RatRod 2011 : The search is on…

Keith Adams

Taking something old somewhere interesting in 2011
Taking something old somewhere interesting in 2011

It’s been three years since I’ve been on a Banger Rally and, as the months have worn on, I’ve found that the withdrawal symptoms have become increasingly painful. In 2009, I missed out on a full event and, instead, flew by Easyjet to meet the CzechWrecks Rally in Prague and drive back Team Piston Broke’s Audi Coupe – but it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t a full rally.

In one form or another, AROnline has been competing in these events since 2004, when Alexander Boucke, Declan Berridge and I thrashed a Rover 216 GTI to Naples and drove the old girl back almost non-stop. The following year, we took a 1975 Allegro 1500 Super, followed by a Rover 820 in 2006. We missed out on an event in 2007 but in 2008 it was the turn of a Skoda Felicia on the Czech Wrecks Rally.

Anyway, for 2011, the RatRod Rally looks the most promising. I’ve never been to Romania before but it looks like it’s going to be of great interest. I have no idea about a car yet, but my early thoughts are a knackered early Discovery. However, that will be a big ask for the maximum budget of £250. Mind you, having said that, they are out there and the search is very much on…

Of course, if you have a suitable car that you would like to see go out in style, do give us a shout. Equally, if you want to sponsor us, please get in touch as well. We’ll be announcing our charity early in 2011.

There’s not a great deal of information available on the Street Safari site, yet – but I’ll keep you posted. For the moment, I’ll post some links to our former Banger Rallies and hope that it inspires you to do the same… there’s nothing better than a driving caper in a truly crap car.

Czech Wrecks 2009

Czech Wrecks 2008

Staples2Naples 2006

Staples2Naples 2005

Staples2Naples 2004

Here’s the Street Safari page:

Doing it in style
Doing it in style
Keith Adams


  1. I love reading the Banger Rally articles you do on AROnline – you should have more road trips. May I suggest a Rover 600 or a Rover Metro/100 for this Rally.

  2. Try the Volvo Owners’ Club forum. You might be able to find an ageing but able 740, 940 or 850 estate going cheap there :).

  3. I went to Romania about 10 years ago and the roads were awful but in and around Bucharest they were pretty good. It is a fantastic place with great people and, to be honest, I wish I was coming.

    How about picking up a early Freelander with a blown head gasket and calling in a few favours to get it fixed?

    A must is a visit to Ceausescu’s Palace – it was, at one point, the second largest building in the world and some of the marble lined rooms are as big as a football pitch. It makes Buckingham Palace look like a Barrett Home!

  4. Damnit, I’ve just got rid of an old Clio which had MoT until May next year. The downside was that the steering was ronnied, the sunroof was sealed shut, the electric windows worked when they felt like it and the fuel gauge told lies… I sold it for £100.

  5. I think Brian’s offer of a car and ride fits the bill! Hopefully, his is an early KV6 and hasn’t had any engine work yet, but comes with a patchy service history and high mileage that whets the appetite for upcoming instalments!

  6. @Alexander Boucke
    You only have concerns about the clutch? I remember the whistle blowing quality issues on the Freelander in CAR Magazine. I wouldn’t be surprised if the doors fall off as they try a test drive and that the welding of the roof to the lower half of the body gives up and makes them topless before they reach the ferry. I hope they pack warm clothes!

  7. Rover 216 GTi – needed new clutch from the start.
    Allegro – clutch totally failed on one of the first test drives.
    Jaguar – …. you know what? In this case a replacement car in shape of a grey Rover 820 was pressed into service (where the clutch did last mysteriously). Anyway, given this record, I’m not too worried about an early KV6 melting or the top flying off :-).

  8. Keith, We’re doing the Shitbox Rally in Oz again this year. Last year was Sydney to Alice Springs but this year is Brisbane to Darwin. It’s run on a similar basis: the cars have to cost less then AU $1000, it’s a fundraiser rally for the Cancer Council and the event takes you on some of the remotest roads in Australia.

    This year, there are river crossings (with crocs in them!!) and we head through the Kakadu National Park in the top end. I’m taking my SD1 again but called in some favours and so this year he’s painted up like the BASTOS Texaco TWR Vitesses :). The spoilers will be perfect for smashing off in the desert!

    I’ll get in touch with you before I go if you want a story for the site :). We’ve got a Dolomite along for the ride this year too.. Not good in 40 degree heat…

    You can find the official Shitbox Rally website at that link if you Northern hemisphere-living folk want a peek!

  9. I heard the Skoda Felica Estate which Keith & Co. used on the Czech Wrecks had been professionally prepared for the event. Indeed, I’ve also heard that the same tuning outfit is preparing for the Romanian RatRod Rally in a Marina 1800 Super…

  10. @Wilko
    Ah, I sold her on shortly after safely returning home – she was awarded CoTM with her new owner.

    Unfortunately, due to some personal problems, she has been sitting idle for a couple of years, but in a dry, good shelter and will, I’m sure, return to the road eventually.

    I’m just not remotely enthusiastic about the Allegro as such so, despite knowing her qualities, she just had to go…

  11. From Webster’s Dictionary

    (to) ronnie – desc. noun. – To perform like a bad actress on a long-running soap opera.

    Hmm… A Rover V8-powered FSO anyone or would that be too cruel?

  12. @Marty B
    Someone left a comment on a Rover 100 article about how the Clio was so poorly built that it made the 100 look like a Swiss watch. Now we see that it’s true…

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