THREE friends from Leeds are revving up for the trip of a lifetime as they set off for a 10,000-mile journey to Mongolia today.
Simon Kuznetsov, 25, Vincent Cook, 24, and Alastair Adams, 25, have souped up a 38-year-old Austin Allegro Estate – which they bought for £651 on ebay – for the Mongol Rally challenge.
After spending almost a year bringing the old banger up to scratch, the trio from Headingley will finally set off for London today to join hundreds of others on the start line tomorrow morning.
Simon, who teaches engineering at Skipton Girls’ High School, said: “We are confident in the car now, and really can’t wait to start the rally.
“We know an Allegro has done it before, but this will be the first ever estate version – one of only four still running in the UK.”
Speaking about the car, he added: “We love our ‘Melanie’ and are keen to prove the Austin can do it!”
The 1976 Austin Allegro Estate has been revamped with new wheels and tyres, had a full engine overhaul and a set of rare spare parts.
The charity challenge will take the trio through 15 countries, across deserts, mountain ranges and river crossings, before reaching the finish line in Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia.
The friends, who have named themselves the ‘Lost in Allegro’ team, aim to finish the challenge in 30 days and hope to raise £5,000 for various charities, including Alzheimers Research UK, Friends of Alfie Martin, Shelterbox and Cool Earth.
The teammates, who first met at Lawnswood High School, will film their journey and plan to show their feature-length documentary at the Cottage Road Cinema in Headingley later this year.
To track their journey, to donate or to find out more, visit their website at www.lostinallegro.com or www.facebook.com/lostinallegro.