Banger makes it across desert - just
A daring duo have completed the gruelling 3,600 Plymouth-Dakar Challenge in a banger despite numerous break downs on the way. David Smith of Hethersett and Roscoe Gibson-Denny of Wymondham, set off for the charity challenge on January 4 and arrived at their destination - Banjul in Gambia three weeks later in their Renault Cleo which cost less than £100.
A daring duo have completed the gruelling 3,600 Plymouth-Dakar Challenge in a banger despite numerous break downs on the way.
David Smith of Hethersett and Roscoe Gibson-Denny of Wymondham, set off for the charity challenge on January 4 and arrived at their destination - Banjul in Gambia three weeks later in their Renault Cleo which cost less than £100.
Mr Smith said: “We managed to complete the journey on schedule, which was surprising considering the difficulties that we faced with trying to get the heavily laden little car through the desert, and later on some of the worst roads imaginable. We broke down on day one only 1 hour from home on the A11 as the alternator packed up on us, but we managed to get to France and fix the problem on day two.
“When we reached Spain on day three we also broke down in Gibraltar when the car overheated due to a broken cooling fan. However we managed to get all the way to Marrakech in Morocco where we found a local mechanic to fit a new part - what a relief as I was getting a bit concerned at this point especially as we were almost guaranteed to overheat in the desert without having the fan fixed!
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“When we reached the desert we found it really tough going, especially as we kept getting stuck in soft sand all the time. We then worked out that the faster you go, the less you get stuck, so we went for it and made it through the desert after three long days of serious driving. During this time the exhaust fell off and was tied up with coat hanger wire, a tyre was ripped off and a wheel seriously bent, we lost our air horn which we weren't too happy about, and also snapped the rear suspension which we fixed with tie wraps and coat hanger wire again, and handed over the car in Banjul.
“We also arranged a football match between two local teams and gave to them two sets of football kits which were donated to us back in Norwich from the Ribs of Beef pub - making them look the part. They were so grateful and really enjoyed the kits.
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“It was an amazing adventure and probably the best thing I have ever done!”
The car was sold on Sunday with the money going to local charities. They are also set to raise more than £1,000 in sponsorship for the Big C cancer charity.
It is a cause dear to their hearts, as Mr Smith lost both parents to the disease, and Mr Gibson-Denny's mother has suffered from breast cancer.