IT is a road trip that would frighten even the Top Gear trio of Clarkson, May and Hammond.
But three best friends from Wokingham have shown they are made of sterner stuff – and have a larger supply of oil, grease and assortment of spanners.
For they are about to undertake a mammoth 4,000 mile journey over the Alps (as well as on the M25) in a 24-year-old Volvo that cost more than its worth in scrap.
Mark Reed, Rob Brown and Richard Brook hope to raise thousands of pounds for two charities by taking part in the famous Banger Bust Up Rally from England to Croatia.
Along the way, they will be given various tasks to complete as they cover the miles in a car which already has over 200,000 on the clock.
And the trio have taken inspiration not from TV’s Top Gear but Hollywood’s Top Gun as they set out on their trip next week.
“We needed a theme for our vehicle so we decided to turn an old Volvo into a streamlined F-14 Tomcat,” explained Mark.
“Some people might think you couldn’t do that in a garage in Wokingham, but we are ready to fly. In addition, we’ve all got Tom Cruise sunglasses and pilot suits which look suspiciously like boiler suits but that’s just a technicality.”
The three friends set off on Thursday, July 11 and hope to reach Croatia in four days. Their route will take them through France, Italy,Germany and Slovenia before ending in the coastal town of Split in Croatia.
The rally rules dictate that all cars must be bought for under £500 and need to carry all provisions and spare parts needed for the journey.
“We will be asked to complete tasks along the way and have to arrive at various check-in points,” added Mark.
“We are confident our Volvo, sorry Tomcat, will get us there and back. We have been working on modifications including making sure the stereo tape cassette is working so we can enjoy some hit 80s tunes as we fly over the Alps.”
Money raised from the trip will be divided between two charities, Mind and Cancer Research UK.
The lads have nearly reached their £2,000 target but welcomed more. To back them, log on to: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/croatiaorbust