Joginder Singh, the “Flying Sikh” and an Update on the ’60 PV544
We had one of our best days ever when we posted the Volvo PV544. The auction has a Buy It Now price less than $8,000. One of our subscribers sent me a link to a YouTube video about the East African Safari Rally and one of its luminaries, Joginder Singh. So we thought we would package the update on the 544 with some history and the video.
Joginder was the first Sikh driver ever to win an international rally, and also the first man to win the Safari Rally three times, he was fondly known as the “Flying Sikh” for his exploits behind the wheel. Although Ugandan rival Shekhar Mehta has more outright victories in the event, Singh’s record of 19 finishes in 22 attempts is an unprecedented feat of consistency in what has been long regarded as the world’s toughest rally, where the attrition rate can exceed 90%. His historic first Safari win in 1965 proved to be a triumph against expectations and a defiance of superstition. It was the 13th running of the event, and his car was given the number 1 which was at that time considered an unlucky number in the Safari. Nevertheless, there was only good fortune for Joginder and Jaswant, despite piloting the same Volvo which factory driver Tom Trana had used in 1963 and 1964 and which had clocked up 42,000 competitive miles on its odometer before the Bhachu brothers’ victory.