Although there was a huge amount of interest in this year’s event, the fact it was going to take seven days out of car dealers’ busy lives put many people off. And it’s for that reason we’ve decided to revert to the popular four-day format of previous events.
And while we’re giving the event a revamp we’ve also changed the name – Bangers4BEN will henceforth be known as The Big BEN Rally. Why the change? Simple really – car manufacturers and some dealers were put off the event because they didn’t want cars from their marque being associated with a ‘banger’ rally. A number of manufacturers we spoke to suggested a name change, so that’s exactly what we’ve done.
Spain for four days
Ok, so down to the details. We start on the same date as before – Saturday, October 13 – but now we arrive back on the Tuesday, October 16.
Romania is now out and instead we’re heading to Barcelona, Spain. However, the concept of helping two charities in the process is still very much in. We want participants to fill their cars with shoeboxes which we’ll then deliver to a charity in Spain which will hand out the supplies to the homeless and poorest people in the country via the Salvation Army.
In previous years our rallies have been enjoyed, but many participants suggested we make the trip for an additional reason (rather than just a jolly), hence this year’s idea of helping out another charity on the way. The panel explains what sort of things the charity would like our competitors to take.
On the way to Barcelona we’ll drive over the famous Millau Viaduct – the world’s tallest bridge – and then when we get to Spain we’ll make our aid drop. Once, that’s sorted and we’ve had a celebratory beverage, we’ll head back again. Back in Blighty the car you made the trip in will be sold in a charity auction at BCA’s Blackbushe site and all the proceeds will be handed over to BEN. So not only will you get four fantastic days away, but you’ll also get that warm glowing feeling that comes from helping not one, but two charities out.
You have up to £500 to spend on your car, but it’s worth remembering that BEN makes its money from the sale of these cars so if you spend a bit more, it doesn’t really worry us – and it certainly won’t worry BEN!
The good news is we’ve managed to get the entry fee back down to £500 for a team of two. This covers your hotels, evening meals and breakfast – plus your ferry crossings. You’ll have to pay for fuel, tolls and the terrible jambon sandwiches and pieces of dry quiche the French call service station lunch.
Day one will see teams cover 471 miles from Dover to Limoges, France. Day two is a 446-mile schlep to Barcelona, then we do the same mileage back again on days three and four. In total that’s roughly a 1,300-mile round trip.
Once again The AA will be sending two patrols with us, just in case teams break down (like we did last year) and that’s bound to come in extremely useful.
Now we’ve modified the event, we’re sure places will sell out quickly as they have done in the past. Last year we sold out the 36 places we had available in a matter of days.
We already have 10 teams signed up so if you want a place we suggest you get in touch with Kelly Neal at BEN quickly on 01344 294720. Places are only secured upon payment of the £500 entry fee. We look forward to joining you on the start line!
Place these in shoeboxes and ensure the contents are clearly marked on the outside to avoid issues at borders.