bangers4ben Features

Bangers4BEN 2011: The Italian Job

Time 6:28 am, March 12, 2011

ferrari1This years Bangers4BEN adventure will see us visit the home of Ferrari! Only thing is you’ll have to do it in a car costing no more than £500. You up for it?

Fancy visiting Ferrari?

THE home of Ferrari. Maranello. A mecca for fans of the prancing horse the world over. Birthplace of the some of the most iconic automobiles ever made, home

to some of the rarest and most exclusive motors in existence… and our destination for a bunch of clapped-out bangers this October.

Bangers4BEN is our annual trip to an exotic (ish) location in scrapheap-dodging motors in aid of automotive industry charity BEN. Last year our team of intrepid challengers made it to the playground of the rich and famous, Monaco, in trusty steeds costing no more than £500.

This year the challenge is no different. You need to buy a banger for under £500 which will be sold at the end in an auction in aid of BEN, then turn up at Dover for the drive south to Italy and back. So the event doesn’t take up too much of your working week, this year we’ve decided to start on a Saturday, so you only lose two days out of the office. The four-day event begins on Saturday, October 8, at Dover and returns home around 5pm on Tuesday, October 11.


We start at Dover on day one and drive 474 miles to Broug-en-Bresse, France. On day two we’ll head across the Alps (or through it, depending on the weather), to Maranello where Ferrari have arranged accommodation at their preferred hotel.

Day three will start with a tour of the Galleria Ferrari – Ferrari’s museum which is home to some vintage cars from the world of F1 as well as models from the marque’s range over the years.

After that we’ll head back to Broug-en-Bresse where we’ll be staying on the final night before making the journey back to Dover on the last day.

The whole trip will see us cover a total of 1,701 miles!


B4B '10 - Car Dealer Crew, Civic, and naked man

On the first day we like participants to turn up in fancy dress. Last year most teams themed their cars – we had a DeLorean, a Nissan Rabbit and us in our Blackbird SR71 Honda – and most of us stayed in our accompanying fancy dress for the entire trip. It’s up to you whether you want to, but we think it’s worth it for the amount of strange European looks you’ll get!

When we get back to Blighty the cars need to be dropped off at BCA’s Blackbushe site where a few days later a charity auction will be held, the cars sold and all the proceeds handed over to BEN.

Last year we raised more than £13,000, and the year before that £15k, so we’re hoping this year will be just as successful. Many teams also raised money for BEN through sponsorship. Although not mandatory, it’s a nice way of boosting the final total and every little bit makes a difference.

What will it cost?

screen-shot-2011-03-10-at-163738All in, around £1,000 for a team of two. There’s a £500 non-refundable entry fee, payable upon booking. This reserves your place and covers your ferry crossings, accommodation, evening meals and breakfast on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

You’ll need to cover fuel and tolls. You’ll then need to find a car for under £500 (which is capable of making the trip). The reason we’re launching this year’s event early is so you’ve got plenty of time to find the right car.

Last year a few teams dropped out at the last minute because they couldn’t find a banger, so we want to ensure that doesn’t happen again.

What you buy obviously has to be road legal and you’ll also need to sort the insurance out. And when we say a maximum of £500, that’s at least what it has to show on the invoice…

Last year the Carlyle Finance team arrived in an 02-plate Audi TT! At the end of the day BEN makes its money from the sale of the cars so the better it is the more money they make.

We’d also advise booking early. The first Bangers4BEN sold out within a week and we had to add more places so don’t delay in reserving your place. You can only do that by paying your entry fee and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Booking can be made on the BEN website here We look forward to seeing you in October for what’s likely to be an amazing trip!

To get you in the mood, here’s our video from last year’s event when we prepared our car:

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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