Gutsy 80-year-old grandmother drove to London from South-Africa
"In this day and age we need to hear stories like this one....truly inspiring...This is both a conquest for Julia and her car" - Johan Crause, Owner Judine Motors
Julia Albu is an 80-year-old South African who drove a solo grand tour from Cape Town to London in her beloved Toyota Conquest to visit her daughter.
In June 2017, Julia Albu turned the ignition of her beloved 1997 Toyota Corolla (marketed locally as the Toyota Conquest) and drove away from her home in Cape Town, South Africa.
She was 80-year-old, the car was 20 years old, and their commemoration of a century of combined existence was to keep motoring north until she reached her daughter’s house in London, England.
Although Julia’s decision to take the 12 000km scenic route was admittedly hasty, a year of preparation was invested before she finally drove away. An eastern route through Africa was planned, supportive sponsors and charities joined the cause, and a blog site was launched to document the journey.
While there were many unknowns for Julia as a solo traveller, her one constant was her Toyota, affectionately known as “Tracy”. It had never let her down in 20 years of service and she saw no reason not to trust that it would carry her safely on this most epic of centennial celebrations.
A year and countless experiences later, Julia successfully arrived in London to a hero’s welcome. We caught up with the daring duo – now with a combined age of 102 years – in the service department of Currie Motors, her daughter’s local Toyota dealer, as she entrusted Tracy to the technicians to prepare her for the return journey.
Read all about it here: