The Sh*tbox Rally New Zealand is not only set apart from other more traditional car events by its unusual name.
Starting in Christchurch on a round- trip next Saturday, the seven-day rally has already raised close to $70,000 for New Zealand's Cancer Society and is ‘‘really not about speed'', according to founder and rally director James Freeman.
Based in Adelaide, he began organising the Sh**box Rally in Australia after he lost his parents to cancer within 12 months. Since its inception in 2010 this event, which has run eight times across The Ditch, has raised over $A10 million for cancer research, making the rally the largest independent fundraiser for Australia's Cancer Council.
Last year was its inaugural visit to New Zealand and 65 cars coughed and spluttered their way around the North Island raising $55,000.
Driving vehicles that fit the description of the rally's name, which are worth less than $1700, including registration and insurance, through a selection of sealed and unsealed roads, mountain passes, rivers, volcanos, beaches and amazing scenery, 61 teams of two will just be happy to arrive back where they started, Freeman said.
‘‘We are all about just making it to the destination. They are pretty cheap cars, so you have to expect the worst.''
A lead car will set and maintain the leisurely pace and five other support vehicles - some towing car-transporting trailers - will scoop up any participants who have run out of steam and take them to that night's destination, where mechanics will endeavour to get them going again.
Freeman said the rally itself is the reward for the hard fundraising work the teams have already undertaken, as they all needed to raise a minimum of $4500 before the rally. They will camp at remote locations along the way, which include a night at the Albert Town campground, near Wanaka, on Monday, February 27.
There will be no chance of missing the colourful convoy as it drives through South Island neighbourhoods as they will be ‘‘decked out in glitter, spray paint, streamers and blow-up animals, all to raise awareness and much-needed funds for cancer research'', Freeman said.
Manheim Auctions sources all of the vehicles used in the rally on behalf of the teams, who bid on them in an event the day before the rally starts.
Sh*tbox Rally NZ
Overnight destinations for the Sh**box Rally NZ
February 25: Momorangi Bay
February 26: Blackball
February 27: Lake Hawea
February 28: Te Anau
March 1: Beaumont
March 2: Lake Tekapo
March 3: Christchurch
Want to know more? For more information or to donate, visit www.sh**boxrally.co.nz
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