Friends buckle up for banger challenge

Modest motor primed for epic road trip from Barnstaple to Barcelona.

A GROUP of friends are preparing to buckle-up in an old banger for a 1,200-mile road rally that will take them from the country lanes of Barnstaple to the streets of Barcelona.

Supermarket worker Julian Cross, 45, from Barnstaple, bought a 13-year-old Renault Laguna for �250 on eBay in a bid to take on next month’s Barcelona Bangers challenge.

He and friends Wesley Elliott, Dan Dulieu and Robert Chugg hope the modest investment will take them all the way to the Catalan capital and raise lots of money for Children’s Hospice South West.

Julian said: “Brady Kosciow, the daughter of one of my friends attended the hospice for many years but sadly she passed away last year.

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“We decided to take part in the rally as it is likely to be a fun event and we are raising money for a great local charity at the same time.”

The team is being generously supported by a number of local companies including Devonshire Motors, the Sign Shop and Chapple Media among others. J’s Valeting, next door to Gaydon Street Motors, are even donating �1 from every car they valet.

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Starting on June 1, the rally, likened to a Top Gear Challenge, will take participants from Calais to Lyon, over the Alps to the French Riviera and across the border to Barcelona. Teams will have to don fancy dress and take on daily adventures while negotiating the route.

Hospice community fund-raiser, Emma Perry, said: “This is going to take a lot of determination from Julian, Wesley and Dan to complete the three-day event but I am sure they will have huge amounts of fun on the way – the car certainly looks up to the job.”

The team will be showing off their car at various locations in Barnstaple during the coming weeks and are welcoming more business sponsors willing to be ‘stickered’ onto the banger.

Readers can follow their progress on Twitter @Bangersmash, on Facebook at Bangers and Mash – Barcelona Bangers. Secure on-line donations can be pledged at

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