bangers4ben Blog

28.01.09: The rules and route of Bangers4BEN

Time 6:52 pm, January 28, 2009

bangers4benlogoRIGHT… I think it’s about time we worked out some rules for our upcoming Bangers for BEN challenge.

I’ve been thinking about it for the last few weeks – in between desperate phone calls to contacts in search of a car – and have come up with the following.

Firstly the budget – it’s £200 each. We can spend the entire amount on a car or less and spend the rest on repairs to get it roadworthy and tax it.

They’ll be 10 points for every whole pound spent under budget and 20 deducted for every pound spent over budget.

The plan is to drive to John O’Groats and back over a period of three days – from Saturday, Feb 7 to Monday, Feb 9 – and we’ll be taking on a series of challenges along the way.

The first is a trackday – courtesy of our friends at Motorsport Vision. All cars will have to complete one session in full at Bedford Autodrome (an amazing location) on the Saturday. Dangerous doing it on the first day, I know, but sadly unavoidable. After that we’ll be heading from Bedford for the first stop of the weekend – South Shields.

Best Western, the hotel chain, have very kindly agreed to put us up for the two nights of the trip, which we’re very grateful for – so South Shields was their PR man’s suggestion. It means a total of 353 miles on the first day – not including track miles. Gulp…


Day two is worse though. It will start with a very different challenge – an MPG marathon, like our Rich took part in last year. This will mean brimming the tanks and driving as far as possible until we run out of fuel. They’ll be a point for every mile travelled – so big points on offer for frugal driving.

This will take place on the lengthy journey to John O’Groats from South Shields – and then we head back to another Best Western at Inverness. Total miles for day two? A slightly scary 524 miles and 11 hours of driving according to Google Maps. Double gulp…

Day three will be the journey home from Inverness to Pompey – some 630 miles and 11 hours of driving.

They’ll also be penalties for any of the following:

Mechanical assistance: -500 points

Tow truck home: -1,500 points

Speeding ticket: -1,000 points

When/if we get home, the points will be totted up and we’ll have a round one winner. Then the fun really starts – selling the cars!

If my challengers and I get the right cars, this should be the satisfying bit when we make some serious dosh for automotive charity BEN. We haven’t discussed how we’ll flog them, but considering our experience of prices at auction recently, that might not be a bad idea.

For every whole pound over £500 we get for the cars they’ll be a point awarded – and that will give us our final scores and a winner!

We’ll be running the first feature on the trip in Issue 13 (not the next one, but the one after) and catching up on how/if we sold the cars in the issue after that.

I’ll also be blogging throughout the Bangers for BEN weekend so make sure you keep checking for updates!


Get more from Car Dealer

  • Premium stories
  • Used car data
  • Magazine early access

13.01.09: Don’t worry, I have a plan

16.01.09: BEN Bangers challenge hots up

24.01.09: BENBangers challenge gets tough

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

More stories...

Server 51