the dream of one man, it has grown to become a symbol of care and road safety awareness. Many global companies have joined the crusade and the money raised by the trip will be used to help children in developing countries understand the importance of road safety awareness. The two are scheduled to drive into Trafalgar Square on 13 August 2007 and the world will be monitoring their progress until they complete their journey.