The 2017 Shitbox Rally required participants to complete the 3,800KM route from Adelaide to Cairns, in 7 days. While this might not be an overly difficult trip in a decent vehicle, following sealed roads, our route was more than 50% dirt, and took us through places such as the Oodnadatta Track and Plenty Highway. Just to keep everyone on their toes, the total vehicle spend was capped at $1,000 and specifically prohibited 4X4 and AWD vehicles. Each team was also required to raise at least $4,000 for Cancer Council before starting the rally.
Our vehicle of choice was a 1998 Mazda 323 Astina, sporting 350,000KMs. We paid $150 for it on an as-is-where-is basis, which required not only picking it up on a trailer, but also pushing it on and off the trailer.
Having both spent long trips in overheating vehicles in the past, preparation of the cooling system was a key area of concern for us. When Evans Waterless Coolants agreed to come on board to supply coolant, we were wrapped at the prospect of having one less hassle on hot desert days.
This partnership and pre-trip preparation ended up being a great stress-saver for us, with the temperature gauge never passing half way. Not having to worry about nursing a questionable cooling system freed up valuable energy for more important things, like not hitting a roo at 100km/h, or dodging washouts big enough to swallow our little Mazda.
All in all, the 2017 Shitbox Rally was a hilarious, challenging and fun event, for a great cause. We both hope to be back for more of the same next year.
Trev and Tom
Team The Last and The Furious