Geen For Sale

Advert up today.

I envy the new owner.



Sale includes nearly everything required for an event, not quite a “turn key” deal but probably as close as you are going to find.  The new owner would have to supply their own hand tools and reset the driver and navigator controls to suit their own ergonomics.

The car comes with a good spares package to carry in the car and a set of critical spares to hold ready at base.  A complete camping set up of mats, tents, sleeping bags good for -20 Centigrade and a recovery set of hi-tech sand mats and low-tech Chinese shovel mounted on bespoke pins on the boot lid (with these you can bridge over ditches as well as escape from soft surfaces).

The car is the result of three years of research and development.  There is hardly an inch of the shell that hasn’t been worked over or strengthened.  A full roll cage protects the crew and offers amazing rigidity.  This is one of very few cars that didn’t have shock absorber problems on event, the Reiger units fitted were just stunning in use – during the development of the car they were a major leap forward for the handling.


Weight balance, with full 200 litre fuel tanks and the crew on board, is near as dammit 50/50 with nearly all the weight held low and between the axles.  The car has very good angles of attack and departure (short overhangs). Overall competition kerb weight is approximately 1750kg plus the weight of the crew – pretty good for an American V8 in rally trim.

The engine was deliberately de-tuned to run on any fuel available. We had no problems even when drawing the dregs from a fuel tanker.  Much thought has gone into filtering fuel and an easy system of draining the bottom of the two tanks is built in. Vibration through the car is minimal and the platform is astonishingly stable even on the roughest stages and sections.  Post event very little had moved or come undone in the toughest conditions.  We used an open storage box between the seats for oddments and tools, we worried that we might need a lid before the event, but in practice nothing stirred even slightly.

The engine although modest in power (peak 272hp) provides great gobs of torque from the bottom of the rev range (peak 475 NM).  This makes Geen very easy to drive, flooring the throttle in any gear gives you so much get up and go.  Much of the competition in Europe is uphill and all that drive gave us a very real edge. The throttle pedal has a long travel which allows the driver to moderate that power when required.  A spare set of jets is kept at hand to help the carburettor if required – at altitude or running on low octane fuel – we never used them but it was a comfort knowing we had them with us.  The engine gave us no problems, we didn’t even have to clean the points. Oh and you never get used to the stunning noise it makes, check out the You Tube videos.  One of the marshals said hearing it coming in to the final control at the end of the stage was “glorious” and that was after most of the field had passed through.

We had no problems from the five speed gear box.  Third was definitely a favourite gear, in which the car is exhilarating to drive.  Fifth is a very overdrive gear, allowing 110kph cruising at low revs, saving fuel and stress through the whole car.  There is so much torque and traction in first and second that the driver has to manage wheel spin on most surfaces, Tsk.

Attention to rally detail throughout has been fanatical, every component and method of operation has been thought hard over.  A competition trolley jack is mounted at the top of the boot in a bespoke holder to facilitate quick wheel swaps with an impact driver holstered alongside.  It also proved ideal combined with a pair of collapsible axle stands for fixed services. Lids are chained to the car to prevent their loss.  Coils are mounted in tandem so a quick change can replace a failed one (and the leads to do so are long enough). The battery clamp is definitive and the location such that if it did fail, the battery couldn’t jump the space it’s in.  The fuel filter is blocked out from the wing to prevent it developing a cantilever action on its mount.

A Peltor intercom is hard wired to the car with headsets and an iPod lead for music on the go. Geen has two Monit displays with GPS aerials on the roof, the navigator’s has a back up wheel sensor, with a GPS aerial in the spares kit. Wiring, roof mounted GPS Aerials and dash mounts for two Garmin GPS devices come with the car but only one Garmin device is supplied with the sale. A tracking device is fitted in car and is live for the rest of this year.

The tyre pressure monitoring system proved valuable, alerting us to the one puncture we got before the Tyre went flat, probably saving the Tyre for later use. Wheels and tyres seemed a good choice for the event surfaces: Vredestein Comtrac Winter tyres, six ply sidewalls for Van use worked fine on dirt and rough in Mongolia.  There are probably better tyres for the mostly tarmac European sections but these worked well for us, and there were still plenty of gravel stages in Europe. The tyres on the car are as they finished the event, good enough to test on, but you would replace all with new before the next event, usefully they’re not wildly expensive.

The brakes stood up well to the abuse they got. A future development to consider might be using a more modern four pot calliper. Adjustable Front to rear bias control on the dash allows quite subtle transfers of effort to the driver. Spare pads and special brake tool included.

The roof vent leaks slightly in heavy rain but this is a small price to pay for the cooling achieved. Dust ingress into the cabin was very well controlled, the boot did less well but was manageable. We forded many rivers, including one about a metre deep with ease. We have prepared the car for water up to the height of the air filter, all the breather tubes double up to that height before venting under the car to keep water out of key components.

Paddle clutch has been recently changed so Geen is currently running in a new one.  The replaced clutch did 18,000km of testing and 14,500km of event without trouble despite the loads put through it. The old clutch will be repaired as a running spare for the car.


The rear suspension worked a treat, a few bolts were tightened at one of the late services but that’s all. All the spares we carried have been run on the car previously.  So for example, we carry two spare fuel pumps, both are wired identically to the two in use on the car, and known to work, for a quick and reliable substitution.

The event did reveal a critical weakness in our preparation. Although of a competition specification, one which had never caused a moments concern in testing, the front lower ball joints developed movement after the first day of competition. It transpired that the new ones we fitted before the event and the two spares we carried were insufficient for the task. Examined at the road side we discovered nylon caps – no good – but having never had a problem we had never taken one apart before.  This really handicapped our efforts on this event and reflects in our final placing.  Repairs in the field to accommodate new larger ball joints created transferred problems throughout the front suspension.   New front end improvements are in train at Autosportif and the car will be sold with a vastly more effective front end.

We left the UK with a failing starter motor, which is being repaired and replaced before sale.  There is a good chance that the voltage being drawn by the failing starter was the cause of a high incidence of alternator failure, we are waiting for forensics on why the alternators failed, testing should reveal the cause and a cure put in place, it’s possible that the alternators may have all had a single component fault too.

Otherwise we had a problem with the thrust washers in the differential, diagnosis is in train, but it may simply be a matter of how the differential is assembled and how the drive shafts are mated to it.  Again the car will not be sold without a correction.

For a thirty six day rally for an untested/unknown car that is a small list of failures.  We would anticipate as many from a weekend event in the UK.  With the upgrades in place this car will be remarkable for the new owner.


Oh and it looks awesome.


Peking to Paris in an AMC AMX

Experienced rally veterans Jim Valentine and Jonathan Lodge have prepared a 1968 AMC AMX.

They’re entered in the classics category for cars over 2000cc in the Peking to Paris Rally 2016.

Progress can be tracked live on Spot.

Leaving Beijing on 12 June, 34 days and 13,625 kilometres later they arrive in Paris on 17 July, 2016.

Contact us by email:

Thursday 21 July, 2016 Bicester

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We’d look tough if my overalls fitted…

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Workshops were pleased to see us again.  All marvelled at how well the car looked post event.

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The happy crew relaxing in Paris.  We had the adventure of a lifetime and Jonathan made a lot of that possible.

If you have enjoyed reading the blog, please do leave a comment to register that you have been here.  There is only one more post to make after this: Geen is looking for a new owner to continue her journey as a fantastic endurance rally car.

Wednesday 20 July, 2016 London

A chance to clean up the car.

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Just some of the gear we carried to the finish.  There wasn’t a moment when we thought “if only we had brought that along”. There wasn’t an item in the car that we didn’t use or wouldn’t have wanted to have with us (didn’t have to change any wheel bearings for example, but we carried a full set to the end).

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Some scuffs, some gravel rash, some dented rims, a sore sump guard, some scratches.  Hard to believe the car has been through the hardest long rally you can do.  Weapon.

Monday 18th July 2016 Paris to London

Started the day with breakfast in a cafe by the Seine next to Notre Dame. Then a walk via the Pompidou Centre to the restaurant for a 12.30 start.

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Laura at Ellsworth Restaurant did a fabulous job of laying a lunch on for us. I doubt I will ever throw a private party in a restaurant in Paris and this was just perfect:

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I got spectacularly drunk in Place Vendome on Sunday, only just remembered to park the car in the booked parking and got back to the digs to change for dinner at the time we were supposed to be sitting down.  Felt I had rather let Dot down as I was supposed to escort her to dinner. I hope being escorted to lunch here was some compensation.

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Novel interface for bread bags and balding men found.

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Toasts were drunk to Michael and Bruce, the missing fathers, the restaurant and Geen Remmen who carried us all that way.


Eiffel Tower lit up in mourning for those lost in terrorist attacks.  The real world was catching up with us.

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Crashed out on the Eurostar shuttle.

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Geen comes to rest finally, was just clearing out the bags when I discovered (eventually)  that Adam, my son, had posted my mobile under my seat. This involved forty minutes of wriggling around under the car getting the seat unbolted. No idea why he’s looking so cheerful in this photo, if I had had the energy I would have strangled him.


Day 36 17th July 2016 Paris Finish

Took the Eurostar to Paris first thing and met the car on the outskirts, so nice to meet family and friends in Place Vendome for the finish.


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So many people had turned out to see us, Dot certainly won the banner competition.  Those door plate signs were lifted off our website after she asked for a photo showing the competition numbers, crafty and clever Dot.  Nicole’s tinsel lined pillow case flag was a winner too.  Three generations of Sparks came along, youngest William superbly behaved.  Both my sisters and their husbands came along and brought great cheer.

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Nicole and Alex were the first friends we saw after such a long journey, Nicole looks the part in the car and seems to have dealt with the first challenge of drink driving: gradual acceleration so you don’t spill your drink.

Chaotic scenes on the finish line, couldn’t have asked for a better partner. We made it in some style.

Day 35 16th July 2016 London??

Slightly surreal experience dropping out of the rally for 48 hours.  Jonathan is now driving from Lausanne to the Rally party in Rheims with his wife Caroline navigating. Should be a great shindig, it is the last time the whole rally family meets alone.  Tomorrow’s finish and grand dinner will be nice, but diluted with friends and families of the competitors. I am looking forward to seeing the rough edit of the event film, bound to be embarrassing as I know they have working on the car tomfoolery and a monumentally bad spin in the can already.

Had a chance to cure my phone and can now receive email again, phew. As a result took delivery of some great email.

Rita and Roberto Chiodi in one of the Alfas sent this photo of how to marshal a control:

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Arrival board, check

Control board, check

Arrow for direction of travel, check

Marshall’s instruction? Fail?

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Oh no, check.

Guys you need to put an “l” in your stopcock

Also got mucho macho photos from of Geen on the Hungarian stages.

Duen I hope you don’t mind me publishing your low res copies?  When I can understand your website I’ll be buying some, email me if you read this. Readers please respect their copyright.

AMX Duen

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Day 34 15th July 2016 Saint Moritz to London??

Had to cut out of the rally to attend to business in London.  Really hard leaving the circus behind. Jonathan ran me up to Zurich, this is the last car I saw in the event:


And this was the last time I saw Geen:



Jonathan is accelerating hard to avoid incurring any more of the £1.00 a minute drop off charge. I hope to catch up before the finish in Paris.

Day 33 14th July San Martino Di Castrozza

Wish I could sleep properly. If I get a room to myself I get up at five puddle around for a bit (write up the blog or check results) and then go back to bed. The hour I then sleep is the heaviest and the one I wanted in the first place. During the day I can sometimes get my head down at controls. Yesterday for seven minutes, and those really help with the fatigue.

Shocking news this morning. I saw Paul from the Mercedes looking wrong at breakfast. Turns out his co driver walked out at 1.30 this morning. So near the end, what a shame, I suspect he’s here somewhere in another hotel watching the rally circus leave town. Terrible to leave the rally in any circumstances. I hope they both patch up their relationship as I believe they share both a town and families…


This is my little pit, where I have pretty much lived for 33 days.


Oh dear, the ride of shame. Set off on stage one, a big bang and no drive. Can’t fix it roadside so currently in the car on the back of a tow truck. I thought the vertigo in the car was bad on the passes…



Federica and Enrico from the local motor club gave up the whole of their day to help us get fixed. Really kind and the guys at Scalat Auto couldn’t have been more helpful and generous with their time and facilities. Guys I hope you are all reading this. Thank you so much.


Diagnosis was hard we thought at first it was clutch or gearbox:

Clutch looked fine. Gearbox on the bench looked fine too. Changed the clutch and put it all back together, still no drive. It had to be the differential or drive shafts.

Turns out the thrust washers had been spat out one side and the whole diff had moved over. In doing so it wore off the splines for three milometres on the end of the drive shaft.

This is what the differential housing looks like.

So one of the cheapest components in the car has brought our competition to an end. We’ll now limp the car to Paris. Repairs took all day and then we had a long drive to catch up with the rally in St Moritz.

In truth having been second, then twenty second, then ninth, to now be nowhere in the event isn’t as crushing as it might be. The drive tonight without the worry of competing took in some stunning scenery.

Day 32 13th July 2016 Llubljana to San Martino Di Castrozza

Thought you might like some thoughts on driving Geen on a Rally.

Rauno Aaltonen, known as the professor was a very successful development engineer and rally driver (it’s unusual to find the two together). As he says “driving a rally car is a busy job”.

On arrival at a stage start we join a queue of cars waiting to go. My job at this point is to get focussed.  Mostly I will be trying to manage the build up of heat in the engine: hanging back in shade for example.  I will be looking at who is in front and behind: will they be easy to pass? How much quicker are we so where in the stage are we likely to catch them.

Jonathan will tell me what information he can glean: length of the stage, bad junction at 2.3km and so on. I will be listening to the cars in front setting off, assessing how much traction they have off the line and then the noise of their engine: big lift after three seconds? Ah ha, big corner just after the start.

Once we’re near the front of the queue I will be assessing the start line: which side do I want to position the car on? They are seldom in a straight line so getting the whole car pointing in the direction we want to travel in with the steering in a straight line is critical. Sometimes I will put the car off line because the earlier cars have cut up the start line and we’ll get better traction on another part.

Once on the line I will block out the marshalls and spectators as best I can: it’s too easy to get distracted.  At ten seconds to go I lift the revs from tickover. At five seconds I take the engine to launch revs, in Geen about 2100. At three seconds I engage the clutch until I can feel it bite and strain against the handbrake. At one second I go, bring the clutch up and let the handbrake off so as the Marshall says go the car is moving.

The first fifteen feet are about managing clutch slip with the revs low.  In a day event,  or one with a lot of service support, or where you were looking for every second of performance you might dump a load of revs through the clutch and absorb the clutch slip, heat and damage. But this is an endurance event, so I keep the revs low until the clutch is completely out and the gear completely in.

Then the fun part, massive acceleration in a relatively low risk phase of the stage.  Geen has great gobs of torque in any gear.  Once first is fully engaged, one and a half seconds after departure I get on the throttle and take the revs to peak power at about 5000revs.  Glorious noise from the V8. You have to manage the power as you don’t want the car squirreling about or fishtailing. Fastest possible change into second and maximum throttle, we’ll be doing 60mph in about five seconds on the rough.

By the time were up in to second the focus is on where the corners are going. Anywhere we can use our third gear, fast corners and what straights you get on a stage, Geen is in her element.  She gains speed as fast as many sports cars, and that’s on loose or tarmac surfaces.

Approaching corners is all about managing our exit speed, oh yes, and not leaving the stage. It’s very demanding on crew and car. We did a very fast tarmac stage in the hills yesterday and arrived at the finish with our brakes, front and back, just this side of on fire.  Brake temperatures at this point could be as high as 700 degrees centigrade.

A last look at Slovenia, one of the nicest and most beautiful countries we have passed through.

Just down the valley from here we passed a monument. Dated 20 September 1944, it was in front of a burnt out farmhouse. I would guess it marked the scene of another ghastly atrocity. So much of the lands we have travelled through in Eastern Europe are steeped in so much blood and tragedy.


We’re right up in the clouds in the Italian Alps staying at a ski resort.

Just got two days results in one go. We are currently ninth, the two cars in front when we were eleventh we have passed. The Volvo catching us from behind is closing fast and is now less than two minutes behind. The pressure is on him as there may only be two days of competing left and he is not closing the gap quite fast enough, making a minute a day. We may yet keep him behind us as we really are taking it very easy to get to Paris.

The Bristol we overtook is making some impressive times, but I think we have passed him. Still plenty of scope to cock things up…

It was a long hard day. It rained for a good chunk of the day once we passed into Italy. At one point we were driving in a monsoon and there was such a volume of water on the road it was lifting the car. The tests were all tarmac hillclimbs up the steepest switchbacks. Geen’s power, short length and cute steering make it easier, but the sheer physics of getting up gradients and round endless hairpins are tough. The poor tyres are taking a hammering but are still giving good service, they appear to have been a good choice for the event. The spectators, and my god there have been a lot of them, certainly enjoy all the squealing.

We cut dinner with the rally and ate in our hotel, a cracking meal and surprisingly enjoyable having food hot and brought to the table. I am very much looking forward to not eating ham and cheese sandwiches or selecting food from buffets.