'My wife thinks I'm a nutcase' says desert run driver in £140 Volkswagen
OUTLANE friends John Ennis and Terry Shaw are set for the ride of their lives - in a 10-year-old banger!
The brave pair are taking part in the 4,500-mile Bamako Run to Mali in Africa.
And it sounds like they've got a hair-raising ride in store.
Maintenance supervisor John and builder pal Terry will journey across the world's largest desert, the Sahara.
They then have to make it through some of the most dangerous territory in north western Africa.
This will surely be no easy feat in an ageing Volkswagen Passat - bought for £140!
John said: "People think I'm crackers!
"The roads are non-existent, so there is no satellite navigation.
"We will be driving by compass in some parts and we shall be crossing bandit country.
"But we are up for the challenge, which is for a good cause."
John said just completing the rally would be an achievement in itself - only 60% of vehicles make it across the finishing line.
The rally has a starting field of 71 teams and all will be driving cars that are aged 10 or older.
They start from Plymouth on January 13, then head down through France, Spain and Morocco.
They then journey on though the western Sahara, Mauritania and into Mali.
The teams have just 21 days to complete the challenge.
John says he has previously driven to Poland on a family holiday, but has tackled nothing like this - with no back up-before.
He said: "This is a one-off. My wife thinks I'm a nutcase and I've kept some of the scary elements from her.
"We were surprised to be accepted as it is very over-subscribed.
"We have a car which is solid and reliable. We have called our team the Freewheelers and just hope we make it!"
At the end of the run, the cars the equipment will be auctioned off for charity.
The main beneficiary will be the Royal Victoria Hospital in Bamako.
Cash raised in the UK for John's team will be donated to Kirkwood Hospice.
John is also wants anyone with unwanted replica football shirts to donate them. He plans to hand them to children in Africa along the way.
To sponsor John or to donate a shirt, contact him at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary on extension 2578.
His team's progress in the race can be monitored on www.plymouth- banjul.co.uk.