From 1961 to 1971, some of the bravest drivers from across the world took on the task of driving 4000 miles, not quite the entire length of the country, in the Shell 4000 Rally. The FIA-sanctioned rally was the longest and one of the most challenging rallies of the 1960s.
The rally had different routes every year. It ran from Montreal to Vancouver and vice versa, Vancouver to Quebec City, Ottawa to Victoria and Calgary to Halifax. For the 2015 Canada 5000, my co-driver Dave Myers and I will travel from coast to coast – starting in Vancouver and making the roughly 5000-mile (8000-kilometre) drive to Halifax.
The original rally ran along some of the most challenging and scenic routes across Canada and we’ll follow them turn-by-turn. We’ll stick strictly to the routes that were set 50-plus years ago. For the most part, these routes don’t follow the highways you would expect. They take logging roads, gravel side roads and even some non-maintained trails. And we’ll tackle them all in a 48-year-old Volvo 122S.
There also isn’t a map of the route that we’ll be taking. Instead, we’ll have dozens of pages of route books with directional information for every section. These route books look a little intimidating when you consider you have to use them the entire way across the country.
Below is the one page from our route out of Vancouver. This demands that both driver and navigator are paying attention at all times!