We set out in our bangers from Ascot in thick fog early on Monday 9 November and arrived, in thick fog, some 12 hours later in Inverness. Team BEN's £100 1994 Vauxhall Astra held up well, on straight roads at least. The lack of power steering was a challenge anywhere near a bend and would play a role in a subsequent disaster. A lovely meal and a convivial evening in the bar of the Inverness Palace Hotel was most restorative and discussion topics ranged from driving to um, driving, with a brief foray into the morality of human cloning (and the potential benefits to drivers).
The second day saw us reach John O'Groats for a rather damp photocall, a visit to the worst gift shop ever and a very ill-advised swim by the Honda boys in the icy, foul smelling waters of the North Sea.
The second day was certainly the most dramatic for Team BEN. On the return from John O'Groats our poor banger hit a wet patch on the windy roads and skidded, leading to an unexpected and terrifying encounter with a post van. This was, tragically, the end of the BEN Banger as it was agreed that it would cost more to fix than the car had initially cost us.
We returned, heads bowed, to the splendour of the Berwick Travelodge and were too shaken to take part in the evening's entertainment which appeared to include completely covering one banger with cling film.
Day Three was the return leg- by this time a most welcome phrase. We stopped at SportNetwork for wonderful bacon butties and tea and finished our expedition with laps of the track at Mercedes Benz World. Team BEN, not to be put off driving by our near death experience, borrowed the company Suzuki Liana and slowly and carefully made it around the track.
BEN would like to thank everyone who took part with such enthusiasm, our sponsors at Chicane, James at Car Dealer Magazine, Phil at Cima racing for the late, lamented BEN Banger.
The cars go to auction at Blackbushe BCA, Hall 2 on Wednesday 18 November at 1pm and we anticipate some very surprising prices. Sellers' emotions range from despair at having to part with a car they have bonded with to "I can't wait to be rid of the darned thing".
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