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Drive across Australia in a super shit car

Drive across Australia in a super shit car

Here’s an idea peeps. Buy a car worth less than AUD$1000, give it a paint job of your choice and drive it alongside 200 other shitboxes on some of the toughest roads Down Under has to offer. Oh, and while you’re at it, help cure cancer. No big deal, right?

This excuse for a real good time is (legit) called The Shitbox Rally. They’ve done Sydney to Alice Springs and next year you can sign up for Brisbane to Darwin.

It’s not for the faint-hearted, nor is it for anyone with preference for clean clothes or showers.  You camp the whole way, from start to finish. If your driving partner happens to accidentally set your tent on fire on the first night (thanks, Jo), you’re either under the stars or in the back of your (soon to be shaggin’) wagon.

Yes, there’s usually quite the array of singles on the Rally. There are also flat tires and flies and poles in bars in the middle of nowhere just begging to be danced up on. Think endless desert roads and cold beers, swims in water holes and, of course, dress ups.  

“Last year there was a team called Team High Pants and every day their jeans were higher and higher until they were over their head,” says James Freeman, the madman who started this whole palaver after losing both his folks to the dreaded c-word.

“We’ve had scary clowns, freaky giant baby heads, too much drag, the gimp and Zed. Driving up the main highway to Coober Pedy and coming across the gimp tied to a traffic sign by his neck choker in the middle of nowhere with no cars anywhere around was hysterical. He said later that for the first 10 minutes only non-rally people drove past….”

You can only imagine what the locals thought. So, besides a car you can run into the ground and a legitimate excuse to wear a gimp mask in public, what will you get out of the Rally?

“The rally is far more than a driving adventure,” says Freeman. “It give so much back to those that participate, more than people ever expected it to. The camaraderie and resilience you have with others added to the adventure, the challenge, the locations and the humour creates a truly incredible experience for everyone. Importantly it also raises significant funds for cancer research so the feeling of goodwill is enormous.”

What began as 10 cars and 20 pals doing the rally as a much maligned favour to Freeman in 2014 is now 8 years, 15 rallies and 200-cars strong. And, so far, Freeman and Co have raised $12,051,996 for the cause. Freeman has done 15 rallies in eight years so you can’t blame him for getting sentimental when he shares his favourite moments.

“Toasting to all of the Mums lost on Mother’s Day at the Mundi Mundi Lookout outside Silverton on the 2015 Shitbox Rally, crossing the Pentecost River on the Gibb River Road at Sunset on SBR'14, one of the cliff face private tracks we took around a giant reservoir in SBRNZ'17, remembering those lost at a service on the 2017 Shitbox Rally New Zealand whilst overlooking the vibrant blue waters of Lake Pukaki, two of the biggest parties we have ever had at the Tjukayirla Road House on the Great Central Road on SBR'13 and at Einasleigh in central North Qld in the last rally. And how good people look with a layer of Australia's red dust covering them.”

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