Banger rally Rover 216GTIs and I have history. Alexander Boucke, Declan Berridge and I competed in Staples2Naples 2004 in one (and came second!) and enjoyed every minute of it. I then sold the car for charity to another S2N’er Les Hedaux, before getting it back a couple of years ago. Then I sold it againâ€¦ and got it back againâ€¦ then sold it. I think H23 GDF may well have finally gone to that great scrapyard in the sky. But you never know.
Anyway, bear with me on this. Regular readers might know that Team AROnline was supposed to take part in RatRod 2011, a banger rally to Brasov in Romania – but due to work deadlines, and my own shocking lack of organisation, it never happened. My team mate, Andrew Elphick hitched a lift with Alex Sebbinger and Rhydian Edwards in their Montego 1.6L. And from my â€˜phone call last night, it seems the chaps have made it to Romania, and are on the home run to Brasov right now. My involvement with the rally has therefore been, er, minimalâ€¦ and I’m feeling a great sense of loss.
But Elphick came up with a plan that involved me. And I’m not complaining. So, on Saturday morning, I’m flying out to Bucharest (about 100 miles from the rally’s destination in Brasov), where I’ll be meeting Elphick, and driving home one of the rally’s cars. Before you get excited, I’m not bringing back the Montego , but I seem to have teamed up with Andrew to drive back a Rover 216GTI (nicknamed – for some daft reason – SLEGTi) that has been driven out by Steven Ward and his happy team. You can see a picture of that car above – which like all 216GTIs around AROnline seems to have lived a yo-yo life between friends during the past decade.