Barry Weir: Around The World In 80 Days

Barry Weir is a retired motor home park owner who set a world record by doing something that sounds like it sprang from the pages of Jules Verne: he went around the world in eighty days.

Barry Weir drove was behind the wheel of a 1954 Aston Martin DB2/4 when he became the first person to ever drive an historic sports car all around the world in that time frame. His route took him across four continents and through twenty-two countries in what was the longest rally ever in the history of the Aston Martin. He wrote a thrilling account of his adventure in a book called Driving Ambition: An Adventure of a Lifetime, published in 2001.

Before his fortieth birthday, Barry Weir had never shown much interest in cars and road rallies. Then his wife Roma presented him with a Mercedes for his fortieth birthday, and everything changed. It spawned a deep passion for sports cars that deepened five years later when Barry Weir received an Aston Martin DB7 for his forty-fifth birthday.

When he heard about the “Around The World in 80 Days Motor Challenge,” planned for the year 2000, Barry Weir was hooked: he determined right away to take part in the event. Looking back on it today, though, he says he never could have done it without an incredibly tolerant spouse. “I have often had cause to reflect on my good fortune in my choice of a mate,” he wrote in Driving Ambition. “If it were not for Roma’s tolerance, patience and sense of humor, not to say generosity of spirit, I would never have managed to drive around the world.”

Today, Driving Ambition is out of print, although previously owned copies can still be found on Amazon and other used book websites.

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