PERFORMING in a Bollywood film and being detained on suspicion of spying in Iran have all been part of a day’s work for three friends as they coasted into the record books.
Leigh Purnell, Johno Ellison and Paul Archer and their 18-year-old Fairway cab, nicknamed Hannah arrived in Sydney with more than 31,000 miles clocked up on the meter and the longest taxi ride in history behind them.
The trio are sponsored by Isle of Man-based business CabCard Services Ltd, a company that processes card payments for taxi firms.
The men set out from the on February 17, 2011, at the London Transport Museum and took them through four continents, 39 countries and 10 time zones.
The three met as engineering students at Birmingham’s Aston Universtiy and took on the journey as a challenge, a record bid and to raise money for the British Red Cross.
In India, they even managed to get a role for the cab in the Bollywood blockbuster Agent Vinod, while the visit to Iran could have ended quite badly.
The final leg of the journey took them across Australia from Darwin to Sydney after a prolonged delay waiting for Hannah to arrive by container and be released by the authorities after being cleaned to prevent contamination from foreign species. Elated on arrival in Sydney, Mr Purnell said: ‘We did it – 296 days on the road. It has been the adventure of a lifetime, bloody hard work, scorching hot, freezing cold, dirty, smelly, scary, boring in parts, exhilarating in others but most of all, fun.’
Completing the run takes the team into the Guinness Book of Records for the longest taxi ride ever.
A spokesman for CabCard Services, said they had been delighted to sponsor the team and help them raise £20,000 for the British Red Cross. In addition to a cash donation CabCard also supplied the team with their own CabCash prepaid Visa card to use throughout the journey. The card made it easier for the team to buy fuel, goods and services and to withdraw cash worldwide, wherever Visa is accepted.
CabCard marketing manager Sharon Jamieson said: ‘It’s been a fabulous adventure, raising money for a very worthy cause and CabCard Services are proud to have helped them.’