Car Dealer Magazine Editor, James Baggott, has taken on yet another fundraising challenge for BEN which will take place in early February. Plans are set for James to take on a marathon 1500 mile drive, with friends, from Portsmouth to John O'Groats, in four used cars each priced at £200.
Not only will the drivers have to battle snow and poor weather conditions on the trip, but they'll also be taking on a series of challenges along the way including a track day and an MPG marathon.
On Saturday (February 7) they will head from Portsmouth to Bedford for a track day then on to South Shields. From there they aim for their ultimate goal of John O'Groats and then back to stay in Inverness. And on the last day it's Scotland back to Pompey. ‘If, and when, we complete this trip, we will be trying to sell the cars for as much as possible and will be giving all the money to BEN, the automotive industry charity,' explained James. ‘We all love Top Gear which often challenges the team to some obscure tasks, so we thought we'd try and recreate it and raise some money for a great cause.' None of the team know what their competitors have bought yet - they plan to surprise each other when they meet up on Saturday at 9am on Portsdown Hill to set off. ‘We've called the challenge Bangers4BEN,' added James. ‘There's a chance we won't make it, but we won't give up trying - and it's bound to be eventful.'
Already a number of companies have helped - Best Western will be putting the team up in its hotels, local sign writer Phil Voller of Artistic Licence, in Botley, has decorated the cars and Halfords has supplied essential safety kit such as snow chains. James added: ‘I've used my contacts as editor of Car Dealer to source a seriously cool car and some help for the challenge - but my plan is to beat the rest of the team hands down. ‘Most importantly, there's the chance we will make a fair amount of money for BEN if we've all bought wisely. People are still buying cars - especially used ones - despite the economy, but whether they want our cars remains to be seen!' The team will work out who's victorious in the challenge using a series of points - they'll be won for spending under the budget and selling the car for the most cash, and lost for things like mechanical failures.
BEN's Director of Fundraising and Communications, Charles Davis, commented, "James Baggott is an inspiration to our industry. When James launched his trade magazine and website in spring 2008 he wanted to include a regular feature on BEN. He did this by donating a full page of editorial each month on his own fundraising initiative for BEN which has been extremely successful. This latest challenge is another example of how committed James is to our cause. We wish James, his brother Will, and friends Duncan Chappell and Dan Harris a successful and safe three days of motoring."
You can follow the team's progress throughout the event at www.CarDealerMag.co.uk where the team will be blogging about the challenge. Also log onto www.bangers4ben.com.